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The Creator of This Michelle Obama-Approved Jewelry Business Shares Her Secret to Staying Motivated

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Editor’s Note: Inspire Me is our series in which entrepreneurs and leaders describe what has motivated them through good times and bad, and share stories of how they overcame challenges and strove to inspire others.

Theresa Bruno has seen her jewelry grace the earlobes, hands and décolletage of such big-name clients as Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey and former First Lady Michelle Obama. But this jeweler's path to such success wasn’t always one of glamour and wealth.

Related: How This Fashion Stylist Launched a Successful Jewelry Startup

In fact, Bruno started her line Jordan Alexander 10 years ago when the recession was at its height and people weren’t necessarily indulging in luxury jewelry. Despite the economic downturn, however, Bruno felt compelled to create a line that was both elegant and classic but was also one with a twist: her personal desire to use it for social good (a goal she achieved by partnering with groups like the organization A21, which works against human trafficking.)

Bruno has also bootstrapped her venture herself from the start -- a costly and risky endeavor based on her price points. To make her business work financially, she sought out the partnerships that allowed her to grow her client base and compete with the David Webbs and Cartiers of the world. “I'm really happy with where we are in terms of design," Bruno told Entrepreneur. "I feel like I've found that niche that is........

© Entrepreneur