Being an entrepreneur isn’t always about having the most followers on LinkedIn, or the next biggest launch party, it’s about having the power to give back. And when you own your own business, you have a unique opportunity of deciding where your time and efforts can go for community involvement.
Founded by sisters Jenny Benscher and Jill Becker, Lema J, which stands for Love, Empowerment, Motion and Adventure, is committed to making jewelry that is not only stunningly beautiful. but has a purpose – which is why 100% of profits from every sale are donated to the Karma for Cara Foundation.
In December of 2012, Jill’s 21-year-old daughter Cara passed away from leukemia. When Cara was diagnosed, she and her family started Karma for Cara, a foundation with the three-fold mission of: engaging youth, awarding unsung heroes, and tangibly helping patients with leukemia. With Lema J, Jenny and Jill are able to touch the lives of so many families struggling to cope and those who are looking to inspire others (through community grants).
“Starting your own business can be really scary, but luckily, we had Lema and her team at Fuksa Khorshid who really inspired us to get our line off the ground,” said Becker. “She was able to help us not only set up the business, but the foundation, which is at the heart of everything we do.”
Be passionate. Above all else, according to Becker, you need to be passionate about what you are doing. Benscher, the artist behind the cuffs, is incredibly passionate about the exotic hide designs that she creates. They want to get these into homes across the country, and have worked tirelessly to have them show up at boutiques from coast to coast as well as trunk shows and craft shows across the country. By having a product they believe in, they are able to tell others the story behind the cuffs and inspire them, let them know what the cuffs support, and spread their message of inspiring love, empowerment, motion and adventure in as many lives as possible.
Get a team you trust. Becker notes that having people you can count on, at any time of the day, is critical to building a solid foundation. Having the support of loved ones is very important, but also having the support of business experts – such as legal, design and operations. Lema J was able to find an incredible graphic designer for the brand via a crowdsourcing project and leaned on a friend, Pamela Gillin, to manage operations and be the backbone of the company. In addition, outside help, like a sound attorney, has been crucial to the success of the business. “Lema Khorshid has been instrumental to the viability of our company. From lease negotiations, to foundation set up, to general business advice, she helps keep our company moving forward on a smart path,” continued Becker.
Remember your end goal. According to Becker, when you start up, you’re going to be pulled in one million different places and worked hundreds of hours a month to keep things moving. “Being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a building with no parachute, but as long as you are passionate about what you are doing, and have the right team to support you, you’ll succeed,” said Becker.