Jameela Ghann, owner of Alora Boutique

Name: Jameela Ghann

Location: Calgary, Canada

Name of Business: Alora Boutique

Type of Business: Meaningful Jewelry

Did you always want to be an entrepreneur and start your own company?

I didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur. I kind of fell into it. My mom and I started making jewelry when I was in university and our hobby turned into a business! From then on, I realized that I couldn’t work in a job or industry where I wasn’t autonomous. 

What were you doing before?

Before starting Alora, I was working a summer job at an insurance company. It was pretty easy work, so after I finished my work, I would work on my business 🙂

When did you decide to make the switch and why?

After my partner and I had our first baby, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to work. The thought of having to pay for child care AND not be around for my kids just didn’t make sense to me. We were young, so we decided to go for it, and we opened up our own store downtown (we got a killer deal on rent) and that was that!

What gave you the idea for your business?

Honestly, we just liked making jewelry for people and being able to donate some of our profits to charity. It was a passion that happened to make us money!

How would you describe your brand?

Alora is a caring, brand that wants to bring beauty and happiness to the world! The way Alora does this is through jewelry 🙂

What was your biggest hurdle in starting your own business?

Not knowing what we didn’t know! There are so many things you learn along the way of starting a business, that I wish we knew beforehand haha. The biggest thing I would say we wished we knew was focusing our product and catering it to our ideal target market!

Can you give us an overview of what a normal workday is like for you?

Depending on the time of year, I will

  • Get up at 7:30 am, sometimes 8, and get ready
  • Make myself a matcha green tea latte
  • Wake up the kids (I have two)
  • Get them ready and send them off to day home (I can’t get work done with them around) by 9AM
  • Come home, check my to-do list and work away until I get hungry
  • Eat
  • Work – this part varies (could be running ads, updating product, working with partners, mostly marketing related stuff)!
  • Eat
  • Work until I’m tired
  • Eat and put my kids to bed ( I live next door to my mom and sister, so they typically pick up the kids and feed them – BONUS)
  • If there are events (during normal times) I’ll go out to them
  • Sleep

Now that I write it out, it looks like a pretty boring day, but I love it 🙂

What is your 5-year goal for your business?

To scale the online portion of our business to $250,000/month!

What is one piece of advice for you have for other women who want to start their own business?

  1. To just do it! The worst that can happen is that you fail and that’s okay.
  2. Find people who will support you (like good friends or business owners)
  3. Leave negative people in the dust (ain’t nobody got time for that)
  4. Focus on what you love
  5. Outsource the things you are not good at
  6. Only make products that appeal to your IDEAL client/customer
  7. Stay true to your values and goals