Happy New Year everyone! For the first post of 2017, I thought I’d treat you to a giveaway! I don’t wear too many graphic tees but one of my ultimate favorites (and clearly yours too, since it always gets tons of likes when I post it on Instagram) is my Blessed tee from Ven & Rose. I’ve asked Vashti, Ven & Rose founder and all around entrepreneur & blogging boss, to share more about her story as well as her hair.
Hey Vashti! Tell us a bit more about yourself.
My name is Vashti and I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur. I own the faith-based lifestyle brand VenandRose.com and I am an Award Winning blogger at VeePeeJay.com. I’m also a digital marketing consultant and speaker at VashtiAJoseph.com. I was born & raised in Grenada so I’m an island girl at heart. I currently live in Dallas, TX with my husband.
Your hair is so lush! How long have you been natural and why did you go natural?
I’ve been natural since August 2011 and it has been, hands down, one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went natural because I was bored of my relaxed hair and wanted a change. I fell in love with my natural hair and the rest is history – I can’t imagine ever relaxing my hair again.
Alright, let’s talk about Ven & Rose. When did you start it and how did you come up with the name?
Ven & Rose is a faith-based lifestyle brand dedicated to providing inspiration & encouragement through events, community and inspirational products. My aim is to encourage others to walk by faith, live authentically and find the beauty in discovering and living their purpose.
The brand was started in August 2015 and pays tribute to my grandmother (Ven) and my mother-in-law (Rose) who have both passed away. They were both faith-filled, amazing women who positively impacted everyone they encountered. I hope to have the same impact with Ven & Rose.
So where do you find inspiration for your apparel and accessory designs?
Many of the designs are born out of my own experiences and I share them because I know many people can identify with them. Every product/design has a story, and it’s through these stories/inspirations that I am able to connect with my customers.
For example, the Blessed (Not Lucky) design was one of the first ones we offered when Ven & Rose was launched. As a little girl, my grandmother Ven was quick to correct her grandkids whenever we would use the word “lucky” when we should have said “blessed”. This memory stuck with me and as a result became part of the line.
If you had to pick a favorite design, what would it be?
That is a tough one, but I would have to say the “About That Faith Life” design (especially as a sweatshirt) is one of my favorites. I often say that I made this design as a personal reminder to choose faith over fear. For a very long time I used to be so afraid of failing, but then I began to feel like a hypocrite because I would say I had faith, but my actions didn’t always reflect that. This design was a simple, physical reminder to not just talk the talk, but to walk it as well.
I know a lot of bloggers want to do more than just write but don’t know where to start. How did you transition from a natural hair blogger to a shop owner/motivational speaker/influencer/all around boss?
To be very transparent, I feel like I fought the transition for a while. Although I kept feeling that gentle nudging and I could see that God was leading me down this path, I procrastinated, partly because it was a bit scary, and out of my comfort zone. But I know that God always has my best interest at heart so although I was scared, I stepped into those shoes he had laid out for me.
As soon as I did that he immediately he started opening doors that I could have never imagined. I firmly that I believe God used my hair to change my life 🙂 Going natural, being a natural hair blogger and all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had in the last 5 years were all part of his plan, and definitely contributed to where I am today.
Have you come across any challenges as a faith-based company?
I can’t honestly say that I experience any specific challenges as a result of being a faith-based brand. The challenges are similar to any new and growing business. I am firm believer in “finding your people” so I was intentional about building a community of people who would identify with the brand, its mission and its message.
What’s one piece of advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
My biggest piece of advice for starting a business, is to start. I know it may sound cliche, but you really just need to take that first step once you have decided on what you want to do. I think many people get stuck in the inspiration and “thinking” phases, and trying to have everything perfect before they begin. While I would never advice anyone to just throw any old thing into the world without at least doing some research, it’s really important to not be paralyzed by the details. Take that first step, even if it means purchasing the domain and securing the social media accounts.
Thanks so much Vashti for sharing a bit about your journey from blogger to entrepreneur, as well as the story behind Ven & Rose! If you’d like to win a $50 gift card from Ven & Rose, please enter the giveaway below. Since Vashti is a proud immigrant like myself, she’s offering this giveaway to international folks so enter away! If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Klassy Kinks newsletter, be sure to do so in order to qualify for the giveaway. And make sure you check out Vashti’s blog, VeePeeJay.com and personal site VashtiAJoseph.com. Good luck!