October 10, 2011
Unemployed to Entrepreneur
The blow from job loss can be crushing – emotionally and financially. But for some women, it can be the jump-start you need to follow your dreams.
That was the case for Tierra Destiny Reid: after maternity leave, Reid discovered she didn’t have a job to return to when her entire Macy’s division was laid off.
Reid had been toying with the idea of entrepreneurship for a while, but it wasn’t until her back was against the wall that she began to build her own business.
“I saw that as a clear indicator to get serious,” she says.
“It was one of those ah-ha moments,”
Since only 50 percent of laid-off women in the past year were able to find new jobs, entrepreneurship is becoming appealing for many. After less than two
years in business, Reid is proud to say Stylish Consignments has surpassed the six-figure mark. How’d she do it?
“Researching my options, connecting with industry experts and reading everything I could about entrepreneurship.” With the high failure rate of small businesses, she also knew a solid plan would be vital. “I made a bare-bones business plan for marketing, sales, inventory and expenses.”
To fund her business, Reid saved her severance, bought items secondhand and negotiated everywhere. “I secured several months of free rent and didn’t spend a dime on inventory.” She also contributed to a book on small business and began an internship program.
Her top tips for ensured success? “Invest in knowledge and resources, know the goals you’ll need to survive and connect with the right people.” Plus, “identify why you’re willing to take this chance. It’s easy to give up. Once you know your ‘why,’ you can keep pushing and know it’ll be worth it.”
Bonus PINK Link: Time to turn that business into a franchise? Find out how in our online exclusive.
Minute Mentor: Hear more from Reid herself about how she went from unemployed to entrepreneur.
By Caroline Cox
"The distance is nothing; it is only the first
step that is difficult.” Marie de Vichy-Chamrond