Tory Burch’s Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

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Interview with Tory Burch

Tonight I attended the”FIRESIDE CHAT WITH TORY BURCH” presented by  Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation. The event started with a short film about women entrepreneurs typically not asking for capital when it is time to do so. The video also showed different options on how to acquire capital (personal, family&friends, banks, third party institutions, angel investors, or venture capitalist). A statistic that stuck with me was only every 23rd dollar loaned goes to women entrepreneurs.

Then followed a panel discussion with two female entrepreneurs that became part of the Tory Burch Foundation Network and received funding through one of the foundation’s partners, the People Fund. What both business women had in common was the fact that their demand was exceeding their supply and it was time to grow. They were turned down by financial institutions but thanks to the People Fund they obtained capital at lower interest rates and on top of that received the necessary guidance and financial education to maintain a thriving business.

Highlight of this evening was Tory Burch‘s advice for women entrepreneurs:

  1. Social Media is a great way to advertise your business, this powerful tool wasn’t available back in the day. But when using social media be authentic, people nowadays are so tech-savvy that will notice when you are being dishonest.
  2. Develop a culture based on your values early on, make it known to your employees why you started your business. Be transparent! It was her goal to establish a lifestyle brand to fund a foundation for less fortunate.
  3. When going through rough times, just go through them, don’t over-stress. Look forward and never back! Tory Burch went through a divorce and not long after through a very public law suit, while her business was still in the beginning stages. She knew it would eventually be over and kept the bigger picture in mind.
  4. Let the closed doors fuel you to go even harder!

If it is time for you to grow, definitely check out The Tory Burch Foundation and the People Fund. Please share this info with other women entrepreneurs!!!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

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How to earn money in transitional phases?

They say the average millionaire has 7 streams of income. If you have been in Corporate America for longer than two years you have probably either experienced or seen that job security isn’t really in existence. Honestly, after making my own bad experienced being employed I realized that you can’t really rely on one source of income only.  What if that one source is cut off without any notice? Or what if you are just miserable in your 9-5? Or what if you have finally realized what you want to do but can’t quit your 9-5 because it is your only source of income to pay all of your bills? This blog post is specifically for people that are in or will soon face  a transitional phase either in between jobs or on the merge of starting their own business. So how do you continue receiving income until you get the new desired job or expand your business/clientele if you aim to be an entrepreneur? Here are some side gigs I and my close circle of friends have tried out until we got the new job or hit the ground off running with our own businesses. These additional sources of income are also fantastic if you are just looking for some extra earnings on top of your full time job.

1.Promos

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Myself with a co-worker as Dallas Cowboys Brand Ambassadors
Signing up for various promotional agencies as a Brand Ambassador can be very fun and lead into quick earnings. It will also teach you very valuable lessons about event operations, marketing, customer service, team work, and leadership. You get to work different events, festivals, games, conventions etc. endorsing various products. I’ve worked promos making $1,300 in 3 days working 4 hour shifts. It just depends on the company and products. Promo agencies usually pay $20-$35/h, but before you sign up make sure you clarify the payroll cycles. I denied work before due to extremely long pay cycles. Here are my favorite promo agencies: BusyBeePromotions, Silhouettes, Ascent. If you would like a personal referral by me please comment below and I will reach out to the regional managers and prep you for your interview :-).

2. Freelance

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If you are a stylist, writer, graphic artist etc. I would always recommend to start freelancing in order to keep perfecting your skill. Of course your pay won’t be that great in the beginning but you will remain in your industry of interest and enhance your creativity. Eventually you will connect with people that will uplift you and show you ways to move up or you will learn it on your own by trial and error. Sometimes moving up in your career will be a mix of both. Begin reaching out to smaller firms that could benefit from your services, attend industry specific events to start interacting with people in your field of expertise. If you like events search on Eventbrite for upcoming events and contact the organizer if they can utilize your services.

