Name: Chavalia D. Mwamba
Business: PM Fragrances
Location: Longview, Texas, U.S.
Industry: Consumer Goods
Reason for starting? As a huge fragrance aficionado, I purchased products that began to cause allergic reactions and migraines. In conversing with others, I found this to be a common problem — to the point where people began to believe all fragrances were the culprit, instead of certain unnecessary fillers and ingredients. I began researching day and night and found a consistency with phthalates being a common trigger. I wanted to provide a product that my husband and I could enjoy with no side effects and/or asthma attacks. As I began making trial products and sharing them, my business grew, and now I create bespoke fragrances for individuals, families and discerning businesses.
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How do you define success? When you’re able to do what you love all while (A) solving a problem or filling a need (B) having time and freedom to enjoy family, (C) creating a culture and family-like clientele by being relatable, personable and professional, I truly believe success is indeed inevitable.
Biggest success: Though I consider all successes big because of being a small brand, my biggest success to date is having connected with a well-known gospel artist mother-daughter duo (Karen & Kierra Sheard) and being a sponsor for one of their VIP events.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge was finding suppliers who specialize in low minimum-order quantities for my bottles, but, thankfully, I have resolved that issue. Now, my challenge is profitable marketing from quality channels. Sometimes my hard work and effort leads to what I consider a brick wall or a dead end.
Since becoming a mother of twin boys 2 years ago, I find that any project I undertake must be friendly to my duties as a mother. While pregnant, I put my business on hiatus and in September 2016 I really began to focus more on PM. I’m also very strategic and conscious of whom I partner with as a business, since my personal reputation is linked to it as a sole proprietor.
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Who is your most important role model? I don’t have a specific role model per se, but I do have a few successful people whom I admire due to their backstory and where they are now. These people are Richard Branson, Kevin Hart, MC Lyte and Vanna White.
Edited by The Story Exchange
Posted: July 14, 2017