Jessica Bohrer, co-founder of dalla nonna jewlery, will be sharing her perspectives on entrepreneurship as a panelist at the GlamourGals Leadership Training Institute (GLTI) this Saturday, November 21. Jessica, who started her jewelry business with her college roommate, Becca Richards, was inspired by her Grandma Rose.
“My Grandma Rose handed down the jewelry that inspired dalla nonna’s signature piece, the calendar necklace. She was a strong, creative, and independent woman who was a great role model for me and all the women in my family.”
With such a strong role model herself, it’s no wonder Jessica encourages GG volunteers to “be open, get creative, and explore opportunities that make you feel inspired and productive – even if they don’t seem like they’ll lead you directly to one place or another straight away. Be willing to try different things and understand that sometimes you may have to make sacrifices along the way in order to open doors.”
And she knows a lot about opening doors. As a practicing lawyer, founding a jewelry business was a major challenge to Jessica and Becca. “We were taking a risk jumping into a new world – but we faced our fears and trusted our instincts that we had something special and that really paid off.”
Jessica is no stranger to taking on new challenges. “Since our jewelry is made by hand in NYC, we’re working with partners who have been in that world for decades. At first we found that intimidating as newcomers from a different generation, but we’ve come to appreciate the old fashioned style and the value of person to person interactions.” Given that dalla nonna was inspired by her grandmother, it’s only fitting that the business remain an inter-generational endeavor.
“New technology and social media were intimidating at first, too,” though, Jessica points out. “They’ve been a great way for us to grow our brand and become more interactive with our clients.”
“I think we’re lucky in that we get to take advantage of both worlds. We can have our jewelry made by hand locally, piece by piece... so we can give every piece a personal touch. And thanks to social media, we can reach fans in all parts of the world.”
Whether she’s connecting the sometimes “old-fashioned” world of jewelry and modern technology, or managing her legal career with growing dalla nonna, Jessica says, “life is all about balance. I feel lucky to be able to balance my creative/entrepreneurial side with my more practical/legal-minded side. Sometimes, of course, it’s a challenge to find time for everything.” To manage her time, Jessica uses the a traditional to-do list. “I cross those tasks off one by one!”
But she also knows the value of “unplugging.” “I think having some downtime to breathe and refresh is extremely important.” She even suggests sending a handwritten thank you note to people who have taken the time meet with you.
Her advice for GG volunteers? “Have confidence in yourself, your brand, and the people you work with and it will carry through in the work. And never underestimate the value of being committed and simply following through.”