Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview with Lesa Williams

This month, I want to introduce you to some people that I think you should know.  I want to introduce you to lesa Williams and Sandra Dee DeBose.  Today, we will meet Lesa.  I asked Lesa some questions and I want you to read her response.

 1.  Tell us about your company?  Butter by  Jolez came from the fact that all our products have some kind of natural organic butter ( shea, mango, cocoa, etc. ) and JOLEZ is from my family's  name combined: the "JO" in Johnnie, the "LE"  in Lesa, and last but certainly not least the "Z" is our  daughter Zaley.
Lesa's lovely daughter Zaley

Butter by Jolez is paraben-free, vegan friendly and color-free, but is much more than a body care maintenance system. It is a home based, all natural hair care and skin care product line. All of our products are hand mixed and made with the love that we have for this company, and what our products do for our customers. Butter by Jolez products are herbal, mostly organic, nourishing, full of natural ingredients; and many of our customers use them on their newborns or small children. A company that takes pride in providing a line of must have products, for anyone who wishes to take better care of their hair, and skin.  

2.      What made you venture out to create your own line? Well when I went Natural back in 2000’ natural hair care products was very limited, so for a while I kept my hair very short.  When I decided to grow my hair out, the products that I found either didn’t work, or were too expensive. So I decided to do my own. I asked my husband what he thought about starting our own, and he was all for it. Now I have all the quality products I need for my hair regimen, as well as sell for less than most other companies. Now you have Butter By Jolez.

3.      How difficult was it to step out and do this and did you find support? Stepping out to start was the easy part. I secretly would put money away to get products because I didn’t want the burden of paying back any kind of loan. I did that for about 18 months and then I was able to get the products.  The difficult came sort of with the concept (name/bottles/labels that kind of thing).  My biggest support was my family (Husband, daughter and my mother)

4.      What personal challenges did you face as you tried to get your company up and running?  My personal challenge was over extending what I thought I could produce in the beginning. Right before starting the company I was overcoming a lot of sickness.  As things picked up, my health wasn’t as sturdy as I would have hoped, though doing good now, that created a bit of a setback.

5.      I know personally you are a woman of integrity regarding your products and your service, how has setting this standard affected your business? I think you should sleep, eat, & drink what you believe in through all aspects (mental, physical, spiritual ) I can’t sell you the consumer, something that I myself, don’t believe in.   I am passionate about my products.  I try to be one on one with my customer service so I can always use feedback as a source of improvement.

6.       Starting a business can move slowly, so how did you keep yourself encouraged? Being that the idea of starting this business manifest in me a several years before I decided to do it.  My husband always kept me encouraged, also jumping on board 100% as co-owner, he was my rock to lean on when some days I thought the day wouldn’t come. 

7.      What is the direction you have for your business going forward? I as well as my husband would like to venture into different beauty & skin care areas we have yet to experience. Whether its facial mask, natural hair care specializing in specific natural hair issues, cosmetics, getting our products in every natural hair care salon, extending our accessories or getting distribution in several department stores worldwide. We are constantly going to the drawing board with new ideas.

Some of Butter's other products, earrings, hair accessories, etc.

8.      What would you share with someone trying to start a business? Stay focused, believe in yourself because if you don’t believe, no one can plant that belief in you and look to God for the ultimate guidance, because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me-Philippians 4:13

9.      What goals did you set for yourself regarding your business and what strategies did you use to overcome any obstacles? Well, since I was really in the natural hair trend, I sat down and wrote a list of goals I thought I need to get down, in order to get my business up and running. After I shared with my husband my goals, we became a team in getting them accomplished.  We created budgets for different categories, the butters, the oils, the containers, ink for the labels, and ingredients for each product.    When we got the basics of it down, a lot of things changed, the look of the website, the bottles, and some ingredients have been enhanced. As time progress and business picked up, we created quotas, increased inventory, and prioritized our supplies.  Staying very positive, and sticking to goals really helped us overcome any obstacles that we faced.

10.  What final thoughts would you like to share? My final thoughts would be no matter what it is you want or trying to achieve, put God first, believe in yourself, see your dreams manifest with hard work.  I’ve always looked at my company as my baby, and we always want to take good care of our babies.  So instill your dream, and birth it in to reality.  With positivity and faith, God will hold your hand so you can’t fail.

To contact Butter by Jolez: 

twitter: butterbyjolez

Click on the link below to see the video I created on my experience with the product.  

Vimeo video ~ Butter by Jolez product rating