Company Name: TheFFS
Designer Names: Cheryl and Donna Freeman, sisters and business partners
Occupation: Accessory Designers
Business location: Miami
How long we've been in business: Since January 2012
What we do: We channel eclectic inspirations and vibrant histories into an accessory and lifestyle collection for men and women with definitive, diverse and daring style.
Why we do it: Our desire is to fearlessly express who we are and help others do the same.
The moment we knew we wanted to be entrepreneurs: We have always been independent and creative types and it never occurred to us not to do our own thing.
The most important thing we've learned: To stay true to our vision.
The one thing we never expected was: For our line to be picked up within the first six months of business by one of our dream retailers, Barneys.
How we went from a small scale business to being sold in stores: We created a collection and then hired a wholesale showroom to represent our line at trade shows nationwide.
What's different about us: Our pieces are unisex and not dictated by fashion trends. We choose materials that we feel are not only beautiful and vibrant but also resonate on a deeper level. Vintage vulcanite traded in Africa, picture jasper, a gemstone used to balance chakras, aromatic sandalwood, symbolic pavé diamond charms from India.
We handpick most of our materials from vendors that we have developed relationships with. This is important to ensure when new materials are in, we have first choice.
Entrepreneur we look up to most: We admire Oprah because she is a self-made woman and she generously gives back to others.
Style icons we are inspired by: Our grandmother Hazel and our mother — always known for their style and grace. Speaking of Grace, we are utterly fascinated with Ms. Jones, still. And David Bowie, who is fearless and original.
Key advice we would give to budding entrepreneurs: As with most success stories, it's very rare that it happens overnight. It's about dedication and hard work. It's important to align yourself with positive and forward thinking people. Stay true to your vision and don't worry about competition, there is abundance for all.