Hi Seashel friends,
I recently entered a contest through Groupon called Built With Groupon. It was about how my business succeeded with the help of Groupon. Of course I would love to win and hope I do. If I don’t win, I still feel like a winner because it reminded me to feel so blessed for what happened. I truly believed it was a miracle.
I hope that by sharing my story with you guys maybe it will inspire you to take a leap of faith, step out of your comfort zone, and do something you’ve always wanted to do that you’ve been scared of.
“My life can be easily separated into chapters that when added up make me who I am – a daughter, a wife, an entrepreneur, and an inspiration to other young women who are finding their way.
Chapter 1 | Entrepreneurship:
In 2006 I found myself wandering, like so many other young people, trying to find my purpose. Over the next few years I became very passionate about fitness to the extent that I even started competing professionally. Although this was a success in itself, I still felt like I didn’t know what I “did”. A lot of my friends that had gone off to college had their entry level careers and I was still looking for my thing. One day while doing my friend and fellow waitress’s make up, I found myself complaining about my future when she stopped me and said “Shel, you are so good at this…you should open a salon”. That spark is what led to my job as an esthetician. While at work one day I was offered the opportunity to train in a new service – eye lash extensions. As with my fitness career I saw this opportunity as a challenge to prove to myself that I was good at something. I sharpened my skills and quickly became the top employee at the salon, but it still felt like there was more for me. One day as I chatted with some of the other stylists (most of which I recruited and knew from high school) there was another spark – “we should open our own place”. As soon as I spoke those words everyone froze…none of us had ever started a business before or even thought about it. Over the next couple of years our small business grew and we were known as one of the top eyelash extension salons in the city.
Chapter 2 | Love & Leaving a Good Thing:
2010 commenced one of the best chapters in my life – The Love Chapter. This is the year that I met and married (3 weeks after meeting & 1 week after both of our birthdays) my husband, soulmate, best friend, and fellow entrepreneur. He had just started a healthy meal restaurant (also a successful Groupon story) earlier in the year and was in the trenches fighting to make his dream become reality. One day, near the end of 2010, he came home with startling news – “we’re opening in Dallas”. I was shocked because I didn’t know what he meant, was he moving or did this include me by default. In the next 4 months we found ourselves practically living in different cities while I tended to my clients in Austin and he started building his location in Dallas. One day as I laid in bed alone a frightening realization hit me – I needed to be where my husband was…which meant giving up the business that I worked so hard to build.
Chapter 3 | Faith & Groupon:
So without further hesitation I packed up our apartment in Austin and moved our home to Dallas. I was afraid. Afraid to be so far from my family, afraid to be in a new place, afraid of not being able to accomplish what I had done together with my high school friends, and afraid of failing as an entrepreneur. Stress quickly took the place of worrying as I tried to decide my next career move. I couldn’t afford to open a salon by myself and didn’t have an idea of how I was going to start building a clientele. My husband, as always, came with the right words at the right time – “you built it from scratch once…you can do it again”. He was right. I had built the business up from nothing and although it was together with a group of friends, that didn’t change the fact that I knew what it took. I committed to having faith that one way or another, I would succeed. It was at the grand opening of my husband’s restaurant when faith became reality. A fan of my fitness Facebook page had read the post about the opening and came to support. As we chatted she asked what I was going to do and I confessed my worries. Like from the script of a feel-good movie, she said “Well, I just go offered a job in Arkansas and I’ve been thinking of subleasing my salon space to someone during the days that I’m out of town”. Her salon was perfect – immaculately designed, in an amazing area, and priced perfectly. However, one very big ingredient was missing, clients. I still didn’t know how I was going to get enough clients to help support the needs of our household, so I took to Facebook to help. After a week and a lot of good wishes I had only two clients, but I was again committed to having faith. One evening that week my husband got home and told me about the opportunity that changed the future of my new business. Groupon had contacted him about featuring his restaurant and in conversation he mentioned my new business to his account manager. A date was available and within a few weeks I was going to be featured. My husband and I got into our “winner mode” and hustled to get my business cards, website, and everything else I was going to need for the anticipated business. Still, how did I know that it was going to work? At the time lash extensions weren’t really common on Groupon, so I was in the dark regarding the expected success. I remember praying together with my husband the night before the feature date and laying there visualizing success. The next day would be the first day in the history of Peachy Keen Studio.
Chapter 5 | Success:
On the day of the feature my morning started like any other – coffee, exercise, and then the unexpected occurred…my phone rang. I didn’t really know anyone in Dallas, so who would be calling me this early from a 214 number? “Hello, this is Shelsea…” “Yes, that sounds great. Of course tomorrow at 10am is still open”. It was a Groupon customer calling to book her appointment. After her many more followed and within a few days I had over 200 new clients and a waiting list almost 2 months long. From there came numerous referrals. Peachy Keen Studio was a success.
Peachy Keen Studio has now been open almost 4 years in which we’ve moved our salon to a more central location in Dallas and hired a stylist (lashes & hair). I’ve grown my clientele to include individuals that travel to get lashes from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
The next step for Peachy Keen Studio would be to expand the studio, hire 2-3 more stylists, updating my website, and getting certified for new techniques that are entering the market.
Faith is such a powerful word that can often be hard to describe or visualize. In this part of my life faith took shape in the opportunity that made my dream reality – Groupon.”
Thank you for taking the time to read my full submission. I had to actually shorten it to 1/3 of this in order to submit it so I hope it’s compelling for them.