Crafted by: Alyssa Kuchta of eff.Y.bee
Earlier this year I had the honor of meeting Alyssa, the owner of a flourishing jewelry company called eff.Y.bee. With her passion for life, her business, and just totally cool vibe, we instantly clicked! I had the opportunity to work with Alyssa on some fun cards for her Mother's Day line this past Spring (see below). She is totally killing the game, and I was so excited to interview her for my blog series. Seriously, read on and take notes - this girl knows what she's doing!
What inspired you to start your own venture? What made you take the leap/how did you get to where you are today?
I experienced what I refer to as a mid-college crisis during my senior year at the University of Delaware. I didn't know what I wanted to pursue with my degree in Psychology, and I was craving something creative and soul-fulfilling. I took a step back to figure out what my passions were and found inspiration in my experiences working at a boutique, being in a sorority, and volunteering through Students for Haiti. I had a lightbulb moment realizing that starting a jewelry brand with a girl power social mission would combine the things I loved most. I started my business on my bedroom floor and hosted my first trunk show on campus shortly after.
I didn't really know what I was doing at first, nor did I have much of a plan - but I let my vision, intuition, and excitement drive me forward. The love and support from my family, friends and sorority sisters gave me the confidence to believe in what eff.y.bee could become. Almost 5 years later, we've now grown into having a studio space in NYC, over 90+ retail stores, and over 200 college girls that have been a part of our brand ambassador program. It's still crazy for me when I think back to those early days selling jewelry from my college apartment!
When did you know that this job/career was for you or realized a past job wasn’t working for you?
Right after I started my business, which at that point was more of a hobby, I took an internship at a Fashion PR agency. It was wonderful experience and taught me a lot, but I realized that that path wasn't for me. I remember feeling ancy sitting there wishing that I could be working on my business. That was when I decided to listen to that little voice inside me and start focusing on how I could grow my business into a career.
What's your unofficial business motto/a quote or saying that you live by?
"Follow your bliss!" It's our company mantra and what our name stands for, and its also been and my best friends favorite quote to each other for years. "Follow your bliss" is more than just do what makes you happy - for me its always represented listening to your intuition and trusting your gut. It reminds me to also have more confidence in myself and to trust my decisions.
Word of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career:
Just start! You'll never ever feel fully prepared or ready - and you'll be waiting and procrastinating forever if you think that day will come. Sometimes you have to just dive in, take a chance and learn. The truth is - most of us are just figuring it out as we go along!
The best piece of advice you have ever received:
"Run your own race." This was quote from an interview with Oprah I watched a few months ago that really stuck with me. She talks about not comparing yourself with other people or companies because the amount of energy you waste looking back, you could've ran five miles more ahead. Everyone's journey and story is different and you have to go at your own pace and trust that things will fall into place when their meant to. I remind myself of this phrase anytime I feel overwhelmed or behind on things and I think its so relevant in a time when we're all so consumed with social media.
In the rare moments where you're not being a total #girlboss what are some things you love to do in your spare time?
I love New York Pilates - their abs, ass, and arms class will make you sore for days! I also love exploring NYC and trying new restaurants, going to live music any chance I get, and hunting for cool flea market finds.