Tag: business

Deborah and Cerese 10K

Entrepreneurial Adventures: Scaling a Business

Entrepreneurial Adventures:
Scaling a Business

When Cerese D Jewelry was chosen to participate in Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, we knew it would be a lot of work. Deborah was selected as the student. She had to complete 5-6 hours of mandatory attendance class time each week, plus small group work, plus homework. She had to study business finances, operations, marketing, selling, and human resources. In all, it was an 8-12 hour per week commitment, for three months, on top of running a very busy business.

But, she did it!

(Check us out celebrating: https://vimeo.com/549651561)

And Then the Real Work Began

In order to graduate from the 10,000 Small Businesses program, each participant must commit to creating a growth plan and then pitching the plan to the entire group. 

photo of smiling black woman in white top standing in front of a goldman sach 10,000 small business flag

That’s because the purpose of Goldman Sachs’ program is not just to make small business owners more successful – it’s also to help them benefit their communities through hiring and creating economic opportunity. To do that, businesses must grow. To grow, they must be scalable.

Scaling a business isn’t just about working harder and doing more of what you’re already doing. It’s about finding ways to work smarter, to be innovative. Mixing manufacturing products with hand-work, automating business processes, and automating marketing are all part of scaling. So just when the CereseD team has mastered all the new skills required to produce regular online sales events (lights, camera, action!), now it’s time to master some new skills.

The entrepreneurial fun just never ends (no, we’re not being sarcastic)!

The Challenge

So the next entrepreneurial challenge is to explore ways to scale the business while maintaining the handmade couture jewelry brand. To work smarter, but still remain attached in a deep personal way to all our clients. If we scale, but lose that strong feeling of sisterhood and connection, that’s not a win.

So that’s our next entrepreneurial adventure. It’s not easy, but we’re on it! And we’ll keep you informed about our progress along the way.

You can read more here.

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cerese live

Entrepreneurial Adventures: The Pandemic Pivot

Entrepreneurial Adventures:
The Pandemic Pivot

Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Before the pandemic, we attended client conferences wherever they were all over the country. We would turn a very ordinary booth into an upscale boutique that always took several hours and sometimes a couple days to design. Our display, merchandising and artsy jewelry attracted jewelry lovers new and old to our boutique. After a very long few days we would pack it up, jump on a plane and head back to Atlanta to start the ritual all over again.

The pandemic of course forced us into lockdown and all events cancelled.

For the first few weeks of the pandemic, everything was kind of quiet. Then, people started jumping on Zoom calls – something we really hadn’t used before. And it got us thinking… could we transform our on-the-road show to a Zoom show?

Honestly, there wasn’t a lot of room for doubt. We needed to do something.

We got a Zoom account, researched the technology, and then announced we would be having a virtual pop-up show. The email invitations went out, and hundreds of our amazing customers responded – all excited about a chance to connect (and, let’s face it, staying at home was starting to get boring after the first few weeks).

Pandemic Pivot cerese presenting to live audience with new technology

A Forward Pivot

Since that time, we’ve had so many Zoom, Instagram, and Facebook Live events we’ve lost count.

Once we were comfortable with the technology of the normal Zoom type live show, using the vertical cell phone image with poor lighting and weak audio, we wanted to significantly improve our events. Initially we figured out how to attach multiple high-definition cameras, mics with good audio, and auxiliary lighting, to enhance the viewing experience. We hired chefs, DJ’s and live models just to set us apart from everyone else.  But we still were not satisfied. 

We soon decided to produce our own shows. We invested in live streaming technology that gave us high quality video and audio using robotic cameras, wireless mics and graphics. We’ve also gotten pretty good engaging our audience with a very sophisticated look.

But the thing is, we just keep going. That’s what being an entrepreneur is. Not getting hung up on the mistakes or fixated on getting things perfect . . . that’s just a formula for getting stuck. Being an entrepreneur is about doing fast homework, assessing the potential risks and rewards, and then plowing forward using our best judgement.

We know we’re not the only ones who did a pandemic pivot. In the middle of a lot of pain and fear, a whole lot of creativity bubbled up during those dark months. We’d love to know – what reserves of resourcefulness did you discover in yourself when the world shut down?

