WHAT'S BEHIND THE HOMEPAGE?
In this weekly series, you'll get to know the badass female entrepreneurs (and businesses) behind the homepage.
If you haven't yet joined the homepage, we randomly select one lady to feature every week.
Meet Ambernique Johnson
After feeling lost after graduation and ultimately deciding to go back to grad school, Ambernique Johnson started playing around with the idea of opening her own online boutique.
Now that she's brought that dream to life, there's the doubts and hard parts of business that she's slowly moving through.
Aren't we all?
Now put down that to do list (it can wait) and get to know this fashion-obsessed mompreneur.
BEFORE WE DIVE RIGHT IN, LET'S START OUT WITH A QUICK ROUND OF THE QUESTION GAME…
SWEET OR SALTY?
Sweeeeeeeeet!!!!!!! Sweet always!!!
WHAT'S ONE THING YOU MUST DO EVERY MORNING BEFORE WORK?
I have to sit in the bathroom with the lights off for a couple of minutes in solitude and then I say a quick prayer, and check my email! This helps me gather myself for the day.
IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD IT BE? AND WHY?
If I could live anywhere in the world it would probably be California!! Not the busier parts, but a suburban neighborhood because of my family. I love fashion and people watching, and I think Cali would be awesome for me to do those things and for my family to thrive. I, honestly, love Tennessee, but I do want to travel to many, many places.
1. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BIZ IN 3 SENTENCES OR LESS.
A.J.'s Luxe Wear is an affordable and chic online boutique that is all about making women feel good in their fashion!! Hence the tag line ... 'feel good fashion'.
2. NOW, LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING. WHAT'S YOUR STORY?
I feel like I'm a pretty boring person. Ha! I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and I am 26 years old. Sweet tea and podcasts are my life, outside of my family, school, and work. I've always been a mommy and daddy's girl, and I was literally glued to my parents until I had a baby of my own - my sweet and sour 2-year-old. Her name is Brooklyn, and I can already tell she's going to have the world wrapped around her fingers.
Okay, back to me, because I will seriously turn my story into her story real fast.
I graduated from The University of Memphis in 2014. Whoohoo! GO TIGERS!! I will graduate from Strayer University in December with my Masters of Business Administration in Project Management. I didn't come from a very wealthy family, or anything like that, and I was taught that education would be my meal ticket to success. That was a total fail!!
I graduated from undergrad and things were a total flop. It took me over 3 years to actually land a job dealing with what I went to school for and that I enjoy. I don't regret college because it was some of the best times ever but having a degree or two or three doesn't guarantee you automatic success!
After I had my daughter, I still wasn't really working and my boyfriend was pretty much taking care of all of our financial responsibilities (shout out to him!). I began to play with the idea of starting my business while finishing up grad school. It was in November of last year when I actually started to write down plans for my own online boutique.
I have always, ALWAYS wanted to be an entrepreneur. I think it's in my blood to be one, because several close family members on both sides of my family own their own businesses. But it mainly stemmed from my grandfather and father who both successfully owned and operated several barbershops in the Memphis area during the late 70's and 80's.
So after November, I really started to plan everything - from how I wanted my logo to look to what kind of pieces I wanted to offer, as well as price points, etc. I launched in January of 2017, and I've been rolling ever since. I have had some great clients, and I seriously can work on my boutique all day. The ultimate goal is to have a physical location or get to a point where I'm still based online but have tons of customers and no room in my apartment for inventory!
Along with running the boutique, I just transitioned back into working after staying at home with my baby for two years! We are still adjusting but I love working, taking care of my baby, and running the online boutique!
3. YOUR LIFE + BIZ JOURNEY IS A BOOK. WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE CHAPTER YOU'RE CURRENTLY IN?
This chapter is called "Rise to The Occasion, Ambernique!" - I'm calling it this because the time has come, I feel like, for me to step out of my comfort zone in whatever way possible and challenge myself with my business and my role at my job.
4. WHAT'S BEEN THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY SO FAR?
I would have to say the most difficult part would be staying consistent with new merchandise. The plan was to launch 1-3 new arrivals weekly but sometimes business is really slow. It takes money to make money and sometimes I'm able to get new pieces and sometimes I have to wait a few weeks.
5. WE'RE ALL BATTLING DOUBTS EVERY DAY AS ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT'S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUBTS YOU'VE DEALT WITH?
One of my biggest fears is letting my online boutique fall to the wayside. I promised myself I would never let it get to a point where the business isn't doing anything.
6. SHARING IS CARING. AND THERE'S SO MANY BADASS RESOURCES FOR FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT ARE 3 OF YOUR FAVES?
- The Real Female Entrepreneur Podcast: Lauren Frontiera. Duhh! :)
- Style Your Mind Podcast: with Cara Alwill Leyba
- The Great Girlfriends Podcast: with Sybil Amuti & Brandice Daniel
All three podcasts are on Apple podcasts and Stitcher!
7. IF YOU COULD GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Stop worrying, girl!
8. WHAT'S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH FOR WHY YOU SHOULD CHASE YOUR DREAMS?
Chasing your dreams automatically makes you a bad ass. Don't let fear consume you at any point on your journey. Take the leap, don't go through life saying "what if" about things.
I am Ambernique Johnson. I am a kickass mom who doesn't give herself enough credit sometimes. And I am the real female entrepreneur.
Ambernique is a a 26-year-old mother, full-time grad student, full-time marketing specialist, and entrepreneur, living in Memphis, Tennessee. She loves fashion, podcasts, and sweet tea.