Santa Barbara Asoociates 2018 Woman Of Distinction

Calla Gold

Calla Gold Santa Barbara Associates 2018 Woman Of Distinction

This year’s Woman of Distinction is someone many of us have welcomed into our homes to tempt us with dazzling bling. As our Personal Jeweler, many of us have given in to her temptations. Unlike typical jewelry businesses, she has no brick-and-mortar location. She comes to you, bringing “the store” with her, or collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry.

Of course, you all know who I am talking about: Calla Gold! Yes, her last name really is Gold; what could be more perfect? With a name like that she truly was destined to become a jeweler! But it was a long, indirect route getting there.

A little Background: Calla has lived in the Santa Barbara area nearly all her life. When she was thirteen, she wanted to own a horse. Calla went to work doing various neighborhood jobs, saved up money and bought a horse. In order to pay for feed and boarding, she sold stationery door-to-door and cleaned houses, in addition to being a human guinea pig at UCSB in the biology department. This success gave Calla the confidence, at a young age, that she could dream up ways to make money. She loved to go to garage sales, and parlayed her finds into her next business, “Rufflebums,” when she was only sixteen. She bought used clothing, sewed on buttons, cleaned and ironed the clothes, and displayed them in their basement! Of course, every guest to the house got waylaid and taken to the basement where they shopped by the light of naked bulbs while standing on the dirt floor. Eventually, she tired of the business so took Rufflebums—clothes, racks and mirrors and all—to the Swap Meet, selling everything. Next came waitressing and door to door sales. (This is a cute story). At eighteen she talked a friend into training her to be a waitress at Frimples. The manager was taken aback by her boldness in asking for a uniform so she could blend in while learning. Once trained, Calla told the manager she wanted to work there. The manager told her she was nuts. Calla, not one to take no for an answer, stopped by daily asking for a job. Although the manager told her she was annoying, three days later the manager called and asked her to fill in for a sick waitress.

Naturally, Calla was a hit with the patrons, one of which—an “old man” - who had to be at least 30 - hired her as the first female Fuller Brush Man, or so he said. She used the Fuller Brush cleaning products to solve Santa Barbara’s biggest housecleaning nightmare: hard water deposits! While teaching her customers how to use the various products, many offered to hire her to clean their houses. Calla realized this could be a good business and, at age nineteen, started “Cinderella Services”.

She eventually sold Cinderella Services, and created another business, a Ceiling Cleaning Company. She and a partner ran it successfully. But, long story short, they sold the business. After all, “start it, build it and sell it” was working for her so far.

At last, we come to the jewelry business. The normal way to be a jeweler was to have a store. Well Calla couldn’t afford a store. And, in Calla’s own words, “I’m not normal.” So, she just bought jewelry and display cases and started selling jewelry. She figured, if she could make a nice living selling Fuller Brush products door-to-door, why not jewelry?! So, in 1983, she created Calla Gold Jewelry and has been visiting clients in their homes and where they work ever since.

Today, in addition to selling Jewelry, Calla finds time to speak at seminars and conventions as an expert jeweler, designer, sales trainer, female entrepreneur, and on empowerment for women in business. She also speaks on small business marketing, networking, and organizing leads. But wait! There’s more……Most recently and hot off the presses, is Calla’s book, Design Your Dream Wedding Rings: From Engagement to Eternity. It’s a great read for all.

Calla Gold’s received “Certificates of Special Recognition” as a Winner of the 2014 Spirit of Entrepreneurship™ Awards from City, County, State and Federal Representatives.

Congratulations Calla on another well-deserved award as our Woman of Distinction!