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A YOUNG woman has revealed how she went from retail assistant to brand owner who now earns nearly £23,000 a month.

Talk to CNBC do itMaya Portorreal from the US shared the journey from a retail employee earning £34,000 in one year to a business owner earning nearly £260,000 in 2021.

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The 27-year-old started her business and now makes £260,000 in sales in a yearCredit: Instagram
Her stunning jewelry was worn by rap sensation Saweetie

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Her stunning jewelry was worn by rap sensation SaweetieCredit: Instagram/@kittencojewlerry

The secret – her sensitive skin.

Working as a retail assistant for luxury clothing brand Pierre Hardy in New York, the 27-year-old spent a lot of time lamenting that the majority of “trendy and fun” jewelry was either out of her budget, or made from cheap materials that left her all itchy.

“I have very sensitive skin,” she said.

“I can’t wear copper…I can’t really wear too much copper.”

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Out of pure ”frustration”, Maya then decided to launch Kitten Jewelry Co.a boutique brand that sells affordable jewelry made of skin-friendly materials.

”I thought, ‘Why not try to make a business out of something I really need?’ ”

With around $2,000 (£1,500) of her own savings, Maya started from scratch, first looking for suppliers and manufacturers, who would then help turn the idea into reality.

She was also successful in getting online influencers to feature her pieces on their feeds, catching the attention of potential buyers.

Now, a few years later, she revealed, the business typically generates over $30,000 (£23,000) in monthly revenue, taking home between $15,000 (£11,400) and $20,000 (£15,200) every month profit.

Last year, Maya’s brand had a particularly big moment, as rapper Saweetie wore one of the brand’s butterfly necklaces inside her. official music video for the single “Best Friend”, with fellow musical sensation Doja Cat.

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Speaking of her success, Maya said, “I’ve never [predicted] do as much as I do now.

”I never thought it would happen so quickly.”

Before having her own company, Maya had mentioned the idea to her colleagues at Pierre Hardy – who she believed all thought Maya was “crazy”.

I just wanted to prove that I could do it.”

Maya Portoreal27

“They probably still think I’m crazy, because I made it,” she laughs now.

The entrepreneurial spirit common in the family – Maya’s uncle and grandfather both had their own real estate business – the young woman was aware of the potential challenges in her path.

“I just wanted to prove that I could do it.”

Today, she claimed, the brand offers more than 150 different products, including stunning rings, earrings, earrings, necklaces and eye-catching anklets.

To solve the problem of her sensitive skin – which was the biggest concern – Maya opted for 925 sterling silver.

Common on labels, 925 silver means the jewelry is at least 92.5% pure silver.

This, she added, is then plated with rhodium, a hypoallergenic metal that gives “extra protection and shine.”

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In mid-2020, more than a year after starting the business, Maya finally made the decision to quit her day job as a retail assistant.

That year, the company managed to make $472,000 (£360,000) in gross sales, almost double the $250,000 (£190,000) in its first year of business.

The brand has nearly 70,000 fans on Instagram

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The brand has nearly 70,000 fans on InstagramCredit: Instagram/@kittencojewlerry
Maya quit her regular retail job a year after launching the jewelry store

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Maya quit her regular retail job a year after launching the jewelry storeCredit: Instagram
For her products, she uses 925 silver, which she says is gentle on the skin.

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For her products, she uses 925 silver, which she says is gentle on the skin.Credit: Instagram/@kittencojewlerry