Have you ever fantasized about running a company with your best friend? Well, that is what Addison Sternberg and Lucy Braun are doing. These founders and co-CEOs of Jewls by Pepe & Tuc have been bffs since they were young kids!! They are constantly making fabulous jewelry together while hanging out and having fun. Check out this dynamic duo below, on Instagram @jewls_by_pepentuc and on their website jewlsbypepentuc.com.
What exactly is Jewls by Pepe & Tuc?
Jewls by Pepe and Tuc is a handmade jewelry company that we started just this summer and has grown immensely since then. We have our own website/online store, Instagram account, over 100 orders and increasing profit everyday.
Where did you get the idea for Jewls by Pepe & Tuc?
It was out first summer home from college and we knew it was going to be a long one. We knew we needed a way to keep ourselves busy and make the time go by quicker. We were literally just sitting in Addie’s bedroom and had the idea to start making simple leather chokers because they were becoming increasingly popular and we thought we could give them a try. We originally sold them for $12 to our friends and family and it just grew from there.
Where do you get your inspiration?
We get our inspiration from the latest jewelry and fashion trends, from other small business handmade jewelry companies like ours, and Etsy pages. We browse around on Etsy and wholesale sites and just brainstorm what we think would look good together and what we think our customers would really like.
How did you start Jewls by Pepe & Tuc?
After we came up with the idea, we basically begged Addie’s dad for $100 to start up the company. At first, he didn’t take us very seriously and was hesitant. But, he is a big supporter of entrepreneurship and eventually gave in. After that we went to a local craft store to buy supplies and were able to pay him back and even a 10% return on his investment within a week. We started Jewls by Pepe & Tuc because we wanted to make cute chokers for ourselves that were inexpensive. After we created a few, we sent pictures to our friends and they wanted them too and offered to pay. From there, we decided to make an Instagram account showcasing our chokers so our friends could see all the ones we created. Word traveled fast and before we knew it, we were getting orders from people all over the country through our Instagram direct messenger. Things got a bit over-whelming, so we looked into getting a website for a more organized way to do orders.
What was your business breakthrough moment?
A huge breakthrough moment for us was the launch of the website/online store. We made $200 in the first day that it launched and it was so exciting to be more organized and increase our sales. Everything felt more real and we received a lot of love and support from our family and friends and they helped share the website.
What is your favorite part of running Jewls by Pepe & Tuc?
We absolutely love designing new necklaces and showcasing our new pieces when we go out with friends. Throughout the summer we were constantly making new necklaces to accessorize our outfits or for our friends to match what they were wearing that night. It is exciting to design something that not only we personally love to wear, but that our friends and consumers love as well.
What is the hardest part of running Jewls by Pepe & Tuc?
Time management is definitely the hardest part of running Jewls. With both of us living in different places and having a rigorous school schedule, it is hard to devote the time we want to the business. In the summer we spent almost every day working on the necklaces and orders for our customers, but now that we are in school, we meet once or twice a week because we are both so busy.
What was it like to start your own business?
We honestly never expected Jewls to get as big as it is. When we first began we thought we could make a little extra money by selling some necklaces to our friends. We had no idea we would soon be developing a website and sending necklaces all over the country. The whole process has really been a learn as you go experience.
How did you two become business partners?
We have been great friends since high school and we developed the idea just so we didn’t have to spend a lot of money on our own jewelry and we could create something unique. As we mentioned, we had no idea it would grow to what it is now, but we really enjoy the business and are glad it has!
What is the best part of working together?
We have been best friends since Junior year of high school so creating Jewls by Pepe & Tuc with such a solid friendship has been so much fun. We will begin creating necklaces and end up watching a movie and turning it into a girl’s night. We also love looking for new designs together and different pieces we can incorporate into our necklaces.
Describe yourself in one word.
What words would your best friends use to describe you?
Addie- energetic, fun, kind
Lucy- fun, chill, honest
What is your guilty pleasure?
Addie- Binge watching the office
Lucy- Taco bell
What is your favorite thing to eat?
Addie- Steak dinner or popcorn
What do you do for fun?
Addie- I really enjoy running and socializing with friends. I also love dancing.
Lucy- Socializing with friends and shopping!
What are you most excited for?
We are most excited to see how much our business is going to grow and change, especially in this upcoming summer. It is harder to develop new ideas and products while at school, but over the summer when we have a lot of time, it is really exciting to make new products and come up with new marketing ideas.
Thanks Addie & Lucy! We’ll be shopping with you.