Jeweler. Designer. Business Owner.
Lauren: My name is Lauren Wottlin. I own Lauren Belle Jewelry. I am a second generation jeweler. I grew up in the jewelry industry and I had a passion for jewelry at a young age. I actually remember going into different diamond dealer’s offices when I was younger with my dad and we would go from place to place. When he was just starting his business, I remember being fascinated by the diamonds and the jewelry and the people and there was always a family aspect to it. I try to keep that in mind with my own company, bringing that same dynamic to it. I consider myself a personal Jeweler and I have a boutique office space in the Highland Park area.
I was raised in the industry and got my feet wet when I ran my parents business for about eight years. I started my company about a year ago. July marked my one year anniversary in Dallas. Every day is a new day and I try to stay focused and positive with each day that passes. I love people. I’m passionate about sales. God has gifted me in sales, no matter the specific focus, but jewelry is my passion. I feel like I’m really good at it and it’s something that excites me. It’s fun! I did competitive cheerleading for about ten years, and I feel like I bring that same tenacity from the cheer world into my business.
My primary goal is to bring the best customer service I possibly can, and to bring a quality piece at an unbeatable price. It really wows the client and then they, in turn, refer me to their brother, sister, friend, or family, etc. This way of running my business has been successful for me.
Lindsey: So you also make your own jewelry too, so it is not just pieces that you’re selling, but it’s also like your own creations, right?
LW: Yeah definitely I do. I like to consider myself a jewelry designer. I feel like I’m the person that allows their dreams to come to life. I do have pieces that I design myself, but I think my main focus right now is the bridal/engagement rings. I do have my own pieces that I design, but I think really what’s been popular is partnering with the bride/bride-to-be, or people who are potentially going to get married, and partnering with them on creating something beautiful. I feel like I’m the key person that allows their dreams to come to life. I put some ideas on paper and into a CAD (which is a computer aided design) and I’m able to bring those ideas and those dreams and those pictures to life.
L: Yeah, that’s neat, that’s really neat. I didn’t know all of that stuff went into designing your jewelry.
LW: It’s a lot. I definitely love it. I’m super creative, and I feel like the Lord is a creative God, and we are made in his image, so we’re creative, too. I also love little pieces. I’m pretty simplistic with my jewelry. I have a set of diamond earrings that I wear. I’ve got a diamond necklace, a pendant, and then some basic rings that I wear, but even with the simplistic look I think I work with my own style and my own designs. I’ll have an idea that pops into my head and I’ll tell one of my bench jewelers how to craft the jewelry piece. I don’t actually use the torch and the tools and stuff. I do some things, but I don’t do everything. For example, I have someone else actually melt the gold for me. I come to him with any ideas that come to mind, and we work together to create something beautiful. It’s fun to kind of design and do my own thing. I definitely do that stuff on the side, but my main focus is the bridal and engagement ring aspect of the business right now.
We work together to create something beautiful.
L: Yeah. Which that makes sense I mean it’s super popular and something that’s never going to not be needed.
LW: Yeah, exactly
L: Unless people decide to not wear wedding rings, I guess, but I don’t see that happening
LW: No, me either. I pray that doesn’t ever happen
L: I highly, highly doubt that will ever happen.
Okay, so you kind of mentioned this a little bit, but when you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
LW: I actually wanted to be a veterinarian. It’s random, but I love my dogs and I loved my animals growing up. Yeah, I wanted to be a veterinarian, or, you know, I really wanted to be a competitive gymnast, to be honest. I did that for so long. I was almost to the level where I could get into like the Olympics.
LW: I was a few levels away, I mean I was like level six/seven and I think you had to be level ten to do that, but I kind of transferred that dream into getting into the cheerleading and stuff like that. But, yeah, a veterinarian and/or professional gymnast growing up was kind of what I wanted to do. As I got older maybe something behind the scenes or behind the camera in California, maybe something in Public Relations, but when I was younger – a veterinarian or a gymnast.
L: I wanted to be a gymnast when I was younger, too. I stopped when I was in level seven but I was like…
LW: Wow that’s awesome
L: I was gung-ho. I was going to go to the Olympics, but I broke my back and had to quit.
LW: I tore my ACL and it was rough my senior year in high school, I wish I didn’t…
L: If you had to give your teenage self a piece of advice what would it be?
LW: I would look at myself and say, “You’re beautiful. You’re enough. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. God loves you.” I think as teenagers, we all go through different things, and I definitely made a lot of bad decisions. We all do, but I would tell myself that I’m enough. Don’t worry about what other people think. Do what you feel is right. Listen to your parents. Honestly, listen to your parents. Have a closer relationship with the Lord. Be more involved with community. Stay grounded and don’t worry about what other people think. I think that’s so hard for teenagers cause we’ve got all these stimuli and all these things thrown at us, so it’s rough, especially this generation right now. With the media and the social media now we have access to so many things but…. I would have told myself to hold on, don’t worry about what other people think, listen to your mom and dad, and go to church.
L: What inspires you?
LW: There’s nothing like the feeling of someone coming into my office and I’m able to provide something that they love. It’s such a precious piece of their life or their future with someone and to be able to be part of someone’s story is unforgettable and it’s moving. So…can you repeat that again?
“You’re beautiful. You’re enough. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. God loves you.”
L: Yeah, what inspires you?
