Welcome to Women 'Crushing It' Wednesdays, a blog series that highlights the achievements and celebrates the success of women who are crushing it in their career and in life!
Today, we have the honor of interviewing Elizabeth Montserrat Montes, better known to her fiends and family as Montse. She is the owner of Goldn Mau, a new online jewelry boutique and also works as an Executive Assistant & Sales Support for a General Merchandise Wholesale Company.
Montse, how did you get to where you are today?
Owning a boutique or business has always been a goal of mine. For years I talked about investing in a business and I finally found the courage to do so in July of 2021. It started as a passion project; I struggled with mental health issues and suppressed my creativity. I had a creative block. In leu of anti-depressants, I used Goldn Mau as an outlet to give me a creative boost and keep my mind off negative thoughts.
What motivates you?
Having a full time Job and managing a small business is definitely a lot of work and sometimes restless nights. It requires a lot of time and effort. I would say that on average I probably invest about 60 hours or more a week a lot more if I attend pop-ups. Family is very important to me and being able to help and care for them especially my mom is what motivates me.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Some of my strengths are that I’m always willing to work hard and I’m very passionate about what I do.
My biggest weakness is that I over think everything which leads to unnecessary stress and sometimes delays on tasks.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
What I enjoy the most about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to follow my passion. I have a blank canvas that I get to experiment with allowing me to make mistakes, acquire new knowledge and master new skills.
What do you find most challenging about being an entrepreneur?
Although I love every single minute invested on my business, one of the biggest challenges has been to balance my time and still be involved / available for family and friends. It’s easy to get caught up and focus on one thing, but I try my best to still make time for the people in my life. Luckily, I have very supportive friends and family especially my partner who has helped me so much on this new endeavor.
Where did your love for fashion and jewelry start?
My love for fashion started at the age of 16 I had my first job in a fashion women’s apparel store. I later became visual merchandiser and assistant manager. I loved it! I was able to use my creativity dressing mannequins, coming up with new concepts and display merchandise throughout the store. My ultimate favorite part about working at a retail store was to help our customers and style them. During that time in High School I also interned with a women’s apparel manufacturer and worked directly with the designers and fabric buyers. I then developed an interest in studying Fashion Design. After high school I acquired a job in another women’s apparel manufacturer company as a sales representative. During that period, I had the opportunity to attend trade shows in various different states and learned a whole different side of the business. I decided to go back to school and study Fashion Merchandising I realized that fashion design was not for me and I was more interested in the business/ sales side of the industry.
What inspired you to create Goldn Mau?
My biggest inspiration is to put a smile on everyone’s face. I want to create a brand where both my customer and I win. A brand that is affordable yet high quality. All of my items are carefully curated with excitement to deliver to my customers. They are the perfect every day, leisure or vacation accessories. I price my items as low as possible and offer discounts because morally I don’t feel right overpricing items. My biggest reward is happy customers.
How do you come up with new ideas for your business?
I love music and music has been a major influence in creating new ideas. This may sound silly; but sometimes when I listen to a song I visualize a photoshoot or short video idea featuring my jewelry with the perfect outfit in my head. My diverse taste in music has also opened up an eye for different types of fashion styles. Besides music, I also use social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Or simply a walk, hike or place inspires me to come up with new ideas.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge has been trying to not get discourage when things don’t go as planned. I’ve had very stressful days and felt discourage wanting to quit but then I remember all that I’ve accomplished in just a few months and get back on track.
What has been your biggest win?
Seeing happy customers, meeting new people and building new relationships has been my biggest win. I’m so thankful for all of my customers and supporters.
What fashion/ accessory trends are you most excited for this coming fall/winter?
I’m most excited for pearls and statement accessories. I also love faux fur jackets and bucket hats.
What's your favorite piece from Goldn Mau so far?
I love all of my pieces I want to keep a piece of every style. My partner often jokes and tells me that I need to stop getting high on my own supply. It has been very hard to do and control! However, my very favorite piece is The Christy Choker I love it! I want to wear it all the time. It’s just the perfect statement accessory and could easily be layered and elevates your outfit instantly!
Why is it important for your jewelry to be unisex?
I wanted to create a brand that catered to everyone and different demographics. It is important to me that no one feels left out on what Goldn Mau has to offer.
What advice would you give others wanting to start their own business?
Go for it! If you have the drive and willing to invest in your dream don’t let fear stop you. It’s definitely a gamble and sometimes overwhelming but so worth it.
What do you want your customers to know about your brand?
To me Goldn Mau is not just a business, this brand is my medicine to keep going and fight my mental health issues. Mental Health is not an easy subject to talk about and it took me a long time to open up. I’m a very private person but it’s important to talk about these issues. I include positive affirmations stickers on every purchase as a small gesture with the hope of making someone’s day better.
What can we expect from Goldn Mau Boutique moving forward?
I would love to expand the company and offer wholesale gold plated accessories. My future goal is to help new entrepreneurs who want to start their own accessory line by offering them quality items for their customers at the best price. I would also like to incorporate apparel.
In the meantime, we will continue to attend pop-ups and offer the quality pieces carefully curated for our customers.
You can shop Goldn Mau by visiting www.goldnmau.com