We are pleased to announce our business spotlight is on LaVerne Thomas-Taylor, wife, military service member and entrepreneur. She currently resides in Arizona with her husband Marlow Taylor who is also a military service member. I had the liberty of knowing and attending church with the Taylors while we were all stationed in Hawaii. Such a beautiful, giving and inspiring couple. I had the opportunity to catch up with LaVerne to see what she has been up to since our Hawaii days.
LHE: Are you an entrepreneur at heart?
LTT: I have always been an entrepreneur at heart and Lucy Rose Publishing and Inspired Diva are my inspirations come to life.
LHE: What are names of your companies and tell us a little about each.
LTT: I currently own two small businesses.
Lucy Rose Publishing, which was founded in January 2006, so we are celebrating our 5th year in business. We strive to help aspiring authors get their books published and into the hands of readers. We are a small press publisher – we do not charge authors to publish with us. Since I am actively involved with the publishing process for each book, we only publish 2-4 books per year. I work closely with each author to see their vision come to life. We accept books from all genres and we actively market each book to help our authors achieve success. Lucy Rose Publishing will be launching our self-publishing division this year. The self-publishing option will allow authors to have complete control over their titles. We will still offer our traditional publishing services. Please visit us on line at: www.lucyrosepublishing.com.
Inspired Diva is my dream come true. We strive to provide a positive image for all women. Inspired Diva is a unique company in that we offer our customers the opportunity to shop several different categories all in one place. Inspired Diva is a company for all women no matter what your background, all women deserve to be inspired. Inspired Diva offers the following: Diva Spa – Our own collection of Spa Products – body wash, body lotion, body scrub, eau de toilette, solid perfume, spray body oil and shea butter lotion. Diva Style which features inspired t-shirts. Diva Satin which is our mineral make-up line and lip gloss. We are currently working with manufacturers on our line of skincare products. Please visit us online at www.inspireddivaonline.com.
LHE: You are also currently serving as an active duty Army Officer, how do you find the time to manage your businesses and your full time Army career?
LTT: I find it to be difficult at times because I work late hours and don’t have time to dedicate to my businesses every day. The most difficult time I found was while I was serving in Iraq, it was difficult to ship books to customers in a timely manner. And it was during that time that I started to think of having my own line of spa products. It was there that I did the necessary research for starting and launching Inspired Diva. Once we returned from Iraq it took me 7 months to launch Inspire Diva, however the launch party wasn’t until July 2010. I pledged that in 2011, I would donate a minimum of 2 hours each night to my businesses. I would like to be able to run both of my businesses full-time within the next 2 years.
LHE: Where do you find your inspiration?
LTT: I believe that our inspiration comes from everywhere. You never know when you will feel inspired or what will come from an inspiration. I think that you should use your mind and be open to all of the possibilities. I think sometimes that I am a busy body because I always seem to have so many ideas. As an author, inspiration for my novels comes from ideas and thoughts that I believe God puts in my spirit. As an entrepreneur my inspirations comes from those thoughts and ideas that I truly believe in and would love to see come to fruition.
LHE: Would you like to share any new projects you are currently working on for 2011?
LTT: I will also be offering the opportunity to sell Inspired Diva to other women in March 2011. The women will be able to own an Inspired Diva business. There will be no sign-up cost and a low monthly fee for a website and back office. We will not be a Mulit-Level Marketing however, you will be able to earn an additional percentage for introducing the business to others.
LHE: You certainly are an inspiration for Divas everywhere. What advice would you give others seeking to become an entrepreneur.
LTT: I would recommend that they do their research before investing money into the business. It is important to have a business plan, know your target market, and research the competition in your area. You don’t want to go into a business where it is a saturated market and your business will not last more than 6 months. Don’t rush to launch your company before you are ready and be prepared to brand yourself. Take your time and really understand and know what type of business you are trying to start. Don’t fall for network marketing schemes and don’t base your success off success of someone else. What God has for you it is for you.
LHE: LaVerne, it is always a pleasure talking with you. You always inspire me!! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat.
Note: All photos courtesy of LaVerne Thomas-Taylor