I have always admired moms who seem to do it all. That’s why we launched MOMPRENEUR MONDAYS on the New Mom, Who Dis? Instagram Page- so we could celebrate small businesses run by moms. Now we want to help YOU make YOUR entrepreneurial dreams a reality by launching this MOMSPO column.
I’m talking to inspiring mompreneurs every week to see how they started their businesses, in hopes these conversations will provide some knowledge or insight or just that push you need to start something from the ground up. This week it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Destinee Graham of KIKI KREME. Read, share, be inspired.
JESSI: What inspired you to start this business?
So many things. The support I got from the women that were using KIKI KREME really
inspired me to take the leap. They just loved it. These were women that knew their
stuff when it came to beauty products. I also wanted more control of my future. When I
started making KIKI KREME a real business, I felt like I finally had something that was
mine and I was in control of my own success. If I was going to win or fail it would be on
JESSI: What was your biggest fear about starting something on your own?
Part of me was worried about what people would say and think. Suddenly, I’m making
body butter – it probably seemed pretty random to outsiders. Before I had my son I was
working on red carpets and interviewing celebrities. It was all very “fabulous”, but it felt
very empty and it wasn’t filling me up. After living in Los Angeles, the whole celebrity
thing really wears off once you see them everywhere (except when I saw Janet
Jackson at Earth Bar, then I lost my mind). I thought people would think I failed or gave
up at journalism. I realized I would be failing if I stayed.
JESSI: It’s one thing to have an idea or a dream, it’s another thing to go out and make it happen- what gave you that push you needed to say, FCK IT, I’M DOING THIS!
Having a child really changed my perspective. I had a new way of thinking that was no longer just about me. All I cared about was what my son would think and learn from me. I grew up with a single mother and she started a tie-dye business (very 90’s) that ended up paying for her to go to university and better herself. I always thought it was so cool that everyone in my small town was wearing MY mom’s clothing. It made me so proud. I want my son to have that same feeling about me and KIKI KREME. So, I said fuck it, I’m doing this!
JESSI: I hate asking moms this question (because dads NEVER get asked) but how DO
you balance it all? What does your day-to-day look like?
It is definitely hard; I’ll start there lol. I have to work my business around my family life.
Sometimes it’s hard because I can put myself last as if my business isn’t as important
as some other things, but I’ve had to change that. My husband is also a huge support
and helps wherever he can. Since COVID started, he’s been able to be home and help out
more, so we have a pretty good grove happening. It’s like Groundhog Day at our house
but it works for us.
JESSI: What has been the most challenging part?
For me, I would say being overwhelmed. Everything is my responsibility, and I am not the most organized person. Growing up I had a really hard time in school. I had a speech impediment and later found out I was dyslexic (and don’t get me started on my haircut and braces lol) – it was rough. I lost a lot of confidence in my abilities to do certain things. Sending an email or doing anything that has to do with spelling or grammar would literally cripple me if I let it. But I’ve figured out ways to work around that. Now that I’m an adult, I realize it’s actually my superpower!
JESSI: What has been the most rewarding part?
Learning a new skill for sure. Every now and then I stop and look at all the things I’ve
accomplished and say, I did that, shit! When I first tried to use Canva it took me a day to
figure out how to load a damn picture. I felt so old, I literally cried out of frustration. Now,
I’m a Canva pro (well semi-pro). It feels so good to realize new things your good at.
When you’re first starting a business you do every job, web designer, graphics, social
media, everything. I also take all the photos and video for our IG and website. Someone
sent me a DM asking me for our photographers’ info because they loved how “professional” they were. You wanna talk about ego boost!!
JESSI: What advice would you give to a fellow mom who is thinking of starting her own
Just do it. It always sounded too cliché when people would say, “If I can do it so can you”
but now that I’m actually doing it I find myself saying it all the time. I’ve honestly turned
into that person that if you even mention starting a business to me, I will stalk you, and
follow up until you just avoid me altogether.
You don’t have to tell the world right away. You don’t need that outside pressure. If
you’re even thinking about starting a business just start doing it in baby steps. Buy the
website name, start a secret Instagram page, then get your LLC and surprise! I have a
business and it’s amazing!