Lavania Rosie is meant for the greater things, so she pursued a career in business. Or, more accurately, it chose her. Creating her own businesses such as Haul Off Me and Dance Embassy was not an easy task. However working with your talents, passions and the causes you believe in makes all efforts worthwhile. Her entrepreneurial journey has been colourful, to say the least, and she juggles multiple things at the same time. These people are our kind of people. People who are go-getters, strive for continuous improvement and make a difference in the lives of others are truly the best.
Lavania’s story is a great example of making things happen, building an empowered community, and learning the ins and outs of having a business. Here’s the interview:
Q: What is “empowerment” to you?
A: To be able to empower others.
Q: When did you get your first paid employment, and how old were you? What was it, exactly?
A: 17 as a receptionist.
Q: Tell us a little bit more about your journey.
A: I was always told to conform to the norm since young. Strive for excellent results and get a 9 to 5 corporate job but I was never happy in one. The mundane life of work and going home right after didn’t stick with me. I knew I was destined for living a larger than life, life. So I explored being an entrepreneur. It’s true when they say entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I ran successful businesses and not so successful ones. I learnt a lot and I am still learning in this journey of entrepreneurship and will not regret any moments of it.
Today I run three businesses. Dance Embassy has become a global company and has been running for over a decade and our community of dance, fitness and wellness lovers is growing from strength to strength.
With my experience in entrepreneurship, I wanted to empower women who want to be a boss babe, and thus, I founded Tinted Wateva with my partner Shifaa and we empower women to run their businesses by offering support and advice. Even if they need a shoulder to cry on, we are there to help them.
My latest venture is called Haul Off Me. I loved dressing up but I started realising the environmental damage of fast fashion. Hence, I started an Instagram account with my partner Sneh, educating and teaching people how they can style their clothes in different ways and encouraging people to buy preloved but great quality clothes that they can keep for a long time!
Q: What about your line of work excites you the most?
A: The fact that I am building a community of mostly women who are inspired by what I do.
Q: What has been your most challenging obstacle, and how did you overcome it?
A: I am still bootstrapping all of my businesses. I have had many investors interested in my businesses but am still struggling with the mindset of letting others have a say/stake in my businesses.
Q: What motivates you to go further in your business or career?
A: Social media has played a huge role. Every like, comment and shared on any of my business profiles spurs me on to create more content
Q: What do you consider to be the most valuable talents you’ve acquired and implemented during your journey?
A: The people who have agreed to work alongside me. From my partners to my instructors to my community.
Q: What is the most significant mentality shift, belief shift, or “ah-ha” moment you’ve had in your business?
A: That I am the best spokesperson for my business and that the more I show up for my business, the more worth people see in what I do. Consistency is key.
Q: What would you do differently if you could go back in time and do things differently knowing what you know now?
A: That I should have spoken to more entrepreneurs and learned from their experiences. Could have saved me some unsound decisions and heartaches.
Q: What attributes do you believe are the most necessary for a successful entrepreneur?
A: Optimism, zest, passion and faith.
Q: What are some of the most crucial aspects of establishing a successful company?
A: To have micro and macro visions of your company.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
A: Entrepreneurship is a learning curve and we should never stop learning.
Q: What have you recently discovered that has astounded you?
A: My capability of getting up quickly whenever I fall.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring and first-time entrepreneurs?
A: It’s not a walk in the park in the beginning but it’s very fulfilling. Just make sure you have an undying passion for it and surround yourself with the right people.
Q: How can a lack of cash be overcome while beginning a business?
A: I used to have a full-time job. I saved a lot and scrimped on unnecessary expenses to fund my business. Find something, a side hustle if needed that can fund your business.
Q: What is one question you wish we had asked you? What would your response be to such a question?
A: My most vulnerable moment. It was when I had only a dollar left to my name and my morale was so low but I took the courage to ask for help from a friend who didn’t bat an eyelid to help me. Am always grateful for her.
Q: Life has its ups and downs; can you tell us a compelling story?
A: Indeed. I started a series called “Ladies Night”. Every Wednesday night, I tackle an issue that my community faces and I invite a guest to share their insights and experiences. One such issue was how our community treat women who are divorced. That share garnered over a thousand views and many came forward thanking me and the guest speaker for giving them hope amidst a dark time like divorce. One of them even said she was crying while writing to me about how grateful she was for our sharing and that it has made her feel so much better about her life.
Q: Who motivates or motivates you?
A: I am motivated by the women around me especially moms who run their businesses and run them successfully and also share about their vulnerable moments and how they soldier through it.
Q: This is a book that every business person should read:
A: Rich Dad, Poor Dad. So many takeaways.
Q: How would you choose which emails to answer if you woke up with 1,000 unread emails and only had time to respond to 100 of them?
A: I’ll respond to the ones that want to pay me for my services or if it’s Oprah or equivalent.
Q: How much would you be willing to pay for a machine that could produce 100 dollars every day for the rest of your life?
A: 0.00000000000000000001 percent of the total amount it will give me.
Q: How fortunate are you, and why are you so fortunate?
A: I am fortunate because I have a loving family, amazing friends, food to eat and a roof over my head.
Q: Shameless plug?
A: I am your best go-to source for anything dance, fitness, wellness, business, fashion related!
Interesting nuggets from our interview:
Q: Tell us something true but nobody agrees with you.
A: I am an introvert.
Q: What are your favourite ways to unwind?
A: Movie nights with lots of cheat food.
Q: What would you do if you were to commit a crime? What would you have done and how would you have gotten away with it?
A: I can’t think of any because I am a law-abiding citizen. But if I were to get caught in a crime, I would probably face the music on my own.
Q: What is the most amusing event that has recently happened to you?
A: I have been underestimating my 2-year-old toddler. Everything he says and does make me go, “wow, where did he learn that from?” One such incident was when he spotted something and said, “mama, look. it’s so beautiful.” That made me stop and reflect on how little ones can teach us beautiful essences in life that we tend to overlook.
Q: Describe the colour pink to a blind person.
A: Feminine, soft and delicate.
Q: What would you do if you found yourself on a (potentially) deserted island as a single survivor?
A: I’ll probably start setting up a campfire to start cooking food to survive!
Q: What would you play if you could only play one song every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life?
A: “Who Run The World” by Beyonce.
Be inspired and empowered, connect with Lavania.
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