Not long after Carley Ochs founded Bourbon and Boweties, she began to understand the power of a woman’s wrist. In August 2012, she made 36 bangles with stones she’d brought home from China and — on a whim — sold them all to a boutique in Charleston. The store promptly placed another order. By Thanksgiving, the jewelry was in dozens of stores, and the following year the company topped $1 million in sales. “It was wildfire, all word of mouth,” Ochs says. “Just women sharing with friends.” Today, Bourbon and Boweties bracelets, assembled by hundreds of men and women in her Florida community, can be found in stores nationwide including Nordstrom.
Inspired by the strong Southern women in her life, Ochs has always enjoyed fashion. As a teen, she shopped at Goodwill and tailored her grandmother’s hand-me-downs. If she had to pick another job, she’d mentor underserved youth. “All the kids who are told they won’t amount to anything,” she says, “I want to tell them, ‘You will.’”