5 Lessons Learned From a Beauty Mompreneur
As a woman with textured hair, Jeannell Darden didn’t always love her curls. In fact, she rejected them, but soon realized that in doing so, she wasn’t loving herself. Like many young girls influenced by the media’s definition of beauty, Jeannell thought that the longer and straighter her hair, the more beautiful she was. There was a turning point in her life, while studying engineering at Georgia Tech, that she decided to shed all those self-destructive beauty constructs, and start embracing her God-given texture. The struggle was real in her rocky love/hate relationship, and there were countless times where she was quite ready to break up and move on. With help from her supportive husband Lance, and the love for her two daughters (and another on the way!), she decided to redirect this energy to launch her own beauty brand.
As the beauty behind Moisture Love, Jeannell works every day to help young girls and grown women alike LOVE, nurture and appreciate their tresses. In the final days of her pregnancy, In Her Shoes caught up with Jeannell to get the scoop on the top 5 lessons she’s learned on her journey of mompreneurship. Here’s what she had to say:
1. Take time for self: I’ve been a full-time mom and entrepreneur for a while, and as my family grows and business gets more complex, it becomes easier to forget about myself. As a wife, mother, and CEO, everything falls on my shoulder. So if I’m not well, all those roles suffer. Taking a moment to refresh is so critical. It helps me feel more focused and engaged. So now I make time for small daily, weekly, and monthly treats for myself. They don’t have to be expensive or timely – just pampering boosters, like bubble baths, a dessert escape, or breaking to watch Steve Harvey! No guilt here.
2. Follow your own path: Having a strong mental resolve and belief in yourself and why you do what you do is very important. As an entrepreneur, occasional competitive analysis is good, even important, but you have to know how and when to shut it off. Constantly looking to the left and the right can become toxic. You find yourself falling into “woe is me” slump which ultimately robs you of productive energy. The same thing goes for absorbing “advice” from family and friends that may not understand your vision.
3. Do your due diligence: Nothing worth having is easy. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take the time to do things right. From building a brand with strong positioning, to proper industry research, trademarks, licensing, contracts, and all the way out to the execution. And never, ever, ever make major decisions while you are stressed, tired, sick or desperate. Every one of those conditions will impair your judgement and possibly make for regrettable situations.
4. Open the door where opportunity knocks: Be open to things that are uncommon, atypical, and unique. Don’t be afraid to veer off from your business plan. All plans should be dynamic and updated often. Find paths that your competitors aren’t considering and own that space. Thinking like this will allow you to own a market long before others are even considering it. For example, going to the Caribbean and having the ability to own that market before others were focused there was key for my brand.
5. The customer knows best: Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you’re simply working hard on a hobby. With that said, it’s very important to listen to your customers and make sure you’re offering something that they are actually interested in purchasing. Sometimes this may mean changing your focus, products, or even the name of your company altogether! A nimble, flexible, and observant business perspective is invaluable.