Southern Jewlz, Inc. Named #11 Fastest Growing Aggie Owned Business!
Posted on October 20 2014
Howdy Fans & Followers! This past week was a beyond exciting time for myself and the Southern Jewlz company! We were an honoree of the Aggie 100 program! For those of you who are not acquainted with this award, the Aggie 100 stands for the top 100 fastest growing Aggie owned/founded companies in the NATION!!! As a Celebration of the Entrepreneur, The Aggie 100 was the 1st of its kind, but over the years other universities (From Georgia to LSU to Ole Miss) have created similar programs. To be eligible, the company must be Aggie owned and operated for at least 5 years and the previous 3 years are evaluated from a growth standpoint and then ranked in order from 1 to 100. This was the 10th year anniversary of the Aggie 100, too! Award recipients over the years have been from 25 states and 8 countries. The fun started last Saturday at the Ole Miss Game here in Aggieland. I was invited to attend the 3rd annual Aggie 100 tailgate at the University Club located on the 11th floor of Rudder Tower on campus. I took my boyfriend, Grant Carrabba, to attend with me. It was also the maroon out game for the season in Kyle Field. The only thing that could've made the day better would have been an Aggie Football Victory. But, how cute is his outfit!? Then this past Thursday was the Aggie 100 Welcome Reception in the Hagler Center of the Texas A&M Foundation. I took my dear friend and business mentor, Wendy Brown from Card Diva (the only women founded, owned and ran credit card processing company in the nation) with me. She is more commonly known as Wild Wendy. We were greeted by the 1st Lady of Aggieland and our Official Mascot, Reveille. The hors d'oeuvres and drinks were fabulous, as well as the company of many other Aggie business owners. I even met one successful gentleman whose office is in New York City, just 2 floors above Betsy Johsonson! I'm thinking I might just have to make a trip to follow up! Then on Friday morning I took my marketing representative, Tina Gandy of Twinz Co. Marketing, with me to the Dean's Breakfast at the College of Ag and Life Sciences. Most of you may know of Tina from the #IfTheCrownFits Fashion Show as she and her sister help me put the event on each year. During my undergraduate career at Texas A&M, I studied Animal Science and Business. It's safe to say I was the oddball out at the breakfast, mainly because my career field is in the fashion industry and my degree is not what anybody would typically guess. But I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the other Ag Graduates who were going to be recognized at the luncheon and also enjoyed seeing Mrs. Donna Witt, who was not only one of my college advisors, but also a co-worker of mine since I was the Animal Science Undergraduate Advising Assistant from 2005-2009. Following the College of Ag Breakfast, we had to meet at the Fountain behind the Memorial Student Center to take a our Aggie 100 Class of 2014 group picture. I am proud to say that I was the YOUNGEST member!!! Whoop! The class primarily consisted of oil and gas, real estate, construction and manufacturing companies. Southern Jewlz was 1 of only 5 retail companies recognized. And SJ was the top sole-female owned company awarded!!! And the final portion to the Aggie 100 Commencement was the luncheon in the Grand Ballroom located on the 2nd floor of the MSC. There were 675 people in attendance including myself, my parents, Wild Wendy, Grant, my Godfather George Yezak, Cherry Ruffino and Katie Ruffino (dear friends and business mentors of mine from the Cherry Ruffino Real Estate Team). The cool part about the luncheon was that NONE of us knew what number in the line up we would be. And once they started to recognize the businesses, number 100 was announced first. Then 99, 98, 97, etc. We had made bets amongst ourselves as to what number Southern Jewlz would be. I of course said 100. I then made the table agree that if I was called as 100 we would all be equally as proud to be a part of such an impressive group of business owners (but of course I would have just told everybody else I was chosen first, lol). Then in all seriousness I guessed that we would be #74. Katie Ruffino was the one of the group that said we would make the top 30. I never once thought this was possible. Buttttt, as the businesses continued to be called and I was still sitting down it was like an adrenaline rush that started to go through my body. Once the MC got into the 20s, I had to go stand up on the back wall to help beat my nerves. I legitimately thought for a split second that they had FORGOTTEN about SJ. I was like, oh this is cute - all my family, business mentors and friends are here and I'm not being called. THEN WE WERE CALLED!!! #11 Fastest Growing Business in the 2014 Aggie 100 Class! I couldn't believe it! What an accreditation for this business that I and so many others have worked so hard to build! I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped make this happen! I definitely didn't get here alone, so if you have ever helped me, shopped with me, worked for me, cheered for me, or simply believed in me - THANKS! To read more from KBTX: CLICK HERE. And for a complete list of businesses awarded from 1-100: CLICK HERE. Here are some pictures from after the luncheon. Grant had to get on the road to Alabama for the Game and Cherry and Katie had clients to go meet, so unfortunately they aren't in any of the following pictures, but they were there to share such an exciting time of my life! Now I am looking to add to #TeamSJ by hiring another Boutique Sales Representative. If you or someone you know would be an interested and qualified applicant, please come by the Boutique to fill out an application or email me a resume and list of references to email@example.com. Stephanie and I are headed north on Wednesday to shop Dallas Market all day on Thursday. We have Holiday time and the Vegas booth coming up! So, if there is a new product line or brand that YOU would like to see US carry, then simply comment below! The quote from me that was featured in the Aggie 100 program is something that I wrote down 2 weeks before I opened my 1st ever store. It is also the quote that you will find on all of our tote bags and thank you cards. And it goes a little something like this: "Be selfless and dedicated; give a compliment when needed. Learn something new everyday. Say your prayers and count your blessings. Be a role model, a leader, and an icon of success and hard work. Think outside the box, push every single boundary, and know that there is no limit to what you can or who you can be." Until the next time, remember that excellence is not an act, but a habit. We are what we REPEATEDLY do! xoxo Randa