I recently had the pleasure of talking with business owner and jewelry designer Anteya, owner of Bella Ecienna, a new Online accessories boutique. The Boutique was started in memory of her late mother Anneice (Bella Ecienna= Beautiful Anniece). I personally would describe her jewelry as unique but trendy. One thing I learned from talking with Anteya is that starting a business is not only a way to make money, but for some it can be a way to cope with loss.
Me: Tell me about your company and what you do.
Anteya: I’m a young entrepreneur striving to keep my mother’s name and spirit alive. I started this company in part to share a piece of beauty that is everlasting just like my late mother’s inner and outer beauty. Basically What I do is sell jewelry as well as design custom pieces.
Me: Describe your Product in three words.
Anteya: SIGNIFICANT, ELEGANT, AND FIERCE!!!
Me: You started to touch on this earlier but what made you go into jewelry design/selling?
Anteya: Well, when I started it, it felt like it had been too long since I had seen my mother physically and as time went on it kind of started to feel like the norm to accept the fact that she was gone and I truly don’t think that I will ever fully accept. So I had to think of something to keep her name alive and ensure that people will never forget her and how beautiful she was. I’m basically trying to do that through jewelry.
Me: What are some challenges you have faced starting your business?
Anteya: So far the challenges have been basic. My Godfather Rev. Horace L. Sheffield III invested in my business when I first got started and I also had my own capital to invest so getting started wasn’t really hard. I already new it wouldn’t be easy and the significance of the brand (my mother) keeps me motivated. One challenge that I have faced recently is with my custom orders. I have had a customer order a custom piece and they wan’t something that I don’t have at the time. I like to accomidate my customers so I will go shopping for a stone, or material, or bead ect… if I don’t have it. Where my latest problem has come in is getting a deposit/payment and finding a suitable payment method that not only satisfies the customer but also my business needs.
Me: What designers do you look up to?
Anteya: Versace’, Betsey Johnson, Lia Sophia, Tiffany & Co., Delfina Delettrez. I like their jewelry(delfina delettrez) because it’s elegant. Lia Sophia has become really popular, and Betsey Johnson’s stuff is always unique and different. Now Versace’, their Jewelry is just to die for. I wish I could duplicate it without getting in trouble. I can’t even explain how amazing their pieces are. Tiffany &Co. has a timeless elegance to it. overall, the jewelry designers I like are all unique and elegant at the same time.
Me: Out of all the products you sell, if you could only pick one to sell which one would it be and why?
Anteya: Wow, that’s a good question. If i had to pick one for now it would be my Chunky choker set. Only because that’s what is really popular right now. Even when I wear it or someone else like a friend or one of my customers wear it, it’s very noticable and grabs your attention. So because of the popularity of the trend with link and chunky chains I would have to go with that one.
Me: Pertaining to jewelry and fashion, what advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
Anteya: Keep God First, and stay focused. Do your research on different designers and trends in the industry. Also, don’t get discouraged. it can be very easy to get discouraged but the sky is the limit. The best thing you can do, since there are a lot of different people coming into this market, is to stand apart and be unique.
Me: You talked about losing your mother earlier. How old were you and what advice would you give to someone trying to deal or cope with the loss of a parent?
Anteya: I was 20 years old. I would say try to hold on to the memories. It’s kind of hard to say because I’m still trying to cope and for a long time I wasn’t dealing with it right. I think I really didn’t start to cope with it until I started Bella Ecienna. I never really took the time to think about it and take it for what it was. It still feels like a bad dream to me now. So I would say talk about it and think about the happy moments cause keeping the pain in can really mess you up. Everything matters the Good and Bad times. It’s really hard.
Me: Is there anything else you want to share and how can we keep up with what you are doing with Bella Ecienna?
Anteya: I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and instagram @bellaecienna. I just wanna thank all the people who have supported me so far and those who plan on supporting in the future (you rock). There are people I have met who have heard of the brand but haven’t purchased anything and I want to thank them as well. Every Facebook friend and Twitter follower means something to me. That support enough and I appreciate it. Also, I will be a vendor for Michigan Fashion week Saturday September 15th (TODAY!!!). If you wanna get some items but don’t wanna go through the website I will be there selling pieces.
Me: Thank you for your time, I did see a couple of things I may need to order, have a great day.
Anteya: Thank you, and you as well.