The Good, the Bad & All of the Struggles in Between: A Recap of the last three Months

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Donny Jenkins: Professional Bench Jeweler, Craftsman & Artisan

The last time you may have read our blog we had just came back from our first family trip to Gatlinburg TN! Since our return it has been nothing short of strictly business. When you decide to leave the corporate world of the 9-7 grind to pursue your own ambitions, dreams, goals and business ideas you are in a euphoric state of endless hopes and possibilities. Eventually — the very real hardness of what it is that you set out to do and accomplish becomes more like climbing a freezing mountain and less like an easy target. You enter a world of the good, the bad and all the struggles in between. You wake up every day and you trek that mountain. You brave the storms, the falling rocks and the exhaustion of fighting like hell to make all of your hard work come into fruition. Its a journey only a select few can understand. I really admire those who have climbed this Everest before us. Because with out you – my fellow entrepreneurs, dreamers and visionaries, this path would seem utterly impossible.

The Good: Over the past few months we have had the ability to connect with some really amazing customers and incredibly helpful & kind like minded people in the jewelry biz. Friends of ours have also helped to spread the “word” and send business our way (Thank you!)  And if it wasnt for the support of each other – pushing one another to give our all every single day and show up to pour our hearts into this business – I’m not really sure what.. Its no secret that we are beach people and have the dream and relentless drive to move our family to the sea. Two of the connections we have built over these past three months have been in the location we are going towards in the Gulf of Mexico along the beautiful Emerald Coast. We are people of faith and truly believe that those placed in our lives are not always just by a friendly coincidence – but rather for a very real purpose along our journey by the Man upstairs. OR… It really IS a coincidence and a hell of a good one! Either way, we feel so happy and blessed to have connected. With Donny as long time professional bench jeweler and artisan it is our goal to build lasting relationships to be able to serve other businesses through design and repair and people in our communities to the best of our ability. Jewelery after all – is not just a noun. It is a feeling, an emotion and a memory to cherish forever.

The Bad & All the Struggles In Between: Man. Oh man, the bad. “Sure! We are totally fine!” The lie we so easily catch ourselves saying to those around us more often then not. Or – perhaps its not a lie afterall and it’s our own way for us to cope through all of the financial strain, stress, pressures, fear and unexpected speed bumps along the way. No one said climbing this metaphorical entrepreneur mountain was going to be easy. We just have faith that when we reach a higher altitude, breathe that air and look down at how far we have fought to come it will be worth it. For Donny. For me. For our two children. For us all. It is hard to go from working a day job and still financially struggling ( you know.. making barely enough to survive yet too much to get help. The boat so many of us have been in or are currently living now) to still struggling but in more ways then before with even more on our plates. It takes a lot of grit, hustle, hope, faith and the DESIRE for more to survive this. And I know we will! You see – People like to mask the hard shit. The struggle. The ‘behind the scenes’ of a high light reel. You don’t often see the blood, the sweat and the tears. The sleepless nights full of worry or the bandaged hands behind the fight. It’s important to us to be raw and honest with you about our journey. From the beginning to the end. The good, the bad and all the struggles in between. And one day the view from the top of that mountain, our Everest.

 

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We have two of the best reasons in the world to never give up. And why you never will see us do so! Life is short. We have experienced many hardships together. And every day together is something that we are so grateful for. Then, now and always.

If you have made it this far reading our blog and have any questions please dont hesitate to ask!

With Love,

Ashley @PBD

Makin’ some noise.

Preston Belle
“Pursue some path, no matter how narrow or crooked, in which you can walk in love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

Hey friends – Its me Ashley, wife and partner here at Preston Belle. We have been diligently busy makin’ some noise & tying up some lose ends before D-Day. In the last blog post you may have read what it’s really been like for us to quit the 9-5 grind and start our own bizzzz. From the ups and downs to unexpected bumps in the road – let me be the first one to tell you – that shit does NOT go away.  (Insert laugh here. Its okay, I am too. ) Its seems to be apart of the territory so I wanted to give you a quick update to let you know we are movin’- and- a – groovin’ forward! Slower than anticipated, but full steam ahead. Our first pieces are done and ready to go UP this weekend on our website, Instagram and more. Buffalo nickel coin rings, one of a kind skull rings made from original carved wax, nautical octopus rings and scroll work bands are up on the menu to start. All hand made, all Sterling Silver and all original works of art by Donny Jenkins.

The pieces that will come out of our shop will be unique and all will vary in style. But one thing that will always remain the same is the care, time, effort and love put into each item. If you arent already make sure to come say “hi” on the Gram’ at @PrestonBelleDesigns! Catch you soon!

With Love,

Ashley @PBD

 

What is it REALLY like to quit your day job and start your own business…?

 

What is it really like to quit your day job and start your own business? I’ll tell you…

Scary as hell. But worth it.

For years we had dreamed and fantasized about my husband leaving his job as an 18 year veteran Bench Jeweler to start his own business. He was amazing at what he did at the bench. And at home in what little free time he did have between the balancing act of a job, fatherhood and being a husband – he became a self-taught custom hand engraving artist, also. At first it was just a conversation in passing without much merit until the years passed and the stresses mounted. His life of being the “Great and Powerful Oz” behind the curtain began to take its toll. I could see his once clean pressed work shirt slowly evolve into a noose he wore around his neck day after day. A work horse, if you will, of building the dream of another instead of building his own. With intense pressures, work loads, mountains of stress and high company expectations a top producing jeweler faces inside of a major corporation – we knew our time was now or never to make the leap into freedom. Our freedom.

With two kids, himself and me to support – – we had some serious soul-searching to do. Could we even do this? Would we be able to earn an income? How would we financially back our business with only ourselves to lean on? Would our kids be okay? Would we fail? Would we succeed? How the hell do we do this? What would we tell our families!? – Did we even care and did that even matter anymore…

Our decision came after we realized all of those questions and concerns played second fiddle to the life we were currently living. We wanted a NEW beginning, a brighter future, adventure, travel, life by the sea and happiness. For that to happen we had to be brave enough to take our lives back into our own hands – so we did. We met with our CPA for guidance and probably a little “You can do this!” pat on the back before we jumped. The following day my husband quit his job – pulled out our retirement – and we hit the road running into the light chasing a better tomorrow. The rest is history. Sort of… We have a long ways to go!

Believe me, these decisions didn’t come without fear or apprehension. But we as a husband and wife – mother and father – knew that for our family this was our path and the direction we wanted to pour ourselves into. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali

There have been MANY bumps in our road so far. From illnesses, to insurance. From finances to vehicle break downs. From purchasing equipment to all the unsexy detail work of running a business with love –  we have experienced what seems like a lifetime of getting unexpected kinks worked out in just a few short months. I’m pretty sure this comes with the territory of entrepreneurialism and more will happen over time. But as for now we are heading into calmer waters and sailing off into our official launch this month! Exciting, amiright’?!

 

With love,

xoxo

Ashley