There Is No Guide Book to Starting Your Own Business—You Are the Author: With Lexie Broytman

By Yitzi Weiner and Casmin Wisner

“No one has done exactly what you’re doing, and if they have, you probably won’t have coffee with them any time soon.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lexie Broytman, founder of EvaDane Jewelry

Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your backstory?

I started my company almost three years ago while I was finishing up my masters degree in public relations at Quinnipiac University. I was always interested in gemstones and minerals, and my time spent as a model in New York, Boston, and Milan helped me develop a unique jewelry line which showcased that interest. Living and modeling in New York left me with odd bits of time on my hands. I really felt the need to create something that I would be able to grow myself. I named the company after my late grandmother, Eva. She continues to be such an inspiration to me as she was the matriarch of our family, and I know she’d be very proud of the company’s growth. Currently, I am working to include hand smithed sterling silver and gold rings, pendants, and other pieces in the line. I wanted to move beyond what I’m already offering and focus on really specializing. There’s something very personal about smithing a new piece and I’m completely enjoying the process.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?

I don’t know if this is the funniest story, but it’s one that always makes me laugh. In the beginning when I was living in New York City, I was just a couple blocks from the post office. I had an order which absolutely had to make it into the last shipment of the day, so I began running down the street as the post office was closing and they were loading the last package. I stopped and asked an employee if they would be able to grab one of the postal workers to scan in my order (mind you, I had just changed my packaging to improve durability). The postal worker ran out and I explained the situation again. She then grabbed the package and began sprinting back into the store to scan it. However, she suddenly tripped and fell, throwing the package down on the cement — hard. We just stood there for a second. Then she looks up at me and says, “I hope it wasn’t fragile.” I don’t know whether it was the timing of the situation or what, but I always laugh out loud when I think about it. Luckily I had recently changed my packaging to account for situations just like that one.

So what does your company do?

EvaDane creates meaningful jewelry which positively impacts the wearer and supports the customer’s personal journey. Our products are handcrafted in the United States from semi-precious stones, quality wood, and other materials. We are very committed to sourcing the quality materials from all over the world to provide our customers with a unique personalized piece of jewelry that they feel good about wearing.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We have really tried to pass the good vibes along, aligning with organizations which support various causes. For example, this past November we created The Betty Bracelet where proceeds specifically went to pancreatic cancer research. Our goal is to continue to partner with different groups and give back throughout 2018.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my startup,” and why?

As an entrepreneur there are loads of learning curves. Fortunately, my dad has been instrumental in setting a great example of how to run a business, as he’s also a self-starter. But if I had a list, it would probably be this:

  1. There isn’t a guide book —so get ready to write one yourself. No one has done exactly what you’re doing, and if they have, you probably won’t have coffee with them any time soon. Your business is unique and the circumstances surrounding it are too. Don’t be afraid to experiment and write your own rules.
  2. Some people won’t support you or get you. There will always be nonbelievers, just as you will likely always have supporters. Don’t let negativity drag you down. Be confident and move forward with that.
  3. Set small incremental goals. This may seems obvious, but without a plan you’re likely to lose focus or focus on too many things at once. Don’t set yourself up for frustration by outlining lofty goals without a roadmap of the steps you plan to take to get there. So map out the small tasks it takes to reach a larger goal.
  4. You’ll need to learn how to do everything. Being a young business owner often boils down to you taking the necessary steps your business needs to survive and thrive. You don’t have the money to pay other people to do things for you. So you end up doing a lot of it yourself. That being said, there is so much value here. First, you gain a greater appreciation for the task. Second, you acquire skills which become building blocks for the future. Then when you can eventually pay others, you have a generally understanding of what the work entails.
  5. Keep at it. Owning a business is (personally) extremely rewarding. However, there are undoubtedly tough road blocks. Seemingly, there’s no way to navigate around them. But I’ve found that the old saying is true: where there’s a will, there’s a way. Persistence and accountability really pay off in my experience.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?

Gisele Bundchen, without a doubt. She got her start in modeling, but she’s built an incredibly successful career beyond fashion, which includes philanthropy. She continues to be regarded as one of the world’s most powerful women, and definitely provides a source of inspiration for me.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series in Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.