What do you get when you mix drive + sweetness + positivity + talent? Hello!!! You get Mrs. Brandi Turney. Wife, mother of two, and the amazing baker behind JoJo's Dozen and seamstress of Sweet Clutch Factory. I met Brandi in February at the Spark and Hustle Conference in Los Angeles, and right away I could tell that she was bursting with optimism. She shared with me that she was unexpectedly laid-off, but is now having the last laugh because she's living her dream! She really is a person that turns lemons into lemonade and that's the reason I wanted you to hear her story. Enjoy!
By the way...I've had her Red Velvet cupcakes and they are YUM!
1. I won't ask your age, but what was your favorite t.v. show to watch growing up?
Growing up, my favorite TV shows were Punky Brewster, Small Wonder, The Cosby Show, Jem, Thundercats, Family Ties, St. Elsewhere, Hillstreet Blues, Night Court, Different Strokes, Mama's Family, Doogie Howser, M.D., Three's Company, Hardcastle and McCormick, MacGyver, Cheers, Facts of Life, Alf, 227, Golden Girls, Solid Gold, SOUL TRAIN, Silver Spoons, Hunter, Moonlighting, Fall Guy, A-Team, Knight Rider, Wonder Years, Smurfs...ah, yes my childhood:)
2. What gave you the AUDACITY to start a business?
I really believe I was born with the audacious mentality that I could do absolutely ANYTHING. God planted that seed. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and had a "HUSTLE", even when I worked a 9-5. In 2009, I was laid off abruptly. So, when it came time to take back the reigns and plan out my future, starting a viable business only seemed natural.
3. Out of all the creative businesses you could have chosen to start, why did you choose baking and clutch purses?
As a creative person, I am truly guided by ingenuity. When I "think it", I get the intense desire to "create it". Nothing gets you going like a good ol' fashioned craving, right?!:) I started baking as a little girl, I believe out of sheer curiosity and maybe necessity. I tried many desserts that simply weren't appetizing and that gave me the desire to make desserts I liked. My background is in design and I have a passion for dance but honestly, I think baking chose me.:) One day, I noticed that people always expected me to bring something I baked every time I showed up to an event! There was a demand, a hum, a calling, for me to bake and I made a decision to answer the call at every opportunity. My newest TOY, Sweet Clutch Factory, was born out of an opportunity to show a group of middle school girls how to sew. I enjoy teaching and it made me very happy to volunteer and share my gift with these young women. Accepting the invitation to teach the class resurrected my desire to hop on the sewing machine again. As the first sewing project, the girls made a clutch purse as a gift for Mother's Day. After class, I posted a few pictures of my completed purse on Facebook aaaand....here we are.
4. Lots of people want to be their own boss, however they don't understand that it really Is harder then it seems. What's your typical work day like?
(laughing) Typically, I don't know what day it is:) Typically, I run out of DAY or daylight and it morphs into a daynightduskdawn type of thing...LOL! I am still learning how to manage my time as an entrepreneur. But what entrepreneur isn't? I'm comfortable with not having it mastered, soon I will find what works for me. My family comes FIRST so, my businesses compete with my wife-mommy-household contributor priorities. I ALWAYS have a daily schedule and I review it for the week and the night before. It may include orders for 12 cupcakes,120 cupcakes or 3 clutches. I structure my day around upcoming orders and purchasing supplies. Sometimes, I DO NOT stick to what is on the schedule for that day or week even, but, if it's important, I keep adding the task it to my schedule until it gets done. I enjoy the flexibility.
5. How do you find the strength to persevere when the challenges seem to outweigh the rewards?
To gain strength in the most challenging times, I pray and have conversations with God about why I'm really doing this, cut myself some slack and take a break from it all. My support system is strong and usually helps me put the pieces back together when I am ready to fall apart. I can always regain focus when I'm on the outside looking in.
6. What inspires you?
Love, freedom, the ticker tape of ideas that plays in my head...LOL, an array of colors, OUTDOORS, familiar smells, problem solving, insurmountable tasks and surprises inspire me; gives me license to look beyond myself and dream up WIGs (Wildly Improbable Goals, as Martha Beck would say).
7. What's your go to wine when it's time to unwind? :)
Il Conte d'Alba Moscato d'Asti!
8. When it comes to the following words, what advice would you give?
Work: breeds success, if it's done with integrity.
Self: love "you" first, it's the only way to preserve yourself and enjoy the blessings.
Life: is a gift, stay present.
Love: God is love and love is pure; smother your opinions and open your heart.
Friends: equal joy and wisdom. Uplift. Treat them like gems. Friends embody all the beautiful experiences life has to offer. They will show you unfiltered facets of your personality and ride on the journey with you.
9. I define a Bohemian Spirit as someone who is free, unique, and unafraid to make her own stamp on the world. Why are you a Bohemian Spirit?
You know, I've had a front row seat to life being much shorter than expected. While I walk this earth, I share everything I can with my husband and my sons, I forgive myself daily, I ask God for forgiveness, I listen, I observe, I speak up and out about what I believe is right and just, I under-promise and over-deliver, I make a choice to do me because there's only one me and I make it all up as I go along. I am living free.