How to create your own kind of beautiful – Interview with Karen Joseph
Strong, independent, and determined are three words that describe Karen Joseph, owner of Ezzie Bliss, a newly launched online accessories store. This March, the single mother of three set out to make her love of fashion a successful business, while pursuing a degree in nursing – an unlikely career path for someone who has a background in accounting and telecommunications. As a young girl growing up in Grenada, accessories played a major part in helping her develop self-confidence.
“There were days when I felt ugly when I saw myself in the mirror; although my friends and family told me different,” she says. “It was those pieces of jewelry that made me feel transformed – as if it was like therapy when I put them on. Accessories helped me to build my confidence, and is now leading me towards my accomplishments. I hope I could relay this feeling to other women in similar situations.”
How did you decide on the name?
My sister Ezra is the inspiration behind the name Ezzie Bliss. Although she is my younger sister, Ezra has had a major impact on my life. She is driven to achieve her goals, she is caring, loyal and loving and because of these qualities, I look up to her and admire her. In Hebrew, Ezra means helper. Ezra is currently engaged and in August she will become Mrs. Bliss. Combining Ezra and Bliss just made sense to me. When I was thinking about the name Ezzie Bliss it meant “helper of joy.” In my life my sister and my family have been my foundation and my joy.
What motivated you to start your online accessories business?
When I graduated from college I co-owned a boutique in Grenada. I was involved in that business for about 8 years and enjoyed all aspects of making that company successful. I was able to be creative and express myself through the merchandise, and was also able to meet the needs of the community.
After deciding to move on from that partnership, I contemplated starting a business of my own. I would say that starting Ezzie Bliss was several years in the making. I understand that it takes a very big commitment to start a traditional “brick and mortar” business and after doing additional research, I determined that an online business was the right option for me at this moment in time. Fashion and accessories are second nature to me; I love transforming myself or an outfit just by adding a bracelet, necklace, a ring or all of them! When I pitched the idea of starting this business to my close friends, they felt that it made sense because when they think of accessorizing, they view that as “my thing”. When you love what you’re doing the dedication and commitment that you put into it feels worthwhile.
What is the inspiration behind naming the accessories?
Ezzie Bliss is about happiness. Similar to many women, I have been through some very difficult moments in my life, and I am now at the point where I want to feel empowered to dictate my own happiness. The inspiration behind the names of the pieces comes from some of the things that women love. The different categories of products are named after flowers, friends, places and cocktails. An example of this is seen in the accessories named after my friends and family members. They have had such a positive impact on my life, and I wanted them to know how much I love and respect them by making them apart of what I am doing. We like to have girls night out and enjoy a few cocktails – some of the bracelets are named after cocktails.
Is this your full-time job?
I would have to say yes to this. Although this is not my “full time” job, Ezzie Bliss has my full commitment and dedication.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of launching the site so far?
Launching this site is somewhat of a personal triumph for me. Having recently come out of a long-term relationship where I was made to feel “second best” and always criticized, I always felt as though others had to validate my thoughts and ideas to make sure they were good enough. Being able to have this idea and taking the necessary step to see it through to fruition, has been very rewarding for me. It signifies my personal growth and makes me realize that the sky is the limit.
What has been the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging aspect is growing the brand; getting your name out there. Building a rapport with customers online sometimes can be a daunting challenge even with social media outlets.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration for choosing the pieces to feature on the site just comes naturally. I am very versatile in my style and I want the site to reflect that. I like to believe that I am no different from the average woman, and we all have similar needs. I want to provide a service that makes others as excited about accessories as I am. Knowing that I can put a smile on a customer’s face when she opens our package or is wearing our product, will definitely make me feel that I made the right choice to launch Ezzie Bliss.
What is the company’s best-selling item(s)?
Currently our best-selling items are Tiffany and Karen. Both necklaces are moderately price and can accentuate an outfit for work or be paired with a white tee and skinny jeans. Tiffany is currently sold out and I am in the process of restocking it.
What are your future plans for the business?
Right now the site only provides jewelry. In the near future I would like to also offer handbags and much more. I do not have limits for the growth of Ezzie Bliss.
Do you have any advice for young women looking to start their own business?
Yes, don’t let anyone sway you from pursuing your dreams. Even if you fall short; it is a lesson learned. Pick yourself up, evaluate what you’ve learned, reinvent yourself, and press on. You can only fail if you give up.
Are there any special promotions going on now that you would like to highlight?
I would like to providing your readers with a 15% off promocode DEEB15 for two weeks from the date this article is posted.
Karen’s motto is “you are the creator; so, create your own kind of beautiful!” Visit Ezzie Bliss online now to purchase beautiful one of-a-kind pieces.