TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
I have two businesses that I am currently running. I have a jewellery business called Lilith + McRae where I use semi-precious stones and crystals to make jewellery inspired by cultures around Africa and Goddesses around the world. My other business is called Embodying the Feminine, it is a coaching business where I help women in particular but people, in general, uncover the blockages that keep them from tapping into feminine energy. I utilize Oracle/Tarot card readings in some of the coaching. I also help people create the image (I’m a stylist) that they wish to present to the world based on uncovering who they truly are. My tagline is ‘I see you.’
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
For the jewellery business, I needed a creative outlet when I was teaching in South Korea as before I was in the fashion and beauty industries and spent ten years as a makeup artist before going to Asia to teach. So my mind needed something creative to do. So I started learning how to craft pieces with my hands. It was after I paid homage to my African ancestry that my jewellery business truly took off. As far as the coaching business, I have always wanted to create space for women to heal and I wanted to be a stylist which is why I went to school for Fashion. It was natural to just put the coaching and image consultancy together as I find that I am catching people while helping them craft their image.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
I was a makeup artist for ten years in the fashion industry and a teacher in Asia teaching ESL. Before that, I was surgical technologist for ten years – a skill I learned while serving in the U.S. Navy.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I would say, go back to when you were a kid – if your childhood was relatively stable— what was the one thing you wanted to be before the world told you what you should be? Whatever that is, that is your passion and calling. It may have transformed in many ways but the desire is still there. Once you hone that desire and skill, research the many ways you can convert/connect that experience to a business. I wanted to be in the movies as an actress and I wanted to be a fashion designer. Now I still want to be in the movies but as a costume or jewellery designer. I also loved dressing people and making them feel pretty as well as advising them (yes I did this as a child) so as you see even tho I strayed away from it for a while, once I gave myself permission to choose what I was truly passionate about, I came right back to it. Also, find a mentor in the field you wish to go into. Learn their mistakes so that you do not waste time making them.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:
Time. Time seems to always creep in when it comes to my goals. Time & money, which are the same thing. So I choose to look at them in a way that serves me. Instead of always stating I do not have the time or money, I say, I more than enough time and money until it starts showing up. The other thing I am working on is pre-orders. Getting people to pre-order the jewellery so that I have the seed money to produce. A friend of mine with time on her hands needed a creative outlet and is now helping make my pieces. As far as coaching, it is new. I have only truly been doing it for pay the last month. The first thing I did was announce space for 10 complimentary spots in a few groups I was in and had those people write me reviews. They ended up becoming paying customers. Sometimes doing some complimentary sessions (not free, there is energy in words) helps drum up business. Never under-sell or over-sell yourself.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Was getting an up and coming Hip Hop artist to see his value and worth and what his gift brought to the world. As well as getting some of my jewellery onto Lisa Nichols.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
I am always travelling. I spend time just enjoying my destination and a lot of time searching for gemstones and pendant pieces. I also have a passion for what I do which makes it feel more like a hobby than a job.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
Everything around me. Nature, movies, music, my friends. I am also inspired by travel and cultures and architecture.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
Sometimes I feel as if it chose me. I stumbled across it, but it is who I am at the core. I cannot see myself doing anything else. Now my focus is elevating. Making sure I am not just a small house name and brand but an internationally known and successful brand.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
Always be ready. Research the places I need to be and be open to any and every opportunity. Definitely, follow my intuition. It always makes sure I am in the right place at the right time.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Yes, I did. At the time no because I was winging it. Now I have put together something more extensive that I follow and will soon be revamping as my vision grows. Plans help you to know if you are on track and how much you have accomplished.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
No, not that I know of. They say there are a lot of grants out there for us but I have yet to see one that works for what I do.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Legal Zoom and Social Media. Legal Zoom keeps me in the know legally and social media helps me track my impact.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Follow your passion and create the art you love and not what you think others would like. In creating art for yourself, your tribe will come to you.