Gather your ideas by writing them down. Many people have some many wonderful ideas they don’t know where to start. If you have multiple business ideas pick the one you are the most passionate about and pursue it.
Founder Diva Samai is an alumnus of the University of the District of Columbia. She majored in Latin American Studies with a minor in Spanish and graduated Cum Laude. Always an entrepreneur Samai started selling candy when she was in elementary and high school. She is a former White House Intern and currently works as a contractor in Washington, DC. “Beauty is a lifestyle, I wanted to create a company that helps women feel good by providing wonderful products that are effective while putting a smile on faces. Life should be about fun, looking, feeling and smelling good!” Her herbal lip balm called “A Lip Conditioner” does just that as the balm is infused with the sweet smell of Honey, Jasmine & Pineapple.
As a millennial facing the job market Samai faced years of unemployment and underemployment after she graduated college and completed a year of graduate school at Howard University. However, this did not deter Samai. She believed in her product so much she worked two minimum wage jobs seven days a week to get funding for her lip balm.
A Lip Conditioner was originally released in 2015 under Samai’s former company Lulu Bella Women’s Boutique which was a women’s online boutique. Samai decided to continue pursuing her dream by revamping her brand and giving it a second go around in the Fall of 2018. Named for both of Samai’s maternal great great grandmothers Tevia Rose continues LuLu Bella’s legacy to provide beautiful products for women. LuLu Bella had celebrity cliental from legendary R&B Singer Jody Watley, Real Housewives of New York City LuAnn de Lesseps and Essence Magazine Editor & Chief Vanessa K. De Luca.
Moreover, actress and star of Bravo’s Odd Mom Out Jill Kargman and Real Housewife of Potomac Katie Rost are fans of A Lip Conditioner.
Asides from running her company and work in Samai’s free time she enjoys leisure activities such as visiting art museums in her hometown Washington DC and spending time with friends, family and her dog Harley.
Where did the idea for Tevia Rose come from?
I created my product A Lip Conditioner because I love make up and matte lipstick. I also love lip balm and decided to create my own lip balm to eliminate dry lips. And it smells really sweet like Jasmine & Pineapple. It’s the best! The name of my company however is after two of my maternal great grandmothers.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I run my company as sole proprietor. What I can’t do I outsource. For example, my website, product brochures etc. Besides this I find managing my online store easy after I set up the daily operations everything runs smoothly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
This is my second e-commerce store. So I already knew how to run things. I have a method to approach things slowly but on a daily basis. You have to find good quality suppliers and make sure they are consistent. I also get samples made prior to mass produced. The process is time consuming, but I enjoy it because it allows me to be very creative!
What’s one trend that excites you?
I don’t really follow trends because I like to create. I do however love to people watch, especially on social media. I find it very interesting.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think all entrepreneurs are organized and when we see a successful entrepreneur make it big that’s a huge sign of someone who spent her time wisely. I don’t consume my entire day around my business, but I spend time on it. Like I said I like having goals and projects to work on but I break everything into pieces and work at things gradually until it’s all done!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find people who are more successful than you to befriend and mentor. Especially a successful business owner. Also, trademark your company! That’s a big one!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I don’t think anything is true or untrue. No ones life is the same and we all have different experiences. I will say as I get older the less I know because something always hits me and I’m like. I never would have saw that coming.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Write down your goals and organize and figure out how you will achieve them. Take action and be persistent.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Small beginnings! Don’t be afraid to start small. When you ask and someone says “yes” take it!! Word of mouth is priceless along with making people feel welcomed and good. Great brands establish a great reputation.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t give my first company enough time to flourish. I gave up to soon because I had no mentor. Now I know what to do. Life is about trial and error. We learn from our errors. There is nothing wrong with failure. Learn not to repeat the same mistakes and keep going until you hit your mark!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
My grandparents are older now and I see the importance of having a clean house and doctors’ visits along with getting medication. I would say provide a service that cleans the elderly homes at a discounted rate or use Medicaid or delivering medications to them.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I brought my mom a beautiful freshwater pearl necklace for Mother’s Day. It was worth every penny.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
At the moment google because I used it to find my vendors and web designers! The internet gives a wealth of information! Utilize it to research your ideas and you don’t have to break the bank and take out business loans if your crafty!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One Hundred Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. My former supervisor gave it to me and it’s a short daily devotional book that rocks! Whatever you do stay positive and surround yourself with positive people and watch positive things and speak positive affirmations about your company as well.
What is your favorite quote?
“A Girl should be two things classy and fabulous.” By Coco Chanel.
• Gather your ideas by writing them down. Many people have some many wonderful ideas they don’t know where to start. If you have multiple business ideas pick the one you are the most passionate about and pursue it.
• Trademark your brand and motto if its original. I learned this the hard way but it’s worth every penny knowing that your brand is protected. If you are on a budget, you can find Patent and Trademark attorneys that allow monthly payments.
• Be of service to others. Having a business is about providing a service. Remember this and treat your customers and employees if you have any with respect and value. By creating a fun environment this motivates clients to come back and your employees to give their best because they feel welcomed! You can be a fun boss!
Youtube: Channel: Diva Samai
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.