I first ventured into entrepreneurship when I was just 23 years old! I opened my first clothing boutique in Milwaukee because I could never quite find what I was looking for when shopping at the mall. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot! After about 3 years I decided to close to focus on getting my degree. I graduated in 2012 with a degree and Fashion and Retail marketing. I’ve always worked in the retail space and it’s what I’m good at. I then opened my second boutique in 2013. Now, I am taking everything I learned from having those businesses and applying it to my new venture, “Fly Girl with Fibro.” What started as a book, blog and podcast has turned into an apparel line that I am working on expanding and also getting booked for speaking engagements.
I don’t think I really decided to becoming an entrepreneur, I just had an idea and I ran with it. There is nothing like working for yourself though, being your own boss. I know social media makes it look easy, but entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of late nights and early mornings to be successful.
When I first started my business, I wish I knew to find a mentor or someone to help me with all the things I didn’t know how to do. A lot of stuff I figure out on my own, but it’s nice to have someone to ask questions and get advice from.
Business wise, women like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez inspire me because they hustle and have their hands in a lot. They turned their talents into multiple streams of income besides touring they have endorsement deals, clothing lines, perfume, makeup, the list goes on. They also all give back to philanthropic efforts, which is dope.
My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is never stop learning. You don’t know everything, take the time to research, network, connect & collaborate. Be ready for people to step on your toes, it happens more often than not, but you can’t be worried about what everyone else is doing. Focus on building your brand and your business. You are your brand, so you always need to be aware of how you present yourself on and off social media, especially. Always carry your business cards; you never know when an opportunity may present itself. Stay consistent.
All social media:@flygirlwithfibro
I also wrote a book, blog and podcast and my mission is simply to educate, encourage and empower others that may be living with any kind of invisible illness. I suffer from a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. You should check out everything if you or someone you know suffers. My book has resonated with women, in particular, because it’s relatable. I think they see themselves in my story. Oh, and if you’re a Fly Girl, you should definitely be rocking one of my t-shirts!
Thank you for sharing your story, Catrina. We look forward to working with you and learnimg more about your passion for helping other women survive.