Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

A Moment with our WBA Graduate- Monique Powell

Posted on 5/25/2022 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Monique Powell is the owner and operator of Sew Mystique Boutique The company offers handmade fashion accessories perfect for trendy, chic and unique individuals! Monique Powell is also a graduate of LAEDA’s Women's Business Academy (WBA). We had a chance to sit down with her to ask about her experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

(1) LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

My journey to becoming an entrepreneur began in 2012 when I was laid off from work. It was in that moment that I decided to take my sewing machine out of storage and start a side hustle of making and selling children's clothing, crafts, accessories and other personalized gifts to friends and family. While it began as just a way to make extra money I soon realized it was  bigger than that...  I now wanted to create an actual business where I could work for myself and leave a legacy for my children and grandchildren.

(2) LAEDA: Why did you choose your industry?

I chose this industry because I have always loved to sew. Ever since I took it as an elective during my junior and senior years of high school, it has been an avenue where I can express my creativity, use it as a part of my self-care, and just have fun!!

(3) LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

My experience with LAEDA has changed my whole outlook on how to manage my business. My Ah-ha moment actually provided a clear understanding of entrepreneurship... It showed me that everything I was doing before attending LAEDA was completely wrong from pricing and marketing my products to how I registered my business. My key takeaways from LAEDA have been to keep your paperwork in order, cost out everything (because it's an expense to you), and, last but not least, keep personal separate from the business!

(4) LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

Challenges: When I first started out, I would say some challenges were trying to figure out how to write a business plan, register my business, create a marketing plan, and choose a unique name (because I had several... LOL).

Success: My success has been me stepping out of my comfort zone and being able to put my handmade items out there on display for the world to see even when I didn’t feel everything was perfect.

Failures: My failures have been me trying to do everything myself and not hiring professionals to do the things I don’t have time to do. Now tat I understand this, I am starting to let go and seek assistance.

(5) LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

After completing the LAEDA program in March 2021, my business is now up and running. While I have been selling my items, I recently had a grand opening for my online store in April. I want to thank LAEDA for all its support and training... I am so grateful to this program for inspiring and helping hustlers become entrepreneurs!!
(6) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

My advice would be (1) don’t let fear hold you back becasue you will learn as you go; (2) having failures are lessons, not disappointments; and (3) continue to work on your business plan and build your dream!!

Monique Powell can be reached on Facebook at @sewmystiqueboutique, Instagram at sewmystiqueboutique or by emailing shop@sewmystiqueboutique.com. You can also shop online by visiting http://www.sewmystiqueboutique.com/
The Women's Business Academy (WBA) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals as well as business planning, business counseling, and continued technical assistance. Apply online at www.laedawbc.com or www.LAEDA.com.