May 19

Calla Gold Wins Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award

By Calla Gold

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Winner Calla Gold

What Pure Joy to Get this Recognition!

How thrilling is it?

As an entrepreneur with a self-directed path for practically my whole working career, this award is massively thrilling. To be recognized by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation whose work I respect is simply awesome.

Can I tell you how amazing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation is?

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award for Calla Gold

The Crystal Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award from Tiffany and Co.

In addition to recognizing female entrepreneurs and honoring them with the gorgeous Tiffany and Co engraved crystal awards, the Spirit of Entrepreneurship recognizes and supports with cash awards and scholarships High School and College budding entrepreneurs.

How’s that Working?

A number of the High School and College past winners of the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s New Venture Challenge, have gone on to build their winning business plan into multi-million dollar businesses. I was so inspired to hear the stories of successful past student winners and see the great entrepreneurial ideas from this years finalists and winners.

Spirit of Entrepreneurship blog

My Crazy Passion for Horses Forced me to go to Work or Do Without Horses. Do Without Horses? Not an Option!

When Did my Entrepreneurial Journey Start and Why?

When I was thirteen I wanted to have a second horse. I’d saved up for my first one and my mom had paid the board and feed bill for him. She said “no more” when I sold him.

I saved up doing various neighborhood jobs for my second horse and bought her. I needed a certain amount of money monthly to feed her and pay her board monthly. I sold stationary door to door and cleaned houses in addition to being a human guinea pig at UCSB in the biology department.

I did indeed support my horse successfully and it gave me confidence early on that I could dream up ways to make money.

Then what? Rufflebums Clothing!

Sale Sign

Come to the Basement and See and Buy Clothes. Because That Makes Sense Right?

I loved to go to garage sales. I parlayed that into my next business, Rufflebums. When I was sixteen I bought clothing at garage sales. I’d sew on buttons, clean and iron and display my chosen clothes – in our basement!

Every guest to our house got waylaid and taken to the basement where they shopped by the light of naked bulbs while standing on the dirt floor.

When I got tired of it I took Rufflebums, clothes, racks and mirrors, to the Swap Meet and sold everything and ended up with money for my savings account.

Waitressing GraveYard to Door to Door Sales

I talked my friend into training me to be a waitress at her restaurant job at Frimples when I was eighteen. The manager was slightly scandalized by my forwardness in asking for a uniform so I could blend in while learning. She wondered what I was doing.

Once trained I told the manager I wanted to work there. “You’re nuts,” she said. So I’d come by daily asking for a job. “You’re annoying, go away” she said.

After three days she put me on to fill in for a sick waitress. That very night a graveyard shift girl failed to show up and she called me. “You wanna work all night?” “Sure.” I went in and ended up with a job.

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Calla Gold

Breaking the Sex Barrier to be a Lady Fuller Brush Man!

One of the patrons, Andy, always asked for my station. I hoped he didn’t want to date me or something, he was like way old. (Over thirty!) It turned out he wanted to hired me, to break the sex barrier in door to door sales!

He wanted me to be the first female Fuller Brush Man. (I bet I wasn’t really the first, but I never found out!)

I said “sure” and proceeded to work seven to eight hours a day doing door to door sales. It blew my mind how much better the earnings were in sales than other jobs.

My First Official Business – Being Cinderella

Brochure for Cinderella Services

Back in the day a lot of people shouted out “Hi Cinderella” when I was out and about the town.

When I was nineteen I started Cinderella Services – House Cleaning Extraordinaire. I used my Fuller Brush cleaning product expertise to solve Santa Barbara’s biggest housecleaning night mare, hard water deposits.

After teaching a ton of my customer’s cleaning ladies how to deal with those deposits and having people constantly try to hire me to clean their houses, I realized I had a business here if I’d just walk into it.

My Second Business – Janitorial – Why?

After selling my Cinderella Services I started Ceiling Cleaning Company with a proprietary magic cleaning product I discovered in Entrepreneurial magazine.

My partner and I ran it successfully. What was I thinking? Been there, done that. So we sold that business.

Why Jewelry?

Two Women Talking about a Ring

Calla Explaining to Lisa the Jewelry Fixing Technique for Her Grandmother’s Ring

Yes, really why? Well that’s too long a story for here, but I thought it’d just be a few year thing. Start it, build it up and sell it. After all that was working for me so far.

The normal way to be a jeweler was to have a store. Well I couldn’t afford a store, and I’m not normal, so I just bought jewelry and display cases and started selling jewelry.

Hey I figured if I could make a nice living selling Fuller Brush door to door I could do this, right? I visited my client’s one-on-one at their homes and offices. I became what I call a Personal Jeweler.

