Why and How I Started a Business even with Having an Awesome Corporate Job.
It's Not About Me. It's Because of My Story.
When I am out networking, I have the opportunity to share my story with people. So why not do it here too. To me, it is the same thing although we are meeting through a computer screen, a cell phone or a tablet.
Over the next 300+ words, I am going to tell you all about me and walk you through the journey to date of my brand Kaderique. Where it started, Why it started and Where I am driving it to go.
So here we go.
It was some time in 1989 when I was sitting on the porch, in Haiti with my dad, us two staring at the stars and enjoying the warm air. I was 9 years old. I told my father that night: "dad...one day I want to be a business woman...and I can see myself on a big stage speaking to a lot of people that are inspired by my words". He replied: "well bichotte (is what he called me), there is nothing wrong with that".
In 1994, my father picked me up from school in Haiti. I was 14 years old. He saw me in tears and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I had failed my exam and that he would be disappointed in me. He laughed and responded to me: "there is nothing wrong with failure. You can't always have excellent grades...although I would like you to" he added "When you fail, go back and try to understand why so you don't do it again. You will improve that way. That simple".
In 1997, 3 years later, I witnessed my father get shot in the head. In Haiti. In our home. I was 16 years old and my life suddenly changed.
After graduating High School, I moved to New York with the intention of continuing my higher education. That is exactly what my focus was for the next 5 years of my life. Education. So, I attended a community college for the first semester and went on to graduating with my MBA in Hospitality Management at St. John's University. All this while working a full-time job and some ...I had 2 extra jobs...because I needed to pay my rent and take care of myself. Along the way, I met my husband. We got married and while 4 months pregnant with my daughter, I graduated with my Master's Degree in General Management.
I worked myself up the Corporate America ladder and landed a management position that enable me to travel the world just like I always wanted. From Vegas to Hong Kong, Paris to Thailand.
I had the opportunity to experience all types of cultures, business models, food and morals. But with all of this, I was still not feeling fulfilled. I did not want to settle with this. On the surface it all looked great but deep inside, I knew there was something else in me.
I ended up joining MLM's (Direct Marketing Sales companies), studied to become a loan officer and even contemplating going back to school. I just could not stop trying things out. Today, when I think back, I can confidently say that this was the process of finding myself that had started.
It was not until the Fall of 2014, while sitting in my living room one night that I just stopped and asked myself: "What do you want Martine? What is your vision? Do you really want to work and retire from Corporate America or do you want to R.I.P knowing that you lived your life doing what you were made to do? Are you going to be on that stage speaking to this audience like you told your dad or not?"
I spent the entire winter online. Yes, this is when I discovered the power of the internet and all the good stuff in it. From YouTube, Google, Pinterest and more.... I consumed content every single day and I enjoyed it. I was curating images, reading and commenting on blogs, learning about starting a business, opened up an Instagram account, emailing, DM-ing random businesses in my local area to introduce myself. I was on a roll. Let me tell you. Tired but on a roll.
In the Spring of 2015, Kaderique Handmade Jewelry was born. All the jewelry was designed and made by hand by me. I sold the pieces at street fairs and collaborated with other brands.
During this process, I started my blog. Went out to network and had the opportunity to create great relationships and meet amazing people that became friends. With all of this, I always ensured that I never stopped learning, never stopped networking and never stopped reporting to my day job. FYI I am still at my day job. Hitting 15 years soon! woof...
Attending NYFW, meeting celebrities and indulging at really nice exclusive events was the life that I had one year into starting Kaderique. Did I love it? Sure! Was it easy to manage? Absolutely not! Do I regret it? Not at all. ok so...
...I realized a lot about myself. I found out that I was great at networking, planning, communicating and establishing business relationships. I realized that when you are passionate about something, believe in yourself, have a vision and surround yourself with like-minded individuals, you can do whatever you want and truly design the life that you want. I realized that there are tons of tools out there for people like me: "Corporateneurs", that report to a day job and want to run a successful business.
But then it happened: That moment when I realized I could not continue to be a Jack of all trades. That running an expensive hobby would not pave the way of my dream of transforming people's lives like I had envisioned when I was 9 years old. I needed to redefine, rework, repurpose and so I did.
Today, I focus on mentoring creative entrepreneurs from all walks of life that have that passion in them just like me. That are still at their day job just like me but yet are working 5 to 9 just like me. The creative moms that have no time to surf the internet to find out how they can start their business, I come to help. The millennium that wants a blog but has no idea how to make it generate money, I come to help....and more.
You cannot be focusing on wanting to do this to make quick cash...there is no such thing in my world of coaching. I believe in establishing consistency period.
I help my clients reinvent their brands online by providing them strategies and resources to enable them to position themselves so that they could attract their ideal audience.
In March of 2018, I had the pleasure to join a panel of amazing women entrepreneurs at the Facebook Boost your Business event in Newark New Jersey where I spoke to the crowd about the amazing features social media marketing brings when it comes to promoting a brand.
Awesome! You made it this far. Lots of words I know. But honestly, I am proud of you and I am really honored that you took the time to read my story. Hopefully I convinced you to explore my experiences as one of the ingredients to your success. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you succeed in your journey.
Bottom line is, I am here because I want to help you. I am here because I want to be part of your transformation. Seeing you succeed, connecting you with others that can help you succeed is my goal because I believe that we all have something special in us. We deserve to perfect our craft. Period.