What first started as a curiosity and hobby in astronomy for Bea Doheny, quickly turned into an out-of-this-world space-inspired jewelry company called Astronobeads. While navigating her sophomore year of college, her sorority life and her new business, Bea rose to the challenge of life as “an all-around busy Bea” to connect star-gazers around the world.
Bea wants people to “Wear and share the love of the cosmos” and teach the lesson she learned on her entrepreneurial adventure: “Stay true to yourself and don’t let what others think of you get in the way of your goals and aspirations.”
College: University of Missouri
Majors: Business Marketing
Expected Graduation: Spring 2018
How did you come up with the idea for Astronobeads? Was the idea something you had been thinking about for a while or did it come to you all at once?
It all started as a hobby. During my senior year of high school, I created my first Solar System wrap bracelet. I’ve always been curious about astronomy and I love expressing myself through different art projects. This bracelet combined my passions of science and art and was very “me.” I decided to make a bunch more and give them out to friends as graduation gifts. With each bracelet I wrote a note that said, “Whenever you look down at your Solar System bracelet, remember I think you’re out of this world.”
Then during my sophomore year of college, I decided to bring back the idea and turn those unique bracelets into a stellar business. From there, Astronobeads grew from one bracelet to 10+ space-inspired jewelry pieces. Every product has a special message and my goal is to have more people Wearing & Sharing the Love of the Cosmos.
What were some challenges you faced in making your idea a reality, and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been an ongoing battle of balance. I’m a college student, a businesswoman, a sorority sister, and an all around busy bea. As for starting up Astronobeads, I think my biggest challenge has been caring about what other people think of me.
Back on Earth Day in 2016 (my Astronobeads website launch), I remember feeling a bit uncomfortable about sharing my ideas with friends and family. I was overthinking and already presuming others may think that my creations were geeky and weird. This feeling lasted for a few months and then I learned to embrace my cosmic creations and show the world what I’ve got. This small example has been a big lesson to me. It’s the importance of staying true to yourself and not letting what others think of you get in the way of your goals and aspirations.
Who was the most supportive person during your time creating Astronobeads?
Two people come to mind. My brother and my mentor. Since day one, I’ve always looked up to my older brother, Jack. He is positive, incredibly kind and his entrepreneurial energy is contagious. He has his own business called Bold Brew Coffee and we have been going through similar experiences as college entrepreneurs. He’s always there for me and I am so grateful to have a role model and best friend like him in my life.
Another amazing human that has helped me on my Astronobeads journey is my mentor, Sarah Crawford. I was connected with her through Mizzou’s entrepreneurship program and Astronobeads would not be the same without her. In the beginning stages of launching my jewelry business, Sarah listened to my crazy ideas and helped me form them into little cosmic masterpieces. She gets me. I greatly appreciate her time, talent, and how she encourages me to never give up.
What do you wish you knew before becoming an entrepreneur?
It’s funny actually. After I put Astronobeads out there online and the orders started rolling in, it took me a while to realize that I was turning into an entrepreneur. And now looking back at my past of running lemonade stands, neighborhood camps, car washes, and sewing headbands for craft shows, I had been an entrepreneur all along. Now I can’t imagine my life any other way.
This Astronobeads journey has been the ultimate learning experience during my college career and a great taste of the business world. I’ve learned so much this past year about what it takes to run a business, and I’ve learned a lot about myself. You really learn a lot about yourself when you’re your own boss.
What keeps your motivation high?
Two things: The people and the messages Astronobeads is spreading. I wake up every morning so excited for another day on Earth doing what I love. Science is universal and I’m in awe seeing my beads connect people all over the globe. On a grander scale, that’s what astronomy does as well. It doesn't matter what you speak, what you believe or where you are. We can all look up at the sky at night and wonder. The possibilities are endless.
Who is one person you wish you could see wearing your jewelry and why?
I have a girl crush on Karlie Kloss. Not only is she beautiful, successful and a talented model in the fashion world, but she’s also an advocate for young girls in science. Her #KodeWithKlossy organization encourages girls to embrace their curiosity.
I love how Karlie has combined fashion and science to show girls that it's cool to be smart. I’m super inspired by women empowering other women and I think we need more of that.
How would you describe yourself in five words?
Positive, Independent, Genuine, Creative & Curious
Emily Murphy is a senior Mass Communication major at Winthrop University. If she's not daydreaming about taking vacations to islands with names she can't pronounce, she's binge-watching Netflix and splitting her split ends. She stalks the Instagram newsfeed more than she would like to admit, and constantly wishes she was eating an avocado. In her spare time, she loves to hang out with her friends, write stories and tell people corny jokes. Follow her on Instagram: @emilysmurfy