Hi friends! So I decided to start a new series on my blog called #Bosslady Lessons, where I provide an insight into my life as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Join me as I provide lessons, strategy, and tips on what it’s really like to own your own business. I’m also looking forward to your questions and suggestions for content regarding this. I receive quite a bit of emails on this topic and I’d love to have a forum to share my thoughts to your questions! For the first post in this series, I decided to give a brief background on what I do and how it all started! If you have been following my blog since the beginning, you might have read a bit about it in this post here and here. And if you haven’t, well here we go! I graduated college 15 years ago (yes, I look younger than I really am). I spent half of that time being a CPA/accountant and the other half, a business owner as a wedding photographer. Now, I’m the proud CEO of my own fashion boutique, Morning Lavender. I graduated UCLA with a degree in Business Economics and minor in Accounting. I am fortunate to have met so many great people and learned a lot of valuable skills while I worked in the Accounting industry, but I never really felt passionate about it. It felt more like a job and not a career for me. I was determined to find something I was truly inspired by and when I bought my first SLR camera for traveling, I developed an instant love for capturing memories and moments. I had found a creative outlet for myself and I had no idea that it would lead me to shoot over 250 weddings in a span of 7 years and eventually, quit my job as a CPA. I loved every aspect of being a wedding photographer - from the gorgeous details, to the fun couples, and all of the exciting locations I got to travel to. Plus, I met my husband while photographing a wedding - can’t beat that!!! ;) But what I truly enjoyed most was making my couples look good and I mean, damn good. I honestly think people hired me to make them look good, lol. So I started styling my shoots in addition to shooting them - I would advise my couples on what to wear and what locations, props, and poses would compliment them best. I found myself enamored with the ability to make people feel and look good. So after I got married in 2013, I started my own personal fashion blog to share my love for fashion and provide tips on where I shop and what I feel looks flattering on someone my petite size. I had such a frustrating time shopping for outfits for my engagement photos that I wanted to help others find an easier solution to dressing and styling. So this blog, Lace & Locks was born at the end of 2013. To keep content fresh on my blog, I did more shopping than ever and it quickly turned from a hobby into a second job, lol. My husband thought it was a hoax so I could just shop more! To make the process easier on myself, I shopped a lot online. But, after a few months of online shopping, I realized I couldn’t find all the cute, feminine, and dressy clothing I wanted in one shopping destination. So I thought, what if I started my own store and carried everything I loved to wear?! And what if I made it affordable so that everyone can look pretty all the time?! And so I did! If you know me, you will know I’m a go-getter. I set my mind to something and the wheels are in motion before I can even finish the thought. Yes, it gets crazy and stressful, but I just love creating things! So the thought for Morning Lavender was born in March 2014 and in May 2014, we launched our online site and had $1,800 in sales our first day! I owe a ton to my family and friends who supported me from the beginning and showed me that what I was doing wasn’t just a dream. After that, I hired 2 assistants to help me pack orders in our garage, yes our garage. It wasn’t the most glamorous situation but I knew as we shipped every order, we were on to something special. We even set up studio backdrop and lighting to shoot new arrivals in our garage. I’ll never forget the first time my mom saw my garage and when she realized I wasn’t just selling my own clothes for fun. It was definitely a learning process because I never worked retail before, much less operated an e-commerce store! I remember shipping my first order and realizing that I had the completely wrong packaging. Despite the struggles from the beginning, I stayed motivated and determined. I am a firm believer in hard work pays off and so with the help of my husband and amazing assistants, we spent almost every waking hour in the first several months (and probably still to this day) learning about the retail industry and how to make Morning Lavender better for our customers. I posted this quote from Estee Lauder on my Instagram recently, “I never dreamt of success, I worked for it.” It’s so fitting of my journey - knowing that I started from nothing and got to where I am all because of hard work and determination. So where is Morning Lavender today and what have we done to get it to where it is currently? Well you will have to keep tuning into the #Bosslady Lesson Series to hear all about it! Thanks for reading this long post and I can’t wait to share more with you all!