3. Uber, Lyft, Favor

I have never driven for any on demand car services but I have close friends that have and still are. They make about $20/h sometimes more. I love the flexibility and that you don’t have to set up a schedule way in advance, you simply go online when you want and you get paid on a weekly basis. I always love new start ups and I am also in the process of developing an app myself. So I decided to become a Favor Runner. Favor is an on demand delivery service, for a $5 delivery fee and a 5% processing fee they basically deliver anything from food, to drugs to electronics. The times I worked I made $17-$24/hour. Unlike Uber and Lyft you only drive in a specific zone for Favor so your gas expenses are minimal. It’s also great if you need quick cash as you get paid on a 48 hour basis through direct deposit.

4. Dog Sitting

If you like dogs you can also dog-sit. You start off at $30/day and get paid more when you get great reviews and ratings. If you have two dogs for a total of 10 days out of the month you made 600 extra dollars fairly passive income (unless the dogs are a pain). You also have the option of taking care of the dogs at the owner’s house. I dont’t like messes and dogs too much so this wouldn’t be an option for me personally but if you’re a dog lover definitely sign up for Rover the most popular dog-sitting website.

I hope this could help some of you that were freaking out on how to pay your bills because you wanted to follow your passion or quit a job that made you miserable. Please share and comment below if this could help you. Also feel free to post some of your side-hustles. Please keep your faith and push through!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

5 Lessons I learned from the Fashion Industry This Year

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This year has been a very eventful and wisdom packed year in my fashion world. I was blessed enough to participate in 2 New York Fashion Weeks with Esé Azénabor was a driving force getting the brand into stores across the U.S. and across the globe, helped forming the brand’s identity through a variety of marketing activities, took charge of all special events and fashion shows and was/am constantly on the look out for opportunities and strategic partnership that will elevate the brand to the next level. Further I became an active part of Lifestyle Magazine Cosign Magazine as fashion director and learned more about the editorial side of the fashion business. These are the following lessons I learned:

 1. If you don’t have your stuff together you are getting LEFT BEHIND!

With stuff I mean look books/line sheet, professional logos and website. Social media is also becoming more and more important. If you have a business profile keep it business and update it on a regular basis. Provide extra value such as styling ideas, what kind of fabric or special techniques are being used to create the garments etc. Don’t post too much personal content and keep the selfies to a minimum unless you are the face of the brand. Also use a business email and NOT a gmail or yahoo account. The first impression is crucial in the fashion industry. Second chances don’t happened very often. Take the time to get everything in order.

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2. In Fashion you have to plan 2 years in advance

Woah 2 years? Yes, get at least a road map of what you have to accomplish in the upcoming 2 years. The fashion life cycle is very short-lived 3 months the longest. Designers are working on Fall Winter Collections 2016 right now and most buyers have completed their Spring Summer Collection 2016 shopping. But keep in mind that designers don’t only have to work on a new collection but also on setting up a photo shoot, look book, marketing campaign, fashion show and trade show all while also operating their daily business. I hope it becomes clear now why it is so important to plan a head of time and to create a calendar with deadlines. If you don’t have a team, now it’s time to start recruiting as it will be impossible to take over all these tasks by yourself. Comment below if you need help finding the right people. MS word offers great templates for project management plans as shown below.

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3. If you want to learn about Fashion you have to be in the midst of Fashion

Honestly, I hated going to social events to “network” and small talk. It appeared fake to me. But I have learned to keep an open mind and my own authenticity. I can read people very well so if I got a hint of BS I simply stayed away from those people. By attending industry related events I got to know great fashion influencers, learned more about the fashion industry and have found a group of people I can turn to for any kind of advice. I will update my calendar next week so you guys can attend all these fabulous fashion events.

4. Everyone is faking it to a certain extent

Everyone is always doing fabulous in the fashion industry, whether facing bankruptcy, decreased sales, or sitting on 2 seasons of inventory. Very few are willing to open up about their mistakes and tragedies. I understand that the dream has to be kept alive but I also believe more designers could actually help each other if they shared their obstacles and found solutions together. That’s why I love Diane von Furstenberg‘s book “The Woman I wanted to be” she just tells it all! I pokered very high myself, I didn’t know anything about fashion sales when I accepted the position of sales rep. She just had heard about my great work ethic and was given a recommendation from one of mentors. I read books, listened to podcasts, took seminars and eventually figured it out in a very short time. My position evolved beyond sales now and it was and still is my passion and drive that kept me focus.

