A L L U R A:   A NEW DIRECTION

A L L U R A: A NEW DIRECTION

November 23, 2018

 

A L L U R A is going to be the new name of the company as it’s going to represent a new and clear direction of the brand’s soul & heart. It will still be under legal ownership of MERAKi Diamonds, LLC but it’s previous name, MERAKi Diamonds, is no longer fit. Just like myself, the business has grown, changed and evolved. Since starting this online boutique, I am thankful everyday for two things; firstly, the time I have gained in my day in working at home has allowed me to truly find out who I am, what I want, and where I want to be in my life and secondly, the financial stability to live freely and build my business without restriction. Today, I can properly run and brand a business with a clear sense of direction and this why I felt the name change was appropriate.

When I started this, I had just completed my bachelors degree in genetics, I had no business backing, no knowledge of what I was even doing. To remain financially independent, I just began selling online as a hobby to make extra cash while figuring out whether or not I wanted to pursue medical school. With age, came maturity, and that came with the wisdom to know when to take a minute and pause before moving forward. Distinctly, I remember the day I was reading Forbes magazine featuring an article on a successful lawyer who recently quit her job to pursue a business selling on a platform called Poshmark. The article further explained that this woman was estimated to have profited $100,000 her first year solely selling on Poshmark. The platform itself was predicted to grow and become the biggest selling platform for clothing accessories and shoes. With Poshmark being in its early stage of growth at the time (as it was a newer company no one heard of compared to now with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Rachel Ray, DJ Khlad running pop up shops on it) I was completely intrigued by this and wanted to be apart of something that felt like an investment. I researched everything  (my research background was my asset here so I applied that every step of the way) into this, Im not even sure why I did since I was never interested in sales, but looking back maybe it was gut intuition that drove me. Regardless, I thought it was great idea to look into while I was in the midst of deciding my future. So, I learned, researched, and studied sale trends of various products to sell, looking for items with high profit margins in high demand, but weren't temporary trends. I was looking for items that would serve me financially until I decided what my next move would be; that led me to jewelry.

 I began selling on Poshmark and a few other  platforms to test them all out, I had immediate success and sales. During this time, I realized I had a real talent in sales due to the exceptional success I acheieved as a result of my product line. It was so fun and exciting, I genuinely loved it! I was able to enjoy a quality filled day while making money consistently. It was hard and stressful, especially in the beginning when I had no experience but I expected that; I lacked the essential skills normally acquired with an accounting, marketing, or business background. I just took one day at a time, one failure at a time, and kept going with a welcoming attitude towards my future failures. I saw my failures as the experience I needed in order to grow in wisdom and strength.  Setting realistic expectations was  key; I see people constantly failing or giving up with even the smallest tasks because they can’t honestly distinguish  their weaknesses from their strengths, assuming at that point they could genuinely admit they had any weakness at all. 

Within a short time frame, I started getting so busy with both the selling platforms Poshmark and Mercari that before I realized it, it had seemed a like full time job. I had no intentions of stopping either, I was making more money then most people I knew; I just didn't have a boss or go into an office, I stood home and worked from my iPads and laptop. No, it’s not the traditional 9-5 job my parents or society tells us to pursue, but I was making an honest living and I was happy, living on my own terms for the first time in my life. I was born to be free, not to be molded by others’ expectations at the expense of losing myself. Looking back, I’m so glad I followed my gut, because when I look around me today, I see more people who settled, living in discontent despite their job position or the fact that maybe they sleep next to someone at night but lack genuine love and passion. So yes, following my gut with this one, was the best thing I ever did regardless if it fits into society’s mold of what my life should look like. 

With my customers constantly providing the most exceptional and positive feedback, I realized maybe I had found my purpose as a business owner. My family, boyfriend, and friends were completely against this idea and they wanted me back in school. They kept telling me to become a doctor and that I was going to be unhappy because I’m selling my self short etc. I found it comical that they thought I could become a doctor but not a business owner or that they thought they were better judges than I was on what makes me happy. Thankfully, that feeling of being underestimated and doubted really pushed me forward to not stop until I proved them wrong and I did just that.  This business gave me a reason to fight and believe in myself while learning to tune those around me out. Only I know my potential, no one else; not then, not now, not ever. 

I was always one to lead in my style not follow the style, and this reflects the success of my product line. I strive to continue to provide a stylish and quality product line that is affordable while also going over and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction. I make it a point to get personal with my customers so they feel safe and secure with every transaction; almost like we are building a relationship. I express genuine interest and care towards them. This is a major reason why I have many loyal, returning customers. I have personally found that being robotic or too professional in my communication leads to decrease chances of a return customer. 

Eventually, I legally became an online company powered by Shopify, MERAKi Diamonds LLC, and thoughtfully choose the word MERAKi because it was the very definition of how the company successfully formed; one who puts her heart and soul into something.  My work and efforts resulted in exceptional success; within the first three months of my sales journey, I profited around $30,000, which was very impressive for a new online jewelry store in my opinion. Imagine if I had let others get in my head simply because in reality, they deflected their own negative perceptions and limitations onto me. Knowing your worth and believing in it, is so powerful and necessary in a world where people support negativity before positivity so much, negativity seems to have become human nature; its become natural, not intentional to respond negatively.  So for those reading this, stuck in a job you don't like but scared to take a risk or holding yourself back because you've allowed others to place limitations on your capabilities, I hope this motivates you to stop. 

