We're so excited to be interviewing our very own Charity Walter, CEO of Dainty Jewell's. Charity started Dainty Jewell's at 16 years of age and has watched it grow into the incredible business it is today. In this interview, we're getting an exclusive peek into Dainty Jewell's' beginnings, lessons Charity has learned along the way, and even some great advice for other small business owners.
Charity, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Have you always wanted to own your own business? What led you to taking that first step and starting Dainty Jewell’s?
Honestly, my 16 year old self never imagined owning a business! My mom has always been super talented and would make items to sell throughout my growing up. She was very much entrepreneurial. I know she really encouraged me to start Dainty Jewell's as an accessory business, but I don't think she ever imagined it would be where it is today as well. Once I saw how much the hair items I made filled a void in the market I was selling in, I realized I wanted to make this a business, but then I branched into clothing and definitely realized the void of high quality, no layering required, affordable modest clothing! This was 12 years ago, before there was much of the modest clothing we see today (which I am so grateful for!).
I know it's because of my family, as well as my my husband's family's years of giving and sowing that we are blessed to be able to do the same today! My Grandpa sacrificed so much for the kingdom of God as well as my husband's family. Because of those seeds sown, we have an amazing God-given business.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business?
I love following a wide variety of retail brands (not just clothing), from which I draw a lot of inspiration. As far as influence - our parents, our Pastor/Bishop.
What’s one piece of advice that you’ve been given in business that has worked well for you at Dainty Jewell’s?
Always take the higher road and do the right thing. Honestly, there are a lot of things that I wanted to quit over: jealousy, people envious of our company, hurtful words, the same story. But my mom taught me to always do the right thing. I knew that was to say nothing and take the higher road. That has helped me in business but also in my personal life. There will always be "those people", but if you learn to do what's right, God will bless you! I can definitely say He's taken our business above and beyond anything I've ever imagined!
Have you had some make or break moments in Dainty Jewell’s - times when you thought you wouldn’t make it but pulled through anyway?
Yes, a lot of what I mentioned above was some of of our biggest struggles. Growing pains- anything from staffing to finding buildings to house our quickly growing business. And learning to balance Mom life, CEO life, Entrepreneur life, HA! Still working on that :)
What other activities are you involved in outside of Dainty Jewell’s?
So I would say 50%-75% of our time is spent in our local church and activities within that. We LOVE working with our local church. My husband is the Youth Pastor of over 50 young people ages 12+, so that keeps us both VERY busy. :)
It's the best thing we do! I play the piano/organ and sing, so I lead the youth choir at our church as well as several other music activities. We just sold our house of 8 years this past summer and are currently building a 2 bedroom apartment to live in on our 10 acres while we build our house next year. That will keep me VERY busy designing it! I love being at home, taking care of our home, cooking, baking, decorating. I definitely have changed a lot in the past 8 years since I have been married. That may be the most favorite thing I do! I love taking care of my family and friends around me.
How do you balance it all - being a mom and wife, working extensively in the church, and owning a successful business?
HA! Is there a true answer to this? I wish I knew the answer! I am definitely learning how to try my best to balance! I definitely have overwhelming days, for sure! But I know that God is my strength! He has carried us through so much, and I know He will continue to do that. I know if I feel overwhelmed it's probably because I haven't put Him first in that day through prayer and reading His word. One thing I heard someone say once was, the days you have help with your kids (babysitters), cram and really focus and knock out your work jobs. So I try and plan out my "work" days as tight as possible.
Here are 5 keys to success that have really helped me balance it all (written by my Bishop, Jesse Parker):
1. Give God the first hour of your day.
2. Give God the first day of your week.
3. Give God the first portion of your paycheck.
4. Give God the first consideration in every decision.
5. Give God first place in your heart.
What is one thing that you have learned as a small business owner that you implement daily (or often)?
Lots of prayer! It's a trick to be so involved in your business/work and kind of get sucked in that you forget to pray and read your bible. If you keep those first, then your day will go a lot smoother! Another is being consistent. We post on social media all the time; we have routines at work; we try to keep consistency the key. Last one, is when the time comes, always hire someone! It's better to have help and love your business than to burn out.
Is there anything you would like to say (or tools you want to share) to another small business owner that would help them run their business?
Honestly, we are so blessed in 2021. When I started 12 years ago, “E-commerce” was such a new thing, there weren’t a lot of resources out there to make it as easy as it is today. If I don’t know how to do something, I look at tutorials on YouTube. There are so many great resources there. Social media is everything for any business! So many amazing graphic tools out there now, photo editing tools, apps, you name it! We use anything and everything! If you need a tool or resource, try youtube or google!
What would you say is your greatest success/milestone so far with Dainty Jewell’s?
God has been so good to us! We built our own custom 6,000 sq ft. warehouse in 2018. We were featured in USA today in 2016. Now have over 400,000 followers between social media accounts. We produce over 50,000 pieces a year. God has been so good!
Do you have any new projects up your sleeve? Or any business goals?
Funny you ask, I was just thinking how fun it would be to create a cookbook of personal recipes of mine. But, honestly, some goals are to keep expanding and growing into new product categories. We just released our first Modest Loungewear line and it sold so quickly! We hope to one day have more of a bridal line, as well as possibly shoes.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Shoot for the moon! Keep God #1 and He will always bless you. I’ve seen it work for myself. Dream big, keep the right spirit, and keep going!