A few months ago at The Butcher’s Daughter event for the launch of Arrae x The Skinny Confidential ‘Le Depuff’ drops, Lauryn met the gorgeous Jackie Sweet. After talking to her and hearing about her company Sweet Life Sundays, Lauryn wanted to invite her on to talk to us about her top tips when starting as an entrepreneur.
Jackie is smart as a whip, drop dead gorgeous, creative and our favorite part: found a white space in the wellness industry and set out to fill it.
In this post Jackie is sharing the tips that helped her the most when starting her business and we hope they help all you first time entrepreneurs out there, too.
With that, let’s welcome Jackie to the blog.
Hi TSC readers, my name is Jackie Sweet, and I am the founder of the community-focused lifestyle and wellness brand Sweet Life Sundays. I met Lauryn at the Arrae x TSC ‘Le Depuff’ launch at The Butcher’s Daughter in September. Though, I have been an avid Skinny Confidential reader since 2015.
I began and grew my career in wellness by working for SoulCycle as an operations and community manager and had the pleasure of opening studios in new markets. I own the title of wellness enthusiast and queen of self-care. I’m the go-to friend who recommends where to work out, where to eat, and where to go for self-care. You get it; I have my finger on the pulse for all things wellness. However, I noticed the lack of diversity from patrons to instructors and the overall community in the wellness space. Specifically within the boutique fitness studios in Los Angeles.
I often recall being at a sound bath ceremony in 2016 and saying, “Where are the women who look like me and enjoy elevated wellness experiences.” It was then that I decided to create Sweet Life Sundays. If there is something that you desire that you would love to see and it doesn’t exist, make the decision to build it if you want it bad enough.
Tips for New Entrepreneurs:
♡ GET CLEAR ON YOUR PURPOSE
If you want to become an entrepreneur to increase your income, create your schedule, etc., that’s great. However, you will have difficulty sustaining your business if you don’t have a more significant “WHY” for starting your own business or brand. Consider a business idea that aligns with your passions and interests. Having a business that you’re passionate about will help you stay motivated through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
I am passionate about wellness and the overall well-being of others, and I’m great at building community. That’s part of my reason for building Sweet Life Sundays. I have held on to pouring into Sweet Life Sundays through the peaks and valleys because what I create is tied to my purpose.
Consider the impact you want to make on the world. Successful businesses often address a problem or fulfill a need in the market. Sweet Life Sundays addresses the inclusivity and diversity gap within the wellness space by offering a community where aligned individuals feel safe to show up as themselves and engage in transparent and transformative conversations while connecting over a shared wellness activity. Understanding your purpose will guide your business decisions.
♡ RESEARCH AND VALIDATE YOUR IDEA
One of the things I admire about Lauryn and her line of habit-stacking products from The Skinny Confidential is that Lauryn has receipts to back up her shit! Every time Lauryn releases a product or collaborates with an aligned brand on a product, she sets out to make whatever product is already on the market better and enhances a product through brand collaborations. Conduct thorough market research to understand your target audience, competition, and industry trends; this will help you identify opportunities and potential challenges.
Validate your business idea by getting feedback from potential customers. Validating your ideas can be done through surveys, interviews, or even creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to test the market. When I started Sweet Life Sundays, I attended many wellness events throughout LA. I noticed not only the lack of diversity and inclusivity but also the format of events and how most of them felt transactional (for me), with much left to be desired. Though the events were lovely, with many Instagramable moments, they lacked a feeling of authentic community.
I created different surveys and sent them to friends who aligned with my brand’s mission. I would follow up with attendees I connected with at past events and send them a survey on the events we both attended. In doing so, I could see what they enjoyed about said events, what they felt was missing, and what they looked for in a wellness community. Now, I conduct post-event surveys for the events I host on behalf of Sweet Life Sundays. So that we are continuously improving and providing what our community and audience desire.
♡ BUILD A STRONG NETWORK
You know the saying, “Your network is your net worth”? The saying is true. However, it goes a bit further than that in business. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and fellow entrepreneurs can provide valuable insights, guidance, and potential partnerships. If you’re unsure where to start, I love the platform and community Jasmine Garnsworthy has created at Female Founder World. Many people think that they need mentorship. And though it is helpful to have a mentor, I think it is nice to have rather than a need.
I don’t have a mentor, though I would love one. I have looked to podcasts like The Dream Bigger podcast by Siff Haider, the founder of Arrae, the Balanced Black Girl Podcast by my friend Les Alfred, and the Dear FoundHer podcast by Lindsay Pinchuck to get advice and insights. I’ve enlisted them as my mentors by listening to the free advice they give weekly on their platform; mentors can come in various forms!
Attend industry events, join entrepreneurial communities, and engage with people with experience in your field. Learning from the successes and failures of others can help put you ten steps ahead on your entrepreneurial journey. Don’t sleep on LinkedIn’s platform, especially if you’re a corporate baddie embarking on entrepreneurial endeavors or creating a side hustle. Let those transferable skills shine through. You never know who’s watching! I landed our first partnership with a big brand by posting on my LinkedIn about a panel I produced and moderated. Shortly after posting, said brand slid in my LinkedIn DMs about how they would like to support me and Sweet Life Sundays on future events.
♡ EMBRACE A LEARNING MINDSET
Always be a student no matter what arena you’re in! In the arena of entrepreneurship, be open to continuous learning and adaptability. The business landscape is dynamic, and successful entrepreneurs can evolve with it. Stay informed about industry trends, changes in consumer behavior, and emerging technology, and use it to your advantage to work smarter, not harder. Invest time in improving your skills related to your industry, leadership, or general business management. LinkedIn offers a lot of free training. And many thought-leaders in various industries often go live on LinkedIn with industry peers who are also highly regarded in their field to offer mini master class sessions on their expertise. In 2024, one of my goals is to invest in a business coach. Investing in a business coach can yield high returns, both in terms of financial growth and personal development.
THAT ABOUT WRAPS IT UP
I hope you enjoyed the top tips that helped me the most with starting my entrepreneurial journey. Of course, creating a business plan and exploring which business status to file under are essential steps. I encourage you to research, as each person’s journey is different.
If you enjoyed these tips and begin to implement them, please feel free to tag me on social media @jacklynsweet, and if you’re a wellness enthusiast and craving community, please feel free to follow @sweetlifesundays on Instagram and subscribe to our ‘Wellness Weekly newsletter here. I am also excited to announce that I will launch the Sweet Life Sundays podcast on January 14th, so subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to listen when we launch!
x, Jackie Sweet
x, The Skinny Confidential team
+ stalk the small businesses we love.
++ check out this business advice from David Meltzer.