Today’s guest on the podcast is Kamilah Campbell the creator of The Pink Locket, a handmade jewelry brand. Kamilah and The Pink Locket is part of Amazon’s Inaugural launch of it’s handmade platform and she also has a jewelery subscription box.
In this episode Kamilah gave some advice on business expenses, her productivity tips and how creating buyer personas changed the way she created her jewelry and who she was creating her jewelry for and how to handle the slow periods of business.
Tell us more about What you do
By day I’m a Communications Business Analyst for a technology company. My background is in Marketing and Analysis. My venture and creation is The Pink Locket, which is an online based handmade jewelry design company. I started back in 2008 as a creative outlet to my corporate career. Since it’s taken off more than I imagined it.
Who or what has influenced/inspired you the most to choose this career or start this business?
I’ve always had an entrepreneur bug, I guess I get that from my Dad he has a software company he’s been running for years. Honestly, I believe the push came from wanting more than just a corporate career and wanting to create something and watch it grow. Ingvar Kamprad , founder of IKEA, is a business person I admire. Just the story behind how he started IKEA at his kitchen table and now look at the company today, everyone gets excited when the new IKEA catalog comes in the mail.
What’s the best part about your career or business? and What’s been the most challenging part?
My corporate career has allowed me to expand into an area of Analysis which I never had before, since my background is in marketing. I would say that my knowledge of analytics has helped tremendously with creating strategies for The Pink Locket and not being afraid of interpreting the numbers behind my ecommerce sites.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to work & life?
There just never seems to be enough time in the day. I use to have the tendency to pack too many things into a day then get frustrated when only 2 things are completed. I’ve learned that I can only do so much and that I need to focus on what gets done and not what did not. My family keeps me pretty grounded too, if one of my boys’ need help with something my focus is there to at least guide them through what they need.
What tips, tricks or rules do you have that help you to carve out time for family life and personal time?
My off time is between 5pm-9pm weekdays and Sundays, during that time as family we’re prepping dinner, catching up with family members, checking homework, gym time and gearing up for the next day. Once my little one is asleep I can work more until bedtime.
What is one technology tool or app you can’t do without?
Evernote is my everything . I have everything in there from stuff for the kids, to business related tasks to even my corporate career reminders. I love it because I can access it from any device.
How do you manage technology distractions? Do you ever fully unplug from technology or are you always connected?
Distraction is the right word. Honestly, what works for me is putting my phone away and focusing to what is needed at that point in time. Even surfing on social media time gets away with me, I’ve learned to keep that at bay I give myself a time limit when surfing too.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work, how do you unwind? Or what do you do for fun?
I’m a wine lover and I love trying new restaurants, although that gets a little hard sometimes because I’m a vegetarian living in the south. Recently, I started a vegetable gardening with my 3 year old and there was just something really relaxing about that. I love to go out as well. I’m beginning to really get into jazz and would love to go out an experience more jazz clubs. I love experiencing cultural art and events as well.
How do you define success?
I’ve learned over the years that I’m already successful and that I don’t need to define my success by comparing myself to others. I found the importance of celebrating milestones (big and small), doing that is what helps push me to achieve my next goal on the list.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned regarding success and failure?
Failure is a good thing. I find that we learn more when we fail at something than when we succeed. I’ve learned to embrace both success and failure. Failure helps me to learn more and do better the next time. If something doesn’t work, I keep asking why until I get to the root of the problem, I learned that from Eric Ries book The Lean Startup.
Share one of your personal habits that contributes to your success?
I would have to say I ‘m kind to everyone I meet. I say hello, smile and ask how they are doing. I strongly believe how you treat people directly impacts your success in life. The truth is we need each other to be successful, this is a team effort whether you are a solo entrepreneur or CEO of a public company.
Click on the link below for a full transcript of this episode.
