This week we have the honor of hearing from three groundbreaking entrepreneurs - Ruthie, Antuana and Danette - who are each doing inspiring work across the Fashion Design, Personal Care & Professional Training/Coaching industries, respectively.
Read on to learn more about their unique experiences!
Ruthie Harris, Owner & Operator at Creative Tangent Designs LLC | New York, New York
Ruthie, when did you realize that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Ruthie: It happened for me in elementary school. But I only took it seriously after 2 decades in the fashion industry.
Antuana Winston, Owner at FeeChi Body | Houston, Texas
How about you, Antuana?
Antuana: I knew for sure when I was in my early 20s. I grew up exposed to entrepreneurship at an early age. My father was an entrepreneur, he did direct sales and had a brick-in-mortar store. He would always try to push me toward being my own boss but I was not ready at the time.
Danette Buie, Founder & CEO at Thrive Limitlessly | Sacramento, California
And you, Danette?
Danette: I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur after I graduated from college. I created many business plans based on a lot of different ideas I had. While working my 9 to 5, I realized just working wasn't good enough for me. Neither was the income. And that was when I decided to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams.
Sometimes, we respond to our entrepreneurial calling immediately and in other instances, it might take us years to finally follow through. It is important to know that either way is completely fine because our journeys cannot all be the same! Those years of waiting can also serve as building blocks for the skills we need to build our own businesses.
Diving deeper into their stories.
Creative Tangent Designs LLC - creating a smooth life for Designers & Companies
"Our mission is to create a smooth life for our Designers & Companies, but also our Co-workers & Suppliers by offering a range of well designed private label, branded and licensed apparel and accessories. We want to take our customers from concept to consumer seamlessly," said Ruthie Harris
Creative Tangent Designs LLC sells the application & design of:
DTF - (Direct to film) •
They also do designer management, collection design & manufacturing of apparel.
What does a typical look like for you as an entrepreneur?
Ruthie: My typical day is filled with lots of activities! Some of the things I'd typically do on any given day include:
Going over emails and checking in with any overseas manufacturers or clients.
Reviewing and updating production schedules and timelines.
Having meetings with the design team to discuss upcoming projects and collection concepts.
Sketching new designs and working on concepts for upcoming collections.
Reviewing fabrics and trims with the team
Having a fitting with a model to review and make adjustments to a sample garment.
Participating in a photo shoot or presentation to showcase new designs to buyers or clients.
Meeting with suppliers to select materials and discuss future orders.
Reviewing sales reports and financials to make strategic business decisions.
Participating in trade shows or attending networking events to connect with other industry professionals and stay up to date on trends and new technologies.
Working on my website, social media and marketing strategy
Meeting with buyers and wholesale clients
What were your greatest fears stepping into entrepreneurship?
Ruthie: My biggest fears were and still are:
Financial Insecurity: Starting a business is expensive, and I worry about how I will pay for the costs of keeping the business running and maintaining my living standards.
Fear of Isolation: Being an entrepreneur I often work independently, which can be isolating sometimes. The crew I have are not full-time employees, so I don't have colleagues or peers to share ideas and experiences with on a regular basis.
What does your support system look like today?
Ruthie: I am a member of a few business groups. Specifically, women groups that share similar goals with me. I also have a strong family and friend group to lean on.
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Your fears are valid, Ruthie. The reality is that the entrepreneurship journey can sometimes feel rather lonely and scary, but surrounding yourself with people who can help you walk through these fears is important and can make all the difference. It's also helpful to find a mentor that you can speak to regularly and who can point you to helpful resources that can better help with overcoming these kinds of fears!
FeeChi Body - offering quality skin and hair care products to customers
"I created my business based on my need to find a solution for my excessively dry skin and eczema. I started researching alternatives to lotions and over-the-counter moisturizers and learned more about shea butter and its benefits and healing properties for skin," said Antuana Winston
FeeChi Body offers quality skin and hair care products to customers that will enhance their self-care routine by making them feel and look their best. The business serves customers who are looking for self-care products to address the most common skin & hair issues such as dry skin, dry scalp, eczema, acne, and more.
They offer body butter, body wash, shampoo, African black soap & more for both men and women.
Can you walk us through a typical day in your life?
Antuana: Firstly, I prepare my mind for the day. I begin with prayer, meditation, and saying my affirmations. After my mind is right, I physically feed myself and then carry out my mom, and wife duties.
