Power Player Feature: Sheila Khiatani
Sheila Khiatani has been apart of the Own Your Power family for a few years now. We’re so happy to finally get her in the spotlight. Get to know more about the beauty she brings to the world.
Describe your business:
I enjoy providing ladies with items that bring them joy and pleasure and enhance their own unique beauty. I’m passionate about jewelry and fashion, particularly jewelry from India, Turkey and Africa and I’m always looking for the next new item I can bring to my shop.
You’ll find jewelry in leather, pearls, beads, cow horn, semi precious stones, rhinestones, colored crystals and brass along with tunics, dresses and cover ups in brilliantly hued designs. While many of my pieces are elegant and dressy, I also provide a more contemporary line geared towards everyday life, on point pieces for fun layering and can be worn for work and play….for what is life without a little fun!
What inspired you to start it?
Being from the little but big island of Jamaica has colored my life with many memories, both literally and figuratively. My parents emigrated from India in the 1950’s and launched their own jewelry store shortly after. So my childhood was “colored” by the vivid blues and greens of my surroundings as well as by the various hues of the gemstones in my parents’ store. I grew up in the business, having to spend my afternoons after school and Saturday mornings assisting customers. Only then could I take off to the beach, free diving into the blue waters in search of shell “treasures”.
Traveling to India and sitting with jewelers, designing new pieces, selecting the stones, and then waiting to see the final result fed my love of jewelry. Sifting thru rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls, feeling their weight and textures, examining their color, were experiences that even then I knew would be unparalleled in my life.
Later on I moved to Ghana and a whole new world opened up, even more exotic than I had experienced before. There I was exposed to jewelry made from more organic, natural substances and my aunt was only too happy to introduce me to local artisans who produced cuffs, earrings, pendants, rings all by hand, all interwoven with 24 kt gold with gemstones, some with python or alligator or ostrich skin. These were fashioned from wood, cow horn, buffalo horn and intricate silver filigreed pieces. And then I married a jeweler! This ushered in yet another level in the jewelry and watch industry.
The world of Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard and Rolex to name a few now colored my life and an appreciation of Swiss and Italian craftsmanship was born. Traveling to jewelry shows in Las Vegas, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Thailand and meeting the designers for various brands, hearing their inspirations and journeys, again sifting thru countless pieces of jewelry, provided me with yet another level of education in what had now become a lifelong passion, one that I never imagined or consciously cultivated. My early childhood years in my parents’ store started a journey which mushroomed into a passion and a career.
What have been some of the challenges?
In today’s environment where many businesses are taking their products online, social media marketing has become even more paramount in driving sales. Getting one’s products to stand out and be noticed is challenging and usage of all social media channels is necessary. When I accomplish this in a fluid, consistent manner my products fly … their quality and beauty is unquestionable!
What skills have you used to pull it all together?
A good eye, attention to detail, descriptive text, engaging pictures, a lot of time and love. Of course, a lot of time goes into selecting and making products based on years of experience.
What are the main keys to being successful in business?
- I find customer service is key in any industry but particularly in retail. Being instantly responsive and available to answer questions, provide pictures and/or alternatives to fit my clients’ needs is necessary. My clients know they can reach out to me at any time for assistance.
- Being impeccable with your word is also key…the old adage of “say what you mean and mean what you say” holds true. My clients know I will always advise them on what’s best for them, what enhances their own unique beauty.
- Quality and consistency are hallmarks of one’s business. My name is attached to my business so quality, elegance, uniqueness are all key for me.
Favorite Me Time Escape?
I am happiest when I am traveling! Going home to Jamaica is always a balm to my soul……it’s a vibe, a feeling that cannot be explained. Traveling to new countries provides me with endless opportunities to discover new products and new craftsmanship.
Me time is my yoga practice, walking my dog, reaching out to old friends, my writing and journaling while I look at the bay, my dreaming and manifesting.
What would you like your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
That’s something I’ve never contemplated! On a personal level, I want to be remembered as someone who always tried to live a Buddha-ful life. Professionally, I hope I’m regarded always for my eye for fine things, my accessibility to my customers who many times become my friends, the joy I feel when I help make my clients feel Beeyootiful!
Any words of advice for anyone getting into your industry?
- Work hard, be positive, laugh, have fun and love what you do.
- Be impeccable with your word, treat your clients the way you would want to be treated.
- Select and make products that represent you, your brand
Stay in touch. Visit Sheila online:
FB Fan Page: Sheila Khiatani Jewels