11 | Steph's Diary: Not The Plan, But I am Exactly Where I Need to Be! | Pamoja Bags 11 | Steph's Diary: Not The Plan, But I am Exactly Where I Need...

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11 | Steph's Diary: Not The Plan, But I am Exactly Where I Need to Be!

11 | Steph's Diary: Not The Plan, But I am Exactly Where I Need to Be!

If you've been tuning into this podcast, you know I've been very adamant about hitting a big milestone, which was to present a collection this month in September during Fashion Week. Well long story short, that didn't happen.

I’m not going to lie, I felt defeated, but that feeling lasted for a short period of time. Because I realized I’m exactly where I need to be. There is so much more for me to observe and learn over the next few months so I’m ready for Fashion Week in February!

Topics Covered:

  • Remaining focused on my goals
  • Taking time off to rest & reset
  • Beyonce Renaissance Tour & Bey Good Foundation
  • Setting goals and taking action
  • Remaining focused on my goals
  • Taking time off to rest & reset
  • Beyonce Renaissance Tour & Bey Good Foundation
  • Setting goals and taking action

Featured Products

The Nia 3-in-1 Bag - Slate



Stephanie: I am Stephanie Evans and this is Diaries of a Modern Trailblazer. Take note of the journey and be inspired to forge your own amazing path.

Hello, hello! I hope that everyone has had an amazing week thus far. I want to kick off by reading my daily affirmation, which, I'm going to be honest, I don't say this out loud every day, but, you know, at the end of the day, it's there when I need it. And this was something that I really needed to lean on this month. So here it goes.

I will remain focused on my goals. Even if I have a moment of difficulty, I will not give up. I know success comes with consistency. I know that I will make it. Things will get better. No problem, no challenge will stop me. Everything I deserve is coming my way.

I'm reading it because I had that moment of difficulty, and if you've been tuning into this podcast, you know I've been very adamant about hitting a big milestone, which was to present a collection this month in September during Fashion Week.

Well, long story short, that didn't happen. But at the end of the day, I recognize I'm exactly where I need to be.

I came across an Instagram post earlier this month that said, You don't have to know what comes next. There's peace in knowing that God has a plan, and he has You exactly where he wants You.

I've been working through sampling this collection of bags for what feels like a very long time. And quite frankly, I thought I would have all of my samples by now, today. But they're still a work in progress and there's always a lesson to be learned through this process. Like as I'm building out this business, I'm learning about the importance of setting expectations. And, you know, it's not only limited to business. It expands on personal relationships as well, and just making sure that communication is clear, details are laid out, you know, like just putting all of that detail and communication, communication, communication, communication in building strong foundational relationships across the board.

Um, I'm progressing and I'm being optimistic throughout the process, knowing that things will get better at the end of the day. And you know what? I got an update from my manufacturer this morning and, and it gave me a huge boost of confidence that we're moving in the right direction, which is extremely exciting.

So despite this delay, well, let me take a step back when I knew that the September milestone wasn't going to happen, I honestly did begin to feel defeated. You know, but in the back of my mind, I knew that I could not press pause. I knew that there were other things that I could continue to do independently to make sure that I set myself up, set Pamoja up for success in the future.

I recognized that things were a bit rushed. And I wasn't necessarily going to be able to prepare in the way that I honestly wanted to prepare and present myself with potential wholesale buyers, press, media, whomever else. So this just feels like a new beginning and another opportunity for me to do it in the right way, when putting the brand forward. So I'm really happy about that.

I see this as an opportunity, knowing that I have more time when February comes, because that is a new milestone now. And during that process, I believe it may have been last month or earlier this month that somehow an ad for Wholesale Growth podcast came up and I was like, wow, that sounds interesting because that's really what I'm looking to do as a form of growth because, you know, if people don't know about Pamoja, if customers don't know about Pamoja, then how am I supposed to grow?

And for me, I'm looking at wholesale as an avenue to broaden my distribution. And one of the interesting stats that was quoted in that podcast came from Forrester, where I believe it's projected in 2024, 72 percent of sales are going to originate in store because the in store experience is still very much so important.

