Chrissy Weems is a CEO and Co-Founder of Origami Owl, a jewelry company from Chandler, Arizona. Given that her creativity-led character started showing at a young age, her educational path was not a surprise for anyone. She studied Interior Design and graduated with a degree in Fine Art from Arizona State University.
Today, she is a mother to five beautiful children. Her oldest daughter is a girl named Bella. When Bella was fourteen, she came to her parents, asking them to buy her a car for her sixteenth birthday. “I vividly recall looking Bella straight in the eyes and sharing with her how important it was for the members of our family to work for what they have,” Chrissy said. “We encouraged her to start a business and have supported her every step of the way.” It was then that Bella and Chrissy began researching ideas for new business and Origami Owl was born. Today, Chrissy is a wife and a mom of five, as well as the CEO and one of the leading contributors to the unstoppable growth of Origami Owl.
The mission of the company was the family spirit and the notion of being a force for good and making a difference in the world. The Origami Owl team is composed of a variety of talented professionals who are incredibly close. The atmosphere in this work environment is characterized by adopting a pay it forward mindset and their first core value are abiding by the Golden Rule. “We create jewelry that connects people to the moments that matter most,” Weems stated. Origami Owl has gained notoriety because of its meaningful and customizable platform.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
My daughter Bella wanted to save money to get her first car when she turned 16, so she was looking for a way to create income as a teenager. She started babysitting and quickly learned that it would take her quite a bit of time to earn that car. She earned $350, we matched it and set out to help people tell stories with meaningful jewelry. Bella was always intrigued by jewelry, so it seemed like the perfect fit.
How do you make money?
The most amazing part of our business is that we help women, and a few good men al throughout the USA and Canada earn extra income by becoming an entrepreneur, starting a business to ear some extra money. Our Designers are Independent Business Owners who have their own “side gig” if you will. They help their customers create meaningful jewelry that tells a story. We love helping others find success, so the social selling model was perfect for us.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took several months to become profitable, but the biggest challenges were remaining profitable though explosive growth. We quickly learned the lesson of supply and demand and all of our profit was being put back into inventory to grow the business. We never spent a single marketing dollar until our 3rd year in business. The organic momentum in the business was incredible. People loved sharing stories through the Living Locket.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I think everyone has doubts, but we tried not to overthink it. We moved forward with faith that whatever was in Gods plan for us would be. We worked hard, and when doubts crept in as they often do, we set them aside and kept working.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first customers were our friends and family. They were always so kind to support Bella in her new business. We then began doing little home parties as our network grew. Later on, we opened a small kiosk at a local mall, and that is where we realized how what we had was truly special.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works well to generate new business?
Our first and most effective strategy is just connecting with people and having them connect with people. It’s about meaningful connections. We also love using social networks to connect with as many people as we can. We currently have almost half a million people following us on Facebook. Also, we regularly share our work on other channels such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision I’ve made is making some modifications to simplify the business programs for our Independent Designers. We knew it was the right decision, but change is always hard for people to adapt to.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Intention. It is key to what we do at Origami Owl. We are an extremely mission-driven company. Our mission is to be a force for good. To love, inspire and motivate people of all ages to reach their dreams and empower them to make a difference in the lives of others.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Seeing my daughter, Bella earn every penny for that Jeep she got when she turned 16 was pretty incredible, but beyond that, watching the woman she has become because of this business. She has grown to be an exceptional leader with great confidence.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
We Believe the youth are the future of this world and we are passionate about helping youth find success. We’re changing the lives of youth in US and Canada with our Owlette Program which allows young people between the ages of 11-17 to start a business and earn money just like Bella did.
Which business books have inspired you?
Tony Robbins Power Talk inspires me. I also I love “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “The power of moments” by chip and dan heath.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
Yes, we recently created an app for our Designers to use to build their business. IT helps them have a business on the go with their busy lives. It makes it so easy for them to connect with customers.