Nestled in a garage apartment in Central Austin is Vinca, the inspired jewelry company of Amanda Dimova. Vinca concocts plastic, wood, crystal and leather jewelry and decorations for kids and the kid in every adult.
Ten of thousands of cupcake earrings, unicorn rings and mustache necklaces have been designed, cut and shipped out of Dimova’s 200 square foot space. At Fab.com alone, Vinca saw over 11,000 pieces sold.
Not too shabby for a business initially started as an experiment.
Amanda Dimova grew up in Brownsville, Texas at her parents' shoe factory, Bear Feet. As a child, she learned to be creative with the excess leather lying around the factory. It was here that she developed her entrepreneurial spark.
“I always had this idea I would either continue the shoe business, or use it to make something new. From a young age I aspired to be self-employed, though I wasn't quite sure how it would happen,” Dimova says.
In middle school, the Dimova family moved to Austin where Amanda attended the McCallum Fine Arts Academy. In grade school Dimova honed her artistic talents, but even then, the practical side in her knew that business skills would secure her chance of being self-employed. After graduating high school, Dimova attended UT for marketing and advertising.
In 2006, Dimova created Vinca as an experiment for what her future business look be like and took a hiatus from college. She went the conventional route of making a catalog full of products — leather jewelry — she thought would sell, but found difficulty gaining any traction.
“I realized the system was nuts — catalogs are useless, and there needs to be a better way. So I made what I wanted, when I wanted — no catalog. Buyers were intrigued by the weird pieces, and I was able to work out consignment deals.”
Sales never picked up as much as she'd hoped and Dimova started to get nervous. She went back to school and started a custom laser cutting service business with her husband called CutYourWay.com. Work there started to pick up, and Dimova was ready to close the door on Vinca for good and focus solely on Cut Your Way.
“Then when Fab.com came along in Summer 2011, I gave [Vinca] one last shot,” Dimova says. Immediately, Fab.com started selling out of Vinca stock. Then sales started to rise on the Vinca website. Wholesale orders began to trickle in from across the world. The boon in turn ignited Dimova’s creativity, and she’s been on an artistic roll ever since.
Some of Vinca’s imaginative designs include an adorable birch wood necklace of Austin’s skyline ($38), sparkly acrylic animal charms such as squirrels, deer, rabbits and seahorses ($24) and mustache rings ($10) (a favorite of the author’s).
Popular best sellers include acrylic cupcake earrings ($16), an acrylic unicorn ring ($8.50) and wooden fox earrings ($16). Vinca is able to keep their prices low because everything is done in house with her laser cutter. Dimova believes in keeping it local.
The former one-woman business has expanded so much that Dimova recently brought on two part-time employees and one part-time intern — and she’s not stopping there. In the near future, she plans on opening a local factory where she can house her growing business as well as continue the endeavors of CutYourWay.com
“We want to build a factory that will serve as a resource for other creatives to get their parts manufactured for their own projects. I don't know how long cute little animals will be popular, but people will always want to make their own stuff, and I'd like to help.”
Pretty impressive, huh? So how does this wife and mother of two find time to run multiple successful businesses at once?
“Lists, Google calendar, smart phones, caffeine, more caffeine, lots of moral support from loved ones, patience, love of what you’re doing, willingness to do the gross jobs, not taking anything too personally or seriously and probably most interestingly, not to be a perfectionist”.
Do we smell a Wonder Woman necklace in the future?