And knowing that I'm building great quality multifunctional bags that are designed to last, that story is really going to come to life when the customer, when you are in the store and you see it for yourself. And it's just like, yeah, that's the bag. That's the one for me. So yeah, I'm really excited for that.

Um, anyway, so in the interim, while sample making is happening, I'm planning, and I'm being strategic, and I'm being intentional, and as a result, I truly believe that nothing is going to stop me. You know, it just makes me think and reflect that, again, these things are in our head. And we are the ones preventing ourselves from doing what it is that we need to be doing in order to progress in life.

In order to do the things that we want to do, the things that we're meant to do. Not necessarily placing blame on others in the process.

Also another thing that I recognize in this process Like, I intended to take a week off because, in my mind, I was going to be in New York and working and actively engaging in a showroom, you know, but even though that didn't happen, because I knew I missed the mark, I still planned on taking a week off, and I took a week off towards the end of September.

I did a staycation to focus on myself and be intentional around that. I spent time working on strategy for Pamoja, but at the same time, I also spent time pampering myself. I had a massage one day. Another day I got facial, another day I got a manicure and a pedicure, and then one of my friends came into town as we were going to attend the Beyonce concert last Sunday in Houston, which was phenomenally amazing, by the way. And I also attended the Bey Good Luncheon for the Black Parade Route, which is part of Beyonce's Foundation. And it was kind of a full circle moment because, um, Ivy McGregor is the director of the Bey Good Foundation, and Mama Tina was the guest speaker, and, I went to a retreat in March called the Secret Sauce to Success Retreat.

And again, um, Mrs. Tina Lawson, she was the keynote speaker being interviewed by Ivy McGregor. And so it was really, really cool that I got to see the two of them twice. Once in March, another time in September, and, like, I, I got to talk to, um, Mama Tina in March, and then I got to follow up and talk to Ivy McGregor in September, um, last Friday.

And so if you actually go to, if you're on our podcast page on the Pamoja site, you'll see the picture of myself in Ivy McGregor from the luncheon, which was so, so amazing. And I got to network with individuals who are growing their businesses just like me being in a room full of people that are working towards similar goals and being inspired and it was great and it was what my soul needed nourishment for.

On top of that, there were, there was a folder full of resources, for all of us with our businesses to take advantage of, which I'm still spending time looking through it and it is a folder of abundance.

So the past week, Last week was full of joy, full of optimism, and knowing at the end of the day, no problem or challenge will stop me, because everything I deserve is coming my way.

I am worthy of great things, and I know that's all on the horizon. You are worthy of great things and you just have to put it out there, you know. I'm here now, but it's only going to get better moving forward. And I think about what's next. It's truly, truly exciting as I'm working through the strategy and putting those things down in a deck.

And knowing, for example, I want to be part of the Black in Fashion Council showroom in February. The first step is writing down that goal. But the next step is figuring out, how am I going to get there? Who do I reach out to, to even be considered for an opportunity like that? Well, lo and behold, I'm part of a group chat that was created after participating in the Harlem Fashion Row designer retreat that happened last year.

Um, all of us decided to create, well, actually one of the designers came up with a great idea to create a group chat in WhatsApp for us to just continue to stay connected. And talk about what it is we're doing and share resources and really continue to lift each other up. And it's been amazing. So one of the designers in the group chat, Krystal Phillips, she mentioned that she was participating in the Black in Fashion Council showroom this month, and when I saw that, oh my gosh, I immediately DM'd her and told her that's exactly what I want to do. Like I wrote that down and I am so happy and excited for you. Congratulations, by the way. I want to hear about your experience and definitely want to connect and learn , how did you get the opportunity to participate in the Black in Fashion Council showroom? And how was that experience? And guess what? I'm talking to her about this experience on Friday, September 28th and getting the update.

So there is more to come. I'm super excited about that. And it just goes to show anything is possible. To be able to connect with somebody who has had the opportunity to do something I am interested in doing that I set as a goal. It just feels like it's placing me that much closer to achieving it.

So in hindsight, I'm exactly where I need to be because I needed more time. And when I get there, it's going to be great. You have to believe. You have to have faith and you have to stay consistent in what it is that you're looking to achieve in life.

And that's a wrap. So own it and make moves. One day, I want to share your journey on this podcast.