I’m starting a new series in 2012 where I feature interviews with inspiring women entrepreneurs to learn more about the “why” behind the woman and her business. I want this series to be encouraging for the readers to show you what is possible if you have a dream and put your mind to it!
One of the quickest and easiest ways to build wealth is to become a business owner. Becoming a business owner means different things for different women. Your business could be small or large, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is you are taking action and working towards a dream you have created. Your business may be part time or full time, it could serve as your “plan b” if you get laid off or fired. Either way there are women every day starting businesses and working towards their dreams. I want to feature these women as part of my monthly Women Entrepreneurs series. This is not a paid series of posts and I don’t receive any compensation for this or anything like that. The goal of this series is motivation! I want you to think outside of the box and dare to make what you’ve been dreaming about become a reality, like the women I’ll feature in this series. Enjoy!
The first interview for this series is with Valerie Lewis, owner of Natural Skin Solutions in St. Louis, MO.
Name: Valerie Lewis
Business: Natural Skin Solutions
1. Tell me about yourself and your company Natural Skin Solutions.
Natural Skin Solutions has been in existence since Nov. 20, 1998. It is an intimate skin studio specializing in providing all natural skin solutions for common skin problems. I’ve been a state licensed esthetician for 14 years.
2. How did you get started with your business? What is your background and what made you choose to become an entrepreneur?
Since I was 6 years old, I knew I wanted to work for myself. However, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I spent 16 years in the legal field and I would always sell skin care products and do makeup on the side. I must have sold every kind of skin care product there is from BeautiControl, MaryKay, Artistry, Prescriptives, along with countless other brands.
Skin care and makeup was always something I was interested in and did for enjoyment. So when I decided to go into business for myself, I followed the age old advice. “Do something that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” What a great job, I thought. Helping women look their best, while listening to jazz music.
3. Why did you create your own product line? What makes your products different from other products on the market today?
I started my own skin care line, Natural Skin Junkie, about 4 years ago. I always loved working with botanicals, but I wanted more. So I reasoned, why not put all of the best ingredients that i’ve worked with over time and add a few more all natural, organic ingredients and try to make it as pure as possible.
My products are different, not because they are all natural, organic, skin care products, but they were designed to deliver targeted results. Each step in your skin care regimen is designed to deliver a specific result. Combined they deliver a total result. Also you can see visible results within 3 days of using them. They are very competively priced. What a good idea to make great skin care affordable.
4. What are some challenges you faced along the way as you started your business?
The usual ones. Managing time with my daughter and the demands of a new business. Another challenge would be the financial demands. Every business has its fast and slow times, but you still have financial demands.
5. What keeps you motivated and focused on your business through the hard times?
I absolutely love what I do, and I can’t see myself doing anything else. Also, I must have quit in my mind at least 100 times throughout the last 13 years. But then a client will call or email me and tell me how much I’ve helped them and they wouldn’t know what they would’ve done…Then I’m reminded of my “calling” and this is what I set out to do when I started my business and it keeps me going !
I also love the creative side of what I do and I need an outlet for that creativity.
6. What one piece of advice would you offer to other women who are thinking about starting their own business?
Go for it ! But make sure it is well thought out. Investing time preparing your business plan is essential; don’t believe just because you have a good idea and start your business, people will just magically find out about it and agree. Do your homework and most of all, don’t give up and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
I love what Valerie says about quitting in her mind 100 times! How many times have you done that while attempting to make your dreams come true? I have probably quit this website at least 1,000 times in my mind!! After my site was hacked and things were really going down hill I was certain I just couldn’t make it work. But then I would always go back to my “why” – why am I doing this? Why do I put myself through this? My reason is simple, it has and always will be to educate and help single women get out of debt and build wealth. I know there are so many women out there that I can help and after taking a step back I would realize I just wasn’t done yet!
I hope you enjoyed the first interview in this series! I look forward to hearing your feedback and comments and any questions you would like asked.
Do you know an inspiring women entrepreneur that would be a great feature for this series? Send me an email and let me know, I’d love to feature her!