“Learning is so important. That’s how we grow.” This is advice that entrepreneur and jewelry designer Jill Reno not only preaches but also practices. As the owner of Jill Reno Designs, her pieces have been seen all over the world on red carpets, magazine covers and movie sets on the likes of Rihanna, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Aniston.

Although naturally gifted and creative, Jill understood the importance of properly educating herself in order to be as successful as possible. While earning a business degree, Jill nurtured her artistic side. She danced in a ballet company, showed horses and sculpted with acclaimed sculptor Jim Reno, her grandfather. Inspired by her time with her grandfather, she traveled to Mexico to take sculpting classes at the Belles Artes. Upon returning to the states, Jill enrolled in the Southwest School of Arts and Craft to study jewelry fabrication.

Later on, Jill took a position as a flight attendant, which allowed her to indulge her love of travel. It was during this time that Jill started her jewelry business. As a flight attendant, Jill decided to add some pizzazz to her name badge lanyard. This caught the eye of fellow flight attendants and she began creating designs for their lanyards as well. With that, Jill entered the world of entrepreneurship.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, Jill accepted a company-offered leave of absence from the airline. She took advantage of her opportunity to travel to distant lands and learn about different cultures all over the world. Jill absorbed all that she saw and learned and poured it into her jewelry designs.

Like Jill, as a savvy businesswoman, a critical part of your success is arming yourself with as much information as possible. Here are a few options to help you along your journey!

  1. Earn a degree or certification in the field
  2. Read as much as possible about the market, influential players, key companies and current trends
  3. Follow and engage industry influencers on social media
  4. Request informational meetings with people who have experience in the field
  5. Survey your “ideal client” or members of your target market
  6. Attend workshops, seminars and networking events
  7. Join professional or industry associations
  8. Participate online communities and forums

Your learning curve should always be on the rise, never stagnating or at a plateau. You owe it to yourself and your future to make the most informed, educated decisions possible.