LW: What inspires me? I would say the feeling I get when I’m able to co-create with someone and really allow someone’s dream to come to alive. I feel like I found what my purpose is, so I get up in the morning and I feel like I know what I’m waking up for. That drives me. I think that inspires me to know who my identity is found in and what I am created to do. I love bringing joy to people and offering a service that does just that. It says in Proverbs 11:25 that he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.To be able to be a refreshment to other people and to create something that they love that can be such an important part of their life, that inspire me.
Other people inspire me as well as just being kind of in that momentum if you will and in the same mindset with other people. Jesus inspires me, other people, creative people inspire me. Yeah, a lot of things inspire me, but I think getting around like-minded people, too, people who are hungry is incredibly valuable. Like it says in Matthew that, “those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness will be filled…” I feel like if you bring that into the business world, like Lance Wallnau and some of these other great speakers and teachers, when you’re able to surround yourself with people who are like like-minded I think it really fuels us. Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.
L: If you could have one million dollars today, how would you use it?
LW: I would first have to really sit down and pray and seek the Lord about it before I do anything. I know that I would give a nice portion to the church. I like what is says in “A Blessed Life” by Robert Morris. I’m thinking maybe I’d take some for myself, invest some and take care of family and do what I need to do, but that other portion I would use to help people. I’ve thought about people like Angelina Jolie or all these other people in Hollywood and how they’re able to give so much money to different organizations, but I feel like I would want to find an organization that was maybe overlooked or one people don’t really know about or go to a different part of the country, maybe to whoever really, really needs it.
The first thing that comes to my mind is supporting a charity that helps children or victims of sex trafficking. Whether that’s an orphanage or anti-sex trafficking organization, which is something that’s really close to my heart, but a place that’s been overlooked. I feel like sex trafficking such a crazy industry, especially that it’s even on the streets of Dallas, I mean it’s just mind boggling! I really want to give a chunk of that to help get girls off the streets or get people in there to help them.
L: Yeah, wow.
LW: And I would invest some. I’ve got people like Michael McIntyre in my life right now who have been good financial examples. He has mentored me in starting my business and has taken a biblical approach in guiding me where and how to invest my money. I would probably keep the minimum amount to where I would be comfortable with my dogs and my life and then the rest I’d give away. But I would invest a little bit for my future, for my children.
L: How has your spiritual life affected your life’s work?
LW: It’s interesting ’cause I think that for it to be my life’s work, I feel like it should be later down the line. I feel like I’m constantly growing, and I’m only thirty, so I don’t feel like I’ve arrived in any way. I think it’s a daily struggle and it’s a daily battle to keep my focus on what’s most important. I mean, it’s definitely the foundation. I think once you reach a certain point it’s a struggle when you talk to other business owners. It can get kind of hazy but as far as starting the business, having the foundation that I have in Christ and with my community, I think, has been huge. Being able to have other people speaking into my life has affected me and my business in a huge way. Had the Lord not given me dreams or promises to hold on to, I don’t know if I would have done it.
I remember sitting at a country club and I was debating whether or not to leave my parents business and start my own thing, and I felt in my heart the Lord say everything that He’s invested in me, I will get back in return. Everything He’s invested in me, I will get back in return. I started crying and I was like, “Oh my gosh, like he’s telling me it’s going to be okay!” I knew the Lord was saying, “I’m gonna take care of you. You’re not going to be in want. You’re not going to be a lack of anything. I’m always going to be there and you’re going to live in abundance,” and just knowing that I had that security. Spiritually, had I not had that I think I would have just been kind of going in by chance or whatever the world believes in – energy or the universe or whatever these people are saying these days. I don’t know. Having God as a foundation, as a rock, as a stepping point, as a cornerstone, just knowing that he’s going to have my back… I feel like it’s like…the overarching questions is, “Am I in God’s will?”
I looked at him and I said, “There’s no way that I could possibly fail!
The pastor at Watermark did a sermon on God’s will, like am I in God’s will if I chose, you know, what school I’m going to go to? But I feel like He blesses what we choose. Sometimes it’s our choice. It’s like pick a school, follow me, and that’s it. I’ll take care of you. It doesn’t have to be that hard. I think knowing God and having a personal relationship with Him I’ve been able to have more peace of mind starting a business because I believe in my heart that He’s going to take care of me.
L: Yeah, yeah that makes sense.
LW: I had another friend of mine, a jeweler, and he’s like, “well I mean if you fail at least you tried.” I looked at him and I said, “There’s no way that I could possibly fail!” He was like, “what do you mean?” I said, “well there’s just no way, that doesn’t make sense!” God calls me to live in abundance. He calls me to be the head and not the tail above and not below. He said that I’ll never have to borrow and that everything my hand’s touch would be blessed.
I’m not saying there won’t be struggles, but I feel this anointing on my life for the things that He placed before me. I’m walking in that right now I have this hunger and thirst for him. You can’t just sit idly. You have to walk through that door. You have to take the steps like He’s not going to drive a parked car or direct a parked car. You have to go in the car. You have to start the engine. You have to start moving. There’s this verse in Proverbs, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”(Proverbs 16:9). You’ve got to have faith. You’ve got to move.
L: So I only have one more question. What’s one thing that you want to be remembered for?
LW: My kindness. I want to be remembered for being kind and generous. Jesus was so kind. He had this sort of spirit like patience and all of that, and I think most people would call me generous, but just being kind, that’s what I want to be remembered for.