Last week, I was asked to do a small "interview" with a Barry University student as part of an assignment. I happily agreed, remembering my college days and that very same "interview assignment". The student had been in the business class that I visited a few weeks prior to share my story and had a few more questions for me. I could tell she was a bit nervous a first, but we quickly got into a good conversation.
This morning I turned on my computer to a very sweet email from this student. I wanted to share her words as a motivation for any of you other business owners/entrepreneurs out there that may not realize the power of inspiration that comes with our challenging career of choice.
"Hi Amber! I know its been a week since our interview, but I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to meet with me. Beside the fact that I didn't know what questions to ask, I learned a lot. You have inspired me to never give up. You have shown me that anything is possible, if you put your time and dedication into something you really want, it can happen. I have attached my resume just in case you or someone you know are in need for an intern or employee. Again thank you so much for everything. ~Glendy Perez"
This email also reminded me that I have received the resume of many talented young people over the past few months. If anyone is looking for new talent, please feel free to contact me. I would love to pass along their information and share this talent that I am too broke to afford at the moment =)
I am also grateful to Glendy, because that email is just what I needed to get back to the point and focus on what I am trying to accomplish here.
On a side note - I have to extend a sincere thank you to Jamie Lentzner of Jamie's Painting & Design. She is a very busy & successful business owner, who is a few years ahead of me in this whole entrepreneurship thing. Not only does she take the time to keep up with what I am doing, she offers her advice and most importantly her encouragement. Jamie, you are an inspiration to me, and I hope to pass that along as I continue to grow. Check out Jamie's blog at http://jpd.typepad.com/ and her awesome products (like the name plaque shown to the left) on her website at http://www.jamiespnd.com/.
I like to consider myself a pretty optimistic, positive person. I try to stay strong in my faith and focused on the wonderful things in my life. With that said, I'm still human, and I think we all face challenges at times. Since childhood, I have always found myself putting on the happy face when those times come, mainly to avoid bringing others down with me. I have found it challenging to share my true emotions on this blog. I love to share the positive and happy times through this entrepreneurial experience, but it is not near as much fun to share the challenging times. Well, I always pride myself on honesty, so here I go...
This has been a bit of a rough weekend for me. It is now 7:30am on Monday morning - I am here at the office - have been since about 6:15am. I made the decision to take the weekend off, completely off, not coming in to the office once. I did sneak and check my Blackberry every couple of hours, but you other business owners understand me here, that it is less stressful to know that everything is still under control than to avoid checking email all weekend. You would think that this would have contributed to a nice weekend, but I found myself in a bit of a slump. I am just a little burned out. I am thrilled to be able to pursue a dream, and I want so badly for this to be successful, but some days it gets a little tough emotionally.
On top of this slight burnout, I had a rough weekend personally. I try so hard to separate myself, but when you make the decision to start your own business, you have to realize that everything begins to blur together. Life is business, business is your life, and everything else just gets mixed in. When I am struggling on a personal level, this sometimes bleeds into the business and vice-versa.
I share this personal struggle not for sympathy or even for venting purposes, but mostly to share the true story of my business venture. When I am talking to students or others dreaming of pursuing a business, I try to share my honest and open story. It is not a Cinderella story and far from a fairy tale most days, but I am still incredibly grateful that I have this opportunity. I am also so very touched by the support and encouragement that I receive from you.
I am very excited to say that I have hired our first official RuffleButts intern!!! Her name is Kristen and she is awesome! Only 19 years old, she is super ambitious and hard working. She is currently in her 2nd year of schooling at the Art Institute here in Ft. Lauderdale, working towards her Bachelor degree in Fashion Design. After receiving an email from her over a week before our interviews, I had a gut feeling that she was going to be a perfect fit.
I am thrilled to have her on board, as I think she has a ton of potential and creativity to contribute. I am also thrilled to be able to offer this experience to someone of her driven attitude. I would have given anything to see what happens behind the scenes of a start-up apparel company when I was in college, so I am hoping that this is a full-circle kind of experience.
Kristen will be documenting her experience here on the RuffleBlog every Thursday, so be sure to check back often. I'm sure she will have some fun stories to tell!!
Have a great weekend!