Moving on, I choose not to take out business loans and use my profits as a source of income and a source to reinvest and fund my company. I constantly reinvested my profits into myself over and over. If I failed, I failed, but I’d fail without debt and move on. So I was disciplined for the first time in my life and I was never one to be disciplined with money. This was a great life lesson I learned as well. The only down side to this was that I was limited in building and growing the company, and also in choosing the product line. The business didn't feel like me as a result, even though it was taking all my effort and time. Almost a year and half later, I reached my goal; have a steady income  to live my life freely and build a savings account all the while being able to front the business cash with the freedom to choose my product line without financial limitation. So once again, I took a pause on growing until I was sure of the direction I wanted to take the company in since I had the chance to finally build it as I see fit.

The product line is the soul and heart of my company; the new product line will now genuinely reflect me.  The old company name was inspired to reflect the work put into building and running the company, the new name “A L L U R A” is inspired to reflect a company by which it reflects me, as it’s sole founder, in the very brand and product line itself. 

A L L U R A reflects me, a woman with experience and self awareness of who she is, and now, she will never stop growing and moving forward. You can not brand a company successfully without knowing what it stands for at its core. A L L U R A represents a quality soul with heart, but she is bold and her presence is strong; she makes a statement even in silence. She likes the finer things because she respects quality, but she’s still a simple person who appreciates the little things in life: rainbows after a storm, laying outside and watching the stars, morning walks in nature, and most importantly, genuine love as it is everything. You’ll find pieces of me represented throughout A L L U R A ‘S product line; those showcased in the rainbow line, all multi color natural gemstones set in 14K or 18K gold or diamond star & moon chokers set in 14k gold are personal favorites. I make it a point to keep the items of the line simple but not boring, the diamomd eternity bands are timeless as they are effortlessly stylish, delicate and radiant.

To be clear, every move I made was intentional and well thought out. I did not just wake up and fall into this, I put work into building a solid foundation. As a result, this is why today the work Ive done has paid itself off. There was a point I isolated myself from the world building the foundation of this business; got off social media, gave up seeing my friends, spending time with family etc. I returned to the world only after I finished the hard work. Now with the help I receive by paying for marketing campaigns, it runs itself because the foundation I built is solid. I believe you get back what you put into something, I've earned and fought for my life because I took a chance on something and kept my head down until it was finished. I don’t feel the need to brag to those around me, most people are unaware of what I’ve created and it’s level of success. I never did this for others to approve me. It was only ever my intention to build a successful business with the reward of working from home because I believed being home was essential for me to achieve my personal life goals. It is my motivating goal to live a full life, not one that reflects a series of choices that would lead to living an unfulfilled life. I even defined what a full life meant to me so I was super clear on what I was working towards every morning when I woke up; being able to travel without restriction (my laptop goes everywhere so my business does too), building a solid family where I am an equal contributor towards finances but Im not compromising the kind of mother I want to be one day because I want to raise my kids with me by their side (important one since I believe the world has changed and its important to me Im there to make sure they grow in love and strength because a solid family is a solid foundation for a child to grow and family is everything), and most importantly, having the time to always be able to take care of myself emotionally, spiritually and mentally. A L L U R A is still being built but I wanted to share my story because she is finally me, and my story is MERAKi Diamonds and now A L L U R A's story too.  A L L U R A is much more to me than a source of income or a platform to sell jewelry, she is everything. She has given me the opportunity to live and to grow in both success and failure and to live the life I want. Waking up and running this business is the best gift I ever gave to myself.

To my customers, thank you because you kept MERAKi Diamonds alive and supported her growth to become A L L U R A and that is everything to me.  Every time you wear a piece of jewelry from A L L U R A, remember to honor that piece of jewelry and what it stands for ultimately; loving yourself enough to fail and succeed while always being strong enough to believe in yourself so that every choice you make results in living a fulfilled life that makes you happy. That’s why I strive my hardest to provide all of you exceptional customer service. I want you to be happy, even with something as small as purchasing a piece of jewelry; everyone deserves that because the small things are big things. 

                                               Xo- Amanda

* Website is not finished if you see errors due a new theme has being integrated to better suite A L L U R A. Due to Black Friday and holiday demands, the website will keep running during the transition, I just want to apologize for errors you may experience. Also, if you see items up today but not tomorrow, it is because I am in the middle of also adding products and removing them. I expect everything to be done with in a few days. 

* A new Facebook is being built for immediate use of the facebook shop and marketing. I am not using old one because I am thinking of keeping MERAKi Diamonds under the same legal ownership but as a secondary company to sell it  sell some of the old inventory still that no longer reflects A L L U R A but customers love. As of now I am not switching Instagram accounts until I decide whether or not to move forward with another company. 




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