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Inspiring Conversations with Tam Nguyen of Tamtak Jewelry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tam Nguyen.

Hi Tam, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I am originally from Vietnam. I came to the United States in 2011 when I was 19 years old. I studied English for six months before I can attend in college classes. I came here with a dream to become a nurse so I signed up for nursing program at Spokane Community college in Washington. Three years passed by and I realized nursing was not for me.

Thinking that I was good with math so I took Accountant classes. I was 22 years old back then and all I could think was finishing school, find a 9-5 job and live a normal happy life. One quarter went by since I attended in Accounting classes. I didn’t do well and I lost my interest. At that time, I watched a lot of show for startup, entrepreneur and they really inspired me to get into business. Summer of 2015, I moved to Omaha, Nebraska and studied business major in other to learn more on how to open and run a business my own. Classes was not as I expected. We learned a lot about theory but all I wanted to learn was real experiences. I realized I can learn those theories through books, but I can’t have experience if I don’t actually learn from a real business. With that thought, I worked and saved up money to open my own business.

One year later, I borrowed money from my friend and partnered up with another friend to open my very first business: a bubble tea shop. The shop run really well for the first year and went downhill after that. We ended up not making enough money to pay for the two of us so I decided to opened an online business while the tea shop still opened. I thought I didn’t need to spend a lot of money for rent and employees so an online business was a second good choice. The online business runs for six months and I had to close down because of stress. The tea shop didn’t do well, the online business was closed. I was at the lowest point of my life where I figured out that I didn’t do well with partnership and don’t have a good management. I decided to leave the teashop for my partner without having my money back. I was in debt.

At 25 years old, I was in 40K in debt and that was a horrible time of my life. I didn’t tell anyone even my closest friend or family. I don’t like to talk about my problem, I want to deal with them by myself. I decided to go back to being a nail tech, working and paying debt. Failing two previous businesses really taught me a lot of lessons and I have never regretted failing because I know that is the only way I can learn and grow. I started to invest in myself. I read books, joined an online courses and watch a lot of YouTube videos for entrepreneurs. Two years later, I wanted to take another chance, so TamTak Jewelry is here. I am a low tech so it took me six months to build a website. I worked during the day and self-learn at night. Kendra Scott is my biggest inspiration. I watched every interview of her and always imagine one day I would be like her. During the pandemic, I lost my nail tech job and had to stay home, that how I discovered Tiktok. I started to post my video making jewelry on Tiktok and never imagine one day I would go viral. I never thought that people would like to enjoy my video of making jewelry and sharing my stories. I am still learning to improve myself and my business.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
At first, It was hard to deal with some negatives comments. I cried about it and wondered why people would be so mean, but along the way, I have learned that I should ignore the negative energy, just focus on myself and people who love me and giving back to the community. Thats how we can grow together.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
At TamTak Jewelry, I handmade the jewelry because I really want to bring you the most care and loved pieces. I wire bend name or hand stamp on metal to create the most unique piece that belong to you. Everyone has their own story and I believe jewelry is not only jewelry, Its a part of you and can represent yourself. I really care about my customer and try my best to bring the most quality products to them. I also love giving back to the community. A small business brand but TamTak Jewelry has been donated thousands of dollars to help the local homeless people, poor elderly and family in Vietnam. I believe that what I achieved today is a luck from God and the universe, so I want to share my luck to people who are less fortunate.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
TamTak Jewelry is still a small business brand but my passion is to built it bigger so I have more chances to create more unique pieces of jewelry that can encourage women to be themself and follow their dream.

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