2014 Awardees of the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards.

There Were Ten Awardees for the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. What a Fantastic and Diverse Group of Women!

Thirty One Years Later

I’m still a Personal Jeweler and loving it. Being an entrepreneur and creating my business path has been so incredibly rewarding for me.

This is the quote from me about entrepreneurship that they read to the audience before announcing that I won the award.

“I discovered reserves of strength and positivity inside myself that gave me self-confidence and joy while on the road to business profitability. My business helped me believe in me.”

A Noozhawk article about the Spirit of Entrepreneurship winners

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards

With my Novelist Husband Jeremy Gold, Best Friend Sue Manseau and Awesome Inspiring Mom, Ruth.


SOE winner badge 2014I Love Entrepreneurs

I congratulate the entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas and passion bring vitality and diversity to the universe of business.

Calla Gold

16 thoughts on “Calla Gold Wins Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award

  1. Calla,
    I love hearing the story of your entrepreneurial journey! You are a true entrepreneurial business woman and I appreciate how much you have helped me and others with our entrepreneurial journeys.
    For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, three or so years ago Calla started her social media accountability group SMART (Social Media Action Relationship Team) to share her knowledge about online marketing and social media. She wanted to be more active and have a network to be accountable to. Being a member of this group has gotten me using social media and blogging.
    As if being an entrepreneurial jeweler isn’t enough Calla, you help us all.
    Linda P.

    • Hi Linda,
      It was fun to share my story. I forget that people who haven’t known me that long have no idea about the steps I’ve taken before now. Thanks for sharing my SMART Group start up with the readers.
      I love that you’ve been helped. It’s so awesome to see you blogging!
      Entrepreneurially Yours,
      Calla Gold

    • Hi Tom,
      I have such respect for you as a master gemologist. Your kind words are very appreciated!
      Your Jeweler Friend across the country,
      Calla Gold

  2. Calla, seeing you jumping across the stage so shows your joy at winning your Spirit award.
    I’m so happy for you!
    I loved reading your story, you certainly do not fit the mold of typical jewelers, working in a store and getting a fine arts degree or the usual path I’ve seen for jewelry designers.
    Your designs are beautiful and your meandering path to jewelry entrepreneurship is just fascinating. I’m so pleased you took this moment in time to share it.
    Many congratulations on this honor you have received! You are definitely the Spirit of Entrepreneurship!

  3. I had no idea that you started so young on your entrepreneurial path! What an enterprising young woman you were. Good for you! It seems like you kept refining your career until you found what fit the best for you. Your success and accolades are well-earned and well-deserved, Calla Gold! Congratulations!!


    • Hello Linda,
      Thank you so much for your accolades! It was fun to write down and take a look and the winding path that lead me to this time and place.
      Winning the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award was such a highlight in my life. It really made me focus on this entrepreneurial journey I’ve been on. That in itself is quite fun!
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  4. As a newbie entering the jewelry space, this blog is enlightening. Keep the wisdom coming!

  5. Jesus woman!! Is there anything you can’t do??
    Calla, you are such an inspiration. I’m basically at a loss for words but I felt like I had to say something after reading this blog. You’re simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this enlightening journey with us. Thank you also for being so kind and willing to help others, there aren’t many people like you left. You make the world a brighter place keep kicking butt and being the overachiever you are.

    • Hi Tania,
      You do so much know how to make my day!! Thank you so much for your effusive and generous response.I’m so happy you liked reading my entrepreneurial story. I’m very much enjoying the mentoring I have done and plan to keep that up!
      The butt kicking will also be continued!!
      Overachievingly Yours,
      Calla Gold

  6. Calla,
    Congratulations on winning the Spirit of Entrepreneurship award!! I am very happy for you. I had no idea the path you’ve traveled to get where you are has been so exciting. It’s quite a path! I enjoyed reading all about your ventures in entrepreneurship. You are an inspiration!
    Patricia Schwartz

    • Hi Patricia,
      I’m glad you enjoyed my entrepreneurial origins story. Thank you for your nice congratulations!
      Calla Gold

  7. You are truly an inspiration. I had no idea about all your early entrepreneurial ventures, and I hope it inspires people today to not only go after what they want, but to do what they love. It’s so obvious how much you love what you do; it shows in every piece of jewelry you touch. Congratulations again, Calla!!

    • Lisa,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! I am so pleased about the award. I’m glad too it gave me the excuse to tell a bit of my entrepreneurial tale. I was telling my husband the other day that at the time I was going along starting businesses I felt a bit aimless and wondered what I should REALLY be doing.
      Luckily I didn’t change the meandering course I was on as it lead to where I am now and I’m a happy girl!
      Thanks Lisa!
      Calla Gold

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