One bag, one hundred dollars, and zero knowledge of the English language- that was Anna Balkan when she moved to the United States from Ukraine at just twenty years old. After finishing college and working in the corporate world, she parted ways to follow her true passion- women empowerment by means of helping others. We are fortunate enough to see this play out in what we know today as Anna Balkan Jewelry, located in downtown Norcross.
If you had asked Anna as a young girl if she imagined herself making and selling jewelry, she would have said no. Jewelry making did not even become a hobby until she was pregnant with her daughter.
Hobby turned business; Anna quickly became very talented within her field. She attended multiple shows displaying her work, but found her success in the connections and relationships she formed when she was simply talking to those around her. The first of 400 stores across the country to sell her work was Bloomingdales after an employee noticed a piece Anna was wearing and suggested she speak with her manager. From there, people from all over have seen the beauty and authenticity behind each piece of jewelry.
Anna’s mission is “Be Beautiful. Be You.,” and she demonstrates this in how she operates her business. She leaves anyone walking out the door feeling confident in themselves — The jewelry is only an addition. The actual jewelry selection process is just a small aspect of the experience. Anna offers a different perspective on time spent in her store stating, “Our customers are our family. We connect with them, and that’s how we define retail therapy.”
As of September 2021, Anna has been in business for 11 years and is looking forward to the future ahead of her. You can visit annabalkan.com to shop or check out the store located in Downtown Norcross for the full experience.