Welcome to another interview of the “Women-Owned Small Business Entrepreneur” series on Busy Bee Kate. Today is also the start of small business week so I will be featuring a new women-owned business daily.
To kick off the week we are featuring Anita Rajendra of La Belle Bump. Anita launched La Belle Bump in 2016 and provides maternity & nursing clothes for rent. They carry designer styles, have a personal stylist and free home delivery.
Anita Rajendra has a corporate background and always knew she wanted to own her own business! La Belle Bump is growing quickly and Anita share some great advice with others that are thinking about starting their own business.
Can you guess the one thing she wishes she had more of?! Check out this great interview below and be sure to visit La Belle Bump and connect with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. The La Belle Bump video is wonderful and really does a great job of showcasing the business and how it works.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I currently live in Atlanta, GA with my husband and 3 children (ages 9,7,5). I spent 13 years in Corporate America at great companies like The Coca-Cola Company and General Motors. I had amazing experiences and learned a lot there but I always had a passion for entrepreneurship. I would always say that “one day I wanted to start my own company”. So, I finally decided that it was time to either take action or stop talking. I decided to take action.
(photo courtesy of Anita Rajendra)
What does your business do?
La Belle Bump rents stylish maternity and nursing clothes. We merge the rental and personal stylist models so expecting and new moms can look and feel beautiful! We offer high quality clothes, unlimited exchanges, and home delivery.
Who is your target audience or market?
Expecting and New moms
What year did you start your business?
Officially launched in 2016
What were you doing before starting your business?
I worked in Corporate America. I was at The Coca-Cola Company for 8 years before I started La Belle Bump. Prior to The Coca-Cola Company, I was at General Motors working on the Saturn brand.
Where is your business located? Do you have a dedicated workspace?
Atlanta, GA. Yes.
What would you say your biggest success has been? What was the key action that led to this success?
Making connections/relationships via networking. Getting out there, attending various events for entrepreneurs or people in similar industry has been very helpful. An intro here or there has saved me both time and money or even led to more business.
What would you say your biggest failure has been?
Not acting fast enough. I tend to like to have all the information or look at all the sides before pulling the trigger. But sometimes things need to move forward so that other things can be done too.
What did you learn from this failure and how have you changed things to prevent this from happening again?
Try not to dwell. Make a plan and take action. Ensure I accomplish a few things every week so I can see the progress towards bigger goals.
What has been your biggest challenge as a small business owner?
Doing it all! Coming from a Corporate world, I was use to having experts around me – an attorney to review contracts, a TM specialist, an agency to help create advertising, a research team to write and conduct the research…. Now, it’s all up to me. I know I need to be doing so much more but can really only do a small percentage. It can feel like you’re always behind…
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? If so, why?
I definitely have good days and bad days. Good days when things are going well, getting more new orders, seeing customers posting/emailing that they love the clothes and service or that we helped them feel beautiful during their pregnancy… Then there are those days when it seems like either there’s way too much to do and not sure I can do it or expenses are increasing and increasing or frankly when there are rude emails/people to deal with. But, so far, the good outweighs the bad.
What do you love MOST about being an entrepreneur?
Building, growing something from ground up that impacts a person’s life in a good way. I also love the flexibility that it brings in both what work I focus on and schedule wise.
What do you love LEAST about being an entrepreneur?
So much to do and not enough time! Can also be lonely.
Did you always see yourself owning a business? If so, is this the business that you thought you would be owning? If not, what did you think you’d be doing?
I always wanted to have my own business. What that was? I didn’t know. I’ve had many ideas over time and it always changes. And I continue to have business ideas!
Where do you see your business in the next 3 to 5 years?
It’s continuing to grow at a faster pace – more customers, more team members and more products with La Belle Bump branded extensions.
Fall 2017 (photo courtesy of Anita Rajendra)
What advice would you give to other women that are interested in starting their own business?
1. Start! And don’t worry about it not being perfect. I think a lot of times we think we should wait for this or that or the “product” is just not right yet…. But, there can always be a reason to hold off. We have to jump in and do it. And honestly, there will always be some iteration so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Better done than perfect.
2. Network. I’ve learned from so many people thru networking. It’s really important and great way to help others too.
What is one program, tool or app that you can’t live without for your business? (If you have more than one, please feel free to share more!)
Google G Suite, Shopify, Stripe, Hootsuite, Canva, Quickbooks, Wunderlist
What does your day to day in your business look like?
It varies so much! But usually I start my looking at customer emails and new orders. Some days I fulfill orders/exchanges. But usually, it’s a combination of marketing, operations, analytics work. So a lot of time on the computer if I’m not meeting with potential partners or at customer events.
As a business owner it can often be hard to find time for ourselves. What are your favorite hobbies and what do you like to do when you are not working?
You’re right! It is difficult to manage startup world, family and self. I have decided to work on that a little more and recently started a book club. I use to love to read and just haven’t had the time. I also love hanging out with friends and family, enjoying a good movie or good food and wine. 🙂