WELCOME back y’all! We are back with the fourth guest feature of the blog series Women Rising to the Top!
Where my books lovers at!? Say AYYEE!
One of my favorite things to do is lounge around on the couch and read a GOOD book, especially those self-help books! I mean really there’s no greater feeling than feeling positive, inspired, and ENERGIZED after reading a few pages.
I remember reading this book called “Self” by Tushundra Owens and I must say that it was hands down one of the best books that I’ve read in my lifetime! Self isn’t a typical book that you can just read once, it’s a book you can read AGAIN and AGAIN & will certainly leave you feeling inspired. The book was so insightful and practical. I absolutely loved how the author shared some of her personal stories as well as the good, bad, and ugly. She even provided helpful tips that will encourage you to move boldly towards your destiny.
But Tushundra is not only the author of “SELF“, but she is also the co-founder of Kloset Vanity, along with her partner, Kandace Turner. Kloset Vanity is a boutique store front, located in Parkway Place Mall, Huntsville, Alabama, that offers a variety of unique, classy, and trendy styles for women. Their styles will not only make you look and feel beautiful, but they will make you look and feel real CEO-ish as well.
Yolanda J: Today, I would like to introduce you to Tushundra & Kandace, the founders of Kloset Vanity.
Hello ladies, I’m thrilled that you all are here! Thanks for joining us!! To start, can you all share with us how the boutique started?
Tushundra: We saw a need where shopping for fashionable pieces, business attire and unique pieces were limited. That was the motivation to start our boutique, Kloset Vanity. We didn’t want to just start a boutique, we wanted to bring something different to Huntsville. So, we were intentional about what we wanted, how we wanted the boutique to look and the location.
Yolanda J: I think that’s really dope that you ladies started a boutique store front for women in the mall. We just never know when we need to grab an emergency outfit for an evening event. These days it seems like many retailers have moved online, so a good boutique store in the mall is always a PLUS!
I know you guys have faced some adversaries and doubts along the way, but looking back how did you all handle them when they showed up?
Kandace: PRAYER!!! Having faith in God gave us the necessary tools (peace, courage and strength) to push forward.
Yolanda J: Prayer is so powerful and definitely where we can START with a lot of our challenges. Having a relationship with God & being in constant communication with my creator has always led me to the answers I need.
Kandace, can you also tell us about a challenging time that you and Tushundra faced together?
Kandace: The challenging issue we faced was trying to figure out where to start in addition to starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic.
Yolanda J: Right! I’m sure that was a tough place to be, and many hard decisions had to be made. The global crisis has definitely affected us ALL in a lot of ways.
What motivated you ladies to keep going?
Tushundra: Our faith! Our family! Our unborn children! Wanting to create a legacy! Wanting to be in a position to ALWAYS give back. Wanting to do something nice for the African American community.
Yolanda J: Those are all great motivations to have, especially the unborn children. What we do today affects our tomorrow. It begins with us, and we are definitely the face of future generations.
So, talk to us about where your business ideas/plans manifested. Did you have any mentors or special people in your life that helped create avenues or advice for your business?
Kandace: The ideas came from conversations and having an extensive background in retail. We had no one involved because we didn’t want to take the chance of being discourage nor did we want any outside advice of how anyone thought we should go about starting the boutique. So, we kept a low profile. However, we did a lot of RESEARCH and took a lot of notes.
Yolanda J: Okay, I can understand that! Sometimes it’s better not to share your goals and plans with others, mainly because talking to the wrong people can be discouraging. They will give you any reason to give up on your dreams.
So, when people ask what you do, do you typically tell people your title or do you tell them what you offer?
Tushundra: We typically mention our careers if someone ask what we do. Unless they specifically ask about Kloset Vanity. Then we go into detail as to what Kloset Vanity offers.
Yolanda J: Cool! So, Tushundra lets shift gears for a minute. You are also an author of the book, Self. For our readers who may not be familiar with your book, can you tell them more about it. What inspired you to write the book?
Tushundra: I love to write. Long before I would publish Self, I kept journals of my thoughts, my prayers and my experiences. You go through things not knowing that the experience would be for someone else. And surely, I know I wasn’t the only person experiencing similar experiences. So, God pushed me to share my experience to help others. I know this because I didn’t have peace until it was completed.
You go through things not KNOWING that that experience would be for something else. – T. Owens
Yolanda J: And just by sharing your story, others too can experience God. I’m so glad that you followed your calling! So, what did you need in your writing space to help you stay focused? I know from experience as a blogger, the writer’s block is REAL! Many times, I have to walk away to relieve my frustration and then go back to it.
Tushundra: Hmm..I didn’t always STAY FOCUS. What should have taken 6 months, took 4 years. Lol, and you are right! Writer’s block is definitely real! Even when I was writing about myself. Which, by the way, is harder than one can imagine. But I had a routine. I would sit in a certain spot (and it had to be that particular spot). This spot is my writing spot, my meditation spot, my prayer spot and my reading spot. I would listen to worship music and read scripture. I would meditate on scripture and then I’d start writing. But the content I wrote was not always for my book. So, I had to WAIT on God to give me the next sentence, paragraph or chapter.
Yolanda J: I know waiting on God was not always easy but when we wait and trust in Him to direct our steps, the awards are immeasurable!
Tushundra, what part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
Tushundra: Chapter 9: The Greatest Gift. Experiencing a failed relationship while writing about love was difficult. Going through a dark time while trying to comprehend God’s love for me was DIFFICULT. I was getting hit from every angle and I questioned God’s love for me. But I understand now that I had to experience all that I went through to truly UNDERSTAND what love is.
Yolanda J: So true! And it seems like no matter how old we get; break ups are never easy to deal with. It’s amazing how God is able to use us for His Glory and make things work together for our GOOD!
So, what advice would you give to others who are inspired to write their own book?
Tushundra: Stay the course. People will support you! Don’t let fear talk you out of possibly helping someone. The process is not easy, but the reward is so great!!
Thanks for sharing that!
Kandace, what are some things that you do on a daily basis to continue your growth as the cofounder of Kloset Vanity?
Kandace: Research and consistency. Networking is important as well as creating relationships.
Yolanda J: YES, I agree with that! Your network is definitely your NET WORTH!
Kandace, knowing what you know now, what are some advice that you would give yourself and others who are inspired to open a boutique?
Kandace: Be patient with yourself. You can do anything you truly set your mind to. Ask God for strategy and trust what He gives you. EXECUTE and be consistent.
Ask God for STRATEGY and trust what He GIVES you.-Kandace
Yolanda J: Those are great pieces of ADVICE!
Before we close this out, I want to ask you ONE last question.
How would you like people to remember you and Kloset Vanity? What will be the legacy you ladies leave behind?
Tushundra: It’s more about how we make people feel more than anything. Remember us by how we treat you. The HOPE is that we are encouraging our peers and the generations before and after us. Letting people know that THEY TOO can live out their dreams. Remember Kloset Vanity as being set apart, welcoming, loving & GIVING.
The legacy we leave behind is to pass on the knowledge, the beliefs and faith.
Remember Kloset Vanity as being set apart, welcoming, LOVING, & giving.
Thank you, ladies, for sharing your stories with us!
Check OUT KLOSET VANITY on Instagram or just stop by their store FRONT in Parkway PLACE Mall in Huntsville, Alabama. I’m sure YOU will find SOMETHING you can ADD to your Spring Collection this year!
I PRAY these ladies’ story & SHARE were a blessing to YOU ALL & as ALWAYS
SEE YOU ALL this FRIDAY for another Inspiring Story!!
Walk In YOUR PURPOSE ON PURPOSE!👠