Carry On Friends Podcast: Episode 23
Kerry-Ann: Hello everyone welcome to another episode of the Carry on Friends Podcast. My name is Kerry-Ann and this is episode 23. As always I'm so excited that you're listening. Today's guest on the podcast is Kamilah Campbell of the Pink Locket. And, Kamilah is the creator of the Pink Locket which is a handmade jewelry brand and both Kamilah and the Pink Locket are part of Amazon's inaugural launch of its handmade platform. And she also has a jewelry subscription box which is so exciting. In this episode Kamilah gives advice on managing business expenses, productivity tips, creating buyer personas and how to deal with the slow periods of a business. So I'm excited for you to hear the interview but before we get into the interview remember to share and show us some love on Twitter and Fcebook. Tell a friend, let me know what you think about the show and I'm not sure what platform you're listening to us on right now but I'll say all the platforms you're on right now. We are on ITunes, we are on Stitcher Radio and Tune In radio so we are on a lot of platforms where you can listen to us and you can share with your friends. We are on social media, on Twitter and Instagram @carryonfriends, on FaceBook.com/CarryOnFriendsOfficial. If you go to carryonfriends.com you'll see all our social media handles and if you just go over there click and join us. I don't want to say follow but join us. So remember to visit, join us on social media, subscribe to the podcast and please rate and review the podcast. And iTunes your reviews and your ratings are very helpful so thank you to all those who've already done so. So I won't keep you waiting any longer. Here is my interview with Kamilah. Hi, Kamilah welcome to the Carry on Friends Podcast. We are so excited to have you here. How are you today?
Kamilah: Doing good, doing good, thanks for having me. I'm happy to be able to be doing this.
Kerry-Ann: Awesome, awesome I love it. So let's tell our community of friends who you are, Kamilah Campbell and about Pink Locket and whatever you want to tell us about.
Kamilah: Well I'm Kamilah Campbell, was born in Jamaica, raised here in the States. I'm currently, I'm wearing sort of two hats. By day I'm a Communications Business Analyst for a technology company. But, my entrepreneurship venture is The Pink Locket and it's a handmade jewelry design company and all the creations I do are done by me. I distribute mostly online. I have a few stores here in the Atlanta area that actually carry a couple of my products. But, mostly everything is done via online.
Kamilah: Yeah, I'm just happy to be able to be doing something creative and giving back and of course starting your own business is exciting and it has its challenges but the challenges is what makes it exciting.
Kerry-Ann: In a previous podcast that I did with Mikalah who you know very well we were discussing having interest and passions outside of work. So tell me why is it important for you to have this creative outlet through Pink Locket?
Kamilah: Actually what is the push is just I've been in corporate America practically my whole entire life since I was working at age 15 and sometimes you just want and crave like something that you're not getting at work. It's sort of like a way to create your own opportunity in a sense. I'm very thankful for the opportunity to be able to have my day job. However, there is always red tape, certain policies you know you can't probably run a campaign. I used to work at Marketing for the company that I end up forming over to technology area and you were just always so limited in what you could and couldn't do. So I was like, you know what...and I was like I like designing jewelry. I've been doing it since I was a teenager, why not use that as sort of a creative outlet. It's something that started as a hobby and then turned into a business so I think it's important for everyone to tap into that creativity. That's what keeps you going.
Kamilah: That's what keeps you happy you know, and not only that. Like you're happy people around you are going to be happy.
Kerry-Ann: Exactly, exactly. And, that's kind of what Mikalah and I spoke to. It has nothing to do with not liking a job. I really feel like when you balance out the work with extra-curricular activities that you enjoy it begins to round you out where you know certain things at work don't tend to stress you out at work as much because you know that you have another project that you need to kind of say well I have something else to kind of devote some of my attention and passion to.
Kerry-Ann: Like you said with work there are some restrictions. Sometimes there are guidelines that you have to kind of go with what's company policy and you know having a passion, a creative outlet or a hobby is a great way to kind of push your energy so I completely agree with that.
Kerry-Ann: So you've been designing jewelry since you were 15. How did you get into that and was it easy for you later in life to spot that as your creative outlet? And I ask because it's just, you said "oh I'm just going to do jewelry. Did you get through a few other things before you said jewelry?
Kamilah: I first got my start, actually my aunt, she designs jewelry on the side too. She actually used to bring my sister and my cousins and I down to New York City Fashion District on the weekends and she had her wholesale license so we would go in and out of the different stores and stuff buying up beads, all types of stuff and we would sit down at her kitchen table just creating like necklaces, just creating simple stuffs out of beads. And, I always thought that that was fun but I never thought that if you would ask me that age would you just be a jewelry designer, no. Actually I went to college, UConn. I was a Pre-Med major my first year, then that changed to I got into graduating with a degree in International Business and I actually wanted to go to Law School. When I worked for law firm, when I worked for multimedia conglomerate in their legal department, I'm like I don't think law is what I want to do. So I ended up going to school for my MBA. After I graduated I ended up be in a position at the company I'm at now in the Marketing area, which is an area that I was very much interested in. The reason why I sort of ditch the idea of law school and being Pre-Med major is just because I couldn't find that...there was like a creative itch in me and Marketing was sort of a way. So you know still have a decent pay check but still be able to have that creative tap. So you know I loved it and my company downsized their department and then that pushed me over into more the tech area. So I just kind of been a sort of like going through the changes and just accepting changes as they come along because you never know where that can lead you. And in the mix of all that going on my corporate career I was like you know what, no I need something else. There is something else so let me start designing jewelry again. I hadn't design you know at that time in years when I picked up back my pliers and all my tools. I was like 27, in my mid 20s and it was just a stress reliever you know cause corporate America can get very stressful so it start off with something away from a stress outlet for me. Then all of a sudden people were like "oh this is nice you should try selling it. Okay let's see how that works" you know and then it actual worked out well.
