The PD Women In Business Series is an interview-style blog series on the Pangea Dreams blog that highlights female entrepreneurs who have joined us on Retreats over the past several years. In this series, we will get to know these Alumni better and learn about the incredible businesses that they are running.
- Current Position: Designer, Founder & CEO of LUX Rêve
- Currently Living: Bend Oregon
- Hometown: Bend Oregon
Hey Kristin! We are so excited to have you featured on this series! Can you tell our community a little background about you and how you got into the jewelry business?
I started making jewelry as a fun creative hobby about 12 years ago. My love for fashion and accessorizing started a very young age. My parents used to call me the “bag lady” I would play dress up and end up putting on literally every accessory I could get my little hands on.
I have pictures of me covered head to toe in all the jewelry, purses, and hats I could find. So it was only natural as I got older I wanted to start making my own accessories. Jewelry was the one that I ended up gravitating towards. I have had no formal training – I’m all self-taught.
At what point did you decide to start LUX Rêve?
For years it was a hobby. I spent a few years after undergrad traveling the world volunteering in Africa, Haiti, South East Asia, and Central America. During those travels, I couldn’t help but collect cool new stones and jewelry materials.
As my list of traveled countries grew, it was no surprise that my gemstone collection grew as well. With each new adventure, I found myself constantly gaining more inspiration creating new and exciting designs. It wasn’t until I put my travels on temporary hold for Physical Therapy School where I transitioned my creative hobby into a small side hustle.
As a busy, but broke college student once again, I needed to find a new yet flexible source of income. I began by hosting trunk shows, selling to my friends and family until I eventually was able to start selling my jewelry in some retail boutiques. After I graduated PT school I continued to slowly grow LUX Rêve while still working as a Physical therapist. It wasn’t until September 2018 I finally decided to try and make LUX Rêve my full-time job. I quit my main Physical Therapy job and booked my Pangea Dreams retreat that fall to help launch my dream to become financially independent through LUX Rêve.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I think in some ways I have been at heart. I have never been drawn to the traditional 9-5 jobs. I used to work as a cocktail server for years before grad school and I always loved the night hours having my days to play in the sunshine, daydreaming and creating jewelry.
What led you to take that first step and setting up your own business?
Although I started selling my jewelry as a side hustle in grad school it didn’t become LUX Rêve until a couple of years later when I realized just how much I truly loved making jewelry. Lux is Latin for light and Reve is French for dream. The name was inspired by what the business meant to me; giving light to my dreams. I quickly realized how happy and fulfilling designing and making jewelry was. It became something I always wanted to be doing. Even now when I travel to an amazing place I still miss making jewelry and can’t wait to get back into my studio. I thought if I love this that much I really should try to make it my full-time job.
If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career?
Although I experience many challenges trying to grow LUX Rêve, I have not necessarily felt that they have been associated with being a woman. However, I have experienced challenges in being a woman Physical Therapist. Male patients can be very inappropriate and degrading making it extremely uncomfortable to work with them. Also, male physical therapists tend to receive higher hourly wages than women therapist. Just to say a few.
Where would you say your business was at before the Pangea Dreams Bali Retreat 2018 and where would you say your business was after?
After Pangea Dreams I became so much more comfortable behind the camera. Since the retreat I have not hired one photographer. I have been able to do all my lifestyle and product photography myself which allows me to upload new products and launch new collections much more quickly. I have become much more comfortable storytelling on Instagram, too. I have doubled my online sales. I have a clearer vision of my overall brand and its mission.
What is one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs just starting out in their journey?
Work hard, set realistic goals, surround yourself with positive, inspiring people that lift you up and encourage you when things get tough – things will get tough. Running your own business is going to be a roller coaster filled with ups and downs, just remember to always celebrate the small victories and most of all believe in yourself.
Make sure you are passionate about your business because there will be a lot of sacrifices you will have to make to build your business. If you are not truly passionate about it then it will make it that much harder. Always try to fall asleep each night with a deep feeling of gratitude for all that you have accomplished and for all that is on its way!
How can someone get in touch with you?
Thank you, Kristin!
Kristin is a Bali 2018 Retreat Alumna and also joined us in Palm Springs, California on the second-annual Alumni Retreat in 2020!