Women-Owned Business Spotlight: Gwen from Gwen Beloti Jewelry

At RC, we do the best we can to support not only local, but minority-owned businesses. There’s no better way to stimulate the local economy plus you’re bound to find something unique & meaningful! This month, we spoke with Gwen Beloti from Gwen Beloti Jewelry, a Brooklyn-based,  black woman-owned, & size-inclusive jewelry company. Hear about her story below!

Tell us about your business

Getting her start in apparel design, Gwen was drawn to jewelry because of her own struggles with finding size-inclusive options in the industry. 

“I had issues with fit,” she said. “My weight has been up and down most of my life and there weren’t a lot of options. So, I wanted to create my own.”

She also says she always had an eye for accessorizing and used to tweak pieces she had to fit the style she wanted.

Why do you feel connected to your work?

Gwen says that she loves the process of making jewelry, and also seeing her work out on the streets of Brooklyn. Plus, she loves being size-inclusive to help serve people who usually don’t have many options. 

“I am so happy when I have someone’s size when they usually can’t find it, because it makes it all worth it and how women feel when wearing their jewelry,” she said.

Gwen also said that the Gwen Beloti Collection is a reflection of her own values, which means being inclusive to all. The company makes sure to use all different body sizes and types for modeling & is intentional about the language surrounding sizing of her items.

“For me, it was really important to consider my own experience,” she said. “To not wouldn’t represent what the brand is.”

She made sure, too, to not make “silos” of different types of sizing – for example, a “regular” size and a “plus” size. Instead, she showcases all sizes together. 

“I want to create a community of women who love gold jewelry,” she said.

What has been your greatest challenge?

For Gwen (and many other minority business owners), the biggest challenge has been – and continues to be – access to capital and resources to help her build & sustain her business. It’s a weight that sits upon most minority-owned businesses’ shoulders, especially when you’re a solo entrepreneur.

She also says that finding the bandwidth to keep going has been a challenge for her recently. 

“Finding the capacity to grow and scale has always been a struggle for me,” she says. 

How have you mitigated your challenges?

Gwen says that a big part of overcoming her initial desire to do it all on her own was just asking for help when she needed it – another issue that female businesses owners historically have a problem with.

“I got more comfortable asking for help,” she said. 

She hired interns, and engaged mentors to help her overcome daily struggles and challenges, and even make it even more possible for  her to grow and scale her business. 

She also said it was key for her to join a co-working group with like-minded minority business owners. Through that network, she has gained so much valuable insight.

“Just connecting and networking with other women and sharing our stories has been hugely beneficial,” she said. “To know you’re not the only one.”

How do you feel supported by, and actively engage with, your community?

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Gwen said her first supporters were her family and friends – so her Brooklyn community was there for her from the very beginning. Because of this, she holds events in Brooklyn to stay aligned with the community & to serve the Brooklyn community. 

She also founded 100 Dresses for Little Dresses for Africa where she assembles a group of volunteers to make and design dresses to donate to the foundation. 

“It’s very special to connect with the community on that level,” she said. “I love everything Brooklyn & I’m so grateful for their support.”

What advice do you have for new woman-owned businesses?

“Go with your gut,” she said, as the most important step you can take when embarking on this journey. 

She says that consistency & trusting your gut is the only way to gain the strength to keep going. There might be a million companies doing something similar to yours, but Gwen says that it’s important not to compare. 

“Everyone is on their own path, so be mindful of your own personal journey” she said.

If you’re interested in being featured in our Women-Owned Blog Series, send us an email! We’d love to interview you via Zoom OR you can fill out this questionnaire. Let’s celebrate BK-based, women-owned businesses!

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