In the nearly 10 years since she launched her jewelry and accessories business, Embellish Your Life Accessories, entrepreneur Laurie Alyanakian has transitioned to three successful business models. One could say the common thread through it all has been the need to constantly evolve.
“Don’t ever give up,” said Alyanakian, of Glen Mills, who amid the pandemic shifted from retail stores to e-commerce only. “Keep on rethinking and restructuring and restrategizing. You must adapt.”
When she got started in 2014, the single mother of two young girls frequently took the showroom to customers, hauling her one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories to would-be buyers. That eventually evolved to her establishing retail areas in salons, spas, and boutiques. Now, her handmade items are available internationally through seven e-commerce and wholesale platforms.
Next to the constant of change has been perpetual guidance from the mentors of SCORE Bucks County. In 2014, soon after starting her business, Alyanakian met regularly with mentors and sought advice on getting her business off the ground and her unique items into stores. Once that concept took off, she took a break from mentoring. As she contemplated her current business pivot, Alyanakian connected with SCORE Bucks County mentor Nicole Bothwell.
“I wanted to reach out to somebody who understands entrepreneurship. It just seemed like Nicole had that gift,” Alyanakian said. “She can identify those entrepreneurial issues or sensitive areas that need another brain, or another set of eyes to analyze.”
Specifically, Bothwell is helping her move toward “working on the business rather than in it.”
Bothwell lauded her client for successfully navigating to an entirely virtual operation as she continues to scale her business.
“What really makes her different is the amazing eye she has for accessories and trends,” Bothwell said. “Laurie is so talented at putting items together to create a unique and striking accessory. Some of her more popular items are the upcycled items she makes and sells - not just amazing fashion but supporting sustainability.”
With Embellish Your Life Accessories successfully transitioned to an online international store and with part-time staff helping to create Alyanakian’s exclusive items, the Rosemont native and Villanova University alum hopes to pay it forward for other entrepreneurs seeking mentoring support.
“SCORE has definitely helped me along the way,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to the time when I can give back.”