Welcome to part two of our interview with Alicia Jane – CEO and founder of Alicia Jane & Co. Her journey to opening her own company has made her who she is today. She has worked incredibly hard to get to where she is and she’s had many “no’s” thrown at her throughout her career.
In her own words: “Believe me, it has been a long road. I’ve cried, pounded the pavement, picked myself up, and brushed myself off time and time again.”
As someone totally unfiltered, she is meticulous, and some would even say that she’s harsh, however, she refers to herself as unapologetically direct. A firm believer in persistence, she thrives under pressure and believes you can achieve anything you want if you work hard enough.
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Table of Contents
Thank you so much for giving us your time! Before we begin, could you introduce yourself to our readers and take us through what exactly your company does and what has changed since we last spoke?
Alicia Jane: Thank you so much for having me back! For all those reading that didn’t see the first interview, my name is Alicia Jane. I am the CEO and founder of Alicia Jane & Co. I source, sell and create fine jewelry. All of my pieces are bespoke, exclusive, and original. The way I work with my clients is a little bit different from most. I must build a deeper understanding of who my client is before work commences to ensure their idea is executed to precision.
It creates a more personal relationship than going into a shop and getting hassled over the counter for something that is probably underwhelming and not exactly what you want. Alicia Jane & Co tailors to you. I strive to deliver a VIP experience and think about what I would want if roles were reversed. I have a designer that illustrates my ideas and a workshop of craftsmen that have historically benched for some of the prestigious jewelry houses in the world. Right through from inquiry to delivery, my client is taken care of every single step of the way and this has resulted in Hatton Garden’s newest and finest ladies Jewellery brand; Alicia Jane & Co.
Since we last spoke, my brand has grown exponentially. I have representatives in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, and the UAE. It became increasingly apparent that social media was a great tool to document my creations and from that, a project come in from a Royal Family which led to more and more business and culminated in representation. I think women love having bespoke pieces and having another woman understand them and bring their idea to life. That’s me, that’s what I built and what I wanted my brand to be about, jewelry for a woman by a woman. So the growth is exciting…
NO child ever says I want to be a CEO/entrepreneur when I grow up. What did you want to be and how did you get where you are today?
Alicia Jane: I can’t remember what I wanted to be, I just know I was obsessed with shopping and anything girly to do with getting ‘dressed up’. My grandmother always wore the most spectacular jewelry and I was captivated by the sparkle. I remember being about five years old and sitting on her bed, trying on all the pieces at once and looking like a Christmas tree!
I thought she looked so glamorous in her lipstick and diamonds, I wanted to be just like her. I think when I got older was when I started to notice other people’s jewelry and the allure diamonds had. Even now I notice someone’s diamond ring before they walk through the door! I just have this insatiable desire for luxury things. I like everything to be beautiful around me. So it made sense to study gemmology, it was a labor of love, and thereafter was the birth of Alicia Jane and Co.
Tell us something about yourself that others in your organization might be surprised to know.
Alicia Jane: People may be surprised to know that I am actually quite good at drawing. When I was in school I studied Fine Art and also practiced for many years. However, the truth is I am too busy all the time to properly draw and have a team to help with that. I suppose that skill helps me conceptualize with my clients but yes, you may be surprised to know I can draw and my mum and grandma have pieces I have made over the years hanging in their houses!
Many readers may wonder how to become an entrepreneur but what is an entrepreneur? How would you define it?
Alicia Jane: I think an entrepreneur breaks the mold and brings something to the table that is slightly different. I understand what it’s like to struggle and feel like you might fail or not know whether or not to keep going. I think it’s important, to be honest with people about business. It doesn’t always go that well because business is challenging and takes so much time, passion, drive, sacrifice, and organization. And now it’s been a crazy, crazy time, and people have suffered severe challenges and made them question whether to keep going. I think some people have it in them to be an entrepreneur, and that’s great, and some people don’t, and that’s fine too. I don’t think there is a right and a wrong way of being in business.
Some of the most successful people work for big organizations as part of a team and excel. Very few people have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Life isn’t easy, and you are not taken seriously in business until you succeed, but everyone has to start from somewhere! Personally, the traits I have are probably more aligned to someone that runs their own company and works for themselves instead of the other way around. If that makes me an entrepreneur, then great. I am very linear; I’m to the point, I’m decisive. I’m ready to go, and it’s like I have a hammer, just knocking away all the time. I want to execute things and keep them moving. I’m ready for the next thing.
How has COVID 19 impacted your business? If so, how was your brands response to the pandemic?
Alicia Jane: It’s obviously been a hugely challenging time and incredibly difficult for so many people so I don’t want to be emotionally, nor socially inept and write about how things are great. I’m super aware that people have had a lot of financial losses. We are still, unfortunately, finding our way back to normalcy, but I do believe the human nature is resilient enough to get there in the end!
Personally, I chose to open up my brand to social media as I imagined that with people not being able to go out as much; they would be on their phones. This little bit of common sense managed to catapult my brand and generate business enquires that led me to expansion over in the Middle East.
I think there is a massive amount of luck in success. Whether you have luck or you make your own luck; I go back and forth with all the time, and questions. Either way, you can’t just sit and wait for things to land in your lap. I come from a true place of ‘yes let’s figure it out, let’s get it done, let’s keep it moving’. Covid or no Covid.
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. What must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Alicia Jane: You have to have a plan of what you’re going to do and how you are going to start. Then very soon, your plan is going to change and you’re going to have to adapt. Then you are going to have to know you’re going to be making a lot of sacrifices as well. This is your company, it’s your responsibility.
How can a leader be disruptive in the post covid world?
Alicia Jane: I believe after this time when we turn the corner there will be such a reset on this snow globe. It will have been shaken and there will be so many ways to flourish. Now I truly think is the time to be organized, collect yourself, your thoughts, plot your course and execute your vision. Now will be the time to make your career changes, or build a business.
There is never a time like the present to make a change and start doing something new. There is no greater risk than taking no risks at all! We can’t prepare for similar economic disruptions, we just have to ride the wave and as I said before; I just go with my gut. When I see opportunity, I just go for it. I never second guess myself or my gut instinct. Within months I had a fully fledged, trading company from absolutely nothing, if I can do it so can anyone else.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Alicia Jane: I’m incredibly tenacious, I say it like it is, I’m like this very small bundle of energy that doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and gets stuff done. The way I work is to incentivize everyone that collaborates with me with a healthy remuneration so that all parties are happy and that way things get done quickly and to the highest standard. I don’t have time for time wasters. Reputation and relationships are everything. Teamwork makes the dream work!
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from
Alicia Jane: Entrepreneurship by essence is someone that follows their own instinct. If you have to read a book to understand what you’re made of, then you probably shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. No one is going to hold your hand, there are loads of mistakes that happen. You just have to learn from them and adapt; fast. Every day you should be doing something new and improving. Otherwise, it is a wasted day. All these books and movies will show you the struggle and then the success story but you are the only person that can make it happen. Have a cup of coffee and get on with it!
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be
Alicia Jane: If anyone is reading this that can help me I swear my literal lifelong dream is to host on QVC. I think I would absolutely knock it out of the park. I LITERALLY LIVE to just sell stuff and talk about it and make it work. I need to do it!
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, we do have one more question. If you wrote a book about your life until today, what would the title be?
Alicia Jane: For the girl creating her own future.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Alicia Jane for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Alicia Jane or her company, you can do it through her – Instagram
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