I've been an avid earring lover and maker since my ears were first pierced at 12 years old. They always made me feel more confident and more myself.
In my early 20s, I was working at a gift shop downtown and my manager would always compliment my earrings. She offered to sell them, but I quickly brushed it off--not believing in the value of my work.
It wasn't until I started at Friendship Heart Gallery with artists with intellectual disabilities that I was inspired to pursue She Was Blue. I saw how they were unabashedly themselves and showed up every day to create and had the courage to put their work out there for sale. So the question I then pondered was..."Why not me?" And then I just started making, took my manager up on the offer and the rest was history.
I wanted to start because I saw how powerful being yourself and pursuing your passions (as corny as it sounds), can truly put so much light in the world. This business was the birth of me being me, and wanting to empower others to drink that kool aid, too.
The biggest obstacle I have faced as a business owner is myself. That sounds wild, but limiting self beliefs will stop you from acting on what you want and receiving what you want. It's been a constant peeling back and unfolding for me and of me. Some of the beliefs I held onto were ones that were unintentionally absorbed in my childhood from the media and other adults: "Keep yourself small. Don't rock the boat, They won't like you if you're successful., etc."
This is so TOUGH. There are so many women from Dolly Parton to Stacey Abrams to Brianna Wiest, but I think it would have to be my mom. She passed away when I was 15, but her memory echoes in my life and I can't help but smile when thinking about her.
She was just a corny, Carpenters-loving, intelligent and caring person. She fought for what was right and forged the path to be her own person despite a lot of personal challenges. She taught me what it meant to be a strong woman and she flipped traditional household roles on their head. My mom was a badass 90s working girl who killed it at her career and was able to be there for her family.
There are so many women out there doing huge things that inspire me, but any and every woman who has decided to step into her power and live in her truth inspires me.
Find out what you love to do. What makes you want to spring out of bed in the morning? What puts you in your Zone of Genius? If you see someone doing something, you'd like to do, ask: "Why not me?" It will change your life.
There are so many creative and amazing ways to make money that aren't going to the 4-year university and hunkering down in the 9-5. BUT, if you want to go to the university or work a 9-5, that's cool, too! There's no one universal formula for how to live a good life. Just make sure you never lose your joy. You can have it all.
Growing up with parents who were both entrepreneur, my father who was an engineer with his own printing company and my mother who was a designer with her own clothing store, owning a business has always been a no brainer to me. Growing up with a mom who was a designer sewing was one of the skills I picked up from her. Spring 2019 I finally had time to focus on something else other than my career in the corporate world. After months on trying to figure out what niche I could make a business out of I decided to go back to my roots of sewing! It started with making a few scrunchies, selling them on Facebook market place and Etsy. Before I knew it I decided to add luxury silk scarfs to my accessory line, and that how Sunshine Frankie was created. The addition of Silk scarfs is what turned my business to what it is today. All our prints are original, with fun colors for the bold and a few neutral colors for the reserved. Most silk scarfs have a typical look were as Sunshine Frankie strays from that norm which I believe makes us very unique.
The biggest challenged I have faced so far is balancing my work life with my entrepreneurial life. I haven’t taken the leap of faith to quit my day job just yet, so finding time for my business after working 8-5 M-F, being a fiancé, taking care of my household becomes a task for me. Luckily I haven’t faced any challenges with my business due to me being a woman. Now with that being said I am a woman working in a male dominated environment, I work as a purchaser for a very large company and it has been one heck of a ride gaining respect from my male counterparts.
My older sister Temi Alabi inspires me the most. My sister is a mom of two and is the most driven individual I know. I may be biased however there is nothing she can’t do especially when challenged. Her work ethic, and how business driven she is I can only hope to be half the woman she is someday. My sister owns multiple businesses and she is able to balance her business life with being a mother of two toddlers while being a great wife, sister, daughter, and friend.
Be yourself, have confidence in who you are, and be more than willing to put in the work to create your own reputation of being a hardworking, honorable BUSINESSPERSON.