Kerry-Ann: That hard work it pays off and its very interesting that you had someone around you to say well maybe you should sell it because a lot of times we do things and we are like "oh you know I just do it for the fun of it but it's important to have other people around you to see the fruits of your creative outlet and for someone else to say that, "oh you can monetize that". I think that's also key. Go ahead.
Kamilah: You're right, you're definitely correct you know the type of people you need in your life. It's kind of like the ones that are kind of like you know ding ding you're sitting on a gold mine here what are you doing?
Kerry-Ann: Yes, yes because you were doing it only to release stress you weren't looking at it, "oh I'm going to make money from this".
Kerry-Ann: You were looking at it like I just need something to do you know and you found comfort in that and then it just had to take someone outside of yourself to say, "this is money".
Kamilah: Yeah, yeah you know for sure.
Kerry-Ann: And you know because we get so caught up in just the monotony, days or whatever you know Monday rolls into Tuesday and before you notice Saturday and back to Monday. Sometimes if we don't have someone that's kind of there like, "hey" you know.
Kerry-Ann: Sort of like accountability partner you know in a sense where it's just like you know what about this, what's going on with this and how about you try do this. People to keep in your life for sure.
Kamilah: I completely agree with that. I do that for others and I am fortunate to have that for myself. I'm a little busy body when it comes to ideas and so I have those people who like reign it in and there are other people like wow you know, go for it.
Kamilah: I completely get that.
Kerry-Ann: Alright so you didn't go to school to do this, you just kind of learned the tricks of the trade. Did you go and do additional classes just to kind of get more skills or this is your skills were more of developed as you started creating?
Kamilah: No I did not. By all means not even. As a matter of fact if you look back at some of my older jewelry pieces when I first started selling, I was working with like complete beans, wire. Now I've transitioned you know I'm soldering, hammering metal, playing fire so I've transitioned completely and it's all been self-taught. You know thank God for the internet. I was just thinking the other day, I'm like Google has been a life saver in my business because you don't know how much money it saved me in like being able to...Information they are literally at your fingertips.
Kamilah: I mean I didn't know how to do a website. I didn't know how to do a blog. I didn't know how to do half the thing you know that you need to be able to do when you are running a business and unfortunately you can't afford to pay for all of these services you have to it yourself you know until you can pay someone to do it.
Kerry-Ann: And, the reason why I bring it up, I did about 3 years of college and I said about because I took one semester off and I didn't finish college and when I moved back to New York because I was going to school out of State. When I moved back to New York I was very fortunate to have a job that went and sent me to one of these. It was very early at the time they had a company and their role was to teach people to use Excel and Word and I still have my certificate.
Kamilah: That's great.
Kerry-Ann: And I tell you if I didn't do that class and I didn't know...They didn't train us like how to do Google search. Well it wasn't Google at the time, it was Yahoo searches. It was, it really would have been a disaster for me.
Kerry-Ann: And since then it's about technology but Google and the internet as it is revolutionized the way that we learn because before that you had to go back to school to learn everything.
Kerry-Ann: Now you have Google.
Kamilah: I mean there's literally like no excuse.
Kerry-Ann: YouTube, Google who owns YouTube.
Kamilah: Right, right. There's literally like no excuse and that's what I tell people too entrepreneur like you have to step your game up especially out there. I mean for me the jewelry market it’s very saturated.
Kamilah: You know you have to really make your mark and really do your homework. It took a lot of late nights you know.
Kerry-Ann: So speaking about saturated, how are you differentiating yourself in a saturated market?
