The Sugar Mama
Krystal is a badass business woman and no stranger to hard work. The entrepreneurial bug bit her young. She never had just a regular job, booking gigs as a model, yoga teacher, and then later as a DJ. Krystal is a devoted attendee of the Women in Business Seminar series, which is held monthly at Mercy Corps NW, and she has been instrumental in helping build a community of support for women entrepreneurs.
Krystal owns The Sugar Mama, Holistic Skincare for the Natural Woman. She has two locations and is currently hiring her first employee! This is a huge feat for a small business still in its first year but it hasn’t been easy.
I visited her Northwest location to learn more about her fabulous work. Her office is located in a cool building dedicated to artist, makers, and wellness professionals. Krystal has a sweet space on the ground floor facing the street. I asked her first about what inspired her to start her business.
I started by working in the industry learning as much as I could.
KRYSTAL: I have always wanted to work for myself. It took time to gain the confidence but once I started I was all in. I was a model and a DJ before I started The Sugar Mama, so I was familiar with the hustle, I knew I had to get out there and get my name out there to book jobs. I tried to be smart about it though. I didn’t have experience running a salon or spa so I started by working in the industry learning as much as I could.
Of course, as many of you know, starting a business is not all rainbows and unicorns. Krystal had some hard lessons to learn:
KRYSTAL: Facing conflict is hard! In my personal life, I avoid conflict as much as possible. I’m currently learning this hard lesson now. If you have issues, especially with others in your industry, don’t ignore them. Do your best to find a resolution, face it or fix it if you can. I let a small conflict grow into something that is a serious issue. I am now facing this conflict and have reached out to conflict resolution and mediation providers for help.
I heard once from another amazing entrepreneur when you face challenges ask yourself, “What is the lesson I need to be learning right now?” Krystal had some great advice for others that are thinking of going into business.
KRYSTAL: Set a strong foundation girlfriend! Make a plan and write it down. There is something to be said about continuing education. I think if I’d taken a business class or two, an orientation or read a book before I started my business I wouldn’t have to backtrack like I am now. I started my business with an idea then an outline, what I needed was a foundation.
Set a strong foundation girlfriend! Make a plan and write it down.
I opened and wanted to carry two skincare lines AND create one of my own. It was so much work and took way more time and money than I thought. I wish I would have slowed down a little, in the beginning, I could have opened with just two lines and eventually growing to add a third. As I move toward year two I am trying to be more intentional about my business and its’ growth. I’m currently enrolled in Business Foundations 2 at Mercy Corps Northwest and I am putting together a business plan.
Just for fun, I asked Krystal what is her business’s spirit animal?
KRYSTAL: Many businesses do not survive the early years. I’d like to think of my business as a baby turtle: solitary and must learn right away to adapt, trust and protect itself. Most do not make it to the ocean. They scurry to make it passed the rocks, waves, and predators waiting ahead. Only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings survive. However, one can arrive and grow to become a majestic, creature living up to 100 years.
Want to try sugaring or support Krystal?
KRYSTAL: Catch me at The Perlene, social club for ambitious women hosting Self Care Sundays with other women in business and at Mercy Corps monthly events soaking up knowledge with my peers. Community over competition! Visit The Sugar Mama in NW Portland and Montavilla in SE. Indulge in Sugar Hair Removal, Holistic Facials, and Organic Skincare. Make your appointment online: http://www.thesugarmamapdx.com/
Northwest: M-W-SU & Every other Saturday
Southeast: T-F & Every other Saturday
Not sure what sugaring is? From Krystal’s website:
Sugaring is a safe, natural and effective approach to hair removal. This method is dated back to 1900 b.c. Using only sugar, water, and lemon, it forms a paste similar to honey. The sugar is applied at room temperature so no risk of burning the skin. If you have sensitive skin, this is a great alternative because sugar does not adhere to live skin cells so there will be no chance of lifting it. Unlike waxing, the process is to apply the product against the hair growth and remove in the direction, leading to less breakage and irritation.