This particular beauty I’ve known for basically my entire life. She’s a few years older than me, but we grew up in the same church and she’s always been someone I looked up to (even though she doesn’t know this). Michelle Moreland aka “Francheska”, is a 32 year old product of the US Virgin Islands. She is the mother of two beautiful girls – ages 10 and 1 – and she recently got engaged and moved her family to Florida after the 2 devastating storms (category 5 Irma and Maria) hit the Virgin Islands in 2017. Prior to her first born, she graduated from college with a BA in BusinessManagement. Thereafter, and over the course of 10 years, she’s worked in the fields of Accounting, Banking, Legal, Retail and Marketing. In 2013, she started a unique advertising business that created some buzz and showed it could be profitable. However, as a Mom, (and single at the time) it was very hard to continue. So, instead, she stopped that pursuit and put her focus on enhancing her careering marketing. Not too long after, she inadvertently came up with another business idea that put her on “Cloud 9”! She decided to go for it, and after just 2 years of business, she was able to quit her day job. She has, since, been self-employed as the proud owner of Caribbean Local Fashion for about 6 years now and is living her best life as an entrepreneur.
She is inspired by her mom – who has what Michelle describes as “an unexplainable drive”. “She was very nervous with my decision to step outside of a 9-5” she continues, “but now I think she’s realized that I use her drive and discipline to run my business every single day”. When it comes to motivation, Michelle starts off by giving credit to herself. She has always been her own motivator. “I’m more of an introvert, so I am very short with conversations and sharing my thoughts with others”, says Michelle.
“I came up with an idea one day, and in that second, I knew it would be great. So, I took everything that I learned from my corporate jobs (especially my marketing job) and put it into my own business.”
“Even to this day I am constantly reading business-like books, while reading up on other like minded entrepreneurs. I watch television/talk shows about business and entrepreneurship. I’m always researching new ideas and practices done by companies much bigger than me and each time, I give myself a new challenge. Most of all, being a mom and wanting the best life for my kids is the biggest factor in what keeps me going. They give me that drive to do my very best, every second of every day. All these things keep me motivated.”
Michelle has always had a special aura about her. You always notice her in a room full of people – she stands out. And of course, this translates to her business as well. “I take pride in everything I put out. Sometimes I’m too hard on myself, but I don’t think I could settle for it being any other way. ” Michelle goes on to say,
“I’m a slight perfectionist, and once I realized that my customers noticed and appreciated the way I portray myself and my business, that lets me know that there aren’t too many more like me out there.”
“I am one of the very few young, black women out of the Virgin Islands that has actually created a business that is unique and delivers quality to all my followers and customers.” I’m sure you’ve all heard, “With great power comes great responsibility”, and Michelle is no stranger to this concept. “My constant battle in running my business, is the fact that I am a one-woman army. I’m literally my business’ only employee (from the designing, the purchasing, managing, financing, budgeting, online order fulfillment) on top of being a mom. So sometimes my brain gets overwhelmed and I can’t sit and concentrate on one thing.” Most of us can probably relate to not being able to concentrate, and some of us don’t run our own business or have kids. How does Michelle pull it together?
“I just stop everything, shut down all computers, and plan a mini getaway”
she says. “During those getaways, my mind is back at ease and I sort my thoughts out. When I get back to the office, it’s like a whole new me on a level higher than I was before.”
As like all my features, I was curious to know about Michelle’s fears, if any, so I asked her. She replied, “Well, I want to grow my business, but I fear it growing too big and things becoming complicated. One day I would love to have a huge company with different departments to ease some of my tasks. But…I worry that if, or when I do, I would somehow become bored and unmotivated. I also fear making too much money (strange I know), but ‘with money comes headache‘ and that is one truth I learned that year I made close to 7 figures. That year was bitter sweet, but I learned so much from it. From doing my business taxes, to finding the right employees, while of course still trying to offer excellent service to each and every customer.” Phew! I can only imagine the amount of stress that comes with making that much money, especially when you’re doing all of the work by yourself (she’s since downsized her workload so everything is manageable and at a perfect pace). All of that might be enough to scare a regular person, but not Michelle.
“The fear of my business growing ‘too big’ is neither a hinderance or a form of motivation, it’s literally just a choice I have to make.”
“For example, if I were to accept growth, what would be the ideal size of my company? A size that would allow me to still be active in my business, full time, and still have control over all areas? I don’t know either, but these are some of the thoughts surrounding my ‘fears’.” I love how she kind of reduces her fears to a simple choice – a decision she would have to make. Most of us give our fears too much power, often holding ourselves back from progressing. But Michelle, on the other hand, does the opposite; she faces her fears head on and makes the “tough” choices.
And although she is a powerhouse on her own, she doesn’t face her fears alone. “God pushes me everyday! I used to wake up exhausted and numb, until I started praying for clarity and a peace of mind through this journey”, she says.
“Now when I wake up, I’m no longer tired, no longer mind boggled, and I’m excited to see what the new day has in store.”
“I’m literally happy and content with the way things are going.” What an awesome testimony from such an amazing woman. Juggling a business, 2 children, and a fiancé sounds tough, but from what I see, Michelle is doing an amazing job. If you don’t believe me just check out her website for yourself at http://www.caribbeanlocalfashion.com; I promise you won’t be disappointed. Until next time babies!💕