When soulciti last caught up with Sheila Hawkins Bucklew, the serial entrepreneur had just unveiled her new line of custom handcrafted jewelry.
Four years later, and Hawkins Bucklew Jewelry Designs (HBJD) continues to scale and innovate, with a new app already available in the Apple Store and slated for Google Play very soon. On top of that, the HBJD website is currently beta testing a feature called “Virtual Try-On,” which allows you the opportunity to model jewelry on a custom avatar or even a photo of yourself — a testament to Hawkins Bucklew’s quest for innovative ways of presenting her products.
“I get it, honestly, because my dad has always been at the cutting edge of technology,” she says. “Growing up, he built a satellite dish in our backyard. Any time I’m able to use technology to leverage my business and also to differentiate myself in the industry, I’m totally going to take a look at it.”
My true passion is to empower underserved women
Prior to creating her unique brand of “ethos-chic” jewelry, Hawkins Bucklew worked as a real-estate broker in Austin and filled a number of corporate roles before that. It’s that experience coupled with her love for the community that allows HBJD to move forward as a company while letting Hawkins Bucklew advance her own personal mission statement.
“My true passion is to empower underserved women,” she says. “I take great joy in helping people achieve their goals and helping people excel in what they want to do with their lives.”
Hawkins Bucklew’s proclivity for community engagement more than speaks for itself, often making a direct impact on aspiring professionals and the way they do business. That’s particularly true for fellow women entrepreneurs.
“It’s only 3 to 4 percent of women that actually scale their businesses to over $1 million, and those numbers are even worse for women of color, by the way,” Hawkins Bucklew says.
In 2017, thanks to receiving funding from the Mandela Washington Fellowship program, Hawkins Bucklew had the opportunity to visit Lagos, Nigeria, and create and host a five-day boot camp geared toward creative women entrepreneurs. In September of this year, she received a community service award from the African community in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area. She has also received numerous distinctions for her community outreach efforts here at home, and received coverage of HBJD in British Vogue.
it has never been a better time to try and scale a business
With so much access to technology and other key resources, it has never been a better time to try and scale a business. “A lot of the time, we sit back and we don’t do it because we feel that we’re not ready,” Hawkins Bucklew says. “We are.”
Hawkins Bucklew Jewelry Designs is available for private showings by appointment in her showroom located at 3800 N. Lamar. Pricing varies from $55 to $300, intentionally made accessible to all those of like mind who desire to make a difference with every purchase.