Personal frustration, I would say was my number one reason for starting this journey - meaning the lack of awareness support to or for female veterans that serve in the military. I would often see stickers that said my son served and I seen ads for a show called Army Wives. I thought what about the soldier who is a mother and a wife? She served and sacrificed for this country too. I wanted to create a community so women veterans could be honored, able to be identified and acknowledge each other. From that, the She Deserves Collection was created as a community to honor the women that served. Each t-shirt in the collection honors 26 women who served and made the sacrifice to build a better self, family, community, and world. Then came my book : Life After War: Yes You Can.
This is to help anyone on an individual level to navigate through life's warfare in the mind, body, and spirit. Next is the Nonprofit organization to bring families back together by promoting individual self-care and group healing through recreational activities.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle initially was working two to three jobs as a single parent with two active children and completing college. It took 20 years and six schools to finish my Bachelor's Degree in business, but I did it and shortly after started KD Unlimited. I would get frustrated when it came time to complete the paperwork for the business (licensing and permits). I would think they didn’t teach this in school. I had to go to these offices at least two times before I got it right. I learned that I don’t have to wait for perfect. I could hit the pause button, make the necessary adjustments, and began to see the visits as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
There has never been contention when it came to my entrepreneurial pursuits. I did get some resistance from my mother when I told her I resigned from my government job to attend school full time. My family and friends are one hundred percent supportive and more willing to listen. They have seen me struggle for military benefits, civilian jobs, housing, and my children. They have heard and seen with there own eyes what I have to go through as a mother fighting for custody of her kids, soldier fighting to live and woman fighting to be free. In hindsight, I would have started sooner. I want to do my part to end mass shooting, veteran suicide, and change laws for child custody cases.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The single most influential factor in any successful business is balance. Today, so many of us have to multi-task. We drive, eat, and talk on the phone. Being a business owner, you multi-task and wear many hats. You are the bookkeeper, customer service, receptionist, marketing, etc. To balance the roles focus on one task for a week. You will go about your daily activities (emails, filling orders, networking) but give the one task your attention for a week. Doing this will give you time to strategize, test new ideas, and make adjustments to what is or what is not working.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Today I know being an entrepreneur is not as easy as I thought. It is not going to be perfect, but you must be patient and keep moving towards the goal.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Don’t allow anyone or anything to distract you from your journey.
When you begin to feel overwhelmed, or nothing is happening in your business don't give up.
Take the time to pray for guidance and be open to the answer.