NC Startup Encouraging Next Generation Entrepreneurs to Create Opportunity

The CEO of a North Carolina Startup turning a profit shared her advice and tips about how to see success when starting your own business to a room of entrepreneurs.

 

When Lacey Hendrix set out to create her own line of natural grooming products, all she had to start her entrepreneurial endeavor was a PayPal credit account and her knowledge of, and passion for, making natural products. Fast forward three years: Lacey is now running and growing her profitable company, Beard and Lady, and encouraging other entrepreneurs to pursue their own business ideas.

 

After completing NC Idea labs and watching her company grow after a few years, Hendrix, founder and CEO of Beard and Lady, was asked to share her story and advice about how to see success as an entrepreneur for an Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) event in Durham. The program is meant to inspire and educate people on the fundamentals of successful entrepreneurship. IHEP was created by the Kauffman Foundation and the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) and is working in partnership with NC Idea to take the program statewide by 2025.

 

“I wasn’t even thinking about starting a company,” Hendrix said to a room full of about 50 program participants when asked about how she got her start as an entrepreneur. “It was really my husband who pushed me to do it. I had been making natural products for my family for years, so when an opportunity came up to do that for other people, my husband encouraged me to chase that opportunity.”

 

Beard and Lady started small, creating all-natural, apothecary inspired personal care and grooming products— like beard oils, lip balms and soaps— out of their office in Creedmoor, NC until the business became too big, and online orders became too overwhelming for just Lacey to handle. As more and more of her products sold, Lacey had to learn a lot about the logistics of not only running a business, but also working with other people to allow that business to grow.

 

Hendrix shared her experience of overcoming obstacles while figuring out how to operate a business without a business degree in hopes that others in the room would be inspired to do so as well. “After having to make some big decisions and being forced into positions which I had to act quickly, I was blown away by things that can stop you just because you don’t know something. I’ve learned so much by teaching myself in order to keep growing,” Hendrix said.

 

Fully dedicating themselves to learning how to succeed in an entrepreneurial endeavor is one of the main takeaways Lacey hoped attendees of the program understood. “If you want to really do this, burn the midnight oil,” Hendrix said. Additionally, she encouraged the attendees to explore their entrepreneurial community and embrace the contagious passion of creating a profitable passion to benefit a greater mission or purpose.

 Lacey After Panel Discussion, Durham

Hendrix (right) discussing how she overcame obstacles when starting Beard and Lady with an IHEP attendee after the panel discussion

 

 

In addition to pushing the IHEP attendees to keep working towards their entrepreneurial dreams, Lacey is currently encouraging future generations to do so as well.

 

“I wish my parents had pursued their own entrepreneurial ideas-- I’m trying to show my three kids that entrepreneurship is an option while also balancing being business owner and a mom.” Hendrix said.

 

When asked about final thoughts and plans for the future of her company, Hendrix responded, “There are ideas, but I like what I’m doing now. I’d like to help build the [entrepreneurial] communities in North Carolina and grow more before I jump ahead.”

 

Hendrix is working toward growing Beard and Lady even more in order to eventually have the ability to create and sustain fare-wage jobs for local resettled refugees.

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