Recently I sat down with Betsy Blancett Nacrelli to discuss her new venture, Joya, a curated collection of handmade artisanal jewelry. Betsy’s joie de vivre immediately draws you in. The first time I met her, listening to her countless adventures around the world was captivating. It’s these adventures that made Joya possible. The Joya collection is handmade by artisans in India, Indonesia, Europe and the U.S. whom she found through her previous career working as a buyer for Arhaus furniture. When she launched her own venture into the furniture business, jewelry was an obvious next step. Betsy told me all about how her idea for Joya came to be, how she chooses her designs and why giving back is important — and possible even for a new business!
How did the idea for Joya spark?
I came up with the idea around the same time my husband and I started our furniture business. I have always brought back jewelry from Bali (during her trips for Arhaus furniture) and I would also get requests to bring it back for friends. So my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to try our hand at selling jewelry too.
The idea for subscription boxes came to me from a friend. All of our friends are super busy and spend more time shopping for their kids than themselves. One of my friends told me she wished someone would deliver her jewelry rather than shopping for it herself. That way she’d have something new to wear and a regular pick me up delivered straight to her door.
How would you describe the Joya aesthetic?
Our aesthetic is eclectic, natural and world traveled. At the core of the brand, we believe in artisan quality goods. Everything is 100% hand crafted. We don’t compromise on quality or style.
How do you choose the designs for each collection? Do you follow/forecast jewelry trends?
Yes I do follow the jewelry trends. I’m constantly looking at every corner of the globe and what’s going on domestically with fashion. I also visit Europe for the fashion shows and I work on color stories. Currently I’m completing the color story for spring.
What came together to make your idea a reality?
There were two main factors: the people and the creative point we were at in our lives. When I stepped out from the corporate world (at Arhaus), I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. We were open to being creative and already had all the tools to make the business a success. We looked at the people we partnered with to make it a reality. I had experience in traveling, logistics, sourcing products internationally, import duties and merchandising. I knew someone in Bali who handmade all of these products as well as jewelry makers in India and the U.S. I also had a web developer.
How do you juggle your full-time job with running your own small business?
That’s the biggest challenge. When you run your own business, there is no such thing as hours or weekends. It is all hands on deck. My husband will remind me we have to go out to dinner. I’m still working on finding that balance.
Your philosophy is to help women uplift other women. For you, is there a personal experience or story that makes this philosophy particularly important to you?
All the women in my life have been a great inspiration, even my work mentors. It’s a blessing to have been surrounded by strong and independent women in my life. I met with Bali Life in Indonesia in September and have attended several events with a women’s safe house in St. Louis. We are careful with who we chose. At Bali Life, they run a children’s home, a street kids project, a women’s center and they also educate children. We are happy to be providing enough aid to Bali Life that they are now serving three meals a day.
Disclosure: Joya has gifted the quarterly subscription box. All opinions in this post are my own.
Love the jewelry as much as I do? Joya is giving away a Quarterly Subscription Box to one lucky winner! Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win.
Rules: Contest ends Sunday, November 15 at 11:59 pm. Promotion is offered to US residents only. You must use the Rafflecopter to enter. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. After that time, the winner will be disqualified and another winner will be drawn. Good luck!