Usually on my day off there are certain things I must do. This includes not setting my alarm, eating a big breakfast (pancakes, turkey bacon, eggs, and orange juice), and wearing something that is absolutely positively work inappropriate. However, this particular day I had set my alarm, breakfast was going to wait, and by 9:30am I was on the phone with the CEO of Danielle Lewis Beauty, Ms. Danielle Lewis herself. It was clear when she answered the phone that this 26 year old entrepreneur of Baltimore, Maryland had been up and her day was well underway. I suppose that happens when you’ve seen your husband off to work, have a toddler who’s definitely awake, you’re amidst updating your website, and preparing for making the most of the day.
As I thanked her for making time to speak with me, she laughed and thanked me for the interest in speaking with her. It was 9:36 and I was already asking…..
Phreedum: Who are you in 5 words?
DL: Hardworking, committed, fun, driven, and confident.
Phreedum: So how did you get into the business of beauty?
DL: Well that’s a good question. While I’ve always loved make up and have worn it as far back as when my mother first allowed (or maybe before), my background was in marketing. But that wasn’t what I loved. It didn’t really excite me. Makeup however did. So I quit my job and went into makeup full time. I started with bridal then with fashion make up. And I’ve been doing that for the past 4 years at this point.
Phreedum: What has been your greatest success so far?
DL: By far, launching my lip gloss collection and seeing it become successful overtime. It’s easy to get people excited to buy something for the first time or one time. But to have people keep coming back and leaving great reviews is wonderful. I love having a great product that speaks for itself and has bought me loyal customers. I would also have to add being a mom and a wife and fulfilling those roles well.
Phreedum: How does Danielle Lewis Beauty change the lives of others?
DL: I think in a couple of different ways. Take bridal beauty for example. I get to help someone on one of the happiest days of their lives. I get to enhance their beauty for a moment that will be etched in their memory for a lifetime. I would also say I have often been told by others how watching me build my business has been an inspiration. People have shared how seeing me hit bumps and maneuver road blocks on my journey has encouraged and motivated them to persevere so they too can accomplish their goals.
Phreedum: What has been one of the biggest lessons you have learned so far?
DL: Everyone wants to be successful but aren’t willing to do what it takes. Grinding takes 113%. You cannot take out what you have not deposited. You have to be proactive, no waiting to wow people.
Phreedum: Sounds like what you’ve learned that your business is what you make it.
Phreedum: Who has been the most influential in allowing you to phreely pursue your business?
DL: My husband has been AMAZING. He has been great at allowing me to pursue what I think I want and ultimately coming to the realization of knowing what I want. He’s understanding and supportive. He’s a dreamer and he allows me to dream. That’s my boy.
Phreedum: How long have you guys been together?
DL: We’ve been together 9 years, and married for 3 of those years.
Phreedum: What’s been the best advice you’ve received as you have been making your mark?
DL: “Don’t let people living their nightmare tell you you can’t live your dream.” I think I saw that on twitter. But I really liked it and I hold on to it.
Phreedum: What has been one challenge you’ve had to work to overcome as an entrepreneur?
DL: I don’t know if I have overcome it per se, but I know I work hard at it. And that’s doing it all with a family. I have my wonderful husband and a not quite two year old little girl. Sometimes it’s tough to manage, but I have a great support system which allows me to go to meetings, see clients, and be present as both a wife and mom. People say that want it all, but what are you going to do when you have it all?
Phreedum: You’ve said that you have a great support system which is really important. What else do you do to maintain balance and motivation?
DL: I am a list girl. Thant means I make lists and I put myself on the lists. When I put me on the list, that includes time with my husband, going to the gym, etc. My family is definitely a priority and having family time also energizes me to do all that I do as an entrepreneur.
Phreedum: You’ve talked a good bit about the importance of your family and how much they support you. As a mom of a young daughter, what kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
DL: I just want her to see something different and know she comes from a supportive family. If she wants to move to Wyoming and be as basket weaver I want her to know she is supported and can be secure in herself. My mom has been a great example of what it means to be supportive and what it means to provide security. Not just financial security but encouragement hat builds confidence so one is secure in who they are. I want to be able to do the same for my daughter Logan.
Phreedum: Any words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs?
DL: Step out of your comfort zone and use your fear. I went to a Reggie Wells seminar (Reggie Wells is the make up artist for Oprah Winfrey) once and I had a question I wanted to ask. But I was so afraid. But I decided to just ask. He pulls me up in front of the room and inspects my makeup, providing commentary, in front of everyone. But I got the answer I was looking for.
If you don’t step out you won’t grow. When you open your mouth you open yourself to get the help you need.
To learn more about Danielle Lewis or purchase her products please visit http://daniellelewisbeauty.com/