By Megan Matthews
Posted Mar 31, 2010 10:09 AM
Just one year ago, Haley Keisler was preparing to graduate from USC with a business degree. But Haley wasn't sure she wanted to go job hunting.
"Once I got to senior year, I got the jitters about interviews," says Haley.
So she took a different route, starting her own jewelry design business called Hermosa Jewelry instead of getting a job.
"Sometimes I put in sixteen hour days," says Haley. "But it's kind of like you are putting in your own blood, sweat and tears for your own benefit."
Her hard work is paying off. Haley says Hermosa Jewelry, sold only through her web site, is now well known throughout Columbia. And, she says, she is doing what she loves.
"Right now, I come to work every day making jewelry, listening to music, and seeing women wear the jewelry I make," says Haley.
Haley creates all types of earrings and necklaces for different occasions. Her jewelry is priced from $20 to $150. Haley also designs and makes custom jewelry for customers.
Haley says there are some things in the business she does better than others.
"Keeping up with the financials and accounting has been a big obstacle," says Haley. "I'm a designer and an artist, and that's not really my priority. But it has to be."
She believes this experience is not only helping her to pay the bills.
"I've learned about sales experience, marketing, advertising, creating invitations," said Haley. "So if this doesn't work out, I feel like I would be very well-qualified for a job."
She says she now enjoys helping others create their own businesses.
Haley says she loves working here in Columbia, but her ultimate goal is to expand her jewelry to other states soon.