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May 10 2018

Introducing Taylor Watts, Founder of ROX Jewelry Shop

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve had a love of fashion and giving back my entire life.  In college, I studied Geology at The University of Texas at Austin and have published a paper in Paleontology.  After college, I worked in Austin as a geologist in the corporate world.  In 2017, I realized that I really wanted to change my path, so I left my stable job, started a business, and traveled much more than I had before.  September of last year, I was hospitalization for a collapsed lung, and in October I had to undergo major surgery for it.  After the surgery, I was told that I had “permanent nerve damage” on my right side, and that “nothing could be done”.  At 24 years old, I decided that this wasn’t something I was going to accept.  That was one of the huge turning points in my life.  I started pouring myself into the self help world, eventually regained feeling and muscle movement, and now spend my free time writing self help and health articles on my blog www.seewattsididthere.com, rock climbing, and building my business so that I can donate as much as possible to causes that my customers are passionate about.  I know that’s not really telling you a “little,” but I hope that’s alright. (:

What exactly is ROX Jewelry Shop?

 

It’s a brand that creates high quality, ethically waged and sourced, handmade jewelry that gives back to charity.  Jewelry is our focus, however, we also have a range of other products including shirts, accessories, and more.
What inspired you to start ROX Jewelry Shop?

After getting my degree in Geology from the University of Texas at Austin, I worked for a few years in the corporate world as a geologist.  Doing that I felt like a little piece of me faded away every day— I was working long hours doing something that I realized I had no passion for.  I didn’t feel like I was making a positive impact on the world, there was little opportunity for creative expression, and there were no women in management or leadership roles for me to look up to.
 One day, I woke up with the realization that if I didn’t leave soon, I could wake up in 30 years and still be unhappy, wondering “what if”. So, I started saving any extra money I could, and on March 24, 2017 I left that job to pursue a career that I would be passionate about.  I was inspired to do better, to giveback, and create a brand I could proudly stand behind.
How did you come up with the name?
One day, as I was sitting in my office at my old company, the name just came out of nowhere into my mind.  I’m a geologist, I love rocks, but I felt Rocks Jewelry was a little too literal, ROX felt a lot more playful and exciting to me.

Stay Fit and Healthy

Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?

 

Currently, we are completely online on our website (https://www.roxjewelryshop.com), Etsy, and Retailite.com. However, we have had many wholesale inquiries, so we hope to have the wholesale piece up and be in stores soon!

What is your favorite part about running ROX Jewelry Shop?

 

I may be a little biased, but I’m pretty sure that I have the best customers anyone could ask for.  They send the nicest notes, give the best reviews, and are passionate about some amazing causes.  Every time I run into someone who is wearing my jewelry I have an internal celebration moment, and can’t help but start a conversation with them.  It’s been so rewarding, and I’ve met some amazing people.

What is your least favorite part about running ROX Jewelry Shop?

 

There are lots of people out there that have tried to scam/ take advantage of the company.  I have had influencers that I gave my items to never post.  And once sent a film festival in LA free necklaces for goodie bags and promotions, only to go all the way out there (after having surgery for a collapsed lung) only to see that my items weren’t on display, my brand name was spelled wrong on their site, and I was never mentioned in their press releases–all of which were included in the contract I signed with them.  It was a devastating blow, because I truly believe in the good in people.

Is there a favorite product?

 

Oh gosh.  I feel like that question is the same as asking a mom to pick a favorite child.  Each of the pieces in our jewelry collection came from a burst on inspiration, and I love them all.  Our customers seem to especially like our Emma Rose Quartz Pendant Necklace and our Montana Turquoise Choker the best!
You donate a portion of your profits from each item to charity, can you tell us about that?

Of course!  The week after I quit my job, I realized how little I had been giving back, and spent a lot of time volunteering, making lunches for the homeless, and donating to causes I cared about.  It was incredibly rewarding, and I knew that if I was going to start a business, I’d have to have one that made the world a better place through giving. I think that the market is changing and the young generation is full of conscious consumers that are looking less for a specific product, and more for a trustworthy company with a cause.  Originally, we started with having a charity of the month each month, but realized that not everyone supports the same causes.  So, in November we started allowing our customers to put a note on their checkout page with the name of the charity they wanted their order to donate to, and it was a hit!

How do you spread the word about your company?

 

We do all of the typical things, email, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Influencer Marketing.  I carry around business cards, and every time I’m out in public and someone compliments my jewelry, I give them a card for a significant percentage off their next order.  I’ve also done podcasts, and interviews that have allowed me to put a person behind the product. But, a lot of it also comes down to word of mouth, and providing the best customer service possible.  I have a zero-tolerance policy with customer service, we treat everyone with compassion, understanding, dignity, and respect.

Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

 

A lot of people are going to have a lot of advice for you.  Constantly.  In the end, make sure that you filter through that advice.  You wouldn’t take accounting advise from someone who’s never been an accountant right?  Trust your gut, and it will bring the right knowledge, ideas, and people to you.

Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? 🙂

 

Oh my gosh! I have so many.  But, to avoid the list going on forever, I think I’ll choose the two that are hanging in my office right now.  I have a little hanging pendant that says “Inhale, Exhale” and one that says “You got this.”  When ever I look at them, it reminds me that I have been through a time when I literally couldn’t breath, that even being here, taking in air is a wonderful gift.  If I can go through what I’ve gone through in the past year, I feel like nothing is too hard, too big of a stretch, or too impossible.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

 

I absolutely love what you do at She’s Fit to Lead, and am honored to have had the chance to share all of this with you.  Side note: remember how when you first sent me this a couple of weeks ago, I said I’d get back to you once my broken leg healed?  It’s a small miracle, but in less than two weeks I am off crutches and back to living my life!

About She's Fit to Lead

She's Fit To Lead is a community for the next leaders of our generation. We believe the simple act of connecting with one another is a critical step in building confidence and a successful future. Our community connects young women at college campuses and starting careers across the country, challenging and empowering them to unlock their true potential. ABOUT SFTL

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