Dallas entrepreneur makes practicality beautiful
“Jewelry can be so costly,” says Julie Snider, President of Maison Bijoux. “But what if you could mix and match pieces to create different jewelry using the same three components? You could just wear them over and over in different configurations for a totally new look every time.” It was this bright idea that led Snider to build her Dallas, Texas-based enterprise.
Maison Bijou offers a line of versatile “boutique” jewelry equally well suited for enhancing clothing or accenting home decor items such as lamps and pillows. Snider has designed home decor through her company, Design and Sourcing International, LLC, for a decade. “I design a lot of lamp shades for customers, some with embellishments and trims on the shades. I thought, ‘How cool would it be just to have a collection of pieces that could be used on shades, draperies, towels, etc.?’ So I designed five basic pieces for that purpose. I also design and make jewelry using artisan beads, sterling silver, and 14K gold, and one day it hit me to size the pieces I’m already working on as mix and match jewelry. And it was off to the races from there.”
Snider found gaining investors the biggest challenge, since she had already established her processes for product design, working with Chinese factories, negotiating prices and planning sales. “The first few investor presentations were a little rough until I understood what the investors were keying in on.” She credits the Texas Entrepreneur Network, and Hall Martin’s guidance in particular, for helping her through this learning curve.
With Maison Bijoux now firmly focused on locating investors, Snider predicts a bright future for the company, with anticipated first-year sales in the area of $960,000. She encourages other startups to “look for funding as early as possible — don’t wait!”