BASED IN: NEW YORK
I am a designer and fashion stylist for my Brand Anara Original. I create and design for everyday women and artists – helping them feel and look amazing. I also am the creative mind behind Blondie Jones life and style blog where we discuss and array of topics and give up and coming businesses etc. a chance for additional exposure. In my 10 plus years in this industry I am a newly published author of book, The Playbook to Essential Style. I offer how to advice on how to create a stunning wardrobe by starting with simple essential pieces. I love to use my platforms to give back and help social causes – all and all I am an up and coming mogul and women entrepreneur.
How did past experiences help to get you where you are today?
Over the years, I have worked for several mainstream companies as well as smaller businesses. I don’t think I knew all those years ago that every experience has led me to this very moment. Learning to merchandise, creating social media plans, teaching, customer service, all these things and so much more directly tie into what I have created, and what I am creating. Learning is the best experience. From H&M to Feet like fine Brass, I learned the way a thriving business is ran, the dedication it takes to succeed, and the daily planning you must execute to make it happen. But I also learned there are days you just don’t want to and sometimes you want to stop. What I love most is I have experienced the good and bad and every experience has helped me become more determined, more diligent, and more creative.
What are some ways of motivating yourself in times of doubt? Do you feel like giving up? Why do you keep going?
Pray. I will pray anytime anywhere. I talk to God all day every day! He is my source of peace and strength. This is the first thing I do to keep calm and push forward. BUT there are a few others as well . I surrounding myself around positive like mind people. This is so important I believe surrounding yourself with positive energy and people keeps you inspired and motivated for greatness. Sitting quietly or working quietly blocking out the noise helps me to develop my thoughts clearly. There many times I want to give up and have wanted to give up, but I can’t. I am great, bound for greatness and that is what I want, I refuse to become a statistic, I want to inspire, and what did Bey say, “I am going to keep running because a Winner doesn’t quit on themselves”? I have an obligation to myself and my family and those before me to keep pushing, if I fall I get up and re-evaluate.
What part of your personality helped you most on your entrepreneurial journey?
I have a very strong personality; I believe they call it type A. Either way, I am a go-getter-I can take on the world type of personality. I believe it has carried me through in such a difficult industry, fashion can be rough. You need tough skin, sometimes the obstacles sting, but I put a bandage on and keep getting up. We live in a world where being in a small business is hard and even harder when you are a woman at times , so I know being a go getter, a fighter is the reason I excel.
What does success mean? What does it mean to be successful? Can it ever be fully achieved or does it come and go?
Success for me doesn’t equal a dollar sign. I truly believe I have been successful for years because I am able to wake up daily and do what I love to do. Success begins with happiness for me; I feel if you’re happy then you’re winning! There are thousands of people out here with tons of money, but not happy. When I am happy surrounded with family, friends, and all things fashion I have achieved an ultimate success, happiness. Depending the way a person measures success, I say, it can be fully achieved. I strive for my success every day!
Why do you think women owned businesses are a very small percentage of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What do you think we can do to change this?
What I have observed are a few things, lack of proper business knowledge such as correct legal information, proper business plan, basic business 101, and Ideas vs a PLAN. A lot of times you can become so excited about an idea you jump head first without any of the things you need which hurts the business. It can also put you in debt. Hosting trainings geared towards specific topics, utilizing local resources like a women’s business center, helping one another I believe could begin to raise the percentage and give the businesses more opportunity