After all that is done, I begin working on my business. I check web stats, check & respond to emails, fulfill orders, plan content, and do anything else that needs to be done. If there is a slow period, I am always looking for information or courses for self-development that can help me learn more skills to grow my business.
What does your support system look like?
Antuana: I have not had much of a support system. My family and friends are not business minded and do not have the desire to learn about it. I am currently looking for a mentor or business coach to help me. Right now, I am doing group coaching with business groups and consultants, but I need a more 1 on 1 focus.
What was your greatest fear before stepping into entrepreneurship?
Antuana: My greatest fears were putting myself out there and doing this all on my own. I am still working on facing this fear, but being in business for a little while, people are starting to notice my business. Getting noticed has helped to build my self-confidence and motivate me to keep moving forward. I am also working hard to get over my fears because I know that it is holding me back from getting the outcome I desire. I am at the point where what I want is more important to me than my fears!
"I am at the point where what I want is more important to me than my fears!" - what a beautiful and very powerful conviction, Antuana. Fear only holds us back from greatness and the moment we are able to face it head-on, we achieve things we probably never imagined we could!
Thrive Limitlessly - providing custom solutions for individuals and businesses to build satisfying careers they love and inclusive workspaces, respectively.
"Since launching Thrive Limitlessly in 2015, I’ve helped career changers and culture makers not only survive but thrive in today’s ever-changing world by serving as a thought partner to help turn their ideas into actions," said Danette Buie.
Thrive Limitlessly offers career transition coaching services (e.g. resume review, interview prep, skill identification, LinkedIn audit, etc.), as well as DEI consulting services which equip founders and teams with the strategic direction and expert insights they need to establish and hit their DEI targets. They’ll get answers to their most pressing questions, gain a fresh perspective on their efforts, and walk away with actionable ideas and concepts that their team can run with.
The business’ DEI consulting clients are high-impact and mission-based organizations that are building culture at scale and are often smaller organizations or tech start-ups with less than 1,000 employees. Their coaching clients are high-achieving professionals from non-traditional backgrounds (education, government, and nonprofits) who are ready to make a transition into non-technical roles in tech and/or corporate. Their clients are ready to do the work and are natural problem-solvers, open to change, and have a growth mindset.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Danette: A typical day in my entrepreneurial lifestyle includes meeting with clients and potential clients to review job search materials and/or customized DEI strategy solutions; managing my website, social media, and newsletter content; meeting with vendor or service providers; reviewing my services and creating offerings based on demand or need; keeping CRM up-to-date with client notes, scheduling, and invoicing; managing all the applications and software that my business needs to scale; attending training on any new content; attending networking events; and there's so much more!
Did you have any fears about venturing into entrepreneurship?
Danette: I think one of my greatest fears before stepping into entrepreneurship was the fear of the unknown. I had no idea how to create a business from scratch and I had no one in my immediate family who owned a business. This kept me putting off the start of my actual business for years up until 2021. I met with a young woman free of charge (which is what I typically did) and she asked me after we wrapped up "Was there a reason I didn't have a business established yet?" She mentioned that the advice I gave her was invaluable and that she would have paid me for it. That was just the throat punch I needed to kick things in gear and stop wasting time worrying about the fear. I know I had a gift that needed to be shared with people who were ready to do the work.
What does your support system look like as an entrepreneur?
Danette: My support system includes my partner. We talk about everything related to my business pursuits. He works in Finance, and although sometimes our approach to things might be different, the intentions are what's most important. Having someone that I can always talk to and run my wild crazy ideas by is the ultimate love language.
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We're so glad you had that life-changing encounter, Danette! Sometimes we need a wake-up call to do the things we are most afraid of. The work you are doing at Thrive Limitlessly is inspiring and we know you can only go up from here on out!
One common theme we see in the stories of Ruthie, Antuana and Danette is just how busy they are with so many different things to do on a day-to-day. But the beauty of entrepreneurship is that even in all the chaos, you have the freedom of setting your own schedule and choosing when you work and when you rest which gives you the much-needed flexibility that a typical 9-5 job might not provide. And this is one of the many reasons why the entrepreneurial lifestyle is so beautiful and definitely always worth exploring. We say a big THANK YOU to you, ladies, for sharing your amazing stories with us!
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