So this is how the S.T.R.E.S.S. started……On my first trip to Los Angeles, CA in June of 2018, my daughter Aysia, who resides in the LA area, came up with the brilliant idea to start an online boutique. Being the "down for whatever" mother that I tend to be (especially when it comes to making money) I said, "sure, let’s do it." With that small statement, we began a mother/daughter journey that on February 1, 2019 resulting in the grand opening of CamMorgan Boutique. Now, two months in our entrepreneurial venture I would like to share the “stress” that we've learned/experienced thus far that may help others stay focused and improve their journey to effective self-employment.
With that said, here’s the list:
Support – This has been our hardest lesson so far! Not everyone will support, believe, or care about you and your new business and it’s OKAY! Your job is not to make them a believer, your job is to believe in yourself and take those that do support you and find value in their positive nature. Surround yourself with positivity and remove anything toxic from your life. Understand the difference between supporters and those that enjoy watching the downfall of others. Know that support comes in all forms, not just monetary always; remember to stay humble, focused, and appreciative for what you have, don’t focus on what you don’t. Learn the difference between creative criticism and toxic opinions because the opinions of toxic people (which there is an abundance of on the internet) can lead you to doubting yourself in all ways. Support yourself and surround yourself only with people that reciprocate positivity and goal achievement.
Tenacity - The first two months have been an exciting rush of stress and anxiety! You will have doubts, sadness, anger, and fear but the key to making it is endurance. As an entrepreneur the ability to power through difficult times is pivotal to your success. We have learned the true value of patience because at times the goal may seem out of reach, but with tenacity you will gain the strength to continue and push forward.
Redesign - Flexibility is key! You need the ability to understand that the initial start of your business is a learning process, your plans should be fluid in nature because what you thought was going to work might not be the case. Within the first two months we’ve changed our web design and products offered by our boutique because we learned that what we thought was functional just wasn’t what was best. Never become stuck in “your way” of thinking, keep an open mind.
Educate - A quote by motivational speaker Ernie J Zelinski states that we should ‘Be a learner first, master second, and a student always”. This is the key to entrepreneurship. Constantly research your industry and stay current on all market analysis before your business along with consumer trends. Understanding business and your stakeholders (customers, vendors etc.) is pivotal to the success of your business.
Social Media - Is a necessary evil when it comes to marketing your new business. When two introverts such as my daughter and I decided to go into a business that involved constant social media use, we were not prepared for the extreme need that we felt to crawl in a corner and not be seen or heard! Although, we had to acknowledge that as an entrepreneur you are now promoting yourself as well as your product to the public, so slowly we are attempting to become social butterflies! Advertising is expensive, even on Facebook and Instagram but it’s a worthwhile investment and often it’s the best route to spreading the word about an online business. Currently the internet is home of countless business ventures, and that’s where social media comes into play as your number one way of gaining acknowledgement for your business. So always remember to promote yourself, your business, and in our case know that it’s okay to be an extrovert sometimes.
Suppliers – Finally, not all vendors are created equally! Get to know your suppliers, your products, and your customer’s needs. The world of fashion is one big “knockoff” industry. Every designer is making items that look similar to another design. In the world of online boutiques we are often compared to international lower priced companies that create fashions but as boutique owners we understand that our products have been handpicked and quality is the main difference. Although, what we learned most is that it’s hard to showcase quality online, this is where social media comes in and also the most important lesson is always support yourself by wearing/using your own products! You are your first line of marketing at all time.
Well, now that you all know that the struggle is real! I’ll be back soon with another update and tips on starting your own online boutique. Wish us luck!