Welcome to Chicks We Love! Here at Chip Chick, we love inspiring women to follow their business dreams while giving them the tools they need to make it happen.
Chicks We Love is our new series showcasing, well, chicks we can’t help but just love! Get ready to meet some of our favorite exciting female entrepreneurs and hear all about their wisdom for helping you to succeed too.
In this article, I caught up with Szilvia Gogh, Founder of Gogh Jewelry Design. Here is Szilvia’s inspiring story and her words of wisdom for you!
Photo courtesy of Szilvia
What was your inspiration behind starting your company?
I have been working as a professional scuba diver and a stunt woman for the past twenty years. I always wanted to wear unique jewelry that reflected my passion for adventure and travel, yet there wasn’t anything in the marketplace that I loved.
I started creating my own jewelry, combining nature’s most basic elements, that I collected during my travels (turquoise from Egypt when diving the Red Sea…) and my former goldsmith training from the prestigious Budapest Art Institute (that I attended after high school).
As I made jewelry pieces for friends and family, I was eventually asked to make it for others.
The demand was high so I built my website and began selling.
What is your favorite aspect of the brand or product line?
The creative process is my favorite. My personal life is about creativity, inspiration, travel, and survival and my jewelry reflects my passions.
My ocean-inspired jewelry collection reflects my love for mermaids, sharks, and all sea creatures.
My yoga collection helps me find my zen and the inspirational collection helps me, and others who wear it, get through days when I need to hear reminders, such as She Believed She Could, So She Does.
What do you aim to accomplish in the next year?
I have been selling my pieces mostly online and in a few local gift shops, yoga studios and Whole Foods stores.
My goal for next year to bring my line to stores that value handmade and unique pieces.
My aim is to sell Gogh Jewelry Design at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other high-end retailers.
Photo courtesy of Szilvia
What’s the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur?
Allocating my time between designing, creating, photographing, uploading to the web, selling, shipping, bookkeeping, marketing, advertising… and my life’s other components: time for myself, exercise, my family, friends.
The hardest for me is to let go of being the one who does it all and admit that I need help.
What advice do you have for other women that would like to start their own company?
My advice is to find your passion and find a way to make a living from it. Someone once told me that “Luck comes to those who stay busy while waiting.”
Start at the bottom, work hard, become an expert and work your way to where you want to see yourself, and Never Give Up!
If things don’t work out the way you envisioned, try it again, try something else… sooner or later something will work out.
Why and how did you end up an entrepreneur? Was it a path you always envisioned pursuing?
I was 13 years old when I started competing in a sport called “orienteering diving,” which takes place in lakes with almost no visibility.
The sport was sponsored by the Hungarian military, and the object is to find pre-determined destinations using a compass, map and a distance accounting device.
I trained five times a week and spent every weekend and summer camping by the lakes and rivers of Hungary. I logged more than 500 dives before I ever saw the sea.
Hungary was a communist country, and we were not allowed to travel anywhere except to Mother Russia, so I never saw the ocean as a child. After the Berlin Wall fell, our dive club went to Corfu, in Greece. That was the first time I touched salt water.
We dropped down into a breathtaking crystal-clear bay and swam with sharks, turtles, and octopus.
When I surfaced, I knew that I wanted to be a dive instructor. I decided then that I would live in a place where there are palm trees, sunshine and an ocean to dive in – and no winter.
Most people considered scuba diving as a hobby. My friends and family were skeptical when I told them I was going to make a living doing what I loved. Every time they told me that I couldn’t do it, I just looked into their eyes and said, “You just watch me.”
Having cancer only reinforced my belief that life is too short to listen to people telling you what you cannot or should not do.
I wanted to travel and make a living of doing things that I love: scuba diving, inspiring people to dream big and creating unique jewelry.
What tools do you recommend for other women who would like to be entrepreneurs?
First and most importantly, find that passion I mentioned earlier. Be kind … people respond positively to kindness and are motivated to then work with you and help you.
Work hard, always be on time, be professional, think for yourself but don’t be afraid to ask questions.
It’s important to listen to others and take advice but at the end of the day do what you think is best for your business.
Photo courtesy of Szilvia
How do you overcome failure or fear?
Life is not about how many times you fall down, but whether you get up.
It takes great character to admit when you make a mistake so learn from it and move on. I try to not take things personally but instead look at failure as a learning experience.
One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that instead of saying “No, but…” I start my sentence with “Yes, and….” and things then proceed much smoother and productively.
What habits contribute to your success?
I am an optimist, a dreamer, and a warrior. I exercise my body and mind.
I give back to my community (I volunteer with at-risk youth in Los Angeles).
I spend time outside and whenever I feel sad, I go to the ocean and breathe in the salty air, listen to the waves, walk on the sand until I feel optimistic about the future once again.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have a daily routine and that keeps me balanced.
What does your typical day look like?
Each day I spend the morning with my child, drink my café and organize my thoughts for the day, make a list of things I want to accomplish.
After dropping my child off at school, I go straight to work out before I start my workday. I work all day, try and eat lunch outside to get sunshine.
At nights I try not looking at my work emails and spend quality time with my family.
Weekends are for FUN and in the big picture, our family always have a trip to look forward to. Right now, we are looking forward to spending July in Hungary with my family and friends.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery, along with Chip Chick Media which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about teaching women how to build a business and be an entrepreneur, in addition to keeping her readers informed of the latest technology trends and exciting products to improve their lifestyles.
You can send Bre a message here.