Welcome to our Interview series, where we chat with inspiring and innovative female entrepreneurs who are empowering women and positively impacting their local communities. This week, we chatted with Lacey Odoms of online lingerie store Lace of Love.
On Social Media
Parfait Team: What are your tips for connecting with your customers?
Lacey Odoms: Talk to your customers and be sincere. You will be surprise at what you discover. When you connect, you build relationships and relationships create life long customers.
PT: What’s the secret to creating a memorable experience for customers?
LO: Listening to the customer needs and getting to know the customer. I believe building relationships allows the customer to see you are actually concerned about meeting their needs not getting their money. On social media, we try to respond to the potential customers and customers in a timely fashion and always speak with respect.
PT: What works best for you for engaging with your customers?
LO: Do you prefer Facebook or email, for example? I prefer email. It allows me to ensure I actually responded to the customer concern and I am able to create an online folder for discussions between me and my customer that may be useful in the future.
On The Lingerie Industry
PT: What is your favorite lingerie trend at the moment?
LO: The harness brand the nude. As a women of color, I am just starting to see more manufacturers create nudes for different skin tones and breast sizes.
PT: Do you believe we will one day see women of all shapes and sizes in fashion magazines, movies, and throughout the media?
LO: One day, I hope to see more women that look like me and other women I know. I am very curvy, a size 14, wear a 34J bra, with natural afro kinky hair, I have small eyes and I am black. It is extremely rare to see women that look like me unless you go to Instagram or other social media platforms where you see real women from different walks of life. I believe social media is going to lead the way for what we see in magazines, movies, etc.
PT: Where do you see the lingerie industry in 10 years?
LO: I would like to see a more well-rounded industry where you can walk in a boutique or department store and grab a 34J or 48FF bra.
On The Challenges Business Owners Face
PT: What challenges have you faced as a business owner?
LO: You must always prepare for delay in shipments. This is critical if you placed an order for a customer and they are expecting it to arrive in 2 weeks and it doesn’t arrive until a month later. To ensure the relationship stated in tact, I stayed in communication with the customer informing her of any additional delays and provided a free gift for the inconvenience.
PT: What are your tips for overcoming challenges?
LO: Be consistent, pray, mediate on the word of God and don't give up in hard times. It's easy to run the course and stay on track when everything is smooth sailing, but a time will come when you have to remember why you started rather that be starting a new business venture or pursuing a goal you always wanted to achieve.
Read Jeremiah 29:11
Mediate on positive things that you want to manifest. Make a confession list and confess it every day. There's power in speaking what you want into existence. The more you speak the more you line yourself up to accomplish those things on your list. Companies don't just become successful overnight they had to go through a few challenges and fight their way through by sticking to their vision and working towards their goals each day even when they are up opposition.
PT: What is most rewarding for you as a business owner?
LO: Helping people find their size and something they love is the best feeling.
On Success and The Importance of Role Models
PT: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their business?
LO: Start slow and pace yourself. It can be exciting, overwhelming and very challenging before you create your company into what you envisioned. Talk to people who are successful and not so successful in the field you desire to start a business. They have a wealth of knowledge and you can benefit from just holding an hour long conversation. I was very fortunate that the Lord blessed me to meet people who poured into me.
PT: Who are your role models and why?
LO: My parents and grandparents. They are love, integrity and entrepreneurs. They instilled within me the values of hard work, dedication, integrity and helping those in need.
PT: What does success mean to you?
LO: True success to me means shaping my environment and those I encounter in a positive light. My goal in life is simply to inspire, encourage and motivate individuals in every area of my life from owning and operating my own business to being light in today’s time. We need positive people in our lives. I believe one kind word can change a person’s whole day.
PT: What your keys to success?
LO: 1. Spending quality time with Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God. Sometimes I don’t know what direction to go, but when I pray God always lead me in the right direction. 2. Taking time for your self to clearly think. I am my most creative when I am alone and its quite. 3. Take risks. 4. Be kind. Always lend a helping hand to others. 5. Have faith in yourself, the God you serve and the process of life. Nothing is built in a day. It will take time to grow your business but keep pushing.
On The Best Advice She Has Ever Received
PT: What's the best advice you've ever received?
LO: "If you want what you never had, you have to do what you've never done" - Pastor Tracy Casey Sr.
My grandmother (Bonnie Bell) told me nothing in life worth having comes easy. If it's easy, you don't want it. Both my pastor and grandmother implanted within me a spirit of moving out of my comfort zone and facing challenges because challenges birth new opportunities.
Lacey Odoms is the owner of Lace Of Love, an online lingerie store.
Lace of Love
Website: Lace of Love
Check out our conversation with Lacey Odoms about Lace Of Love here.