Sarah Briggs creates jewelry worn by celebrities in slick fashion magazines and on red carpet paparazzi walks. Her pieces are carried in trendy Cali boutiques and at top NYC tradeshows. So how did the Lake Highlands High School 1998 graduate get her start?
Briggs, one of the famed “ten Bertrand kids” seemingly linked to every student group and activity while they roamed the campus, says her success is a “loophole in the universe.”
“Jewelry was my hobby,” says Briggs, who had 13 jobs in her first 3 years out of college, including some she was fired from. After working as a receptionist, retail sales manager, nanny and buyer for Neiman Marcus, she sold her creations to 3 boutiques in Dallas, including one which placed a $7,000 order. She knew things were getting real when she was forced to hire more staff to fill the request.
Looking back, Briggs wasn’t that girly girl who wore mom’s high heels and carried a mini-purse to preschool. Friends likely would not have guessed what her future would hold.
“I’m actually not feminine at all,” says Briggs. “I’m super androgynous. I think that helps my brand speak to women who haven’t worn jewelry before and want to start.”
Briggs says she did, though, enjoy getting dolled up in makeup as a kid.
“It’s like another form of art,” says Briggs. “I remember in elementary school being so mad that my mother [Jana Bertrand] wouldn’t let me wear it.”
Briggs says her brand’s signature look is understated and handmade in Texas using gold, silver, stone and other natural elements. Her Brianna line dropped Feb. 10.
“Everything we do has underlying tones from bold, biker, trending, etc., but we take it all down to a minimal, classic, relatable level. That is how we ‘Sarah Briggs’ it.”
Briggs’ manufacturing, fulfillment and sales headquarters is in Waxahachie, where she employs 30 staff under 11,000 square feet. She also lives in Waxahachie with her husband and two kids.
“The most supportive husband in the world, Ben, quit his job to join SB, and my two amazing kiddos say their favorite place in the world is mommy’s office where she is the ‘principal.’ Goldie, 8, is an artist who has a boss mentality like no one else – she is driven, sharp and uber creative. Rocky, 5, is my heart. He is the sweetest goofiest nut you’ll meet, and he wants to be an ‘office man’ at SB one day. He makes us all smile nonstop and want to rip our hair out.”
Briggs is a cheerleader for female entrepreneurs, and she shares advice for young women just getting started.
“Ask for help from people who are good at what you want to be good at. Social media is your BFF – get on it, even if you’re scared or bad at it. People identify with that. Do not spend money – think of the scrappiest way to do everything. And most of all, never give up. That’s the number one quality to making it.”
Above all, Briggs says, success requires a new way of thinking.
“If you’re serious about building a 7-figure business, you have to change your mindset from widgets to people. Building a legacy has nothing to do with what you are selling, but everything to do with who you are lifting. Never forget where you came from, and every time you are ‘lifted,’ go lift someone else.”