Beyond the #Girlbossmoment: How Going Natural Helped Farah Nerette Get Bold
“In 2012, my best friend and I decided to go natural (i.e. to stop relaxing our hair), and since I am never one to waste time once I have my mind set on something I want, two weeks after our conversation, I did the Big Chop and shaved my hair to an inch of my scalp. Like every new “natural,” I spent countless hours and tons of money to find the perfect product combination to keep my curls hydrated and thriving. After much experimentation and research, I started sleeping on a satin pillowcase (I don't like the look of wearing a bonnet or head wrap to bed; it’s a mood killer, if you know what I mean!) Sleeping on the satin pillowcase cut down on my styling time each morning and kept my hair hydrated and less frizzy. What a game changer! I thought, Why don't I see more talk about this in the natural hair community? Do they know?
Two years after falling in love with my satin pillowcase and discovering its many benefits, I founded Butter + Nectar. I had what I thought was a successful launch a couple months before Christmas 2014. The sales came and word spread quickly, and I sold out my first batch of inventory. Just as quickly, business slowed down to a snail’s pace right after the holidays and my day job demanded my attention. No one told me that owning and growing my own business was not all that glamorous, and that it was going to take focus and dedication. Over the next few years, I worked on and off on Butter + Nectar.
But by the time 2016 rolled around, in the wake of my 10-year anniversary as an employee at a big corporation, I was desperate for an exit. And it just so happened that what looks like disaster on the surface turned out to be a blessing: A couple months later, I was fired. But I like to look at it a different way: I was released from that job so I could follow my dream. And now my #girlbossmoment is working harder than I have ever worked in my life on Butter + Nectar, and we’ve been growing steadily ever since.”
Three pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
1. Be intentional. Every morning before stepping off my bed, I take three long breaths, stretch and set my intentions for the day. There are so many distractions around us (i.e. social media, email, phone calls). If your intentions are set, you are less likely to be reactive (which sometimes takes away your power and causes you to lose your focus). Keep it short, simple and positive.
2. Give yourself grace. You are not going to know it all; you are going to make mistakes; you can't do it all (or you can’t do it all well, at least). You can take corrective action as you learn and grow. If you don't quit and keep moving, you are winning. One of my favorite quotes is from Earl Nightingale: "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”
3. Imagine it’s impossible to fail. I’ve often felt paralyzed by fear and shame, afraid of doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, and asking the wrong questions. But if you feel that you are called to share something with the world, you must have the courage to have difficult conversations and do things that are outside of your comfort zone. This train of thought has caused me to be more productive, take more calculated risk, and push me closer to my goals daily.