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Starting your own small business is no easy task especially during these challenging times, which is why Hatch decided to begin a series featuring inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs’ success stories. For our first piece we will be featuring two entrepreneurs, Danielle Schwartz of Lady Dandelion & Felix Navarro of Juicy Leaf. Both of their stories are powerful and display how far you can go when you are determined to succeed. Now without further ado, the two videos below feature these small businesses owners telling you their impactful stories in their own words:
Lady Dandelion - Ethical Fashion for Feminine Tomboys - LA's best skate wear boutique
“As long as I can remember, I was always the only girl playing with all the guys. For whatever reason, I never felt like it was off limits to me. There's an experience of going into an environment that's male dominated, and you put a girl in there, and it can make the guys really uncomfortable. I would mostly just see girls wearing guys style clothes, there was room for a little bit more duality.
I'm going to make some clothes that also allow anybody who wears them to feel like they can go do whatever athletic activity they were planning to do without changing. I have a sign in front of my store that says ethical fashion for feminine tomboys. For me, the inspiration is creating that archetype and putting it more out in popular culture, making women feel like they're more options.
My whole brand is a female run brand. So all of the people who work for me are also women. There is no separation for me between my business and affecting the world. I use only deadstock fabric which means fabric that's been leftover from larger brands that would otherwise be thrown away. When you're a small business, it's not easy to produce your line locally, but I'm not interested in doing it unless I do it that way.
I would want my daughter to have more options and opportunities in her own mind of what's possible. For there just to be more room for her as a girl or a woman to feel free to be who she is just witnessing what I'm doing is gonna make her feel like she's got those options. Anytime you start a business you're gonna be tested. It's about moving forward no matter what. That's something that I like to try and pass on to other women.”
“Putting my hands in the dirt just made me feel alive. My childhood was hard. We grew up really poor, we didn't speak English. When I was planting everything that was going wrong in the world went away. My goal was to make sure that I could help my mom and dad, I always kept working with plants and then actually started making stuff.
Then all of a sudden, I have this little plan and numbers like, do you want to buy this? To be a small business owner isn't for the faint of heart, they would have to get up Saturday like at three o'clock in the morning to go set up by 7am and work the full day Saturday. They got to where we would sell out and I would actually have to go home and make more in the night to repack for the next day.
When I came out to California, it was like I had a completely new palette of plants to work with. Succulents are a little more drought tolerant, they do conserve more water, it's almost like art, you know? It's like you've been drawing with pencils your whole life and then all of a sudden you have colors that you can actually work with.
Then after about two years, my partner was like ‘You need a brick and mortar’. To be a small business owner, there are so many different hats and titles that you're going to have to have... a kind of like, do everything. Owner, gardener, hot mess haha. I don't want to be a millionaire or a billionaire. I want to be happy. I want to pay my bills, but I also want to be able to be a good human to the people that I love. [I’m] not an artist because I don't paint things. I mean I could be like a plant artist, but it doesn't really exist. So as far as title, it really is hard to say. I’m the guy that likes plants.”
We wholeheartedly appreciate Danielle & Felix allowing us to share their motivational entrepreneur success stories. Danielle’s story highlights the importance of female empowerment and how no one needs to fit into a stereotype to be successful. On the flip side, Felix’s story demonstrates the struggles of immigrating to a new country where you don’t speak the language, and how the drive to genuinely want better for your family can lead to success. We hope that these success stories have inspired you to succeed no matter what your goal may be, and if you enjoyed these highlights consider subscribing to Hatch’s YouTube channel for more content like this.