Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a 34-year-old wife, mother of five, (ages 15, 13, 11, 5, and 3) and business owner. In 2002, I graduated from West Jefferson High School located in Harvey, Louisiana. My passions are crafting and cooking. Spending time with family and God are two things I thoroughly enjoy. I am currently attending Delgado Community College (New Orleans, Louisiana) with a major in business management. Prior to pursuing a degree in business management, I earned a degree in culinary arts. While completing course work for the culinary arts program, I learned the important association between diet and health or the lack thereof. When I had my son, I was told that I was bordering obesity, so I made lifestyle changes to improve my health. I started following The Vegan Mom and which led me to begin the pomegranate diet coupled with an exercise regimen. It became apparent that fruits and vegetables cleanse us, so becoming a vegan was a logical lifestyle change for me.
Where did the inspiration come from to start Shawny’s Healthy Essential?
Shortly after giving birth to my now 15-year-old daughter, she was diagnosed with jaundice. Medical staff members at the hospital told me horrific things would happen to my child. A few months later, my child was suffering with eczema. Thankfully, I met a young physician who was also an herbalist, she asked if I would consider being one of her clients. Her all natural treatment regimen worked wonders for my daughter! She also asked me if I would be interested in joining an herbalist school and offered to pay a portion of my tuition. She also challenged me to complete my culinary degree and add esthiology studies. Saying yes to both proposals has changed my life in immeasurable ways!
How do you know what type of products to make?
Conducting client questionnaires and listening to what people are looking for influences the products I make. I sit with men and women, interview them and then determine what their needs are. My most powerful inspiration comes from talking to people.
Please share your experience with running a small business?
My journey as an entrepreneur of a small business has not been as easy one. I have had ups and downs and moments when I wanted to quit. Initially I did not have the proper documentation. Ultimately, I had a conversation with God and asked him what to do because I was ready to throw in the towel! In 2015, I attended a seminar that was quite inspirational. Why God gave me this vision remains a mystery to me. Nevertheless, I keep pushing and asking God for guidance, that’s how I get through it. He has never failed to give me the help I fervently pray for. He truly is an ever Present Help in time of need.
What advice do you have for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Pray and listen for the voice of God; write down your goals; write your business plan and see it come to past.
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