My mission is to create a world where all people have the access and resources to do what they love with ease and abundant opportunity. Everything that I do, say, and create is birthed from that space. At age 19 in 2015, I was painting the illustrations for a book and completely “destroyed” my clothes in the creative process. So, I chose to claim the paint stains and wear these articles of clothing with pride to my local small-town yoga classes and in big cities like New York and Philadelphia. I received an unexpectedly large number of compliments on those outfits. In addition, I realized that while wearing these clothes, I can do anything I want with freedom, power, and self-expression and feel absolutely fabulous throughout my day. Soon after this realization, I reached out to a graphic designer friend, Blanco Rabbit and I started the brainstorming process. Ginchi has evolved so much over the years while continuing to fulfill my purpose in creating a world where all people have access to do what they love with ease. Now, all of our apparel is ethically-sourced sustainable fashion. Meaning that as a company, we do not produce the material first-hand, they are hand-picked repurposed thrift garments. For Ginchi’s newest line, I curated a collection of artists and designers across the states to produce their work on/as sustainable fashion. Customers now have access to wear extraordinary artwork as fashion apparel through what is called the Artist Empire. If you are interested in becoming one of our Empire Artists, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Companies: Ginchi Apparel, Twin Flame Productions, Lucine Visions
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
It feels like every step in my business has pushed me to my edge. I have not had academic business training so stepping into my leadership has challenged me personally on so many levels. However, the big initial challenge was building the capital for efficient start-up costs. I overcame these obstacles by continuing to network and put myself out there in public especially when I had resistance to show up. Eventually, that led to investors who had the capital my business needed.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I’m always reading nearly 5 books at a time. I recommend them all. Today, they include:
Revolution of the Soul by Seane Corn
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Waking up White by Debbie Irving
On Leadership (articles from Harvard Business Review)
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?
Absolutely. I’ve been told so many times that this isn’t going to work. Those comments only push me to find the ways it will work. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I’m very proud of where my business is at.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Networking and surrounding myself and my business with people who are smarter/more experienced in different fields than I am to see my blind spots.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Showing up as a leader means making tough final choices. A team can not operate without those boundaries of the leader’s choice. If you don’t create a hierarchy, it will create itself. With employees, hire slow and fire fast.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
-Establish your mission and refer back to it with everything you do, say, and create. Embody your mission. Live your mission.
-Surround yourself with people who know more than you do
-Hire an assistant
-Self-care and mental health must be a priority for yourself and your business.
Establish a solid schedule that you can commit to (i.e. work M-F and off weekends).
Plan each working day according to the department of tasks. (I.e. Monday = marketing, Tuesday = Financials)
Have a scheduled weekly meeting with your C-Level team.
Photo credit: Jaylyn Begay