NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On this International Women’s Day, we are celebrating two local female entrepreneurs who have experienced success despite all odds.

Best friends Allie Wardlaw and Bess Callarman are also moms to young children.

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They found that wearing big earrings or necklaces was difficult, since their children were always tugging on them. So one day at their kitchen table they started designing and making bracelets to wear themselves, as a cute, but safer accessory option.

Friends started noticing the bracelets and with a just a $100 investment from their husbands, they started making and selling jewelry to their friends.

Now, just over a year later, their jewelry line Allie + Bess is expected to pass one million dollars in sales despite some big odds weighing against them, including a global pandemic.

“When the pandemic hit, we had to completely pivot our business model because big stores were not taking risks on little brands,” Callarman describes. “They were just trying to survive themselves.”

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Allie + Bess pivoted to direct to consumer sales and designed a website while also marketing their products on Instagram. They specifically promoted the uniqueness and versatility of their jewelry line where many of the pieces are designed with Vulcanite, an African bead made from repurposed vinyl records.

Their advice to other women about chasing dreams that start with seemingly small or crazy ideas? Start out small, and then just do it!

“There wasn’t like this huge pressure on us that we like had to succeed, so it just kind of organically grew and I think that really allowed us to succeed because we didn’t have all this external pressure put on us,” Callarman describes.

“My advice would just be you have to be able to take the risk. You have to be able to get uncomfortable with yourself, because I think through insecurity and being uncomfortable that is where you see a lot of growth,” Wardlaw says.

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Allie + Bess is based in Dallas where all the pieces are handcrafted by local artisans.

Madison Sawyer