Truth Telling From The Trenches With Tricia James Melvin - Founder of Tricia James Professional Scar
Hi There! It's Tricia James Melvin - Founder of Tricia James Professional Scarf Styling Company & Pop Accessory Mentoring and Licensing Program. With 35 years of experience in the accessory industry my expertise is as follows:
*Designing Innovative Scarf Styles & Scarf Styling Products
*Accessories Product Development
*Retail Accessories Business Management
*Importing Apparel & Accessories
*Wholesale Fashion Accessories
*Mentor and Advocate For Accessory Business Start-ups I currently share my industry experience and expertise as a business mentor and advocate for Women's Entrepreneurship. I help my clients set-up their very own turnkey accessory business through my Mentoring & Licensing Business Program. Partnering with manufacturers from around the world, I design and curate high-quality merchandise for accessory business start-ups. Clients who invest in my Turnkey - "Done For You" accessories Mentoring and Licensed Brand business program, earn and keep 100% of their profits!
My husband James and I have two teenage daughters. I enjoy collecting antique scarves, jet-skiing, entertaining friends, and family. I love to travel, read motivational books. My passion and purpose are to help women elevate their economic independence!
Where is your business located?
Where did the idea for your business come from?
After being a stay at home mom for 8 years, I decided it was time to get back to work. I wanted to do something that I have a passion for. I called Nordstrom to explore doing scarf parties in their accessories department in 2010. Nordstrom's loved the idea!
I began teaching customers at Nordstrom the 12 original scarf styles I created. The day I sold $20,000 worth of scarves at one of my scarf parties at Nordstrom, I knew there was something more to explore with regards to my scarf styling business!
In 2011, I was awarded the "All-Star" Award from Blake Nordstrom for increasing sales in their accessory department and for providing a great customer experience!
That same year, I launched my scarf styling instructional DVD at the NorthWest Women Show in Seattle, Washington. The idea for the DVD came from my customer's at Nordstrom who would say "Tricia! We love what you do with scarves but we can't take you home with us - Where is your DVD!?" So, I gave my customers what they wanted! My "Be Scarf Stylish" DVD was a sell out at the NorthWest Women Show - All 1500 DVD's!
After returning and presenting my original scarf styles at the NorthWest Women Show in 2013 - My business took an unexpected turn. I was invited by the MIlitary Exchange in Washington State to present at their Exchanges -(Department stores for military families) This was indeed a blessing that helped propel and expand my business at five Military Exchange locations in Washington State.
Today, I continue to present my scarf styling and fashion accessories business at Military Exchanges, Trade Shows, and Women's Organizations in Washington State.
In June of 2017, knowing that there was still more I could do with my accessories business, I launched Pop Accessory a division of Tricia James LLC. Pop Accessory is a Mentoring and Licensed Brand business program. I help women start their own fashion accessories business at a fraction of the cost as compared to a full-scale retail accessories store.
I help my clients launch their "Done For You" - Pop-Up accessory shop in 8 weeks or less and my clients keep 100% of their profits!
In full disclosure, besides their initial investment into our accessories business program, there is a $97 a month Licensing Fee for the lifetime of being in our program. This Fee helps pay for administration, my clients sales, and marketing Pop-Up schedule is done for them to generate revenues at locations where their ideal customers are for the entire calendar year!
As you can see from my entrepreneurial journey - Business is about progression. It's about saying yes to opportunities big or small. It's about staying open to learn from others and to take feedback negative or positive with grace, always knowing that it's an entrepreneurial journey that promises growth for self and others when your heart and attitude is in the right place to serve!
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Before I roll out of bed I stretch in bed to wake my body and brain up! Then I sit up at the edge of my bed and look at my Dream Board for a few minutes to remind myself about what I want to accomplish for the year! I've been doing this ritual for years.
Each year I accomplish about 70% of my goals. The other 30% is moved forward into the following year's Dream Board if it still applies to the direction I'm taking.
What does your work day look like and how do you maximize your productivity?
I wake up about 5:30 am every day during the school year - To get my daughters off to school. I drive both of them to school because it gives me time to bond with them through our conversation about school or whatever else they want to talk about.
I start working on my business at 9:00 am. The first thing I look at is my "To Do's" list that I wrote out the night before. This helps me maximize my time and keeps me on track in getting my phone calls, social media postings, and meetings all aligned for the day. My workday ends around 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm some days. I'm all about being a mom and wife after 4:00 pm. I do not entertain any business during my family time.
My philosophy is Family First - Business is planned!
How do you bring your great business ideas to the world to serve your clients?
One of the best ways I bring my business to serve my customers and clients is through - The Pop-Up shops that I set-up at various events and venues throughout Washington State.
My customers get to experience my educational presentations on how to wear the multi-styling accessories that I sell - That can help expand their fashion wardrobe and enhance their sense of style!
What is one trend in business that excites you?
The one trend that excites me in business is social interactions! More business is done today through social communities and social media interactions.
My recent posting on Instagram of a video demonstration I did on some of the multi-styling scarves that I sell, brought in sales I would not have otherwise experience.
Finding a platform on social media that resonates with your product and brand is the best way to capitalize on your audience and revenues.
