The founder of a fast growing Richmond-based e-commerce business that sells jewelry, accessories and now apparel was among the winners of the 2021 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award for the Mid-Atlantic region.
Sassy Jones owner and CEO Charis Jones and 10 other entrepreneurs from regional companies were named winners Tuesday afternoon during a virtual event.
“It feels amazing to be recognized in this way,” Jones said. “I definitely want to extend a huge shout out to the hard working Sassy Jones team, who helps to craft a memorable experience for each customer.”
Regional award winners are now up for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards, to be announced in November.
Jones created Sassy Jones in 2013 by making jewelry as a side gig while working a corporate job. Three years later, she left that job to focus on her budding business, initially selling items out of the back of her minivan and designing her jewelry and accessories in her dining room.
Last month, Sassy Jones added a line of ready-to-wear women’s clothing to her business. Next year, she hopes to start selling shoes and home goods.
Jones said she has grown her business into what should be this year a $45 million to $50 million e-commerce brand.
Sassy Jones landed at No. 75 on last year’s Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing, privately held businesses measured by revenue growth. The company had revenue growth of 4,515% in the three years prior to 2020.
She has been told she’s on the Inc. 5000 list again this year, but she doesn’t know where her business will be ranked. The list is slated to be released on Aug. 11.
The EY program, which is in its 35th year, recognizes entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are excelling in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
A total of 40 entrepreneurs with 38 companies were finalists for the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Executives from two other Richmond-area companies were finalists for the regional award. They were Ali Safavi, founder of Grenova Inc., a biotech firm founded in 2014 that manufactures equipment that health care businesses, universities and government agencies can install in their laboratories to wash and sterilize plastic pipette tips; and Nasser Chanda, the CEO of Paymerang LLC, a Chesterfield County-based payment processing company founded in 2010.
In 2019, the three co-founders of Richmond-based CarLotz, which sells used vehicles on consignment, were named regional winners in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award.
EY, formerly called Ernst & Young, is a global provider of assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.