Welcome to Part 2 🙂 if you missed Part 1 of My Business Beginnings, be sure to check it out!
Lets Fast forward to a little to adulthood, married with children, working in the corporate hotel industry, while also working behind the scenes of a couple of our family businesses. My mother unfortunately passed away from cancer at 47 years old and I (only 22 yo) immediately had to take over managing and operating her transportation company contract (temporarily) and 2 private driving academies.
To add a little to this back story… I gave birth to my second daughter 2 days before my mom passed. It was a tough time for sure. Working in the hotel industry, having two littles under 2, training for my driving cert., then teaching, This has a ton of backstory to it but I’ll spare all the details for now… I successfully ran that company to a 6 figure business for nearly 5 years and really enjoyed teaching over 600 students in my expert driving career. Driving is a family passion of sorts till this day!
While operating that business and being pregnant with my 3rd child I decided to also build a brand new business, which was a maternity clothing boutique. I’ve always had retail and service industry type businesses in my life with our family business Partyland of Hawaii and Mid Pacific Sanitary. It was THE only place to get your party supplies and decorations and before Costco made its presence, it’s where everyone bought paper supply products for their companies and events.
Business lesson I was taught from my mom… find a need or problem in the market and create a solution.
*Beach with my babies – 2013
This small town desperately needed some quality options (I knew I wasn’t the only one tired of buying oversized clothes from Walmart for my pregnant body). I opened the doors to that business 3 months after giving birth and in the month before opening (yes I was crazy…) with the help of my most amazing aunty ever, demoed and fully built out my retail store, set up my systems, received inventory and opened the doors.
I only recently reflected back on this memory and wondered WHERE IN THE WORLD DID I GET ALL THAT ENERGY FROM??? I had a 5 & 3 year old daughters and a newborn son I was breastfeeding, with a then husband that worked a job overnight (basically I did everything). I may also add I NEVER had my kids in childcare and they always came with me EVERYWHERE. My customers as my witness!
After building my Maternity store from 0 to six figures in the first year, in year 2-3 I had a drastic decline with the economy downhill plummet, as well as major infrastructure change to access the area I was located in, that negatively affected the traffic to my business as well as many others at the time. I decided then to close up shop and try things out with selling my inventory online. At the time (2006) I opened that business was when I began exploring online, started in myspace, facebook, then twitter and eventually instagram. It was a whole new world of possibilities and my creative brain started going…
*Honoring Mama (Grandma) Mothers Day 2013
*Honoring Mom Mothers Day 2013
I knew at the time that even though it was a bit heartbreaking for me to close a business I built literally from scratch (including ALL the legal documentation to form an S Corporation…ugh), it was what I had to do at the time as our household income took a major pay cut. Being me, I improvised as best I could and took my products online utilizing really lame but DIY platforms to do so… I did my business online and 1 on 1 with my customers by doing house calls and special orders for about a year.
In 2010 I was so fascinated and saw the power of what the internet could soon be (which many people were still weary about) that I decided to attend an online University to learn Web Development and did freelance jobs on the side and nannied my dear friends baby boy. After attending for 3 years, went through a divorce, decided to drop out and went at it on my own. Did jobs on the side, contract work for people and then went into consulting other businesses with merchandising in store and getting them started online. Managed small business SM profiles, managed the backend maintenance of websites and marketing for retail stores.
That experience had some big ups and downs for me as I learned that some business owners just didn’t understand the time and effort it took into managing those parts of their business! Some so cheap, that they didn’t want to pay $100 a month for their facebook page to fully be managed and they didn’t have to lift one finger to do it… UGH! In retrospect, I don’t blame them though, because they didn’t know what they didn’t know. And I obviously didn’t do a good job at relaying the intricacies it took to do what I did. Lesson learned I guess.
Moving from little side jobs, began my agency with my partner and bf, we did websites, sales funnels and digital marketing. We worked with everyone from small businesses to large multi million dollar corporations. That again was a learning experience as well!
After all that huge life change in 2013 my father was diagnosed with nearly stage 4 colon cancer and another new journey began, to get him healthy and well again… Through it all I saw my fathers dedication to continue working, and worked side by side with me to get his health back in order. He did very well and had been in remission and off of chemo for months and decided to no longer go back to chemo ever again. We dealt with BS doctors that insisted on him taking a blood thinning prescription and he reluctantly complied. My father passed in 2015 and it was one of the hardest moments of my life, especially since he was the last immediate family I had (other than my children).
At that time I took a step away from client work to focus in on me, my self development, my health, my wellbeing and my family. Again I had a lot to grow from and learn… Through heartache and really tough times that I choose not to give too much light to. I choose on the daily to keep my focus on the beauty of life and the simple fact I am alive, have lessons to learn, share and experience with others. I am so grateful for my life and excited for all that is in store!
*Me and Daddy July 2015
If this content is something that interests you, I’d love to hear your thoughts! As I take you on this journey with me, my hope is to bring you a ton of value with my past experiences and my current to future endeavors…
I’d love to here from you in the comments… Say hello, share your mana’o (thoughts, ideas, wisdom, etc.) 🙂
Vibe High & Stay Awesome!