By Anne Lagrange

Meet Sharon, the lead designer and founder of Sharafina Designs, a hand-crafted design company offering custom bags, jewelry and more. She started making her own jewelry in 2010 based on a need for affordable high-quality accessories. Having struggled overpaying for poorly made items she was frustrated getting such few uses out of her products. After moving to Austin and hearing about EGBI, Sharon turned her hobby into a business. Today Sharafina Designs can be found online via her etsy store and social media or in person at Daniela Vlad Boutique in Bastrop, Texas.

Sharon shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too. 

Hi Sharon! To get started, would you mind telling us what inspired you to start your business? 

I love all things natural, from stones to fibers. I take inspiration from these subtle beauties to create jewelry and handbags that capture both the eye and spirit one piece at a time. My tagline is “Custom designs for the individual in you.”

What makes your business unique?

I have a passion for incorporating natural gemstones in my creations. Each gem has a special meaning, heals, and is a source of encouragement. They are a signature in both my jewelry and handbags. I research the stones’ holistic meaning before including them in my work to help with stress-relief, enlightenment, and concentration. 

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?  

The biggest obstacle was channeling my energy from the creative process to the business side of operations. I needed to become business minded and focus on social media, financials, branding, profits/margin, and growth strategies. That’s really when EGBI stepped in. They helped me turn my passion into a functional business

What workshops/business coaching have you done through EGBI? 

I got in touch with EGBI around 3 years ago. I originally started out with their 90 Days to Biz Success classes. I found the class invaluable in getting out of my head and looking at things from a business standpoint. Right now I’m taking the Build Your Business Plan workshop to explore getting a bank loan and growing sales. 

Exciting most moving forward? 

I recently received two grants, from a local church and the Tory Burch Foundation, which have been very encouraging. They’ve helped me grow from a production standpoint and I’m now pitching a line of tote bags for retail. 

Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.