Tell us a little bit about how you grew up and how that impacted what you are doing today?
I have always been an over-achiever. I grew up on the beautiful island of Barbados and while doing well academically I also travelled the world competing for my country in track and field. I left Barbados at the tender age of 16 to start college at Rice University in Houston, TX. Starting college that early and in a new country was quite an adjustment. But by the age of 20 I had graduated from college with 3 degrees. Being able to complete a triple major while becoming and 5 time WAC High Point Winner and NCAA division I All American in track and field was no small feat and I mastered a lot of skills that have served me well in business and in life: time management, organization, perseverance, dedication, consistency and simple hard work.
Do you have children?
In 2011, my twincesses were born at 25 weeks, weighing one pound each! I started a blog at that time to keep my family in Barbados up to date on their health and progress as we navigated almost 4 months in the nicu and life at home with micro preemies. That’s when my love for blogging began, after their health improved and became stable I started my own blog (The Bajan Texan) about all the things I loved, motherhood, decorating, crafting and managing my home.
How do you overcome the challenges facing female entrepreneurs?
My biggest challenge is time! There just never seems to be enough of it when you also have a family that you want to take care of and spend time with. Simple things like bulk cooking for the entire week on Sundays allows me to not have to spend time during the week cooking dinner and that time can be spent with my husband and my twincesses before they go to bed. Its the little things you do when you do have time that make life easier when you don’t have the time.
Why did you decide to start Homemade Luxe? What needs were you looking to fill?
So now I am working full time, I’m a wife, a mum of twins, in a demanding career, and a blogger, youtuber on the side. There is only one thing that keeps my sanity: Mommy Alone Time! As an extremely busy girl, i SCHEDULE alone time to reduce the stress and retain some balance in my life. My husband and kids know that on Friday nights they are on their own! Which means no one is allowed to say ‘mommy’, the hubster orders pizza or figures out how to eat on his own. Meanwhile mommy grabs a glass of wine, some craft supplies and some pinterest inspiration and I do what my heart enjoys. Inspired by this much needed time to decompress from a busy week and get some joy back, I decided that all women should have this break from the business of life and I started Home Made Luxe a DIY Home Decor subscription box.
Every month, from my home in Houston, I send ladies around the country gorgeous, pinterest-inspired home decor projects. The ladies enjoy making the crafts and enjoying some down time. We even have subscribers who host monthly girl’s craft nights, cause girl time is just as important as alone time! The best part is that ladies get to walk around their homes and see their beautiful, custom pieces and think about the next mommy alone time moment.
Home Made Luxe fills a need that most women know innately that they need but they think it’s selfish to do. Self-care is something that is so overlooked by women because we are always taking care of others. But you can’t take care of others unless you first take care of yourself. Every once in awhile you need to hit the reset button.
How do you prioritize all the elements in your life?
My planner! The only way things will get done is if they are in my planner. The front pages of my planner are for writing things down as they come to my mind. Also, because I also work fulltime while running my business it’s important for me to use pockets of the time I do have very efficiently. At the beginning of every year i write down all my goals for the year, what are the things i want to make a priority and how i will implement that into my schedule.
For example this year i wanted to prioritize date nights with the hubby, family time, working out, and prayer. How does that look in my schedule? It means in my planner I put every 3rd saturday of every month is date night, every other saturday we do a fun activity as a family, I workout during my lunch break at work, I make prayer and gratitude a part of my morning routine. It’s important to write these things down as an actual plan. I would be nowhere without my planner. (here is a video on how i use my happy planner to he happier and more efficient: http://bajantexan.com/2016/04/happy-planner-giveaway.html)
In terms of building my business i know that I have to batch process work since I work on my business after my twincesses have gone to bed and on the weekends. For example my lunchtime at work is reserved for two things only either working out or editing videos. I know going to lunch with workmates isn’t helping me towards my goals so it’s not something I can regularly do. At night I will work on one thing for example editing photos for 1 hour once my timer goes off I take a break and I start working on something else for an hour. I find batching work like that allows me to be very strategic on the best use of my time.
What are some of your top marketing tools? How are you most effective reaching new potential clients?
Social Media, influencer and email marketing. Social media can be overwhelming I find it’s easiest to pick 2 or 3 that you know work for your target demographic and your product or business and concentrate on those. Instagram has been great for my business as has pinterest. But the most effective way of getting new business for me has been working with my blogger and youtuber friends. There is something about getting a recommendation from an actual person that you trust that really makes all the difference. Email marketing is also very important, it is important to have well thought landing pages and then email sequences for once you get new potential clients on your email list.
What recommendations do you have for entrepreneurs starting new businesses today?
I would say know your why! There will be many highs and lows in business but if you remember why you started your business in the first place it makes it all worth it.
Be very strategic, have a plan with what your goals are both long term and short term.
Just get started! Things will never be perfect, just get started because you will learn as you get in there and get dirty!
And lastly find a mentor, someone you can ask questions. You would be surprised how many people respond if you just reach out. Joining or even starting your own a mastermind group of like minded business owners would be great as well. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely endeavor, so just having someone to share ideas or bounce ideas off off is very helpful. Even if it is someone to just vent too who understands what you are going through.
How can readers get in touch with you if they want to subscribe to your awesome projects?
Readers can check out my craft subscription box at www.HomeMadeLuxe.com or my blog at www.bajantexan.com and can email me at email@example.com