Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Belschner.
Andrea, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m pretty much like most girls, obsessed with fashion (I think it stemmed from my nana Anna who was the original fashionista in my family) but I always was so intrigued by jewelry and accessories. When I was younger, whenever I saw a girl with like tons of rings and bracelets on, I always that “she must have a cool story to tell” or that she just was really cool! I don’t know why I thought this, but I just always thought jewelry could tell a story better than just and outfit could, if that makes sense. Like there’s this ring that I ALWAYS wear, because it resembles a ring that my first ever boyfriend gave to me in elementary school. He passed away at a very young age and when I lost it I was even more heartbroken because that’s what I had that kept us connected. But my mom got me one that closely resembles that one a while later and it’s something I never take off.
One of my first jobs was at Charlotte Russe and I was always the one that wanted to unpack the jewelry and accessories, no one else ever wanted to do it either. I quickly moved up the ladder and held the titles of assistant manager, store manager and visual manager at various times and at various different companies all while going to school full time at Suffolk U. I had customers that would always come and see me for advice and to dress them for their next night out. Not long after that I owned a local clothing boutique with one of my friends where we gained some tremendous customers who turned into friends, hosted two fashion shows and won the title of Best Women’s Boutique on Boston A-List. We unfortunately had to close six years later, and I had to figure out what I was going to do now. This was the only industry I really knew and I didn’t want to just leave it behind or not be my own boss, so I decided to keep the ball rolling and open an online store of jewelry and accessories.
Thinking of the name was hard but once it came to me that was it! I always find myself saying “I’m OBSESSED” with this or that, I married the words obsess and accessory together and came out with the baby I call The Obcessory! I wanted to create a place (or site for the time being) where you can just find cool sh”t. I would scroll endlessly, and still do, through Insta and Pinterest just looking at fashion pics and being inspired. Since owning a boutique previously, I knew I wasn’t the only one who was like ‘where can you get stuff like this?’ so again I wanted to be that place people could go and find it all in one place. I also knew I wanted to focus on quality pieces, I wanted things that were made with love and not just super mass produced for cheap. There were pieces that I would buy from stores and I would be obsessed with them but they were $5 and knew they weren’t going to last, so I wanted to bring things in that were going to last 🙂
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Is anything ever a smooth road? haha. But really to start The Obcessory was not a horrible process at all. Owning a previous business, I knew what had to be done to get started and learned a lot from before. I still had relationships with reps from brands that I knew I wanted to bring in to my site. There is always the doubts that run through your mind and the days you want to just give up, but this business has been a great ride so far, I can’t complain too much!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
As the owner, I wanted to curate collections for The Obcessory to be something for the free spirit who was also a bad ass babe, I know sometimes my style varies so I wanted things that embodied just that. I also love little things that you can add to your space like candles and small home goods that let you add your personal touch. I like to find brands that are made with love and passion and quality, I don’t want to just brands or items I don’t believe in. 99% of the brands that I do carry are all run and designed by other women and I think that’s pretty cool, The Obcessory is like its own little girlgang!
I’ve also met some pretty cool people doing what I do and I want that to continue, my customers aren’t just customers, they’re my friends, my babes! I love that I am able to engage with them not only behind the screen, but when I see them at pop ups and just around and that they know someone real is here.
What were you like growing up?
I have a really big family, so growing up I was never alone, nothing was ever small and I think that made me into the social person I am. Everyone in my family is always 1000% behind me in everything I do, that’s why I think this entrepreneurship thing was a little easier for me. I always loved reading and still do, when I was really little I would always carry a bag of books around with me haha. You know that Oscar Wilde quote “You can never be overdressed or overeducated” yea that’s me and one of my favorite quotes.
- Address: TheObcessory.com
- Website: www.theobcessory.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @theobcessory
- Facebook: facebook.com/theobcessory
- Other: pinterest.com/theobcessory