Kamilah: Well the one thing that I have learned over the past couple years is just like I can't accommodate everyone. Especially jewelry, jewelry is one of those that's a saturated market but it's also very different in a sense because there is very much different types of jewelry. I think once I picked a niche I'm kind of like stuck with it you know. So this is who I'm going to design for like I literally have customer profiles detailed like these are real people, but they are really not. They are just people that may...I mean they are real people but I'm looking for specific things in my customers, so and once I did that I was like, you know what this was what I should have been doing the whole entire time you know and it's scary because it's kind of like you want to appeal to everyone but you're not going to. And, I think that's number one especially for jewelry designers is that we think in the beginning, "oh it's jewelry all women love jewelry" but no not really.
Kamilah: There's certain types of jewelry that you know women don't really wear.
Kamilah: And, there is certain types of women who want to wear jewelry who can't because they have a certain allergy towards metal, which is, I'm actually designing a collection coming out actually in November for women who have allergies to a lot of metals.
Kamilah: You know they want to wear stuff but they can’t you know so I think it's really about really defining who your target market is especially in that industry and in any industry overall. And then working, working continuously and learning. Your customers, you can learn so much from your customers you know and the information is there.
Kerry-Ann: I think what you're saying is something that echoes a lot. You need a buyer persona which you detailed, created and that's also you leveraging the information you know from your marketing background. But, also understanding that your buyer is going to change. So not because you created it last year, you know this is the buyer I'm looking for. Your buyer is growing, they're maturing, they're a year older so it's updating that and I do like the idea of...because I love your pieces.
Kamilah: Thank you.
Kerry-Ann: I like very simple jewelry.
Kamilah: Yeah, yeah.
Kerry-Ann: And in terms of the allergies I remember 2006 I went to Jamaica and I had this jewelry and the heat, sweating, salt water reaction.
Kerry-Ann: And it was just like I had a rash all the way down my neck. So I think that's important because you have to fill a need and the need that you're looking to fill is women who have an allergic reaction and that's so important.
Kamilah: It is.
Kerry-Ann: So outside of that you have to look at dig deeper and find other needs that your audience or your buyer is looking for.
Kamilah: Yeah, you're right about that. And, how I came up about that is like I would be at shows and women would come up to me and like, "does any of your stuff contain nickel in it?" And, I'm like you know what I don't think so but if I were you I wouldn't purchase it because I don't want to be responsible for you know a woman breaking out because she wore my earrings.
Kamilah: And it was just like repeat after repeat. I'm like what am I...this is gold information maybe I should be doing something with this. So that's actually what brought about this new collection that I'm actually designing.
Kerry-Ann: Awesome, awesome. I know recently you opened about...tell us about the store that is recently been opened through Amazon, tell us about that initiative.
Kamilah: Ok Amazon, Amazon created a handmade market, almost a rival with the bigger one now Etsy. And basically what they did is they were actually very, very grilling in their application process and of course I'm just going to apply because I'm just like you know it's Amazon, they're the giant, I've heard so many horror stories about sellers who sold for them but what they've done with the handmade market from what I can see is that they really scaled it to where they really want truly just handmade products. And I just realized they only accept about maybe 5,000 sellers overall to try out this platform.
Kamilah: Yes, so I guess it's a sub platform of the bigger Amazon.com but operates the same way you know. If you have an Amazon Prime account or whatever, you can use that to order if you want two day shipping or whatever. And what's neat about it actually is that your store front you get to actually tell your story. And, you can actually tell your story through pictures you know, it shows your items. It's actually really interesting, it actually just launch maybe I think this is the week two so we are still in the testing phase. It's kind of figuring now the analytics behind it and stuff but so far it's been pretty good I'm not complaining right now.
Kerry-Ann: That's great. The more platforms or avenues that you have because for a lot of designers or people who make their own clothes and not through a factory it is the biggest challenge, how do you get your product to market and to in front of a larger audience for a better word so I think this is a great opportunity.
Kamilah: It is.
Kerry-Ann: That you're taking advantage of so I'm excited for you, very excited.
Kamilah: Thank you.
Kerry-Ann: I can't wait to talk more jewelry because I like my jewelry and I've been slipping lately. So let's talk about one thing you wish you knew before you started The Pink Locket?
Kamilah: A lot of things I wish I knew. I would actually say the importance of tracking your expenses and your income. A lot of times we as creative people like you see so many different things oh I can purchase that and create that, I can purchase that and create that. But, you know you can really rack up a lot of expenses if you don't watch it.
Kerry-Ann: The other day I said to Mikalah, "Mi seh money a leak out like wata". Because before you know, you turn around you're spending money, you said it. You know there's a lot of things you have to do for yourself but at some point you kind of have to add, you have to outsource things and those things cost money.
Kamilah: It does.
