ABOUT THE PRODUCT: The 125 Collection- affirmation candles are made with love to inspire you, empower you and make your laugh. They are 100% natural and made with the highest quality oils.
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MEET THE FOUNDER:
I. O. Beauty Market is an inclusive and diverse retailer, curating functional, toxicant-free beauty, wellness and household products to support the body inside and out. As a result, consumers are educated, and empowered to make more informed and healthful purchasing decisions.
What is something you found MAIA to be useful for? What’s a good story you can tell the readers about an amazing person you met through it or a business you found etc.? Why do you think it’s important a platform like this exist? How do you support women-conscious consumerism and what good do you envision from it?
I love that the MAIA community is so very diverse and inclusive, something I’m so very passionate about. It’s a representation of the world we live in. The space is also a wonderful for connecting women entrepreneurs. You know the saying, “find your tribe and love them hard.” This is a great place to start.
Through the features, I’ve come across so many amazing entrepreneurs, each with a unique and brilliant business. One example being,
I believe in equality, equity, diversity and inclusivity. Thus, I wholeheartedly support women-conscious consumerism in a number of ways. 1. Though we’re not gender specific, 100% of the brands we partner with at I. O. Beauty Market are women own. That’s not to say we won’t bring other genders on board. We certainly will if the right fit comes along. 2. 100% of our employees are women, and again, that can change. But for now, that’s just the way it is. I’m also a part of several women’s organization. 3. We also love connecting with women via social media and supporting them through likes, shares, comments, conversations, etc. There are many more ways we support women-conscious consumerism, but these are just a few.
I’ve come across some absolutely brilliant businesses through MAIA. One such example is Angela Richardson, founder of PUR Home. Angela makes toxicant-free personal care and laundry care products that are safe for the body inside and out. I can attest to their efficacy because I use them in my home and sell them in-store and online. Yes, Angela is a vendor.
There is no going back to traditional brands for me. I mean the smell of lemongrass when I’m washing my dishes or cleaning my bathroom is heavenly. It’s a far cry from the diffusing, toxic fumes that always caused me to run out of the bathroom with my face buried in my shirt when I used conventional cleaning brands.
What are your favorite business tools and/or resources and why?
I absolutely love QuickBooks. It gets all the financial jobs done. From payroll, to paying taxes. Find link here: squareup.com
For selling, hands down, Square. It’s so streamlined. I can access what’s going on from my iPhone, Ipad, computer, anywhere in the world. It even does timesheets and payroll (which I’m not using yet). Find link here: quickbooks.intuit.com
TSheets, which is a program that connects Square to QuickBooks. All time-sheets are automatically captured from square, sent to Tsheets and Tsheets syncs them to Quickbooks. Find the link here: tsheets.com
What is a good article or book you have read recently? Why did you like it so much? What’s one important lesson you learned? (share a link if it’s an article)
I recently re-read Do The Work by Steven Pressfield. I absolutely love this book because it’s small, easy to read and but packs a powerful punch. Pressfield equates resistance to the devil, which I entirely agree with.
He basically focuses on what resistance is, how to overcome it and get out of your own way. Resistance shows up in so many different ways, and as an entrepreneur it’s important to identify them for what it is so that you can continue on your business journey. It’s definitely a must read for any new entrepreneur. Link Here: amzn.to/2Fjl4Q3
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for female founders? How can we overcome it?
I’d have to say, acquiring financing and funding, and for black women it’s even more daunting, In order to bring some sense of equity to the space, I think women have to continually show up, bringing their brilliant projects and ideas, and being bold and vocal about them.
I also think more females need to be in leadership roles within the funding space. A snippet of an article I read in Inc.com sums it up quite nicely, “According to a study led by Allison Wood Brooks of Harvard Business School, men and women are more likely to be influenced by a business pitch if it is delivered by a man – even if the exact same words are spoken by a woman.” How insane is that?
Hence the reason we need more women on board.
And last but certainly not least, women need to continually and genuinely support each other and uplift each other on their respective journeys. The word sisterhood should not be used in vain. It takes a village to make and sustain change.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
I left my 9-5, paying job. When my regular salary stopped coming in, I had to get creative very quickly to earn a living. I also tapped into my retirement and invested tons of money for teachers, healers, coaches, and experts to pour into me, and though it was a sacrifice, it was so well worth it. Now, my cup runneth over and I’m pouring into others.
Was it difficult get capital/investors? Has anyone underestimated you as a female entrepreneur? If yes, how did you handle it?
We are currently self-funded or as some would call it bootstrapped. We will be looking to acquire some form of funding and a possible partnership next year. In preparation, we’ve hired an experienced investor coach to teach us the ins and outs of the funding raising process.
What do you think about company culture? What are some of your tips on being a good leader?
I think company culture is one of the most important aspects of a company’s success. So fostering open communication, interaction and teamwork are wonderful ways to support a strong company culture.