Presenting with Future Entrepreneurs

Posted by Gillian Karatassos on

Towards the end of October, I had the honor to be able to present how I got started as an entrepreneur to Coach Lenny William's 8th grade Future Entrepreneur class. A lot of students were surprised when I told them how I got started! 

My love for making jewelry actually started in a sculpture class at James Madison University. I  was taught how to lay a bead and join two pieces of steel to make a weld. Not long after that- I was handed a plasma cutter and thought- Whoa. This is powerful. My Sculpture teacher encouraged me to take a jewelry making class after he saw how comfortable I was with fire. So I took a jewelry class and loved it so much that I ended up minoring in Jewelry.

But I also always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even as a child, I captured earthworms and sold them to the local general store near one of my childhood homes in Connecticut. The store sold my earthworms to the local fishermen for bait. But since I also enjoyed drawing and photography so much I thought the best choice of path was graphic design. I mean, that’s where the money was wasn’t it? I didn’t want to be a starving artist. My father was a successful business owner, and I wanted to follow in his footsteps with my own business. At the time I thought Graphic Design would feed all of those passions and monetary requirements, and allow me to be my own boss. Well, two degrees later and trying to make it as a designer after 9/11, I quickly realized it just wasn’t for me. 

 To supplement my income while I freelanced, I worked my way up the corporate ladder in retail luxury jewelry sales. I eventually was given my own store and I loved everything about running a multi-million dollar business. But I knew that I needed to do something that allowed me to create. While I was already creating relationships with my customers, I wasn’t creating the designs of what I sold. Selling without purpose just wasn’t enough.

So I wanted to go back to what I was really meant to do: create and make with my hands. What if I created my own jewelry line?

We dove into a bit more about my development of process, and ultimately what drove me to create. Stay tuned for the next bit on 'My Story: Part 2'. 

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