Buffalo Boss Babe: Jocelyn Kowalczyk
Today's Buffalo Boss Babe interview features Jocelyn Kowalczyk owner and boss babe behind a local jewelry company MAHINA. I have known Jocelyn for many years now and from the first day I met her she just radiated kindness. She is one beautiful person inside and out! Watching her grow into the successful business woman she is now is truly amazing. Not only does Jocelyn owns MAHINA but she also co-owns H.E.A.L. Buffalo a yoga and wellness business. H.E.A.L. is not only a yoga company, it is designed to bring together an entire community to create a lifestyle. Music, Art, Health, Love is the glue that connects us all. We chatted with Jocelyn about life & so much more.
What made you start or brought you to where you are today?Tell us your story and what makes you a Buffalo Boss Babe
As far back as I can remember; I've always loved to express myself artistically wheather it was painting or drawing or making boondoggle keychains ;)...as a child, I was constantly making things by hand. My mom who also owns a Jewelry business paved the way for me; teaching me most of the techniques I use today. When I moved to Maui, Hawaii I began selling handmade jewelry at the beach on a towel. I remeber being so poor and eating chex mix for a week straight just so I could use the money I had left in my account to purchase supplies for inventory. It was the first time in my life that I had created something and sold it. I was so unsure of how to go about starting this business and there was so much doubt in my mind. I remember thinking; "what if it's not good enough? what if no one likes my stuff? what if I don't sell anything? " Looking back on it now, I was filling my head with so much doubt that prolonged the process of me following my dreams and starting this journey sooner.
So, it began. I was first selling seashell and beach glass jewelry that I had collected on the beach... i'll never forget my first sale. It was a group of girls my age visiting Hawaii from Colorado. They loved some of the pieces and I'll never forget the feeling I had...I was so proud of myself for going for it but also so excited for their excitement. When you make something with love and passion and someone understands that, it's a feeling you can't explain.
So, that was the beginning... I was an event planner at the Grand Wailea Hotel 9am-5pm Monday thru Friday and then I would go home after work and stay up all night building my inventory.
On my days off, I would go to the beach and sell jewelry to the tourists mostly along Wailea Beach. When I moved back to New York City from Maui, that's when I really stared focusing on crystals and stones and the idea of the healing properties that were so specific to each stone. I began to research the stones; their meaning, where they come from in the world, how they are mined and the entire process drew me right in. I always had a love for traveling and now anywhere I went in the world, I would seek out the crystals/stones from that area and bring them back home; go to my brothers manufacturing company in Rochester and cut/shape them into jewelry. I have now visited over 30+ countries bringing back stones and crystals from all around the world. Still working a fulltime job Monday-Friday and Co-Owning HEAL BFLO I still find the time after work or on the weekends to build my inventory and sell online, art shows and stores across the country. Mahina means the moon in Hawaiian and just like the moon the phases that I've gone through have made me who I am today.
When I started this business, I never imagined I would be where I am today...I guess I didn't even know what the journey had in store for me. But, my business has evolved in so many beautiful ways, it has brought me to some of the most amazing places on earth and above all has allowed me to meet some of the most beautiful people who have supported me throughout this process.
Who are your favorite people to follow?
Most of the inspiration I draw is from traveling but locally i'm inspired by local photographers like Brett Ballachino, Derek Paradowski, Alyissa Landri, and Ryan Kell, and then Buiness Owners like Cheryl Erbacher, Katie Monacelli, Sarah Cozmerra, Sue Morelle, Brit Leo, Casey Balash, Kate Rogers, Maria D'Amato, Carrie Rinehart, Angelo Ashker, liz Hamshire, Sue Zitner, Julia Hardick, Joanne Wu, Nikki Bennatovich I mean the list could go on and on and on but these are the people in my community that I am constantly impressed with and inspired by not only their story but by watching them filled with passion... growing and developing over the years has been impactful to me as a business woman but also to know them has been a true privilege.
My Favorite Quote is: "Be Strong, You Never Know Who You Are Inspiring" .
What are your favorite things to do in the area (Buffalo and greater WNY)?
Tell me about your favorite collaborations or a dream collaboration? My favorite collaboration has been with Anointed Oil for the Oil + Fire Collection. It was so fun to create the line with Monica Leising but also pushing myself in another direction was really exciting. The photoshoot with Monica and Marilynn Militello by Ryan Kell was amazing each photo took my breath away.
My Dream Collaboration would be to work with Mara Hoffman....i am constantly inspired by her work!
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world who would it be?
Cheryl Erbacher and Rebecca Paul because when I'm with them... I feel most alive.
What are your hopes, dreams, goals? Big or Small.
My hope is that humanity gets to a place where we being to treat each other with love and kindness and we lift each other up instead of breaking each other down.
My Dream - To inspire people to reach higher than they ever thought possible.
Big Goals - To continue traveling and exploring interesting places bringing back stones, and different mediums to work with. I want someone to look at a piece of jewelry and know just by looking at it that it's Mahina. Get to a point where they can recognize my art
Personal Goal- To be a great role model for my nieces and nephew & to believe in their dreams.
Tell us about your family.
My Family. Wow. I don't think I could have been any luckier in that department. Growing up with the most beautiful strong motivated woman as a mother and two brothers that have inspired me in my life in so many ways....you could say I come from the best stock. From my late Aunt Ro to my cousins, to my friends....I feel most blessed by the people closest to me. To be honest, I'm emotional when I think about this question because my family means the world to me and I am so grateful.
Feel Good Five :)
Super Power: Understanding there are many solutions to a problem and it will all work out just the way it's suppose to
Season of the year: fall
Joc is tuely an amazing person and the energy she gives off the the world is truly amazing. Be sure to check out Jocelyn at many of her upcoming shows or online ( | www.ma-hina.com | @mahinaaaa ).
Until next time!
Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog series featuring woman in and around the city of Buffalo N.Y.
If you know someone doing amazing things for our community, past and present, young and old..... send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind to everyone you meet.
Here's to strong woman! May we know them. May we be them