Dana grew up in the suburbs of Illinois, always drawn to creating and selling jewelry. At a young age, Dana would make friendship bracelets, tack them to a board, and sell them around her neighborhood. Some years later, a friend's mom who owned a bead store showed Dana some basic jewelry crafting techniques. It wasn't until she was planning a mission trip to Zambia, though, that she began to sell jewelry on a bigger scale. Crafting simple stretch bracelets and rings, she made enough money to support the trip.
That's when it began. Starting in one boutique, she was shocked at how her pieces were selling so quickly. Then she expanded -- one boutique became two, and two became four, until she reached her current count of over 70 boutiques nationwide.
"I never in a million years thought I could make a living doing this," says Dana. What began as a hobby on the side became a thriving business. Her main focus was taking care of herself and her family, and had to make sure that running a jewelry line would be a reliable business before making the leap. Her husband is her biggest fan. "My husband is the most supportive person of absolutely everything I do."
Dana is a great example of how it takes time, hard work, and dedication to make a dream come true. The greatest thing is that she is never done. She is always taking classes and learning new techniques in order to expand her expertise.
Take a tour of her workspace: