From design student to dinnerware entrepreneur

Posted September 28, 2010

It's a safe bet you've never given much thought to the plates stacked in your kitchen cabinets. Dinnerware, however, is front and center on Darbie Angell's mind: It's her business. At a very young age - 29 - she has discovered business is good.

After attending ACU until 2004, Angell first tried her hand as an independent diamond reseller, then moved into dinnerware design. She launched her business, Cru International, in 2008. Now her products are for sale at Dillard's, Bed Bath & Beyond and, as of next month, at Macy's. Angell shared her inspirational story with ACU students during three class sessions held at the Hunter Welcome Center.

"You have to be passionate about what you do," says Angell. "I was passionate about design. You have to find the area where you're knowledgeable, then work from there. You never know where opportunities are going to take you."

Angell is a stay-at-home mom who says she's able to stay on top of most of her business responsibilities in the evening and early morning hours. Her non-traditional work schedule allows her to stay in touch with managers of the factories she uses in Italy, Bangladesh and Mexico. The success of her business is now allowing Angell to help others. Proceeds from the sale of her latest dinnerware design, the Madison Collection, will go toward funding pediatric cancer research.

Visit the Cru International website to learn more.

Did you know?10 ACU faculty have been named Mobile Learning Fellows for 2010-11, researching the effects of mobile devices in disciplines from chemistry to business to art. Learn more