Sasha Lalite (Entrepreneur | Business Consultant | Jewelry Designer | Philanthropist)
What motivated you to start your business/brand?
I think it’s important in life to be a visionary, to be creative and explore possible inner talents and passions through self-expression. One should not just dream, but execute, and in doing so positively inspire others.
Creative expression has always been a part of me. I ventured into jewelry design as a way to be creative and to nurture and heal. I create artistic visions through Sasha L Jewels statement pieces. Through my various ventures in the industry, this journey has been humbling, fun, and surprising. My inspiration comes from a myriad of life’s offerings – global travels, spirituality, earth colors, cultures, community, and creative collaboration. As a business owner, I learned how to run and operate a company from the ground up, express myself through creativity, bring my vision to life, and positively influence others. I further developed talents in branding, marketing, business strategy and operations.
I am also an Independent Business Consultant at Meta Viable Solutions. Meta Viable Solutions offers custom-oriented business and management consulting services for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and corporate companies. With years of multi-disciplinary professional experience, I offer positive change leadership in strategic, operational and cultural improvements across industries. My passion comes from helping businesses and their people succeed. My approach is to empower and inspire others to perform better, further improving the odds of sustainability of change within organizations.
What are the pros and cons of being entrepreneur you’ve experienced so far?
I have the freedom to create and gear my business the way I wish. I am not bounded by corporate or organizational constraints and politics. I have the liberty to bring my ideas to life and take ownership. I am able to network and collaborate with other talents the way I desire and make ideas come to life and to have others see my work globally. You never know where your next inspiration will come from, what new passions you will pursue, or what new ideas generate when visionaries are put in one room.
As an entrepreneur you work long hours, but you know that the time, dedication and work is worth it because you are investing in your growth in all aspects. Having your own businesses is an investment in yourself.
There is no manual on becoming an entrepreneur. You are a risk-taker and go-getter by nature. As such, you experience “wins” and “losses”. As an entrepreneur, you learn how to work with the right partners, because there will be people who try to take advantage of you. You learn to ask the right questions and partner with legitimate people who are aligned with your mission and purpose. At the end of the day, you are your brand and you must represent yourself legitimately.
As a woman in business, what are the challenges you faced as a business owner and how did you overcome them?
- Being taken seriously– I am a down-to-earth, but first and foremost I am a professional. As a business owner, I handle business responsibly. I learned to be direct when working with others and negotiating agreements, learning when its best to pursue or walk away.
- Creating my tribe- I have many family and friends who support and have helped me promote my brand. But one thing you learn is not everyone is going to support you and that can be disappointing. I learned to stay authentically true to my brands and myself. I surround myself with positive, uplifting people. It’s important to plant yourself in the right soil. That is your nourishment. Radiate positive energy, and you will also attract that energy to you. I faced challenges but stayed open-mind to think outside the box. It resulted in meeting amazing people who also became supporters, mentors, and collaborators.
- Finding balance- Entrepreneurship requires late night hours and non-traditional 9-5 working hours. I made a conscious decision to work to be healthier (exercise, eat well, get adequate sleep, maintain a social life, and balance other work and community obligations).
- Being discouraged– There is no straight roadmap and you will be discouraged. I learned who to do business with, how to listen to my instincts, and which business decisions to make. The market is dynamic so my response with my businesses must be as well. I have to be adaptable, open to change and ideas, and continuously learning. Sometimes what seems like a “loss” or bump in the road, is actually a “win” and redirecting me in the right direction. I must stick to positive thinking.
- Being a risk taker- I like to think of myself as a risk-taker, but I can be conservative at times with the decisions I make. Having my own business has forced me to step outside my comfort zone, try new ideas and take risks. There is no guarantee an idea or pursuit will work. Many times it involves taking a chance and leap of faith and being patient to see the results. There is a season and time for everything.
What would you say to another woman who’s thinking about embracing entrepreneurship and is hesitant about it?
- Define your motivationand “why” you wish to pursue your business. Make sure your drive comes from the “core” of you and that you are passionate about what you wish to pursue. Then work towards building a strong foundation for your business.