Kerry-Ann: Update the website. I can do it but not because I can do it means that I should do it because I have like a million other things to do. So you have a new theme, you have security, you have all these other things and I just said, "Mikalah money a leak out like wata, money haffi stop leak", you know.
Kamilah: It's true, it's true.
Kerry-Ann: But yes tracking the expenses has been a challenge of mine and it's so timely that you're talking about this because I have a project that I'm working on and I'll talk about it later in terms of tracking expenses because it's been so ridiculous in terms of tracking expenses. I'm glad that you pointed that out and you know entrepreneurs are people thinking of going into business you know creating a system before you start the business to track your expenses is going to help you a lot. Because, you see the reason why Kamilah is probably freaking out and I'm freaking out it is October, year end is coming and we need to get them ready for taxes. So we're like scratching head like, oh.
Kamilah: Yeah, yeah and just keeping your personal income and expenses separate from your business like you know especially as a solo entrepreneur it's so easy to combine everything in one, keep them separate. It is a tax nightmare to kind of going through that and separating that just keep it...That's one thing you have to just take time. The first Monday of every month I call Money Monday, because I'm sitting down and I'm calculating how much I spent last month on expenses, where I need to cut and it makes it so much easier for me.
Kerry-Ann: We have something coming on with money cause trust me it's very easy for an entrepreneur because you think of opening a business account you're going to have to pay the fees because unless you're rolling in the dough there's a minimum to keep in that business checking account so it's easy to co-mingle because I've been guilty of it.
Kamilah: We all are.
Kerry-Ann: So what I've been doing is the whole part of going through my bank statements is just ridiculous, so what I do is I use PayPal as that gateway so...
Kamilah: That's good.
Kerry-Ann: Use everything through PayPal, so if I need to have an item of what was spent for the business I just go to PayPal and look at the transaction history and like alright these are all the receipts right here.
Kamilah: Right and that's a good system too, I actually work off of that system for a very long time. And the reports you can pull from PayPal are just great anyway.
Kamilah: So I mean just have a system in place.
Kerry-Ann: Yeah. I'm trying to move to something elaborate cause trust me, but I'm so glad that I'm not the only one having issues trying to track the expenses. Alright so that's cool, how do you stay motivated and inspired when business is slow and I know that's a bright and feisty assumption from me.
Kamilah: No listen every business has its peak. I was just talking to Mikalah about that the other day and you have your peaks so when I'm not, sales are low that's time for me to actually do my planning for the next upcoming months.
Kerry-Ann: That's a nice strategy.
Kamilah: Am I on track, okay, new designs that's a perfect time for me to start designing you know and there is so much to do trust me and it's like sometimes you almost pray for those down moments because you have so many things that you probably need to address that don't get addressed because your so focused on sales. From now until December it's all about focusing on sales for me.
Kerry-Ann: Right, it's a holiday season.
Kamilah: Right so once January hits I'll get a quiet moment. Okay that's time for me to really assess certain things, what do I need to change, what do I need to do forcasting, the next few months, the next year. So trust me I think those down times are actually a blessing you know. It helps to re-motivate you and you get to do things that you probably didn't get to do during the busy seasons you know, spend time with your family, travel, trust me there's so much to do.
Kerry-Ann: I'm glad that you have that you have that positive spin on it because a lot of times people look at the glamorous aspects of it and being an entrepreneur is grueling, being a blogger content creator is grueling especially if you have a 9 to 5 and you're doing this it's not a side job it's like you have two full time jobs.
Kamilah: Yeah, yeah.
Kerry-Ann: It is really, we call it a side hustle.
Kamilah: It's not.
Kerry-Ann: But it's really two full time jobs.
Kerry-Ann: And that's not including the other full time jobs we have that are just constant which is mother, wife, sister, daughter all of that so it gets really crazy. So down times and slow times could also mean the opportunity to go back into the lab and think about a new direction assessing your plan.
Kerry-Ann: Or just taking a much needed vacation because...
Kamilah: You need it.
Kerry-Ann: You don't take a vacation in your busy season.
Kamilah: You really can you know and it's funny you said those things. My 4 year old, last Mother's Day he made a card in school right and of course it's like what's mommy's favorite this, what's mommy's favorite that. So one of the questions that he was asked is, what is mommy's favorite thing to do? He put mommy's favorite thing to do is work. And I thought about it and like you know it's just like he's always asking me, mom are you working, mom are you working, mom are you working, and they're so young and innocent and I'm like well maybe I need to pause for a bit because you know you don't want to be known as your mommy's favorite thing to do is work. But you know he actually really keeps me focused better whether we realize it or not. Sometimes your kids they are like your little accountability people, like okay mom you know can we do this, can we do that you know. So I think that helps also too.
