Things you need to know before starting your own business
Self-development is a cycle that includes working on your inner self, health, relationships, and the most commonly forgotten one, career. With every spotlight post, the goal is to inspire people with stories and experiences from guests. For this month, I interviewed Fatoumata. She is one of the many talented and brilliant people I met during my college journey. In November, she launched her jewelry business, so check out her personal Instagram(@Officiallyfaa) and her business one (@Mysashopus), where she most recently launched her new collection, THE CITY COLLECTION (found on her Etsy shop! Read until the end for a special surprise). I asked her Fatoumata ten questions so you can understand the lifestyle of a business owner.
Me: Hi Fatoumata, thank you so much for being a guest on my blog. The best way I think we can start this blog is, Can you give some facts about you?
Fatoumata: Hi Alayjah, well to start, I was born and raised in the Bronx, NYC my whole life. I come from a Malian background which is located in West Africa. I’m a huge music lover, I’m open to any genre! And lastly, I’m a Taurus! Best of them all!
Me: What inspired you to want to start your business?
Fatoumata: I wanted to own a business since I was in middle. It was to be a music video director but, obviously over time, I grew out of that dream-- not to say I wouldn’t want to take a shot at it in the future, because I would, but I’m not as passionate about it anymore. In high school is where I found my dream of owning my own cosmetics line. Originally it was things like makeup but it turned into more of a skincare thing. I think taking care of our skin is so important, and I’m so anal about my own, I feel like having good and healthy skin is one big confidence booster for me and many others.
Me: Why did you choose to sell jewelry?
Fatoumata: Obviously, I have gone down a wacky path of what kind of business I want, but when it came to what I thought I should start with, jewelry seemed to be the first answer. I love accessories, I feel like they turn any outfit into a real look. I’ve always love necklaces and earrings, I literally cannot leave the house without either because I feel naked. Jewelry is a great form of self-expression because you can tell who a person is by the style of jewelry they wear, how they style the jewelry, the colors of their jewelry, etc.-- and it just brings uniqueness and a sort of glow to a person.
Me: What inspired your first collection? Is there a lot of meaning or symbolism behind it?
Fatoumata: For my first collection, The Fifi Collection, I named it after myself. So Fifi is my family nickname, and I think that name is a big part of me because I’ve been called Fifi way more than I’ve been called Fatoumata my entire life and though both are me, I feel the name Fifi is a different version of me that I wanted to bring out to people who don’t know that about! All the pieces are things I hand-picked. I thought they were either cute or beautiful and that others would also love. I love gold. I made it so all my pieces were the richest gold they could be, as that’s what I wear on a daily. I threw in some black because I think it’s super classy, but I wear black gold accessories all the time as well.
Me: We are in the same major, so I was wondering; how has your major played a role in your business?
Fatoumata: My major has played a huge role in my business. Advertising and marketing is a huge factor in the success of a business and I have taken things that I’ve learned in my classes and used them to my advantage to make smart and effective moves. It’s been really helpful, honestly.
Me: What motivates you to keep going after your dreams?
Fatoumata: Really, that this is just the beginning. I’m becoming more and more, legally at least, of an adult every day, and so for me, I like to be prepared for the future, and I’ve always been that way and so with my dreams and goals, I know if it’s meant for me it’s always gonna be there so working on the baby steps now is only a positive. I come from a hardworking family as well, from my siblings to my parents, we all have big dreams that we have confidence in accomplishing, so that’s a big factor.
Me: What is the best part of being a business owner?
Fatoumata: The best part is the reaction from people who support you because it’s like you put in all this hard work and money, and when you see it’s paying off, then you know all the work is not just for nothing. I also love the opportunity to let my creative side let loose. I went to a film-photography based high school where we’d be taking photographs and making films. Now moving into college and where my major filled with me taking notes and reading up on things I need to know, I just felt as though my creativity was lacking. Being a business owner who does everything herself, I enjoy being my creative director, picking out pieces, coming up with ideas for new collections, photographing promo, making edits-- everything is just so fun.
Me: What is something you are looking forward to this year?
Fatoumata: I look forward to all the new collections I have planned to come out because they're all so beautiful and there is something for everybody! I’m also super excited just bettering myself and getting closer with myself. This pandemic is disheartening, but it did open the door for me to have to learn to get comfortable with my own company and thoughts 24/7 on a different level. I am naturally super introverted, but it is different when all you can do is be home. There are no complaints here!
Me: What do you think is the most challenging task of the process of owning a business?
Fatoumata: Well, I’d say finding the quality products that I want and the hours. I am very particular about the quality of my products because my whole slogan is luxury on a budget. That makes it so that I’m searching through vendors at 1:00 AM just to find what I want. I’m super stubborn as well, so that plays a big role as well, haha!
Me: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start a business?
Fatoumata: I say do the research first, from vendors, site host, your target audience, what you’re trying to sell, etc. A lot of people’s first advice is “Just go for it”, but I think that’s awful advice. Like yes, the encouragement and support are appreciated, but this isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s a lot of factors balled up into one. As I said, once you do the research and you’re still down to go on the journey, then I would encourage you to go for it! The world is our playground waiting for the most worthy opponent to hop on the swing.
Me: Thanks for answering all these questions! Is there anything you would like to add?
Fatoumata: I would like to say a big thank you for having me as a guest on your blog! I enjoyed being apart of this. I would also like to mention that by now, my latest collection of my brand MYSA by Fatoumata Traoré, would be officially launched! The collection is The City Collection and it’s filled with beautiful unisex pieces that I think greatly represent my beautiful city of NYC! As a token of my appreciation, MBFT is supplying Simply Lay readers with 20% of their purchase of anything from my latest collection using the coupon code "SIMPLYLAY20". Be sure to follow our Instagram for more surprises coming soon !!
That is all for today. Thank you again to Fatoumata for being a guest and hope you'll check out her business because seeing the work she puts in is amazing. Thank you for taking the time to read. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my Instagram and Twitter to connect and stay up to date. I am excited about next week's blog post so make sure you come back next Saturday. Until then, there’s a lot more content on my youtube channel. I hope you have a good day, evening or night.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