- Address your fears.Many times the only thing holding us back is fear. Don’t let your doubts or others deter you from your pursuits. We make all these reasons why we can’t possibly accomplish something. Set your intention and manifest it, pray and have faith to make your business happen. If you are truly thinking about embracing entrepreneurship, write your thoughts down into manageable goals. Take it one step at a time or you will get overwhelmed. It involves a lot of work behind the scenes, don’t expect all glam.
- Celebrate your wins, even if they seem small. Give yourself a chance. Those are accomplishments. One day you will look back and think, ”I remember when the idea of starting my own business was just a seed & terrified me, and look how it has grown.”
What’s new and what should we look forward to from your brand?
Sasha L Jewels designs unique collections, such as the Heritage Pride Collection that honors heritage and worldwide cultures through fashion statements. Clients love to express fashion through vibrant cultural representation.
SLJ is also looking to expand its client base to partner and collaborate with other businesses, stores, cultural institutions and associations. This will allow us to do more customized orders for a wider clientele. SLJ is open to businesses and associations contacting us
Meta Viable Solutions offers a free consultation if you are interested in our services. We offer leadership and support in special projects and process improvement as it relates to Enterprise Strategy & Business Transformation, Leadership and Team Performance, and Management and Performance. Visit our website for more information and feel free to contact us.
What specific group of people does your business impact and why did you choose to cater to market your products and services to this group?
Sasha L Jewels LLC (SLJ Designs), as well as its clients, are versatile. SLJ clients are daring, take chances and challenge the “norm”. They represent diversity in fashion. They wear SLJ jewelry in the workplace, on everyday excursions, travelling global, or fashionable evenings and venues. SLJ jewelry encompasses variations of color that translate across all seasons, on women of all ages. Our styles represent a spectrum of women and fashion lifestyles from urban & island, to high fashion elegant evening wear. SLJ chic, fresh, eclectic jewelry designs are made for the independent, fashionable, expressive individual. My goal is to inspire clients to step outside their comfort zone. We should all feel free to make a unique statement in this world through artistic expression.
Meta Viable Solutions clientele include small businesses, non-profit and corporate. I have extensive experience working in different organizations so my versatility has allowed me to easily transition my talents to meet client needs and improve their diverse business types.
Share one or more highlights of your career as an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to step outside my comfort zone to do things I never imagined. I have been able to grow in all aspects of my life and exude my growth through my brands. I have collaborated with all different talents and expertise, fashion designers, interior designers, graphic designers, artists, songwriters, community leaders, lawyers, physicians, and other entrepreneurs.
Highlights of entrepreneurship include being featured on the cover of the June 2017 issue of DOPE magazine and in Jay Z’s promotional Tidal video. I have been featured on fashion runway shows that support special causes and supported causes related to Haiti Relief Efforts. Due to the diversity of my jewelry, I’ve been able to work in various fashion scenes on a multitude of projects.
Another highlight is the Sasha L Jewels Internship Program. Through my businesses, I am able to mentor students and provide a more professional experience for them related to the arts, business and public relations so that they are also able to gain more experience. I also have learned so much from them. Many of my interns have moved on to make great contributions. I am proud of them. Mentorship is important to me. I created many internship programs in the several Companies. Students are encouraged to apply to SLJ Internship and can contact us if interested.
In your opinion, why is it important for the Haitian community to support Haitian owned businesses?
I believe that all organizations, from the individual artist to the global corporation, are responsible for giving back to the community in which they live. If we all do a little, it can add up to something significant. Aside from being a jewelry designer, I have always been active in the community. Being a business owner provides another way for me to give back and support local and international communities, including the Haitian community both locally and abroad. I am proud of my ancestry. I think it’s important for the Haitian community to support Haitian owned businesses through a reciprocated relationship for growth and education. We should uplift, contribute and celebrate the successes of each other and ensure that we creating and promoting a successful, growing, and a healthy community amongst our own.
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