Woot woot! Another Inspire Interview today with Chantal of Boyajian Trend Gallery! She owns and runs not only a boutique that features jewelry and accessories from independent designers, but she’s also a stylist and blogger! Read more about her exciting life and business below!
What is it you do?
I moved to Los Angeles in 2014 from Qatar and launched my eCommerce boutique, Boyajian Trend Gallery, in 2015. I curate interesting and unique jewelry & accessory collections from independent designers I find from around the world.
I am also a wardrobe stylist and blogger, writing about anything to do with style, sharing products I love to use and my experiences and places I visit in Los Angeles.
What inspired you to start your own blog/business?
Through my styling years, I naturally developed my own taste in style around the notion that my life is pretty fast paced, so I’ve had to find efficient ways of putting together looks that still allow me to express my style.
Accessories allow me to do that. I like to think of my clothes as blank canvases and I add personal touches through my jewelry, purses, shoes and so on.
With this, I developed an increasing love and appreciation for unique jewelry, and so I developed and launched Boyajian Trend Gallery.
I still continue to share my passion for all things style by blogging too. I love to help others find their comfort zone within their wardrobe. There is such a thing as combining comfort and style. If you choose classic, timeless pieces of clothing that will last you through the years, you can have fun through adding different accessories. You can these to transform the same look in to a number of styles.
Best piece of advice you were ever given?
Don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s easy to look at what other people are doing, comparing where they’re at and where you’re at. But you don’t know what struggles they’ve been through to get to where they are today.
Something that works for someone else, may not necessarily work for you. You just have to keep doing what you do, and even if you make mistakes, it’s never a loss. You learn and you grow from both your mistakes and successes.
And who knows, someone along the way will look up to you and you’ll never know, so keep developing and sharing, and simply just be you!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your blog/business?
Cutting through the noise online to reach my targeted audience. With everything being online today, it’s adamant to have an online presence of course.
Remaining patient can be testing, especially when working for yourself and without large budgets, so you have to try and test different methods. Sometimes I feel like I’m working and working and not seeing the return.
However, I’m a big believer that nothing good comes easy, and as long as you stay true to yourself, the people you target will find you, relate to you and love how you can help them in various ways.
And when you have happy customers, it trumps all other feelings, and is a great boost!
What’s the most important lesson you have learned so far?
That everyone is going to have their opinion causing you to doubt yourself. Whether they are right or wrong isn’t the point. In the end, for many instances you’re going to and should do what you want to do and believe is the right thing.
No one but you knows all the inside outs of your business, so no matter what decisions you make, you are responsible for all decisions. And if you make a mistake, which you will, (you don’t grow and learn without making them!), you learn from it and know how to do better next time.
What has been your biggest success so far?
I don’t think I have one specific big ‘win’ so far. I would say there have been many achievements I have gained over the past year since I launched my business, be it sales to happy customers all around the world, or getting placements in magazines.
When you have your own business, even some small little achievements some people may not understand why they are such a big deal to you, but to you they mean the world. Never discount any success, small or large!
And your biggest failure?
Thinking and worrying too much about putting myself and my business more. Asking myself all the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ rather than just going for it.
I may or may not have missed out on opportunities, I won’t know, but all I know I can control is to believe in myself more.
What does an average day look like for you?
I work from home, so if I’m not attending any meetings or events I can be found at home wearing anything stretchy, no makeup and hair tied up with empty mugs all around me from my copious amounts of tea and coffee I drink throughout the day.
I’m an early riser. I hate to miss the morning. I don’t like to rush. I wake up, drink my lemon water while I prepare my coffee, then I start my day.
If I have orders to fulfill I’ll get those packaged and shipped. I spend time on emails, I’m also part of several groups on Facebook which are business and/or social media related, so I check through those when I have a chance looking for opportunities either for my business or myself for collborations.
Basically I spend the day with my laptop.
It’s not easy working alone, especially from home, so I have to be very disciplined. I allow myself to take breaks, especially when I find it hard to focus. It’s very important to give yourself a mental breaks when needed.
I tend to get more motivated and creative in the evenings, so many days after 5pm is when I really get down to work. I try to set myself a minimum number of hours to work each day, as long as I reach that minimum number it helps me feel more accomplished.
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog/business in the next year?
I hope to inspire women to do what they love to do, be who they want to be, and not to adhere to what others tell them is right or wrong.
I love to show my style, but I equally love to tell how I got there in hopes that others use that mindset to find their own style that they feel comfortable in and rock it!
When it comes to my business, I hope to continue to find successful ways of growing its online presence and build my tribe who love to find unique pieces of jewelry and accessories, and to know that they can always come and find something different at Boyajian Trend Gallery.
In the future I hope to expand the range of accessories and also bring in pieces for children and men.
Can you give 3 pieces of advice to anyone considering starting a similar business?
Be patient. It’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be days where you feel alone or frustrated, but everyone has these days. Having a good support system is important. Speaking to friends, family, anyone you feel comfortable with and just letting your thoughts out helps a lot. Just as much as I have these days, I have days where I’m PUMPED and super motivated. Anything can trigger it, be it a happy customer giving feedback, or a comment on a blog post from a stranger telling you how inspired they are. Just remember, things take time. Keep patient, persistent and positive!
Network. I go to a lot of networking events. Sometimes they may not be directly beneficial to my business, but at least it gets me out, it helps me talk more about my business, I get to meet people who are also doing their own thing and talking to them is a tremendous help! You also get to meet people who you can collaborate with. I also connect with a lot of awesome people online who I end up doing work with, but unfortunately never get to meet many of them, so it’s a nice bonus when you meet someone face to face and can develop a more personal relationship with.
You’re never going to be 100% ready. I would wait and wait, thinking one day I’ll wake and be like ‘Oh, I know exactly how I’m going to do this’. In my case, life happened and forced me in to going for it, and looking back, there are many things I would have done differently, but almost everyone I speak to says the same! If you are able to keep your existing job and begin your own business on the side until you have more of a grip of it before leaving your 9-5, definitely do!
And finally, where can we find you online?
If you have an inspiring story you would like to share feel free to send me an email here!