Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shonda Ramsey, Owner of Lilian Grace Designs, located in Springboro, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lilian Grace Designs is a stationery and lifestyle brand focused on building friendships from the heart for women who feel unheard and alone so that she can cultivate deep-rooted relationships with herself and others. Giving her back the confidence and mindset needed to be there for friends when they need her, despite what difficulties she may be personally facing. Through our products and upcoming podcast, we provide valuable resources to help her look deep within herself to grow as an individual so that she can be there for her friends like never before. We connect her with our community so that she knows she is not alone on her journey and help her make connections with others on similar journeys.
Tell us about yourself
I choose to help others because I have been there before. When faced with difficult life circumstances, I realized I had a choice, and only I could pick the direction I took. I made it my life's mission to show up for friends who were struggling by saying things that I wish others had said to me during my difficult moments. By creating stationery and greeting cards that provide the words others refuse to say, I am helping give a voice to those who say, "I have no words," "I don't know what to say," or even "I wish I knew what to say."
What motivates me each day to keep going is hearing from the many women whose lives are changing through my products. I show up daily for them to help them, cheer them on, and build relationships with them. They are my inspiration, and I'll choose them over and over again, every single day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Relaunching as a brand. This happened more recently, I started my business as a gift shop, where I tested the market to see if there was a need for my designs, and the response was an overwhelming yes. Relaunching into a brand has been challenging. It took longer than I had originally planned, but the outcome is beautiful and something I am very proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Funding is always the hardest for new businesses, but especially for businesses like mine that are bootstrapping and aiming to run a debt-free business. I may have chosen a hard route, but I am also in it for the long haul and not just to turn a quick buck. This approach has been challenging, especially during slower seasons, but I have always gotten creative with ways to keep the business alive, even when it seemed grim.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Lead with compassion. Your followers want to know you, the real you, not just your offerings.
- Don't give up on yourself or your capabilities. When it seems as if all hope is lost, dig deeper, you have it in you!
- Treat your customers like family. They are real people, with real-life problems, just like you and me. Kindness goes a very long way.
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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