We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Cheryl German. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Cheryl below.
Cheryl, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today What was it like going from idea to execution? Can you share some of the backstory and some of the major steps or milestones?
Gullah Jewelry Fashion and Design, LLC started in 1993 from visions of designs that I have sketched and now have 500+ original designs. I had no prior training or knowledge about jewelry making but became skillful through trial and error. My family came from humble beginnings, and after I later divorced and became a single parent of my two children. God blessed me with these designs and the mindset to develop my designs and created a business to handmade jewelry and other craft items. The uniqueness of my business is that I create designs to compliment your physical feature and your outfit to show each customer’s unique qualities.
Cheryl, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
1. Made-to-fit designs because customers always had concerns about finding accessories that actual fit, so I offer different lengths in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and anklets. 2. Customer service is key to building a lasting relationship because I believe that caring for people is more important.
3. I offer a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, types and styles that my customers would have that option to choose.
4. My original designs are not found everywhere, and I do not mass produce my designs because each person is unique.
5. As I build relationships with my customers, I also guarantee quality products.
6. I also offer the service of minor jewelry repair of restringing and recreating new designs with older jewelry item to give a fresh look.
7. I use all types of materials to create unique jewelry designs and products.
8. My prices are very affordable.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
It has never been a smooth road. I grew up in an economically poor family, raised by my grandmother. My family couldn’t afford to pay for my college education, so I always worked to pay for three years of college education. I was very ambitious and wanted to become an accountant, however, the opportunity did not allow due to oppression and discrimination in society. I was married and divorced twice, raised my two children by myself while working to make sure their needs were met. During my 1st divorce from my children’s father, the Lord blessed me with designs of jewelry images that I started sketching on pieces of paper. I could not afford very much, but was able to purchase a set of basic jewelry tools and inexpensive beads and wires to get started in 1993. I always knew how to manage money, but never was given the opportunity to earn enough to invest. My jewelry business started well at community festivals. I tried expanding by operating a storefront, but I loss a great deal due partly because of prejudice acts, which resulted in very little sales. During my time working as an imports customer representative, I gain much experience and was well on my way to saving towards my retirement, but life took me through many trials with my second marriage. I lost alot of money, which took me back to the starting block. At this point I realized that God was still providing for me and knew that I was broke, but not broken. I am a struggling survivor of living a hard life, but I am a servant of those less fortunate.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
My business is self-made and I didn’t have any funding to start it. A lot of praying and asking for guidance to develop my jewelry designs was very challenging. Small amounts of money was used from my regular paychecks. I purchased supplies and materials in small amounts as I was developing my craft and eventually got to a point of creating multiple designs. I was frustrated many times, but persevered.
- Website: https://www.gjewelryfashion.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/gjewelryfash
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/gjewelryfashion
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/gjewelryfashion
Cheryl D German