Pandemic Pivot social media technology

Join us on our socials and never miss a minute!

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three woman in a yellow dress purple dress and red dress posing for the CDJ Closet

The CDJ Closet

THE CDJ CLOSET

If you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we have a cure for you! Pay close attention to your email inbox for when we send the announcement that the CDJ Closet is OPEN. Are you thinking “What the heck is the CDJ Closet?” We’re so glad you asked!

We created the Cerese D Jewelry (CDJ) Closet because we are constantly creating new designs and need to make room for new products. It’s just like cleaning out your own closet each season — you still have some GREAT stuff that fits in there, but you’re looking for fresh looks and you need to make room. 

The Closet is the only place where loyal clients, (you know, the ones who actually “read” our emails), will have first access to AMAZING prices on CDJ’s gorgeous designs! Yes, you read that right. In the Closet you’ll find deals from 15-70% off! These are the lowest markdowns we offer on only the highest quality pieces.

three woman in a yellow dress purple dress and red dress posing for the CDJ Closet

How Does the Closet Work?

So glad you asked! First, sign-up for our “CDJ Closet” email notices here (make sure to add us to your contact list so we don’t end up in your SPAM folder). Second, watch your inbox for the announcement as to when the Closet door will open. Third, once you receive notice that the Closet is open, hurry over to the CDJ Closet to get your hands on the finest pieces at the BEST deals before someone else snatches them up. Lastly, click “Pay Now” and you’ll be so glad you did.

We’ve organized our Closet with care. You’ll find pieces from every part of our line, organized for easy shopping. While the closet is open you may even find us on Facebook Live showing off our favorite pieces, or showing off how great some of our pieces look on a real person! If you want to see a piece up close  just ask-Cerese loves showing off our designs!

The CDJ Closet has no set schedule, so you never know when it will be, but we try for once a quarter. Each time the Closet opens you’ll find different styles available, so you’ll want to visit every time the door is open! The Closet door is only open for a few days and after it’s shut, no more deals until we reopen it again. 

CDJ Closet

So the best way to never suffer from FOMO again, is:

  • Sign-up for CDJ Closet emails here
  • Watch your inbox for our announcements
  • Hurry to the CDJ Closet online
  • Get great deals on some fabulous pieces
  • Feel gorgeous wearing your CDJ designs

Don’t miss out and sign-up today!

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Picture of beautiful smiling black woman in white top standing in front of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business flag

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Graduation!

photo of smiling black woman in white top standing in front of a goldman sach 10,000 small business flag

In February we announced our acceptance to participate in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, and after 12-long weeks we are celebrating! Deborah took on the task of tackling the program, with staff picking up the slack while she worked on her studies. We are now proud to announce that she successfully completed the program (she even has a fancy certificate to show for it!)

One of our clients that works with the Goldman Sachs Program recommended Cerese D Jewelry (CDJ) in December of 2020, we were selected to apply. We were interviewed by the 10k team, made some new friends, and were selected out of many dozens of applications to participate. We did our due diligence and spoke to at least 5 business owners that went through the program who encouraged us to accept the invitation. And we’re glad we did! 

They said it would be time consuming, and it was. The team was prepared not to see Deborah much as she would be spending a good amount of time for 3-4 months in class. The course had a lot of homework and was difficult, and sometimes frustrating (you know when you have to focus on the “un-fun” side of your business, eye roll) but the AH HA! moments made it so rewarding and gave her some new food for thought (and who doesn’t love food?!) In order to graduate, Deborah had to write a 5-year growth plan of how we would expand and scale the business. 

We got more than expected from the networking alone. Interacting with over 90 other scholars and sharing successes and challenges was great! As long as we keep up with the diagnostics that the program sends every 3-6 months, we’ll have access to the entire 10k scholars list through the 10ksb app. We are extremely proud to be part of this alumni group for many years to come! 

As a small, Black-woman-family-owned business run by serial entrepreneurs, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and manage our business and we are excited to share it with everyone (have you seen our video??) Celebrate with us, and feel free to open your own bottle of bubbles!


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