Entrepreneurship

KNOTEWORTHY: Aslihan Asadov, Peshtemal Collection

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Aslihan Asadov and her sister, Gizem, are the founders of Peshtemal Collection. Asilhan was born and raised in Istanbul and moved to the US when she was 17 years old. She earned her higher education and a Master's Degree in Project Management at Northeastern University. While working as a project manager at one of the biggest tech companies in Boston, Aslihan realized that she was born to be an entrepreneur. Her extensive abilities to execute ideas helped her establish a big chunk of Peshtemal Collection. 

While still pursuing her career in marketing, her sister, Gizem joined the entrepreneurial journey. Aslihan is happily married and has a 2 year old boy named Eren. In her free time, she enjoys Boston with Eren and her husband, and they scoot around the beautiful streets. Gizem enjoys getting together with friends, a beach yoga under California sunshine and the art of doing nothing. 

We talked to Asilhan about the importance of believing in your product, and here’s what she shared…

What is your mission statement and overall goal for your business?

Our mission is to provide people a unique, sustainable, ethically sourced, and handcrafted organic product that has a 600 year old story. 

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

We’re two sisters with an entrepreneurial mindset who like to make an impact on people’s lives in every way we can.  Coming from a Turkish background, we know that Turkish textiles are above and beyond with organic cotton, a unique history and 600 years of weaving techniques . This made it easier for us to make our ideas come to life.  We ourselves were fans of peshtemals at an early age,  and very knowledgeable consumers of Turkish textile. Therefore, when we talk about Peshtemal Collection and our products, we’re able to give examples from our personal experiences as we use Turkish textile and prefer sustainable fashion in our daily lives. 

Can you share with us any information about your business that you would want other entrepreneurs to know?

We would highly encourage other entrepreneurs to believe in what they do. As vague as it may sound, when one believes in something, the quality, and the history of the product or service they provide, the business markets itself. When we talk about Turkish textile, ethical manufacturing processes, sustainability, weaving technique and the art; words don’t come from a strategy, but from our hearts, because we’re 100% passionate about what we do. That’s why we’d highly recommend our entrepreneur friends find their passion that they thrive in - its vision and mission will tag along. 

CONNECT WITH ASILHAN:

WEBSITE: www.peshtemalcollection.com

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/peshtemalcollection/?hl=en

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/peshtemalcollection/

KNOTEWORTHY: Kaitlyn Litchfield, Founder of Lamb & Lou

Kaitlyn Litchfield, a mom and entrepreneur, started Lamb & Lou in 2018 out of a basic need to shop safely with her children. The idea was born a few years ago after a stressful and unsuccessful shopping trip where her oldest child climbed out of the cart and nearly fell. There wasn't a product on the market so she invented one. Kaitlyn is from Massachusetts, an avid photographer, wife, and mom to two amazing boys and was just named an "Entrepreneur to Watch in 2019"!

We asked Kaitlyn about where the inspiration for her product and business came from, and here's what she had to say...

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

The idea for The Original Shopping Cart Vest came to me out a basic need to shop and run errands with my children. We all know the struggles of trying to keep our children safe in the shopping cart while we pick up the necessities like diapers and laundry detergent and we have all been that person or have seen that person who is begging and bribing their child to stay seated for “just a few more minutes.” This was me, I came home in tears, I couldn’t get the shopping done, and my child had nearly fallen out of the cart because the strap that is suppose to keep them secure didn’t work. I immediately went online to buy something, anything, to keep him seated and I couldn’t find it. It didn’t exist so I told my husband I was going to invent it… and I did!

Can you share with us any information about your business that you would want other entrepreneurs to know?

I love this question because pretty much every step along the way for me has been a new adventure or a new challenge and I feel like this is every entrepreneurs journey. I’ve started a business before but nothing like this. This is my first invention (of many, I hope!) so I had no idea where to start, what do I Google?

I think the most important thing I did was find colleagues I trusted to guide me. I bounced ideas off of them, asked for direction, and ultimately used my network to design my logo, get my accounting in order, and open a business banking account.

Another accidental piece of advice is if you’re working on a patent, take meticulous notes and keep your ideas within your trusted tight circle. When I was seeking a patent, the lawyer reviewed my notes, asked who knew about my idea, and even if I had used any specific words about my product in social media posts. Any of these could have jeopardized my patent. I’m not sure why I took detailed notes or kept my idea somewhat of a secret but it paid off!

How do you use social media for growth?

Speaking of using social media appropriately! I am not an open book on my personal social media pages, I don’t share much about my life, I rarely update my profile picture, and I never show my children and because of that when I do post my network pays attention. I have reached out to my friends to like Lamb & Lou, I have asked for their votes to help me win grant money, and I have asked them to spread the word about my product and they have!

I once read that your social media should be a balanced combination of pushing your product, personal story, and relatable content like words of wisdom or funny memes. You want people to feel connected to your business by knowing there is a human, a mother, a friend, behind all of it. This has been a piece of the success for me. 

GET IN TOUCH WITH KAITLYN

Websitehttps://lambandlou.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lambandlou/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lambandlou

KNOTEWORTHY: Allegra Murray of The Petal Peddler’s Shop

Allegra Murray grew up in Smithtown, New York, and expressed her passion for the arts through studies in opera, musical theater, and dance. She received a Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music, majoring in Classical Vocal Performance. After graduation, Allegra changed her career trajectory and moved to Boston. She attended Boston University, achieving a Master of Science in Arts Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Management, while simultaneously working in the development department of an orchestra.

