I was so excited to be a part of the first Old Town Blogger Crawl. The lovely ladies of SpicyCandyDC and Neuprofile organized a lively and fun filled evening that brought together ten of DC's finest bloggers. We visited some of the most amazing stores and learned about the importance supporting local businesses. For the event, we were all named ambassadors for the participating boutiques. I represented the chic and charming jewelry boutique - She's Unique.
Photos: Julien Garmen
While admiring all of the gorgeous and dainty pieces, I became curious and wanted to know more on the history of the store and of course, the owner. I believe everyone has a story and here is a little bit about Katya.
1. What is your full name and place of origin?
My full name is Ekaterina Ananieva - I'm originally Russian but born in Crimea (ex Ukraine -present day Russia). I also spent about six years in Venezuela before moving to the United States in the mid 90's.
2. What are some fun facts about you?
I speak three languages (Russian, Spanish and English) and can salsa the night away like a semi-pro!
3. Where did the idea come from to open you own jewelry store? And the name "She's Unique?
As much as I always loved accessorizing an outfit, particularly with jewelry, I never really planned to open a jewelry store. I used to be a project manager for a small consulting firm in my "previous life" and I'm still amazed at the serendipitous way it all just kind of happened. About three years ago I decided to leave my 9-5 and pursue a more creative path, six months later the opportunity to buy the store came up and I jumped on it. I took over an already existing traditional jewelry store that was in Old Town for over 12 years. I kept the name She's Unique for the history, but decided to completely transform the brand and the designs to reflect my personal style and what I wanted to offer my customers. It was a journey of transformation, sometimes challenging, but incredibly rewarding.
4. What are some of the key lessons you've learned as a business owner?
I would say that the number one thing I learned so far is that it takes a lot of time and dedication to build a brand/business. You have to be absolutely passionate about what you do and be ready to be completely immersed in your craft in order to see success. Also being open to collaborations and surrounding yourself with like-minded, creative people will help you grow as a business owner and as a person! Nobody is able to do it all, but having the right support system is half the battle.
Thank you Katya for sharing and Alexis Russell Jewelry for being so generous and gifting me these beautiful bangles.