Kerry-Ann: Cool, I realize that we talked about the Amazon but we didn't talk about your subscription box, your jewelry subscription box so tell us how that works and are there a lot of jewelry subscription boxes out there?
Kamilah: You know there are really a whole lot of jewelry subscription boxes which actually that's what brought about the idea. Talk about, like you mention during your low sale season, your dry season subscription is a way to actually have consistent revenue coming in. So I started it, for one they are one in a whole lot and they were hardly any handmade ones like they were very far and few so I'm like you know what let me try this out and see how this works. So before I actually even launched it like I went through a research phase where I researched even my current customers, people who weren't customers to see if there's actually work alien need for it you know. So I launched it in July and it's one of those things where it's growing but it's not growing as probably as fast as I would like it to be to be honest. But, the customers who actually subscribe to it love it, like I mean they love it. And, it's exciting because it's kind of like sometimes we don't buy things for ourselves. I know me like if I buy anything for myself it's probably like my birthday or something. I never buy anything for myself so it's a purpose like little way for you to like treat yourself every month and you know your little gift coming in the mail to you every single month. You don't know what it is, when you actually subscribe to it there is actually as a short questionnaire that's sort of like you know gauge what your style is. Are you a minimalist person, or you a bohemian person, just so that when I'm creating the boxes I can sort of like maybe one month it’s cater to a bohemian person you know that loves that, maybe its minimalist. It's actually really interesting you know and the customers that I have subscribed to it love it so.
Kerry-Ann: I think it's a great idea, a really great idea.
Kamilah: We'll see holiday season picking up so that's one of the things it's just like you know it makes a great holiday gift to get someone. And, it's actually, I've made it actually not too expensive and obviously not too inexpensive either but it's at a right price point because of course you want to treat yourself but you don't want to go overboard.
Kerry-Ann: I love it and is it just one piece or is it?
Kamilah: Yeah you get one piece of jewelry every single month for however long you decide to keep the subscription box. You can cancel it at any point in time, you can even halt it you know if you don't really need it for the next few months. But, a one month subscription is $19 and then a 3 months subscription is $55 and then if you want to do 6 months it's $109, so obviously as you go along the monthly amount is less and less if you decide to do a 6 month versus a month. You receive one piece of jewelry every month and the value of the jewelry is going to range anywhere from $25 to $60 that's yes. So if you want to go buy it retail.
Kerry-Ann: Pretty good value.
Kamilah: Yeah if you want to go buy it retail on my site it's going to be obviously more versus the subscription you're getting it as part of because you're in the subscription service so.
Kerry-Ann: Cool that's very cool. I like the way that you're thinking of other ways to get your products out because sometimes you cannot depend on a third party like an Etsy or Amazon to really push your product so you have to create alternative ways to do that. I really like that's cool. So we talked about your son making the card or thinking that mommy's favorite thing is work. Let's talk about what's the biggest challenge when it comes to working life.
Kamilah: I would have to say, I'm going to say balance and it's sort of like balance is one of those things where it's just like it's really non-existence you know.
Kerry-Ann: I believe that.
Kamilah: I went to the Dreamers Symposium back in April and Soledad O'Brian was one of the speakers and she said, you know what, you know what balance is like. You know when you are at a circus and you have a clown that's spinning like 3 plates at the same time and one drops and you run over and he start spinning it again just like life is kind of like that. It's almost like you pay attention to what needs the attention at that point in time and then you have to switch.
Kamilah: So at some point in time you know it's like if you're launching something new that is going to take away from a little bit of family time it happens. But then once you're done with that and that's running...
Kerry-Ann: You go back.
Kamilah: Yeah and that's just how it is you know and you have to have a end time like I'm actually guilty of that and I'm getting on myself it's just like you know what this time at night is my cut off time. I need to re-charge, re-group and get to sleep so that I can get up in the morning and do what I need to do. So I think definitely setting boundaries for yourself or else you'll find yourself sick.
Kamilah: Yes, yes, yes.
Kerry-Ann: Balance is not time equity and a few podcast ago we spoke about exactly what you said. There are times where you have to focus on a project, a deadline and you have to work towards that.
Kerry-Ann: And when that's done you focus on the other things that you've neglected during that time so I completely get it. So let's talk about your favorite tech tools or apps that you can't do without as you balance being an entrepreneur and working full time.
