Written by The Business Journal Staff
Designer & CEO of POParazzi Jewelry
Name: Stephanie Reilly
Organization: POParazzi Jewelry
Title: Designer and CEO
What we do: POParazzi manufactures limited edition necklaces and bracelets with vintage bottle caps and Swarovski crystals.
Year Founded: 2007
Education: California State University, Fresno for two years, majoring in business entrepreneurship. Now I am at the Fashion Institute in New York City, finishing my degree in international marketing for fashion.
Family: Single with no children.
How did you get the idea for POParazzi, Stephanie?
Watching old Coca-Cola commercials gave me the idea to market to collectors of coke products. Jewelry was lacking in the market so I made it with bottle caps!
How did it start, Stephanie?
After earning a scholarship from the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship for my business plan, I founded POParazzi in August 2007 at 18 years old.
What prompted the move from your corporate office to NYC, Stephanie?
Best school and major hub for jewelry design/manufacturing.
How has POParazzi jewelry taken off, Stephanie?
We have new stores in different parts of the country every week, including stores in Arizona, California and Nevada. We are now also in Sweden, Denmark and the Hamptons of New York City. We will begin the licensing part of the company next spring.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs, Stephanie?
Start early and build a team of colleagues around your age. Never give up, go with your gut instinct. Don’t be afraid to be a little ruthless! If you want it, go fight for it.
What are your plans for the future?
Finish school, licensing my patent, traveling to Asia in the fall to set up clothing manufacturing/distributing for the Home Shopping Network.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it, Stephanie?
Scooping ice cream at Hungry Bear Cookies in Clovis. I learned systems and working for someone who was not entrepreneurial. I also learned about customer service. But don’t work at a cookie place. You’ll gain weight fast!