Taline Shiklanian came to the United States at the age of nine from Israel.
Steeped in an environment of family jewelry stores, and jewelers, she grew up watching the men of her family, her husband, and brothers work in the industry and run their own businesses.
“We had old-fashioned morals, and it was not proper for women to run businesses,” Taline described, now sitting in her own Jewelry Store smack-dab in the middle of Downtown Howell, Michigan.
Still, Taline worked in the Fine Jewelry industry, gaining years of experience. Finally, due to a pandemic-related job loss, and support from friends and family, she decided to take the leap and open her own shop, despite her financial uncertainty. The Howell Development Team connected her to the SBDC, and Taline began working with Senior Business Consultant Shawn Preissle.
“There were so many opportunities for my business, and the SBDC really opened my eyes” she recalls.
Taline began looking for a building online and found a true gem in downtown Howell. The building had been previously owned by Yax Jewelers, which had been in operation for over 100 years. Although there were many businesses looking to lease the prime downtown real estate, the two landlords knew Taline’s business was the perfect fit, as soon as she walked in the door.
Taline had a very successful opening on November 19th, 2020, but had problems with a previous employer’s non-compete agreement, so had to close the business for a few months. June 15th, 2021 was her grand re-opening. Since then, she has picked up where she left off and continues to be a hit in the community.
Throughout the closure, Taline stood strong and told herself to not be discouraged and to keep her faith that everything will work out. Taline called the Chambers of Commerce, put together a business plan for funding, and completed her licensing and legal registrations for the business all with help from Shawn and the Michigan SBDC.
When First National Bank in Howell approved her loan to start the business her future crystallized further.
“I was in tears. I thought, this had to be God’s blessing,” she said. “It’s important to be business-minded but also to maintain strong morals, like integrity, generosity, and honesty,” she says.
What’s the secret to Taline’s quick success? Years of experience? The help of the SBDC? While all those aspects played a major role in her growth, a quote by Maya Angelou paints a fuller picture:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” says the famous Poet.
Taline’s Fine Jewelry is a business that exemplifies an incredible customer experience, leading to feelings of inclusion, customer importance, and all-around quality.
“It doesn’t matter how much the customer is spending” shares Taline. Whether it’s $50, or $5000, I want them to feel special”.
To Taline, the biggest success so far, besides opening, re-opening, and running a profitable business is to know she can grow as part of the Howell community.
‘It’s significant to provide an upscale experience for people in Howell, which is sometimes looked at as a rural community,” she shares.
Taline’s Fine Jewelry sells gold, silver, diamond, and gemstone jewelry from a wide variety of prices, from $25 to any size diamond imaginable.