In 2015, Allegra transitioned to a career in the financial services industry and opened The Petal Peddler’s Shop in early 2017, with a workshop in Milton, Massachusetts. She enjoys spending time with her husband and 5-year-old son, volunteering in her community, and reading.

We talked to Allegra about how she made her entrepreneurial dream a reality...

What is your mission statement and overall goal for your business?

The Petal Peddler’s Shop specializes in handcrafting gorgeous flowers from unique papers. Clients are able to select from The Shop’s inventory, including book pages, sheet music, and maps, or provide their own paper to be transformed into timeless keepsakes. My goal is to give clients a new way to preserve the beauty of their memories and cherish them every day.

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

During my free time, I volunteer with several local nonprofits, including the Milton Cultural Council, Forbes House Museum, and the Friends of the Milton Public Library. In Fall 2017, I helped organize a Jane Austen Tea at the library and created book page roses as centerpieces. The roses were so well received that I expanded the concept into a business. One year later, The Petal Peddler’s Shop continues to grow and now offers ornaments, jewelry, home decor, bridal florals, and gift bouquets.

How do you use social media for growth?

The diverse types of paper I use appeal to different people with a wide variety of interests. The audience for a sheet music bouquet may be different than those who appreciate the creations made from book pages. Through social media, I can reach new and existing clients from across the globe by changing a hashtag or a photo. It also provides me with a platform to expand my network and discover new opportunities for growth.

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

Every order I create holds a special meaning for the recipient. Whether it’s a necklace created from a crossword puzzle completed by a client’s father, a bridal bouquet handcrafted from the pages of a favorite book, or roses made from Massachusetts maps for a new resident, each order has sentimental importance. Knowing that my flowers will be a treasured keepsake motivates me to create something uniquely beautiful.

CONNECT WITH ALLEGRA:
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/thepetalpeddlersshop/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thepetalpeddlersshop/

KNOTEWORTHY: Ali Singer, Yoga Instructor and Founder of YogaHub

Founder and CEO of YogaHub and 500hr certified yoga instructor, Ali Singer is ranked as the number one yoga coach in Massachusetts. With a background in synchronized skating and dance, Ali started practicing yoga out of a love for movement and fitness. Through regular practice, she experienced a tremendous emotional shift, and sought to learn more about how and why yoga works. Ali parted from a promising bartending career to quench her thirst for enlightenment.

She earned her 200-hour certification and began teaching in 2013. She thrived in leading power vinyasa classes and working with students one-on-one.

An entrepreneurial spirit, Ali was always looking for ways to solve problems and build a company from the ground up. Upon entry into the yoga industry, she saw how much it was growing, along with corporate wellness. She envisioned serving these markets through a multifaceted enterprise that would bring yoga to people to where they lived, traveled, and worked. With this vision, YogaHub was born. Along with teaching private lessons and studio classes, Ali started to create and manage yoga programs for hotels, offices, and residential apartment complexes.

In 2017, Ali traveled to India for two months, and completed a 300-hour teacher training course in the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh. In India, what began as a purely physical practice, took deep root as a lifestyle philosophy that would influence every aspect of her being. The spiritual side of yoga taught Ali how to navigate the stressful turmoil of starting and running a business, and how to manage a chaotic schedule. She adopted ideas and techniques that enabled her to overcome challenges and keep a positive mindset, no matter what. Ali aims to impart this knowledge upon students and business professionals so that they may experience peace, happiness, and fulfillment on a day-to-day basis.

We asked Ali about the path that led her to entrepreneurship, and here's what she shared...

How did you get your idea or concept for your business?

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mind, looking for ways to solve problems, meet people’s needs, and generate a profit. I started thinking about a yoga business while in my first teacher training. I evaluated the yoga studio model and determined that it had high competition and low profitability, and I knew I needed to innovate. I saw how there was a growing number of yoga teachers, but they lacked professional opportunities and ongoing education. I also saw how companies had an increasing need for wellness programs, in which yoga would be an integral component. The YogaHub business model continues to evolve out of efforts to solve problems, meet people’s needs, and generate a profit.

Where do you find inspiration to stay motivated?

My motivation is YogaHub International. I have this monumental vision for my business, and who knows if I’ll get there in this lifetime, but I believe that the world will truly benefit from the widespread practice of yoga. It’s created such positive transformation in my life, and my mission is to help others experience the benefits. There are certainly times when I feel frustrated or defeated, and at those times, yoga is my inspiration, of course! I’ve learned to practice “abhyasa vairagya,” which is is full effort with zero attachment to the results. I’m doing what I want to do with my life; my off-the-mat practice is to love the process while not getting hung up on how things unfold.

What habits have helped make you successful?

It’s true that never giving up is what breeds success, and I’ve found that a positive mindset is the fundamental requirement to overcome all obstacles. To cultivate a positive mindset, I write a list of favorable circumstances around me and meditate on how thankful I am for them. What works is more than the list- it’s the feeling of gratitude and letting it permeate throughout my heart so much that I can’t help but smile. I always focus more on being happy with what I have than being unhappy with what has not yet manifested :)

CONNECT WITH ALI:

Websitehttps://www.yogahub.life/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/yogahub.life/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/YogaHub.Life/