Kamilah: Oh I would have to say my ultimate favorite right now is Evernote.
Kerry-Ann: Whoop whoop!! I'm an Evernote.
Kamilah: It is like it's on my phone, it's on my computer. It's everything because I have stuff in there from Aiden's reading logs, to task I need to do you know for the next week. I even put my blog editorial calendar in there like I mean everything is in there. It's just one of those Apps where it's just like that's the first thing I'm going to if I need to check something, if you know need to go to a grocery list because the way it's set up it's great.
Kerry-Ann: And the beauty of it, the new work chat feature.
Kamilah: Oh yes.
Kerry-Ann: Me and my virtual assistant we use that a lot so I love Evernote, I've been using Evernote since 2011 and it's just been...When I mean that a lot of stuff is in my Evernote, tons of stuff in Evernote.
Kerry-Ann: So yeah I love it. So how do you manage distractions? I know there is distractions in terms of technology, there is social media, there's just, there is TV shows, everything is a distraction so as you manage a full time job and a full time business how do you, what tips do you have in terms of managing distractions?
Kamilah: Oh my gosh!! I'm such a sucker for distractions because I like welcome them.
Kerry-Ann: At least you're honest.
Kamilah: I mean I've gotten better over the years you know. I think one time I calculated how much time I spent being distracted and social media and my phone is, it's like its bad so I have to actually put that to the side if I'm really trying to focus in on something. But, it's just like I said, like setting a time limit you know. If I'm really working on something I usually go to the pomodoro technique where you work in 20 minutes increments or 5 minute breaks and it works.
Kamilah: For some reason it works. For 20 minutes I'm going to work on this or I'm going to take another 5 minute break, come back continue working on it and I get so much accomplished using that technique. And, it's a way for me I know that I only have 20 minutes to work on this segment of what I'm working on so I don't have time for distractions you know and it's just a matter of letting everyone...I mean we are household of 5, like our two older sons are now off for college but when they were here...
Kerry-Ann: You're like me my daughter is 18 off to college and my son is 3 yours is 4, so yeah we are like this huge gap.
Kamilah: Yes, yes and believe it or not when the older boys were living with us. I mean people don't realize they are teenagers they don't need a whole lot of you know.
Kerry-Ann: They need a lot, they need a whole lot.
Kamilah: Actually needed more than the younger one.
Kamilah: And it's just because the whole preparation for college, getting them ready for life and stuff you know and it was just a matter of what can you guys when they were here, can you guys watch Aiden for the next hour while I work on this, okay so I think when you include everyone in your family and they are on board with what you're doing they're more respectful of your time you. Same thing with my husband he's a photographer. So if I know he has pictures to edit for the next couple hours I know that's what he's doing. Aiden will cry and try to play with him or whatever and I'm like no Aiden daddy is working or something you know. So I think when you're respectful of each other’s time as a family it sorts of work itself out. So yeah I mean how I manage distractions is just Pomodoro technique and just asking for help, asking for help because you can't do it yourself you need help.
Kerry-Ann: That technique will probably work for me and you know as Mikalah and I we tend to have this perfectionist thing so that's 20 minutes is like "yow 20 minutes and dun". Get it done, it's not perfect good enough is better than not done, 20 minutes so I think that technique would work for us. So do you set a timer? How do you...?
Kamilah: I have a timer. I have one on my computer because I put it on my phone I'm going to have the tendency to check social media or whatever so I put it on my computer. You can download it actually they have a Pomodoro timer or you can get a regular kitchen timer, 20 minutes work you know and you actually accomplish a lot. You know it's good for when you need to write blog post.
Kamilah: Because if you're like me you're like sometimes you just dread it. You know you love doing it but you just like the idea of you have to be in the right frame of mind.
Kerry-Ann: It's true.
Kamilah: Pomodoro technique it makes it a lot easier for me to do my blog.
Kerry-Ann: Its deadline that allows me to do the blog faster and I like the blog more than doing a podcast.
Kamilah: Really, you're so good at the podcast.
Kerry-Ann: Actually no I'm sorry I said that the reverse. I like the podcast more than the blog. I'm telling you distraction is a galore but I get it it's very hard because you have to get into a writing space. I journal a lot and you have to get into a space to write, to invite you know that thought or the creativity that you need to get it out so I'm going to try this technique. I've been trying the work for 90 minutes and take a break. I'm going to see what it's like to cut that back a little bit.
