Women in Business: A.Wattz

by Emily Jaime
Women in Business: A.Wattz

I had the honor of meeting up with Amanda from Awattz Jewelry, photographing her in her workspace, and getting to know a little more background information about the struggles and triumphs of running a small business in Hawai'i

How would you describe your aesthetic and how many years have you had your business?

Awattz dezigns has been around since 2009. The business began slowly as a way to keep myself busy and eventually evolved into a full time gig. I never imagined myself becoming a jewelry designer, but sometimes you end up right where you need to be. My designs are very color saturated, i love mixing different colors and achieving a different design. I also make metal pieces that complement the color heavy beaded pieces. I like to have options.

What does an average work day look like for you?

I usually take my time getting to the studio as I like to focus on self care in the mornings. Otherwise life takes up most of the day and all your energy goes out into the world leaving you spent. So i enjoy my mornings walking my dog, exercising, making a morning tonic, and spending time with my husband. I usually make it in to the studio around 10 and start by answering email and checking social media. The rest of the day I spend filling orders or creating new designs.

Wow that sounds like an ideal day! It's so important to partake in self care. I find most people believe if you own your own business you just have to grind all day. So this is refreshing to hear! :)

You are a creative, and have your own business in Hawai'i (which is extremely expenisve), owning a business is hard AF, what keeps you going?

That’s a great question, ha. When things get hard I really just try to think of the alternative. Working a 9-5 just doesn’t work for me, so I do what i have to do to be able to live this life. Sometimes that means having a few side hustles.

Yes, 9-5's are so draining, and not good on the soul. It's inspiring to hear you'll do whatever it takes to make the business work!

What is the best and worst thing about being a jewelry designer?

The best thing is the instant gratification. When I have an idea I can make it tangible almost immediately. That satisfies my impatient nature. I wouldn’t say it’s the worst, but being creative can be challenging. There are times that ideas don’t work or there are no new ideas at all. That’s when I take a step back, go outside and let it go.

Do you have any help? Or are you a Solo Girlboss?

Currently it’s just me. I do have amazing friends that help me out with photography, graphic design, and general support. I am so thankful for that!

Being in the fashion industry you know all about fast fashion and how big box stores can rip you off in a second and charge a quarter of the price. How do you stay relevant, and do you participate in the "annual fashion calendar deadlines?

When those things happen it pushes me to come up with something new. I try to see it as motivation. I have a hard time keeping up with the fashion calendar and I now realize it’s not beneficial to my brand. Because fashion accessories can be produced so quickly, it doesn’t make sense to sit on a product for months. So i am currently changing my brand strategy to reflect this revelation.

And this is what being an entrepreneur is all about. I have so much respect for that. Understanding what your brand is, and being able to change and adapt to whatever it is that will make it better. This inspires me! 

Did you take any classes for business, or jewelry making? Or was it more of a learn as you go thing? Would you suggest others to do so?

I’ve taken jewelry classes here and there, but I have not take any business classes. I think it is somewhat beneficial to have a business background, or better yet, hire someone that can do it for you.

I hear ya on that. Hiring someone who has the passion to do the business part for you. In my experience, it's very hard to balance the creative and business side.

What would be a valuable piece of advice, in your opinion, to give a young woman looking to start a business?

Do it! There’s so many more avenues that are available for young entrepreneurs. But, it s not easy. Owning your own business requires hard work and hustle.

So, so much hard work and hustle. That cannot be stressed enough. It is not easy, but in the end if you're passionate about it, its worth it.

What is your biggest inspiration moving forward with Awattz?

I am really inspired by all the amazing creatives in Honolulu. I love collaborating with friends and that always pushes me out of my comfort zone. And that’s where the magic happens!

Any Awattz styling tips? Your jewelry is very bright, and fun, whats your favorite way to style your beautiful creations? 

Actually, about 90% of my wardrobe is black and white. I rely on my jewelry to make a statement.

Designer: Amanda Watkins @awattz
Dress: YIREH Ibiza Maxi
Photos: Emily Jaime

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