What inspired you to start your business?
I started Accel Inc and then Spa-Da out of a need when I was a Merchant for Bath & Body Works. I was responsible for Fine Fragrances (i.e. perfumes, lotions, shower gels, etc.) under the Fine Fragrance Category and Home Fragrances (i.e. Candles, Air Fresheners, anything for the home). I have always been very passionate about Product Development as I love to see wonderful new products on the shelves that consumers are raving about.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
It has always been a challenge in Contract Manufacturing and Packaging as it is a male-dominated field. I surrounded myself with an enormous support system through WBENC, WPO, and other women’s organizations that lift you up and give you the strength to move ahead. I also believe it is important to hire a support system within your organization, if there are individuals that don’t support your role, you need to move them out.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Never give up on your dream. Hire better than yourself and empower them. Never forget the golden rule. Always thirst to be better and continue education. Remember to be grateful, kind and compassionate to others and give back to the community that takes care of you and your associates.
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
WBENC has been a critical part in Accel and Spa-Da’s growth. WBENC Corporate Members — LBrands, Kellogg’s, Honeywell, Abbott all have robust Supplier Diversity Programs and it is very important to their values and goals. Besides the business impact, it is the single most important organization I belong to. I have made lifelong friendships, grown both personally and professionally from other women and other Corporate Executives and the ongoing education that is available is invaluable. I light up both internally and externally whenever I am at an event and among these individuals, the support system is something I have never experienced before in any other organization.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Internet of Things (IOT). I believe it will be game changing in the future and businesses will run much more efficiently.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
People and the economic uncertainty. I worry about our associates and I worry about the future of our economy and the safety of us all.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
Access to Capital. Although it is getting easier, we still have barriers we need to break down.
How do you define success?
Being happy and loving what you do, having the respect of others.
What’s your favorite career moment?
There are two, when I received the Applause Award from WBENC — that was a very proud moment, and the YWCA Women of Achievement Award for Lifetime Philanthropic Contributions.
What are you reading or listening to now?
Many self-improvement/motivation/spiritual books such as Two Minutes to Freedom, COVID has been hard on all of us. I just finished Traction which I loved, and am embarking on the series.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I… pause, plan, and strategize — what are my best options and outcomes, then execute.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… don’t be so critical of yourself all the time, it is ok to make mistakes, you have a huge heart, don’t let people beat you down.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family.
By this time next year, I will be… on a great new journey.
The best thing that happened to me last week was … I got to see my other son in Dallas at college.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… read magazines and do research.
Spa-Da makes personal care products handmade with thoughtful and clean ingredients in Ohio. They are on a mission to make self-care more attainable for all.