What inspired you to start your business?
My son. My son was diagnosed with ADHD in the 5th grade. As a single mother it was definitely a journey but one I would do over in a minute. In fact, when traditional methods were not working, I had to be creative in coming up with products that did not exist that would “connect” with my son. I had to get down on my knees and start looking "through his eyes" to find what worked and what did not work. Those changes were then implemented in our other businesses and productivity soared. My son was diagnosed in the 5th grade with ADHD... I was diagnosed at age 45.
Today, that child is a Co-Founder of RE-Focus The Creative Office, he created the first suite of products: “the password book” now in 11 versions. We have over 1,000 reviews on Amazon and have a 4.9 rating. He works with us in concept development, photography, and is in his 2nd year of College.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
I own 3 businesses and one is a 30-year executive search firm that I started with $3,000. The search industry has had its challenges but getting a product into retail has been challenging due to the turnover in buyers at retail corporations.
How did you overcome them?
You just keep going, you keep trying, and create solutions for your clients after you listen to their concerns and what their challenges are. Once you do that, you both win.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
You Got This. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and encourage you. In turn, try and help the people who helped you. Again, you both win. Secondly, learn every role in your business so that if someone should leave their position, you know how to do their job even for a day.
What three traits define your business philosophy?
It’s not a race. If you believe in what you are doing, it will happen.
Kindness. Speak out of kindness and even if someone is having a bad day, the tone of your voice can help comfort them. You never know what they are going through.
How you respond. Your journey does not define you. It’s how you respond to what happens to you that matters.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
Honestly, I wish I had joined WBENC 30 years ago with my other businesses. The support is incredible. The resources are amazing. The opportunities to create change are limitless. With a powerful voice of women in so many different industries, working together nothing is impossible.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Our mission is to “change the stigma of ADHD”.
I can remember even 10 years ago being scrutinized for giving my child medication for his ADHD. I do not advocate medication for everyone. Each child and adult that has ADHD is different. For many individuals and behavioral therapy, tutors, business coaches do the trick. However, it’s an area that you have to figure out what works best for your child with the advice from their Physicians, Counselors, Tutors, and Teachers. It takes a village, but as a parent you have to find the individuals in the village that work for your child.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
For young female entrepreneurs, today’s world is very different. Their generation buys products instantly. If they cannot find it, they move on. If they watch and listen to trends, and follow the next generation, as well as the next thinks, and processes how they buy products, they will be successful. You have to think about what is coming next, and how the next generation thinks, acts, and manages their day. Talk to generations that are younger than you are. We had an intern that stated we should change our cover on our Young Adult Journal. I asked why and got his views, met with my team and we changed course. Best decision we ever made as a team.
What do you love about being a business owner?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and business owners. My parents worked hard their entire life. I learned from the best. I don’t know how they did it, but they managed to run multiple businesses, they made sure our needs were met, encouraged us, we lost my sister at age 10 when I was 16. They lost two children, they kept going…. it’s the inner drive they gave me.
What I love about being a business owner? I am not stuck, I keep creating…even in my 50s I am more creative today than ever…. Your positive attitude and drive keep you going. I love what I do. I love helping people, and I love helping our customers…. My husband encourages me, and that builds me up more than you can imagine. I could go on and on. If I did not enjoy what I do…. I would change it. Do. Not. Settle. Live your life out of love, and with a passion for what you love to do.
How do you define success?
Success to me is when I can make someone else successful. In my email signature it states: “Do just one thing to make someone’s day amazing” – it’s really true, seeing others succeed is so inspiring!
What’s your favorite career moment?
When the client states: “We would like to go with your company………” the next thing you know, you are on your way, making plans, ordering product and you are on your way. Those moments still take my breath away!
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I… still call my mother. She is the smartest person I know. I am in awe of her wisdom in so many areas.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… trust your instincts.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
By this time next year, I will be… connected to more WBENC women!
To get my creative juices flowing, I… read. In fact, I read AARP Magazines and their blog. Those members have more going on than most millennials!
Re-Focus the Creative Office
Re-Focus, The Creative Office creates products that help you FOCUS...and RE-FOCUS to make your life easier. They want to help make work/school/life easier and less tasking for individuals like Small Business Owners, Parents, Students, Teachers, and more who may struggle with ADHD, ADD, Dementia, and just overall daily struggles that many may have.