What would you do if you were 14 years old and you wanted a car for your 16th birthday?
Babysit? Work at a grocery store? Hijack an armored car?
Or maybe you’d rather sell home-made lockets to your friends for a while and then transform your after-school enterprise into an international jewelry corporation that did $250 million in sales in 2013?
Ya, that last one sounds pretty good to us too.
And that’s exactly what Bella Weems did with Origami Owl, which – after absolutely exploding in the US – is finally bringing its sparkle and charm to Canada.
Bella launched the brand in 2010 with what continues to be their signature item; lockets customized with charms, called “Living Lockets”. Within a year, sales were so strong amongst friends, that she opened a booth in a mall selling a broader selection of products to anyone and everyone. Now, Bella’s brand offers over 50 locket faces and plates, more than 350 charms, and a sizable selection of earrings, bracelets, dangles, lanyards, charms, and chains.
Origami Owl also has over 60,000 “Independent Designers” in the US, and since February has been growing its direct sales presence across Canada with “Jewelry Bars” – privately hosted events at which registered “designers”/resellers can customize and sell the Origami Owl products for a cut of the sales and product discounts – now being held throughout the country.
Think Tupperware parties for teens.
Beyond the product quality and the ambition of the founder, there are a number of impressive aspects surrounding both this story and the company. First, the sales are clearly astounding. Second, the 10 Core Values of the company – including, “Support One Another’s Personal Development” and “Shine Humbly With a Grateful Heart” – are refreshing and nothing short of inspirational. Third, people involved had the foresight, and Weems the composure, to assign seasoned business leads into the executive leadership roles at the company.
Bella’s official title at Origami Owl?
Well, “Founder” of course. But also, no word of a lie, “Intern”. Yup, she just did an internship at her own company after graduating high school last year.
Something tells us she’ll move up the ranks pretty quickly.