Arlo Jewellery generously donated a custom-designed Myanmar necklace for ADC’s Gala Dinner this year. We love that ZMF’s clients are supported by a fellow entrepreneur - Arlo’s Designer/Director Annelies Powell. She answers a few questions about her approach to business.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and Arlo, how did it come to be?
A: I like to say Arlo began because I was always bad at sitting between the lines. That is to say, I didn't see romance or contrived love stories at the centre of jewellery. It was always about connecting to something raw and real. I hope the custom Myanmar necklace made for the ADC auction carries a unique story with it just like every piece designed.
Q: What is it like running your own business?
A: Running a business means you can be as purist as you like with your direction. You choose what matters and put 110 percent effort in. When I look back at how far Arlo has come (and it's only a small way, really) I get to be proud of the values behind it.
Q: What do you like about ADC?
A: ADC gives the little guy the hand up. I'm all about the underdog. They never fail to surprise.
Q: As you know, ADC works primarily with women. Have you faced any gender-based issues in starting and operating a business yourself?
A: I once read a quote from Marilyn Monroe. It went something like, "I don't mind being a woman in a man’s world." I take this as let people tell you what will hold you back, and then let that fuel your motivation to prove them wrong.
Q: What advice would you have for anyone wanting to start a business themselves?
A: My advice? If you KNOW what it is you want to do: throw yourself in the deep end, risk it all and don't look back. If you have no plan B, you'll make A count.
Q: What are your plans for Arlo?
A: The ultimate is to change the way people look at jewellery. Forget class, status, money. Let it be the little reminder around your neck or sitting at your fingertips of something truly valuable. Often I wear a little bear ring to remind myself to keep a wild side - freedom in a concrete jungle.
Q: Do you have any heroes or people who have inspired you?
A: In essence, surround yourself with soul, with that which inspires you.