Growing up, D’ Cher Whitaker was enamored with her “super jazzy” grandmother and her overflowing jewelry boxes. Dazzled by the pearls, statement necklaces and jewels her grandmother would wear to church, Whitaker would find herself sneaking into her grandma’s collection to borrow pieces to compliment her outfits. Before long, jewelry and accessories became a passion. She knew she would “one day” turn her passion into a business.
After years of pursuing other goals and a bit of good ole’ procrastination, “one day” finally came in March 2016, when Whitaker launched the website for Love Peridot- a curated line of jewelry and lifestyle essentials. Most recently, Whitaker was chosen as one of eight woman entrepreneurs to participate in the Boss Babe pop up shop at Block 37 on State Street. You’ll find super cute exclusive pieces there.
And as life often comes “full circle,” Whitaker and her jazzy grandmother now raid each other’s jewelry.
We met up with Whitaker to talk about the path to entrepreneurship, her passion for accessories and the business of Love Peridot.
First things first, the name Love Peridot is a pretty unusual name. I’m guessing you love the month of August.
(Laughs). Yes. It’s my birth month, my anniversary month, I got engaged in August, and a very dear cousin who was born in August. We were also incorporated on August 18.
So you always knew you wanted to make your love of accessories into a business. Tell me about that.
I did. I used to sketch and write different ideas in my journal of what I could sell. I always knew I’d want to do deal with accessories. It’s just a passion of mine. But it wasn’t until a few years ago when I said, “I could do this.”
Quite a bit of time passed from those early years to your actual launch. Why the delay?
I got a degree in Finance and an MBA. I knew I’d own my own business. It took at least 10- 15 years to pursue because I also had some professional goals I wanted to reach before I pursued my passion. Plus… life gets in the way. But the minute I finished my MBA is when the ball starting rolling toward pursuing my passion. I prayed on it and it was layed on my heart to do it. I thought, “I’ve finished school, I’m good in my career. Now is the time.”
The jewelry business can be a very saturated product market. What sets Love Peridot apart?
We also have the lifestyle accessories. Also, it’s not pages full of jewelry. It’s a really good balance of jewelry and lifestyle.
How do you curate your product line? How do you choose which items make the cut?
I have to love it. I go to different trade shows. I’m going to California to the fashion district this weekend. I study and stay up to date on the trends. I follow color patterns and follow Pantone.
Tell me about your average day.
I get up, pray and meditate. I get my life together to go my 9 to 5. I keep two notebooks- one for work and one for Love Peridot. If I think of ideas during the day, I jot them down. After work, I go home or one of my favorite coffee shops to get to work on newsletters, looking up trade shows, curating more pieces. I do a little everyday but try to designate 2 to 3 days to work on it.
What challenges have you found as an entrepreneur?
Time management. Having a full time job. It’s hard making time and designating days to work on the business. Also, knowing how to market to the right people who are going to buy.
What is your vision for Love Peridot?
My vision is to eventually become a storefront. I also want to develop a full lifestyle collection- things that women use everyday. I also want to expand the Werk bag into a werk collection.
Now that you’ve been in a business for a year, what lessons have you learned, and advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Rome wasn’t built in a day or as they say “Beyonce wasn’t built in a day” (Laughs). You can put so much pressure on yourself to do everything. And you just can’t do it all in a day.
Stay in your lane. Keep that tunnel vision. Don’t fall trap to the comparison of what he or she is doing. It’s just good to just focus on your lane and what God has for you is for. Period.
You can shop Love Peridot at www.loveperidot.com or visit the Boss Babe Pop Up shop in the Block 37 building on State Street (ending May 31).