Stephanie Johnson, Successful Entrepreneur
Sylvia: Hi Stephanie. Thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to interview with me. Congratulations on the birth of your little girl. She is adorable! I am thrilled to talk to you. I am especially in ‘awe’ of a very interesting niche you’ve carved for yourself. Tell me about yourself and your awesome business?
Stephanie: Sylvia, I am truly honored that you took interest in my company and me. My name is Stephanie Johnson and I am the Owner and President of Bed Rest Concierge. The idea for my company came after I spent 26 weeks on and off bed rest, and I knew during my final stint in the hospital that there were many women like me, and I told myself when I got up out of the bed I was going to make their journey better!
I hold a degree in Finance and I spent many years working in Corporate Finance before branching out on my own. Bed Rest Concierge is my absolute passion in life; we provide maternity concierge services to women experiencing bed rest during pregnancy. It is my mission to help women and families not only survive but also thrive through this challenging time during their pregnancy. Every pregnancy is a miracle and should be celebrated, and by providing women with necessities like household management, pregnancy support in home or in the hospital and baby planning services they are able to focus on what’s important… Enjoying Pregnancy!
Sylvia: Wow, that’s awesome! Being the mother of 5, I can definitely relate. I really admire your business model and would love to share some ideas for your growth. Let’s talk soon!
What does success mean to you?
Stephanie: Success to me..that one is a little bit tough for me. I never want to be successful, I would much rather be fulfilled. If I can create happiness for the people around me, if I can provide a great quality of life for my daughter, and if I can make the pregnancy journey better for an expectant Mother and her family, than I am fulfilled and internally successful. Success in general to me is leaving the World better than you found it, that’s always been a goal for me.
Sylvia: Very interesting! I think both words compliment each other. One of the things that is always a challenge for women is balance. We are everything to everybody. So, how do you create work-life balance?
Stephanie: As a Mompreneur the key word is create. When you have your own business you get to make your own rules truly create the life that you want. If you want more life than create it, if you want more work create it. Needs are ever changing so what creates balance this week and this month may need to be tweaked, having a young child and starting a new business taught me that. Part of being an entrepreneur is creativity and freedom, but with that you have to learn to adjust and really live the life that you want. My goal was to stay at home with my daughter that was important to me and so was my business, so in my office she has her own area. You can really have it all if you plan, adjust and realize that balance doesn’t mean equal.
Look at balance as whole. I have created a new business and I get to watch my daughter laugh, crawl, and hear mama for the first time, Whole!
Sylvia: You are wise beyond your years! Love it! How do you give back to your community?
Stephanie: Now we are talking, I am big on community. I work, shop, and play in the community that I live
in. There’s a great business initiative in our county, called buy city first. It’s truly great and I love being able to participate in something so revolutionary, business owners pledge to spend 5% of their purchases with Chamber of Commerce members and local businesses. Supporting businesses makes our relationships and networking strong and gives us a vested interested not just in your business but also in people.
This is our first year with our new charity named for my daughter, Harlow’s Heart. Our charity is a local diaper bank that supplies diapers to needy babies in our area. We are growing and gaining support from diaper companies that want to sponsor our bank. Our goal is to always be a resource and to find a way never to turn down a baby in need of diapers. There are many resources for food and clothing, but in the first year of life diapers are a major necessity and we want to bring awareness and support for our babies. Harlow’s Heart serves the Dallas Ft. Worth area, but hopefully we can expand nationally. I want to instill in my daughter the spirit of giving.
Sylvia: Gosh Stephanie, I am so touched by your passion! I can only imagine the look on the ‘faces’ of the mothers who benefit from your generosity.
What steps are necessary for a woman entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Stephanie: Surrounding yourself with a positive, motivated team will help you excel. After you have set your business plan in motion and have a clear vision for the direction of your business, it’s time to move. Find people that aren’t afraid of failure, find people that believe in your vision and the best interest of the company at heart. I know that in Corporate most people take feeling out of business, but feeling and passion are the key to any new business. You have to find people that are like you and feel what you are doing and trying to achieve. Sometimes just having someone say, I see where you are going and I want to help you get there, can inspire you to push harder. I believe a great team can really make a difference when you are trying to breakthrough to another level. What’s the saying surround yourself with people that are smarter than you then get out of the way!
Sylvia: Very important indeed! How do you promote or market your business?
Stephanie: Social Media, is such a strong tool that we spend a lot of effort using it effectively. Becoming active in my community has been such an important part of my business. With Bed Rest Concierge being so personal it is important that people know me and know my brand and trust the services that I have to offer. Blogging for myself and for others has been a great tool in getting industry recognition. I would say that any visible medium for my business has the greatest impact for my marketing dollars.
Sylvia: The old saying, people do business with those they know, like and trust! Building relationships is paramount for business success!
So, what books and resources would you recommend to other women in business?
Stephanie: Other Women Business Owners are your best resource. I am fortunate to have many successful Women that I can lean on, that have started businesses from the ground up who are supportive, smart and willing to share their successes and failures with me. I have gained an extraordinary amount of knowledge by shadowing mentors, and picking brains of great women. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, ask a Woman business Owner her story and she will gladly tell you.
The book, The Secret is great, I have read it, re-read it and since I’m writing about it I will read it again. The power of putting your World in motion, by speaking it into existence, by using visionary techniques and by channeling your thoughts. It’s about creating your life through, words actions and thoughts, and acting and knowing that one-day it will be. Powerful and true. I sat in my hospital bed and knew that I was going to start a company, and knew the name and I just knew it would happen. I have never stopped knowing.
Sylvia: The Secret is one of those books that we should all have on our book shelf. As for women sharing resources, I totally agree and it is my passion work. The purpose for my association, NAWR, is bringing women together to network, collaborate and create lasting friendships.
How do you stay connected in mind body and spirit?
Stephanie: I am a now person a book that changed my life is the Power of Now. I am a person who can fully engage in what is happening in the moment. I try to stay connected by physically and mentally being present in everything that I do. Learning to be present is a gift that my daughter has given me. When I am engaged with her I am fully engaged. When I am working I am fully engaged. Giving my attention to whatever I am doing keeps me focused. I nourish my spirit, by sitting quietly and meditating, there is something to be said for 5 solid minutes of quiet time. It can change your life.
Sylvia: Please share two industry or general business related tips that could help other women business owners.
Stephanie: Sure, they are:
- Comes from Oprah the Great, sign all of your own checks. Know where and how all of your money is spent. If Oprah can sign all of her own checks we can too!
- Know every aspect of your business. Know how your website works, know enough about IT, know where your marketing dollars are going. Your business is your life, your passion and at the end of the day no one will run it like you will. Always know your business.
Sylvia: Stephanie, it has been a pleasure. How can my readers contact you for more information?
Stephanie: Thank you Sylvia. My contact information is as follows:
Stephanie Johnson, Owner
Bed Rest Concierge