What is one strategy that helped you grow your business?
Creating my revenue generating sales and marketing calendar every year in December for the following year has helped me outperform my monthly revenue goals year after year.
So far for 2018 - My company's revenue is up by 13%! Keep your eyes on the numbers in your business, to help motivate you to push a little harder up the mountain towards achieving your revenue goals.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest failures I had this year was to not trust my instincts! How many times have we heard that saying "Trust is earned not given!"
I trusted a client wholeheartedly and let her into the back-end of my business, showing her the people that help support my business. From vendors to manufacturers I naively let her in on the secrets of my business.
She operated her accessories business under Pop Accessory's licensed program for exactly a year successfully. Without any clue of dissatisfaction with our program - I received a letter of Termination Of Contract from her lawyer! She is now using my business model and purchasing products from my manufacturers to duplicate my business! I've learned from this experience, despite having all the legal contracts and stop gaps to protect my business - It was blind trust in the end, that caused this outcome. This first thing I did was to take full responsibility for the outcome. This is an important step in business or in your personal life. Taking full responsibility regardless of whether you're right or wrong in any situation places you in full control of the situation.
Once you have full control of the situation, you take the necessary actions to resolve the problem amicably either through negotiations or decision actions that resolve's the problem. Business is not about emotions, it's about taking the right actions that resolve's a problem or actions that will grow your business.
This problem is a temporary setback for my business but watch out for my comeback! Overall, this problem has been a positive experience because - It helped confirm what I want to do next, that will help me reach and serve more women worldwide, who are looking to start a tested and profitable accessory business.
Everything happens for a reason, find the good in it!
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to this community?
No matter what products or services you sell - Learn more about how a pop-up table/shop can help reach your ideal clients at events, venues, and at your industry trade shows. There is no better way to get up front and personal about your business with your ideal customers/clients than popping up a table or shop at a location where your ideal customers congregate!
What is the best $100 you have recently spent? on What? Why?
The best $100 I recently spent, was on my daughter Makena who is 15 years old. She wanted a make-over after having long hair for 15 years! She said " Mom I need a change! I want to cut my hair short!" Well, I said yes! However, I did not know how short she wanted it! She had hair down to her waistline. She wanted a pixie cut! Gene Juarez did a great job and Makena loves it! That's all that matter's in the end. Change is good when it makes you feel good!
What is one piece of software or app that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I love my Square credit card processing app! It makes life as a small business owner easy. I'm able to get a report on how my business is doing at the tip of my fingers! I can see my monthly revenues as compared to last year - This helps motivate me to beat my financial business goals month after month.
They also have a great marketing program to reach my customers via email. I also get instant feedback from customers about their experience shopping at my Pop-Up shop.
After a year with Square and depending on how successful you are in your business, Square sometimes make small business capital available to you if you need to grow or expand your business. Rates are competitive.
Best of all, doing taxes at the end of the year is a cinch with Square's revenue report at the end of the year.
What is the best business book you have read? Why?
This was a great book to read because I wanted to see what kind of mindset one needed - To go full throttle in elevating my business to the max.
It was tough at times to read because the author does not sugarcoat his advice. I've had some tough mentors in my lifetime and sometimes I need a kick in the rear end to get things moving in the right direction!
What is your favorite quote?
"You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough
other people get what they want" - Zig Ziglar
Who inspires you in business and why?
Oprah inspires me in business because she is doing what she loves! She is living her genius because she is aligned with her purpose - Building a business platform where she shares inspirational information to millions around the world, that helps inspire them towards the possibility of the life they imagine for themselves!
What are your thoughts on work-life balance?
Work-life balance is a daily decision of what's important to me. My family is always first! However, the most important thing is to give to myself the time, the self-care I need in order to be the mom, wife, friend, the business owner, the mentor, the human being that I can be proud of!
I have learned to fill my cup first and to give from my overflow in order to serve all who is in my life in the best possible way.
What are the 3 business lessons you’ve learned so far?
1. Never lose control of your business by being accommodating!
2. Always protect your business legally
3. Never underestimate the value of Customer Service!
What is your workspace like?
I Have a 10 X 10 workspace in my home. I have my desk, computer, motivational quotes on the wall, my file cabinets, and space on my desk for the most important thing to get me going in the morning - my cup of coffee! I keep my workspace uncluttered so I can think clearly!
Last thing you do at the end of your work day?
I write out my work goals for the following day and give thanks in prayer for all that I accomplished for the day before I go to sleep.
What is the one thing you can't leave home without?
I cannot function throughout the day without my phone! My phone is my lifeline to my teenaged kids, my husband, and of course my business!
What superpower would you love to have to use for good?
The superpower I would love to have, to use for good, is to have the ability to help people see their possibilities!
Number of unread emails right now?
Anything else you want to add?
It takes courage to become an entrepreneur. The path isn't always a straight path and the path is often narrow when navigating.
With great calculated risk comes great rewards. Never give up on your passion and never compromise on your values. Your passion and values will and can lead you to your higher purpose as an entrepreneur!
Entrepreneurship is first about serving and then about receiving!
How can other entrepreneurs connect with you?
If you are reading this and are interested in being featured in the Truth Telling from the Trenches series - apply here.