Name: Cloyette Harris-Stoute
Occupation: Founder/President at Twin Elegance
Hometown: East Coast Demerara, Guyana in South America
How did your Caribbean upbringing contribute to your success?
I credit my success to the disciplined and structured lifestyle I had growing up in South America.
I was raised the old-fashion way, where the phrases “it takes a village to raise a child” and “spare the rod and spoil the child” rang true for almost every young person in my community. Education was stressed and failure was not an option. We didn’t own a television until I was a teenager so, I read a lot and dreamt of growing up and having a great lifestyle.
My parents ran a small business from our home when I was in high school. The experiences I received assisting them taught me commitment, dedication and valuable lessons for running a successful business. Little did I know those lessons would help me today.
How will you know that you’ve “officially” made it?
I‘ve never really thought about it. But I would say when my company grows into an international brand, and my signature products are recognized around the world. Then, I would know that I’ve officially made it!
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
I want to leave the Twin Elegance “brand” to my children and grandchildren, so they can carry on the business for many generations.
What’s the best advice you’ve received that turned out to be the most helpful to you?
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I strongly believe the same applies when you choose a business. The amount of passion you channel into your business will determine its success or failure; but, it’s much easier when you love what you do. I realized after many small ventures I really enjoyed sharing my love for fashion and jewelry with other women and decided to turn that love into a business
What advice do you have for readers who are pursuing a career in this industry?
Don’t expect overnight success. It may take a month or a few years to turn a profit or become very successful. I advise anyone starting a business to keep positive and don’t lose sight of their goals. Patience and persistence will eventually pay off.
Explain your journey to where you are now in your career.
In the mid 90s I became a Mary Kay beauty consultant. It combined my love for fashion and beauty with my passion to have my own business. This was a great starter business venture for me. Many of my coworkers, friends and family became my customers. A few years later I switched from selling cosmetics to selling fashion apparel and household merchandise, when a friend introduced me to a direct sales opportunity.
I realized how much I enjoyed seeing the look on the women’s faces when I delivered their packages. However, I wanted to run a business under my own terms. So, I did some research on the costume jewelry industry and in January 2011 launched Twin Elegance, Inc., an online fashion jewelry and accessories store.
My store currently features pieces from many different designers. I recently designed a signature line of “zodiac” themed fashion jewelry for Twin Elegance. It is currently in development and expected to be available Fall 2012.
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