Kamilah: And you know you can alter it too. I've done 40 minutes and a 10 minute break, 90 minutes sometime I think I may have adult ADD. Maybe it's just so many distractions but I had done 40 minutes because 20 minutes you think is that's a little two short I need to keep working. And 20 minutes the time I'll go off and I was like you know what I can go another 20 minutes and then take a 10 minute break.
Kerry-Ann: Right, I like that. I like the shorter aspect. It's not so much adult ADD, we have way more distractions or way more things coming at us than we had like 10 years ago so it's very hard. One of my favorite books is, "How the World Sees You" and somewhere in the book they got some research that you know the average person has 3 seconds of attention like for you to grab their attention, otherwise they are off to something else.
Kerry-Ann: So that's cool. Alright so as we wrap up I just want to ask you a few fun questions.
Kerry-Ann: What's your favorite book? Pick one, I don't have one just pick one, whatever comes to you.
Kamilah: I don't have to say the "Alchemist".
Kerry-Ann: Oh my goodness yes, virtual high 5.
Kamilah: I mean I love, I can't wait for the movie to come out by the way. I actually have a quote from the Alchemist right over my bed.
Kerry-Ann: Tell me.
Kamilah: The reminder it's about the universe conspiring.
Kerry-Ann: Yes, yes all the universe conspires too help you achieve your goal. I don't know why Mikalah hasn't read it yet but I tell you that book when I read it I was like yes I know and another time I might talk about how the universe has conspired to help me achieve this goal with the podcast and the direction but yes it's such an amazing book isn't it?
Kamilah: It is, it is and one of my, is the Twintle. One of the boys before he went to college he was like ransacking looking. He was like Kamilah I know you have the Alchemist somewhere. I'm their step mom so they call me Kamilah. So I was like yeah it's in there somewhere. Like I mean he was so excited to read the book, he was like looking for it I never seen him look for a book like that to read. So it goes to show that it's a book that anyone can read. It's a must read for anyone.
Kerry-Ann: Right, right amazing. So what super power do you wish you had and why.
Kamilah: Well, I wish there was a two of me.
Kerry-Ann: I can see that.
Kamilah: I kind of wish there was two of me at times you know. Two of me in the sense that kind of do the things I really hate to do but have to do. You know like laundry, cleaning.
Kamilah: So I wish I had someone to take care of all of that stuff.
Kamilah: So I can just do the stuff I really want to do.
Kerry-Ann: I agree I see it. It's funny I asked almost every person on the show that question and almost every super power they want to have I'm like yeah I think so. So at the end I want to have all those super powers. Alright so as we wrap up I'm so excited and I'm so happy that you came on because we talked about a lot of things that you know I feel would be helpful to entrepreneurs and people considering it you know just the timing method because distractions are real and we need to figure out ways to cope with that. Buyer personas we talked about all of that so you've just given so much information. So what are you most excited about? What are you looking forward to? What's next for you and The Pink Locket?
Kamilah: You know the biggest goal is actually to make a full transition you know. Like I said I'm blessed I like my 9 to 5. It's great I learn so much but at some point in time if you want to be an entrepreneur you have to pick one you know. And, I think for us who actually still you know toggle between the two it's like sort of like you know our day job is sort of our safety then you know so we kind of you know. At some point if you really want to, some point they're going to come to it, I'm going to have to come to a decision where okay at one point do I actually decide what it is that I'm going to do. I read somewhere if you want to invite people into your business to work for you. People don't necessarily want to work for someone who is doing a part time job. You know what I mean so at some point in time I'm going to have to make a decision. I don't know when but I think in order for it to grow in the direction I need I have to focus attention on it so I would say that's probably the next biggest goal. I don't know when it will be achieved but you know I guess that's left up to planning.
Kerry-Ann: And that would be a perfect time to have you back on the show so we could talk about the transition and what advice that you have for people as they go through that transition.
Kerry-Ann: Coming back yes you're going to tell us how you transition from the two to full time in the Pink Locket and just the lessons you've learned from that process that you can impart so we don't make those same mistakes.
Kamilah: Oh for sure definitely.
Kerry-Ann: This is such a great, great interview. I'm so excited for you. I can't wait till the interview is done so I can tell you all about my jewelry taste so you can tell me what I can pick because I've seen your pieces, I love your pieces and we are including that in the show notes.
Kamilah: Oh great.
Kerry-Ann: Kamilah thank you so much for being on the show it was so great. Thanks for being on the show and we look forward to when you come back on the show and tell us about how you transitioned to being the creative designer or the Head Designer at the Pink Locket.
Kamilah: Thank you, thanks for having me.
Kerry-Ann: You're welcome.
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