It was the first Arts Beats and eats of 2012 and I was making my rounds to check out the various vendors. One vendor’s table caught my eye. There was a wealthy spread of all kinds of fantastic jewelry. It didn’t take me long to decide on a huge chunky yellow and gold ring. It also didn’t take me long to inquire and set up an interview with the vendor, Stephanie Crisler of Mijourne.
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
SC: Sophisticated, glamorous diligent, smart, understanding
Phreedum: How did Mijourne go from an idea to a business?
SC: I think I’ve really always loved jewelry. It has a way of completing a look. Growing up my mom never left home without a piece of jewelry on, usually a pair of earrings. It didn’t matter if she was in sweats and going to the grocery store, she had jewelry. Then there is my aunt who got me started thinking of how my love for jewelry could be a business. She would sell jewelry at different events and conferences she went to. On occasion she would invite me to help and I really enjoyed it. So, after growing frustrated with a managerial position I held at a clothing retail company I quit and started Mijourne.
Phreedum: You just up and left?
SC: Yes. The very day I decided I would and could sell jewelry and be fulfilled is when I quit. I quit and had a negative balance in my bank account. Little thinking, lots of instinct.
Phreedum: How did you select your company’s name?
SC: Mijourne is just a fancy way of saying “My journey.” Everyday this is my journey to creating a better life for myself.
Phreedum: Who supports you with your entrepreneurial endeavors?
SC: My mom. She is really supportive and helps me to make things happen. She pushes me when I don’t feel like doing things, encourages me when I am doubtful, celebrates me when I have reached a goal. I also have a group of young ladies that believe in the vision of the company. Their belief inspires me to do and be better.
Phreedum: Why jewelry?
SC: It’s so small but it’s so important. Jewelry brings the “wow” factor and completes any look.
Phreedum: What has been a highlight for you on your journey as an entrepreneur?
SC: Since starting Mijourne I have been fortunate to be invited to photo and video shoots to style individuals as it pertains to jewelry. One particular shoot was with Angela Simmons. She shared she really liked my jewelry and bought a few pieces. Not too long after the shoot I was flipping through a magazine that had highlights from New York fashion week 2011and Angela Simmons was in a photo wearing one of my pieces. That was so big for me. In a year one of my pieces was in a magazine being worn by a celebrity. In addition to that I continue to get a lot of calls to vend at various events and host parties. There has been lots of growth in little time.
Phreedum: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
SC: People will say “No” and will not believe in you or what you are doing, but you have to be encouraged. If God gave you a desire and a vision, He will fulfill it. Every delay is not a denial. You have to go harder and do what you can with what you have, but your dream is possible.
Phreedum: Why Philly?
SC: Philly is home and I have a lot of support here. I desire to grow the brand and branch out to other cities, but Philadelphia will always be home.
Phreedum: What do people underestimate about entrepreneurship?
SC: Just how hard it is. You have to do everything. It’s a 24 hour gig. You are the accountant, public relations person, manager, producer, and shipper. You do everything to keep it operating and, in fact, that includes just generating ideas. It’s really not a hustle. It’s your life.
Phreedum: What is one piece of advice you carry with you as you continue to build your business?
SC: Go hard or go home. If you are not going to go hard you might as well not do it. If you want it to be great you have to invest and that means invest time, money, and your heart.
Phreedum: What is on piece of advice you would give the Stephanie of 10 years ago?
SC: If there are things that won’t benefit your future, let them go. There were things that would never produce a reward in my life and I gave it my energy, attention, and time and it wasn’t worth it. I would tell myself to believe in what dreams I have and put them first.
Phreedum: How does Mijourne change the lives of others?
SC: If you know my journey you know Mijourne is built on the belief that anything, despite your past is possible. People who know my journey know I am from the city, lost my father, and started my business with a dollar and a dream but with a dream. It doesn’t matter what your past is, you hold your destiny. Your past doesn’t have to hinder you. I get messages from people all the time about how my journey to and through Mijourne has inspired and motivated people to step out on faith to pursue their own goals and dreams.
Phreedum: If Mijourne was a piece of jewelry, what would it be and why?
SC: If Mijourne was a piece of jewelry it would be a pair of hoops. Hoop earrings are very versatile. You can wear a pair to the gym or wear a gemmed up crystallized pair to a formal function. You can wear your hair up or down, straight, wavy, or kinky. Hoops are really a timeless versatile piece of jewelry. I think Mijourne, journeying, growing, becoming better is a process that occurs across the lifespan and occurs in a variety of ways.
To learn more about Stephanie and her business visit www.mijourne.com or follow her on twitter @ilovemijourne