WOMEN INSPIRED "WE CAN DO IT ALL"
With women entrepreneurs on the rise, inquiring minds want to know how women can do it all. Millions of women are starting and running multiple businesses, all while building families, becoming influencers, furthering their education or even working a profession. What can these women entrepreneurs teach us about how they manage without giving up? How can their "Made It Over the Hump" stories inspire other women entrepreneurs? This column features women entrepreneurs tackling the challenges of growing a business while maintaining a healthy and stable lifestyle.
SIERRA VEAL, owner of Black Wick and Company; has always had a passion for making candles. After doing research on the harsh toxins in paraffin candles that were regularly sold, Sierra decided to create a product that was safe and healthy. After many trial and errors, Sierra crafted her first candle and from there her mind started running in overdrive. “If I can make candles that will change my mindset and life, what else could I create?” That thought process birthed “Endless Mimosas”, the original Whipped Mango Body Butter. After suffering with eczema and dry skin for so long with no aid stemming from lotions and creams, Sierra created a product that rectified skin issues using all natural products. Realizing the value in her products, Sierra decided to share her masterpiece with the world. In January 2020, Sierra turned what started as a hobby into a lucrative business.
Launching Black Wick and Company opened her eyes to the fact that people suffered from the same ailments or were interested in creating a certain ambiance in their homes like herself. Driven by her passion to create new products that simply put a smile on her customers face, Sierra’s main goal remained. Sierra wants to inspire others to follow their dreams and never let negativity detour them from their passion.
In this exclusive interview Sierra Veal, she shares what inspired her to start her business, what obstacles she has overcome and more.
Who is the most influential person to you?
The most influential person to me is my grandmother, Sandra Veal. She never gave up, no matter how many adversities she faced and was a very successful yet caring and loving woman. She embodied peace and that is my goal for mental health.
What inspired you to start your business?
I’m tired of being limited to income with a 9-5. I feel like my potential is being capped off and it’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Plus I wanted to share my creations with the world.
How does where you come from influence your business?
Detroit is my heart. I moved to Texas when I was 18 until 25 and while I learned a lot from there, Detroit’s “Hustle Hard” mentality will forever be embedded in me.
What steps did you take to get your business started?
First, I had to mentally prepare myself. I’ve always had a businesswoman mindset but it’s different when you actually lace those shoes up for your own business and make that run. I wrote out my plans for my company in 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, and 5 years increments. Then I made sure I completed the legalities; LLC paperwork and EIN number. From there, maintaining inventory and brand representation was my focus.
What obstacles did you face before launching your business?
People not believing in me and pushing negative thoughts on me. While most were open and positive, I had close people that were pushing the notion that being a business owner wasn’t what I wanted. So I had to cut those ties in order to keep my mental peace.
What has been the most effective way of promoting Black Wick and Company?
Most people would think social media but it’s been word of mouth. It’s the oldest form of advertisement and its more trust worthy. Nowadays, you can’t trust if something is real or fake on social media. It’s like an outlet for people to live a different life but also for businesses to buy reviews. Word of mouth has been my most reliable source for return customers.
What problems did you face after launching your business and how did you overcome them?
Time management. In addition to Black Wick and Company, I work 2 jobs and I’m a mother. I was overworking myself. Shipping orders out as soon as they came in, no matter what the time, wasn’t getting me any sleep. I started to develop dark circles around my eyes and had no energy; so I had to implement a shipping policy and allow myself to rest.
With there being so much uncertainty associated with our economy, how is Black Wick and Company maintaining its relevance?
Research. Research. Research. I research the trends and take into account my reviews. I take suggestions and I’m forever announcing something new. However, I still stay true to the vision I have for my company. I don’t want to fully imitate another company. I want to provide quality to my customers.
What are your long term goals for Black Wick and Company?
I eventually want a storefront but I’m in no rush right now. As of now, I just want to establish long term, loyal customers who can appreciate growth.
What are some daily habits that set you up for success every day?
Setting small goals. I make a to-do list for the following day every night and make sure I do at least 1 thing on that list. It could be as small as putting labels on new product or posting on my Instagram page but any step forward is a step in the right direction.
What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
Don’t rush. Make sure you’re prepared mentally and don’t let others influence your time frame. You’ll know when you’re ready because you’ll feel it in your heart.
Check out Black Wick and Company at www.blackwickandcompany.com
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