Alyssa Reichel has graced her community of North Woodmere, New York as an entrepreneur with an impeccable flair for style and fashion. Her elegance and sophistication led her to a career in the jewelry industry at a young age. She is considered to be a pillar in her community. As she opened her jewelry boutique her community embraced the distinctively unique one-of-a-kind jewelry acquired by Ms. Reichel. Her ability to establish strong client relationships has enabled her business to flourish. Her business has served the elite women in the region known as the Five Towns, over the past twenty years.
When acquiring merchandise for her boutique, Alyssa meets with her suppliers to meticulously select specialty items that can’t be found elsewhere. Merchandise is offered at a mid to high price range. Alyssa does not require advertising or marketing strategy. She works exclusively with her established clientele and new clients that are recommended.
Ms. Reichel is a single parent and her son is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In her free time, Alyssa is socially active in her community and synagogue. Alyssa is an athlete who works out at the gym daily. When socializing with friends, she will often travel to Manhattan and Miami for entertainment.
How did you get started selling jewelry? What inspired you to do so?
How I got started in selling jewelry was an unexpected career choice at first. I was very young. I had a boyfriend whose family owned a jewelry store business in Manhattan. I went to visit the jewelry store several times. At one time, my boyfriend asked me to wait on customers. It became an unpaid hobby, I just enjoyed doing it. One day his mother told me that I was doing very well, and she began paying me a salary. That is what inspired me to begin my career selling fine jewelry. The rest is history.
How does your firm make money?
I make money by selling my product. I have developed very deep relationships with my loyal clients over the past twenty years.
How long did it take for your firm to become profitable?
My first year in business, I opened in Forest Hills, New York. It was a second-floor walk-up store. I was astounded when I was profitable within my first month. People were very inspired by the fine quality of the products that I had to offer. I built a loyal clientele very quickly.
When you first started out did you ever doubt that this would work for you? If so, how did you handle it?
Yes, when I first started my business, I was very concerned because I had a young child at the time. I was unsure if a fine jewelry business would become financially stable enough to support my family and supplement my husband’s income. I took the risk. I was very surprised at how quickly I was able to make a higher income than I made at the previous store where I was employed. I took the risk because I wanted to do better and it improved my life.
How did you find your first customer?
My first customer followed me from the store where I had previously been employed. The business was on a second-floor walk-up. I had a window display on the ground floor and people loved my display. I made an investment and hired a professional decorator, who made it the most beautiful window display that you could possibly imagine. The designer was a friend of mine. He designed windows for Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman. The display drew a lot of foot traffic from the street.
What is one marketing strategy other than referrals that you use to generate new business?
Truthfully, I do not advertise. I work with clients exclusively through word of mouth and repeat client business. I don’t have a website and I don’t do any marketing.
What is the toughest decision that you have had to make in the past few months?
The toughest decision that I’ve had to make is in the amount of financial investment I am going to make to achieve my financial goals.
What do you think makes you successful?
I have very good communication and interpersonal skills. It is easy for me to establish good relationships with my clients. I care about people. They like me and they value my opinions with fashion and style. I have a flair for style and many of my clients consult with me prior to special events. I will coordinate fashions and accessories for clients by joining then on a shopping expedition. Often times, clients rely on me to create a complete ensemble from head to toe.
What has been your most satisfying moment since opening your own firm?
Before I opened my business, I was working at a store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. I was working on strictly commission at the time. A “cowboy” entered the store, and no one wanted to wait on him. He was wearing very dusty boots and a hat. Everyone judged him by his appearance. I had no aversion to speaking with the gentleman. As a result, he ended up spending two-hundred and four thousand dollars. It was the most satisfying thing that has happened to me in my career.
What does the future hold for you and your firm? What are you most excited about?
I have been fortunate enough to enjoy a thriving business over the past twenty years. I have had great and loyal clients. I work in eight-foot of space and I like my small space. I go to work every day and I enjoy making people happy and being able to support myself. I have no plans to expand. I delight in the way I do business and I plan to continue to do the same in the future.
What business books have inspired you that you would recommend?
I started my business at a very young age, and I took command of the business right from the start. I never read any business books. I read crime novels when I read. I read for pleasure and entertainment.
What is a recent purchase that you have made for your business?
I recently purchased some very elegant display items that distinctively showcase my products.