If you ever find yourself feeling down about where you are in your career, remind yourself: Nothing is impossible. Just ask Amanda Thomas, who started making jewelry for her friends and family as a sophomore in high school. Before her senior year, her pieces were being sold at Fred Segal and other L.A. retailers under the name of Luv Aj. But it wasn’t until after college and her internship at Who What Wear that she decided to pursue her jewelry-making full time. Given that Thomas started her career at such a young age, she has faced—and overcome—a lot of challenges, all of which call for celebrating with Veuve Clicquot. Here, she reveals a few pieces of advice she’s learned along the way.
“What you wear is so important, because it’s the first impression you give someone before they even get to know you,” explains Thomas. “I design for the kind of girl who likes her jewelry to make the statement, not her clothes. So that’s the style philosophy I’ve adopted as well.”
“Being as resourceful as possible is key to running a successful company,” says Thomas. “Take advantage of social media platforms, and curate your brand on them so people can get a sense of who you are in a few seconds or less.”
“I think it’s important to learn your mistakes the hard way, because it only lights a fire under you to never do them again,” says Thomas. “One of my biggest mistakes was spending too much money on start-up costs. I thought I needed custom packaging, a fancy campaign, printed lookbooks, and a custom website. The truth of the matter is I really needed to be frugal and focus on spending my money on the actual product, not all the extras.”
If you’ve started your own business, what mistakes have you learned along the way? Tell us about it below.