Many teens dream of acquiring their first car. Some go out and work to make it happen. Few launch a $250 million business along the way.
Seventeen-year-old Bella Weems is one of the latter. At age 14, the Arizona native took her parents’ advice and began raising money through her own business. She sold her signature jewelry pieces—now called Living Lockets—through friends, house parties, boutiques, shows and any other opportunity that presented itself. With the help of Weems’ family members, the growing enterprise became custom jewelry company Origami Owl.
Founded in 2010, Origami Owl signed on independent “designers” in 2011, reporting annual sales of about $280,000. The next year, the company generated 86 times that amount. Today, over 25,000 Origami Owl designers are hosting Jewelry Bar parties across the country.
Weems’ support team includes her mother Chrissy, the company’s CEO, and two uncles and an aunt who have taken on roles in the company. Somewhere along her remarkable journey, Weems also acquired a license and a white Jeep named Alice.