Meet Teen ‘Trep: Bella Weems (19 years old)
Facebook: Origami Owl
My name is Bella Weems and I am 19 years-old. I started Origami Owl when I was 14 with the dream to save enough money for a car. With $350 saved from babysitting money, I decided to start my own company. I have always loved jewelry and discovered some pretty glass lockets. I had the idea to personalize them by taking charms that represent your personal story and placing them inside the locket so the necklace could be worn for the world to see. Origami Owl is all about expressing yourself, so we create charms that a wide range of people can enjoy and relate to.
Origami Owl got its name because I have always loved Origami. I had it hanging in my bedroom when I was younger. Origami is beautiful and unique, while owls represent wisdom, strength and courage. When my mom and I put the name Origami Owl together, we loved the way it sounded and what it represented, whimsy and wise.
Today, Origami Owl is a direct selling, customizable jewelry company that allows men, women and boys and girls over the age of twelve to start their own Origami Owl company and be their own entrepreneur. We have over 60,000 Independent Designers in America, Puerto Rico and recently Canada, and have plans to expand into more global markets in the future.
What advice would you give to aspiring teen entrepreneurs?
No dream is ever too small or big, and it doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Trust in yourself, and surround yourself with people who believe in you and will lift you up. My mom and I took a leap of faith, and look where I ended up! If you have a dream, follow it, make it a reality and always try to find a way to pay it forward.
What would you say is the best part of being a young entrepreneur?
The best part about being an entrepreneur, especially for a direct selling company, is that I quickly realized we had an opportunity to change people’s lives by allowing them to do the same thing I did and start their own businesses. I get to encourage women, men and kids as young as 12 to become designers (with their parents’ permission) and follow their dreams of owning their own businesses.