Myra was on Oprah! She was on Oprah! Check out this serial entrepreneur’s incredible, eco-friendly business idea…did I mention she was on Oprah?
What business did you start up?
I’ve started, built and sold several businesses over the years. One landed me on Oprah. In 2009, I sold my last business and on January 1st, 2011, I launched my new business and makeup line, Herban|Luxe, a handmade herbal line which is made fresh when ordered, never stocked except for the ingredients and packaging.
What motivated you to do it?
After appearing on Oprah and selling my business two years later, I thought that I would be happy to not have a business idea to run. Boy was I wrong. I got the itch within a few weeks of selling and wondered if it had been a bad decision.
I started trying to figure out what to do. My past businesses include a bath and beauty line, a handbag line and my own makeup line. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go into makeup again, but I always seem to get pulled in. I had some criteria for my new business idea: I wanted it to be eco-conscious, offer something for women and differentiate it from the rest.
So I decided makeup would be the product since I enjoy making it. I also decided that I would use Etsy as my platform since one other goal was to start on a very small shoestring. Since my product is handmade when ordered, Etsy was a good fit. I developed formulas that would appeal to all women including women like me in their 40’s.
How many children do you have, and how old are they?
I’m a single mom with three girls. Jeana 22, Stephanie, 18 and Isabela, 11.
How long have you been running your business?
Herban|Luxe launched January 1, 2011. I ran my last business for 6 years before sellling.
How long did it take you to start becoming profitable and/or successful, however you choose to measure success?
How did your family react to you starting your own business?
They were excited. They think of me as a “mad scientist” and saw how lost I appeared without a business idea to run.
Easiest part of your job?
Mixing makeup. I enjoy it so it doesn’t feel like work.
Hardest part of your job?
Packaging stuff into shipping bags. I want to reduce the amount of paper I use and want my packaging to be more eco-friendly. I can’t stand the amount of paper that is wasted on packing slips and electronic postage labels. So it causes me stress which makes it an ordeal for me.
What skill would you most like to improve?
My social media skills. I have a Facebook fan page for Herban|Luxe and I tweet. But there are so many ways I can use these platforms but time is an obstacle for me. I work full-time outside my home and run my business in-between.
What tools or advice do you wish you knew then that you know now?
The best advice I have ever received is to “be prepared” and go with the flow. You can’t predict everything in business and in life so you have to roll with the punches and expect the worst but hope for the best. It has served me well.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
Being on Oprah. I never had a goal of being on TV or anything like that. I was floored when I got the call that I was going to be on the show. I did cartwheels in the parking lot (and almost killed myself doing so.) I never in a million years thought that I would have such as great opportunity. I really thought that things like that happened to other people.
Can you recommend 3 essential websites for moms in, or going into, business?
Favorite part of a typical day?
The end. Honestly, I love being able to climb into bed, get under the sheets, turn on the hypnotube and plop my laptop on my lap and write my notes for the day down (I use Penzu). I take this time to completely unwind and review what I’ve accomplished, what needs to be done and how grateful I am to have had another day to live.
And a few more questions, considering that American Express should be featuring more mom entrepreneurs…
Childhood ambition? To be Wonder Woman.
Time of day you get the most work done? Between 5 am – 8 am.
Last purchase? B. Makowsky Brandy colored handbag – love it.
Favorite book or magazine? The Help by Kathyrn Stocket and Bust Magazine.
Inspiration? My mood – really.
Least likely to…..have kids.
My life…..is unwritten.