5. Fashion is like marriage and divorce isn’t an option!

You have to move on quickly when things don’t turn out as planned. Don’t dwell on the past but keep a positive mindset. Be prepared for many sleepless nights, especially before presentations, fashion shows, or store launches. I sent emails and was on the phone for 3 months straight before even receiving a response from a store about carrying the collection. Yes it was frustrating but I didn’t give up. I tried to understand the industry better and found out it takes 7 contacts of communication before I can even expect an answer and that right after fashion week is the peek buying season. So I started building rapport and got on their map before those season. After 3 months of trying to get in contact it took another month to solidify the orders. I developed an efficient strategy how to get into stores. Success doesn’t happen over night and if it was easy everyone would do it!

Comment or email me if you have any questions!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

5 pounds in 1 week

I’m not a fan of dieting or counting calories because these methods make you crave certain foods, regain the weight once you eat “normal” again and are simply stressful which raises your blood sugar level. Then when you don’t see any results for torturing yourself, it just becomes frustrating. If you are really trying to lose weight permanently you have to change your lifestyle. I have always eaten relatively healthy and exercised on a regular basis but for some reason I couldn’t lose these extra few pounds. I made a few changes in my diet which I can easily incorporate into my busy lifestyle.

1. Less Sugar

I’m one of those human beings that used to drink their sugar with coffee. Baristas always looked at me crazy when they saw how much sugar I put in my coffee. Instead of putting 10-12 packs of sugar in my coffee and tea now I use a little bit of sweetener or honey. I also started making my own oatmeal instead of buying the flavored packs that have a lot of sugar. I simply added cinnamon and a little bit of honey and/or lightly caramelized apples. I pay more attention to the ingredients label when I go grocery shopping and avoid products that contain loads of sugar.

2. Less Salt

I significantly reduced my salt intake. Salt made me retain water so cutting salt also helped me lose weight.

3. Meal Prep

I invested one day to cook all my meals for the week. In such way you don’t grab anything unhealthy when you’re too lazy to cook or throw a processed meal in the microwave. I also brought my lunch to work which helped save money and eat healthy throughout the day

4. Vegetables high in fiber and protein

Lentils are a great source for protein and fiber. They speed up your metabolism and clean you out from the inside. I made delicious lentil burgers and lentil risotto. I started eating Quinoa which is also rich in fiber, protein and other essential nutrients.

Lentil Risotto photo credits: MarthaStewart.com
Lentil Risotto photo credits: MarthaStewart.com

5. Exercise

Exercising is part of a healthy lifestyle I worked out 4 times a week before work. Due to health issues I can’t do any high impact workouts anymore such as running, basketball or P90X. Instead I started swimming, doing yoga, and a more intense ab, butt and leg workout I can easily do in my room (30-45 minutes).

6. Green Tea

Green tea is known to be an excellent source of powerful antioxidants and could reduce your risk of cancer. It also increases your brain power, fat burning function and metabolism. Why do you think that green tea is included in so many weight loss products?

7. Less carbs for dinner

I consciously avoided carbs loaded meals for dinner. I chose a protein and veggies. Instead of using a bun for the lentil burger I used a lettuce leaf for example. Little changes like that go a long way.

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Lentil Burger with Quinoa Salad

7. Water

Make sure you drink lots of water especially in this Texas heat. I started buying big bottles so I can keep better track of how much water I drink. Moreover I started making my own detox water with limes, frozen berries, mint leaves and pressed ginger. So refreshing and it helped me with drinking more water throughout the day!

The combination of all these 7 elements helped me loose weight while boosting my energy levels. I didn’t have to starve or kill myself in the gym either. The meals I prepared were healthy, delicious and made me full. This worked for me, it might work for you too. Let me know if this helped with your diet and eating habits! Find great lentil recipes here!

XOXO Dynamically Branded