Tuesday, May 24, 2011

PLPT GEMS: Meet Mimi Scarlett

 PLPT GEMS Presents
Mimi Scarlett
Business Owner. Blogger. SAHM.

Tell us about your background and how you came to be a stay-at-home-mom and entrepreneur?

I graduated from college in 2002 and jumped right into my corporate career. A few years into working, despite my intentions to climb the "corporate ladder", deep inside I knew I would never make it. I pushed my entrepreneurial feelings aside and pressed on. After about 7 years of working I realized I was miserable and it was time to make a change.

I used to sit at my desk and dream of businesses to start; in 2006 I had the vision for Divinitee. During that time I started to notice a surge in shirts conveying all types of messages, but none of them positive. I started doing some research and found that the market at the time was very limited in its selection of apparel for the spiritually sophisticated woman. With some intricate planning and major support from my husband I left my job in 2009 to pursue my dreams full time.

Please share with us the first five steps you took when you decided to start your own business.

Getting started required a ton of research. I looked at other brands, and noted what I liked and disliked about their products and strategies. I then used my research to create a business plan. Although I have since changed my business plan numerous times, the structure remains the same. Some people say it’s not necessary, but I beg to differ. The logistics may change but it always serves as a starting point when I get off track. Next, I started the process of working out the production process. Making decisions regarding the type of shirt, printing processes etc. My goal was to find the best quality for the lowest price...of course! Marketing decisions came next. How would I get the word out? I looked at print vs. strictly internet based, vendor opportunities and sponsorships. Finally I had to get over my fears, and that is still a constant hurdle. After completing the first five steps I ran into a wall of self doubt, that unfortunately still erects itself in my way from time to time. I haven't completely knocked it down but I now know to just climb over it!

What are the biggest challenges to owning your own business while being a full-time mom?

Time management has to be the biggest challenge when it comes to being a full time mother and business owner. My children are 5 and 1. My first priority is being a mom, so I have a set schedule that often just looks good on paper but it works...some of the time.

How would you describe a typical day for you? What is your favorite part of what you do?

In the mornings while my son is at school, I will attack emails and other business tasks that can only be handled during business hours. After I pick my son up from school there is a window from 2:30 to 8:00 where I only handle business via my cell phone. All other tasks are completed once they are asleep. It is not uncommon for me to be up until the wee hours of the morning, and up and back at it at 7a. As stressful as it can be at times, my favorite part of what I do is being able to not only be accessible to my family but to also pursue my dreams and make my own schedule.

How do you stay motivated and overcome doubt, fear and negative thinking?

Motivation is not always at a high for me. When I feel it waning I look at other women who run businesses and are moms. I read my Bible and other affirmations that reaffirm that I indeed have the strength and ability to do anything I set my mind to even when I don't really feel that way. A lot of times I do things in fear while repeating the mantra, "The worst thing that could happen is you could hear a no." I am also constantly reminding myself that just one “yes” could change my life forever. Searching for that "yes" keeps me going on days when I would rather not.

What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?

My advice for others as cliché as it sounds is to stay true to self, and your aspirations. Not everyone will be able to leave their jobs, but they do have the ability to put in the work needed even if that means no sleep, or cutting the budget to utilize extra funds to build a business. There is always a way to get things done--they may not come in the form you want them to but keep an open mind and work toward the ultimate goal. You will get there one day, but you have to start on the journey.

Name someone who has inspired you and why.

My mother has been a huge inspiration for me. Although she has passed away, while she was living she always had great ideas for businesses; however she let life get to her and she left this world not really pursuing any of her dreams or making an impact on the world. I don't want that for myself. In her honor I work hard to make my dreams a reality. I want to go a step further with my children. I want them to see me make my dreams come true, and hopefully they will walk in my footsteps and those that walked before me that didn't have the resources to give life to their ambitions.

How can people connect with you?

I write a personal blog, Lipgloss and Binky , that chronicles my journey as a SAHM trying to maintain some sense of "me", build businesses, keep house, and maintain a marriage all while rocking my skinny jeans!

Divinitee can be found online at http://www.divinitee.com/. I am working toward building a local presence, however right now shirts are only available via the website.


B. Pierre said...

Such a great post.

I can definitely relate to her comment about her mother. My mother had so many dreams but yet left them unfulfilled and I don't want to make that same mistake either.

I have SO many ideas, dreams and aspirations, I can't let them die.

And it's awesome that she's an entrepreneur and a mother. It gives me hope that I can do it all too. =)

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