Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley McLemore, Founder of Begin Collection, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Begin Collection, we believe there is more to life than battling toxic work environments with controlling bosses, micromanaging supervisors, and not getting the credit for the work that you do. Through one on one coaching and using healing gemstone jewelry, we help women and queer folx heal from the damaging effects of bias baggage and career burnout to take back their voice, joy, and own their power. Our products and services help to take professionals from burnout to breakthrough and from frustration to freedom.

Tell us about yourself

Begin Collection began during my self-healing journey in 2014 with a need to find classic gemstone bracelets that would fit my petite wrist. After six years of serving the community, on the side of my full-time job, with bespoke handcrafted gemstone bracelets, I noticed a need for more. In 2020 when the world was literally and figuratively on fire and professionals were overwhelmed beyond burnout, I began offering coaching services that incorporated equity principles with gemstone healing practices. This allows clients, predominately Black women, queer folx, and all women, to bring the fullest expression of themselves to each session with no code switching required.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

A major accomplishment as a business owner this year was winning a national grant held by a Fortune 500 company that’s actually ranked under 60.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that comes with being a full-time business owner specifically is learning the things that you’re not good at yet—then deciding if it’s something that you want and are able to pay someone else to do or to put on your student hat and learn something new.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Begin! After running a business on the side as an employee for others, trusting yourself to begin can be the most challenging.
  2. Give yourself a runway for trial and error, experiment, and learn what running a business means for you.
  3. Schedule your breaks! Lunch breaks, breaks for outside, and breaks to spend time with friends and loved ones. Entrepreneurship, especially solo entrepreneurship, can mean typing away for hours in your “home office” alone without interacting with others; take your breaks y’all.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It’s okay to ask for help; it’s actually encouraged for personal and professional growth.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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