Today we’d like to introduce you to Teela McClain.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Teela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It’s funny trying to think about how I started because honestly, it was just a series of small little events that happened. My life seemed to be falling apart and coming together at the same time. I worked in the logistics industry for some fortune 500 companies as Senior level manager since I graduated from college. The industry was tough because there weren’t a lot of women or people of color in my position so it was always an uphill battle to prove that I was worthy. I had to be twice as good as everyone else and always be on point.
So of course, I worked long hours 12-14 hour days sometimes six days a week just to ensure I was perfect at work and still had to try and make time for my daughter. I struggled balancing work and home. Every time I wanted to quit, I just thought about my parents who are both hearing impaired and remember the struggles they had finding work when I was younger which kept pushing me to continue. I watched my dad ride a bike to work everyday and never miss a day for $10.78 with a family of five. My father unfortunately passed away in 2008 at the age of 43 and I vowed that I would work just as hard as he did. in 2019, I suffered a miscarriage and I remember feeling like it was my fault because of my diagnosis of PCOS, the stress of work, commuting, suffering from anxiety among many other things. To help cope with the grief, I started crafting and creating things and hosting events at my home just to help me get through the day something that was recommended by therapist some years prior after the death of my father and my postpartum depression. I found this was something I really enjoyed. I really liked being able to be creative and seeing how happy it would make people when they would see the finished product. Doing something I loved with planning events and crafting. I found myself staying up late and creating a business plan, creating executive calendars, and creating my own KPi’s for my hobby, hahaha. At that point, I realized that if I used all the skills I’ve learned over the years in leadership, operations and f through my years working as a Manager and give it the same energy, there’s no way I can fail. I am still in the beginning stages of my business but it is growing every day.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road there were many challenges along the way. Each week brings on a new obstacle or challenge that you did not see coming. I’ve had some struggles in the beginning with taking on too much at once and not setting boundaries. I think because I was so determined to be successful in the first three months of business, I took on more than I can handle. I now have a daily, weekly and monthly productivity planner to help me stay on track and be able to identify when I need to hire additional help. I also had to create business hours for myself and start directing customers to reach out to me via email or the business phone. I think because I am so humbled and grateful for the support I used to answer calls no matter what time it was, “haha”. Now, I am ok with answering that inquiry the next morning so no more midnight responses from me. I also realized as an entrepreneur, you should always be a student. There is so much to learn about business that my MBA program didn’t teach me. I missed out on a lot of opportunities because of my lack of knowledge. I now make it a point to continue my learning by attending webinars, doing research and networking with fellow entrepreneurs.
The Way We Design and The Way We Party – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I own two separate businesses. I own a Party Rental Business named The Way We Party that provides at home entertainment such as Bounce Houses, table/chair rentals, concessions, Backyard Movie Rentals, lounge furniture, tents, Back drops, party favors, banners and much more. We service the south bay and surrounding areas. We are known for our cleanliness, customer service and great pricing.
My second business is more of a business is a little bit more broad and it is called The Way We Design. I provide services to many other small business. I help create branding items such as T-Shirts, drinkware, signage, acrylic QR code signs, banners, window decals and other swag items. We provide screen printing/DTG services and sublimation services. We also do a lot of things for weddings, anniversaries and parties such as bridal boxes which include tumblers, robes and other sent keepsakes. Laser products have now been added to my services which means custom cutting boards, earrings, keyrings, engraved cups, custom jewelry, door hanging signs and personalized home goods. To be honest, we are gearing towards being a one stop shop.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
That’s a hard one because success to me has changed over the years and has evolved its meaning as I’m evolving as a person. I used to think success meant having a B.A then it turned to having an MBA. Success once meant to get an excellent on my review at work, getting constant promotions and making 6 six figures. I think now for me personally, I define success as more of feeling good about what I’m doing in my life, how my family is doing, being able to attend all my daughter’s dance competitions all while creating things I love for the people in my community. I guess being mentally, physically and spiritually fit is what success means to me personally. Professionally success means being able to provide a service that is otherwise unavailable to people in my neighborhood and community and being able to inspire the next generation of kids that come from similar backgrounds. I think people often equate success with financial goals but I am a true believer that if you are sound in mind, body and soul all those come with ease.
- Rentals start as low as $50
- Custom Items start at $10
- Website: www.thewaywedesign.com, www.thewaywedesign.com
- Phone: 4243877178
- Email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: thewaywedesign & thewayweparty
- Facebook: Thewayweparty & The Way We Design on FB
- Yelp: The way we party