Source: The Smitten Boutique
March is National Women’s History Month and a sparkling example of a smart and crafty businesswoman is Carley Ochs—creator of the bracelet line known as Bourbon and Boweties.
She first developed the idea for these bracelets by fortuitously spending over $500 on beautiful jade jewels that she found in Asia. Once she returned home, she used a red solo cup to twist wire around the stones. She started out making them for friends and family until she realized the potential in her products. What began with a trip to Shanghai soon transformed into a full-blown jewelry business.
Carley grew up in the South, and her company’s bracelets are “made by proud Southern hands.” Florida State is proud to call Carley an alumna. She gained some of her entrepreneurial skills during her time in college and was invited to speak at the College of Business’s Entrepreneurship Month event in November 2013, where she told students about her expanding company. She did not ever imagine that this jewelry idea would turn into a business. What started out as a hobby quickly advanced to a huge money making opportunity.
Source: Sarasota Magazine
So what’s the story behind the name of her business? Carley originally had plans to create bow ties, and her love of bourbon influenced the creator’s final decision to go with Bourbon and Boweties. She launched the brand in August 2012, selling handmade stone bracelets ranging from $29 to $50. Three months later they could be found in local boutiques in several Southern states. The popularity of these stylish accessories seemed to grow overnight, as they now sell in hundreds of shops. The bracelets are hand crafted out of Carley’s grandmother’s garage in Plant City, Florida. She has a staff of 50 who work with her to create unique statement pieces every day. The bracelets are made with several types of stones, including turquoise jade, polished coral, smoky quartz, and lava stones. She still hand selects each stone to this day. Carley has said she loves seeing women wearing her bracelets when she is out and about, and considers that to be one of the most satisfying aspects of her job.