We are at the heart of a female evolution.
There is a generation of women who, now more than ever before, have the power of choice.
In 1972, 4% of businesses were owned by women in America. In 2012, 36% of businesses were woman owned. Of the nearly 4.5 million new jobs in management created since 1980, women have obtained the majority of them (although overall men still hold most management positions at 60%).
From this data many of us did not have grandmothers, aunts or mothers to watch and emulate how they juggled demanding careers, raised a family and managed a household. Or fathers who shared equally in the household management.
A common discussion I hear is about an amazing, big hearted, forward thinking husband/boyfriend/partner and the struggle of how to work through child raising and/or managing a household together as a team. Sometimes a piece of the struggle is a woman’s own expectations of herself.
This is new territory.
And so the Blog Evolving Elegantly begins.
It will interview women, in all walks of life, and create a community of support, openness and honesty around how we are navigating this new life. The struggles, successes and tips to help one another as we strive for self-care, healthy, lasting relationships, and success in careers and motherhood.
Introducing our first feature Emily Jaime, Founder of Yireh.
At the young age of 21 Emily launched Yireh after meeting an Indonesian family of seamstresses that were struggling to find work in Bali. She runs an incredible fashion e-commerce business, shoots international photoshoots, and has created a passionate and devoted Instagram and blog following. She is a Hawaii pioneer in social entrepreneurship and ethically produces all her clothing through two factories in Bali. Yireh also donates 10% of profits to the International Justice Mission, an organization geared towards bringing an end to human trafficking. Wise beyond her years her answers below are the perfect beginning to this blog.
What do you think is your life’s purpose and why?
To inspire and encourage women to live their best life possible. I take a lot of risks. Big personal risks that are scary to me and I’m just a very normal person. I graduated from Kalaheo High School (the local public high school in her area), I didn’t graduate from a four-year university, and I struggle with depression and anxiety. To be able to travel the world, start my own business, chase after my big goals and show other people they can do it too is my purpose. My greatest sadness is to see people with so much talent who are too afraid to use it.
You’re a wife and an entrepreneur. What decision process or routine helps you to balance work with having a healthy marriage?
Daily in the evenings is my time to connect with my husband. We talk about our days, share that evening meal and reconnect. We stay current with what is happening in each other’s life. Then on the weekends we take time to surf together or garden together. Little things that we both enjoy and set aside time to do. If we miss that time, which of course does happen, we are sure to communicate to each other what our schedule is and reschedule time together another day. We make it a priority to carve out time to be together just him and I.
The 2018 household is a new territory. How do you and your husband handle grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning chores?
When we first got married I felt pressure, not from Davin but from myself, to cook and clean and that I needed to be a good household wife. I like things really clean. But the demands of entrepreneurship and a household were really challenging. I had so much pressure on myself to have a well-run household and a successful business.
Davin is not into cleaning. He will come home from work and things not being clean just doesn’t bother him in the same way it really bothers me. We would always be fighting, and I would be like “I have to clean everything and just because I’m the girl that shouldn’t mean I have to clean everything.” For Davin it wasn’t his intention to put that on me; he just wasn’t even thinking about it. He didn’t notice the dirty things or feel the need to clean them like I did.
And so we started having conversation after conversation with me sharing what was really important to me in the household. We talked about what each of us were naturally good at and what we enjoyed doing more. Like I’m not naturally good at cooking but Davin is. So, he took over cooking dinners. Then little by little we separated areas that we were responsible for. He’s in charge of the kitchen, cooking and cleaning of the kitchen and I work on cleaning other areas of the home. We both share in the grocery shopping and have developed working as a team.
It’s a constant conversation and there are times when his life gets busy and he needs help and the same goes for me. We’ve become better as realizing that when one of us is in a busier season, to step in and help pick up the slack. It can’t be just this is your job all the time and this is my job all the time it’s about giving each other the support as life changes.
What is a daily/weekly/or monthly routine you do to manage stress and provide yourself with self-care?
In the first two years of my business I got so wrapped up in work and forgot about taking care of myself. I felt like if I want Yireh to be successful I need to work endlessly. And then I started to struggle with depression and anxiety. At that point I realized I need to be healthy in order for my business to be healthy and I made a change.
I made self-care a big priority with a focus on regular exercise. I exercise Monday – Friday mostly doing Hot Yoga. I stick to a schedule and start my day with yoga each morning and schedule my meetings and errands around this morning class. My evenings are for my husband, Davin, and I try to stop work by 6:30 – 7pm to spend time together, connect and eat dinner.
Weekends I love to surf and make it a priority to go with my husband. When I do a work trip I try to take an extra week to make it a workcation. I love to travel so traveling and making it a surf trip following the work trip helps my balance and self-care.
What specific practice do you do to stay focused on your goals and move forward each day towards achieving them?
Daily I wake up and do not go straight to my phone. I sit for a moment, look out the window, and be in gratitude.
I write in my journal each day ten goals that are big and kind of scary, all things that I want for my life. I write the same goals every day. Pages and pages of the same goals. Then the goals are on my mind for the entire day.
To write goals you have to spend so much more time thinking about them. Your brain starts to believe that nothing else, but that goal can happen. Then everything you do, each decision you make throughout your day is working towards that goal.
When you’re running your own business, you have no one to answer to, no boss, no deadlines. You can really work on whatever you want which can lead to a lack of focus.
Recently I wrote out a Monday – Friday theme schedule. Every day has a different theme. Monday I’ll do emails and office work. Tuesday I’ll focus on drafting blog content. Wednesdays are my design day.
I’m batch working in each day, so my brain can fully focus on one thing. I write out a daily hourly schedule including my morning yoga class.
For me prior to doing this was like having too many tabs open on a computer. When they’re all open at once you feel like you can’t give your full attention to any one task. You’re just jumping all over the place. I’ve realized it stresses me out to work that way and I needed to create a process to support focused work.
Tell me about a time in your business where you failed and how did you move forward from the situation?
My biggest mistake so far is getting pressured into hiring a PR team. I was in year two of my business and a PR firm contacted me that represented another Hawaii brand. I loved this Hawaii brand and they were doing amazing. The PR firm said all the right things and had been very successful in getting products on celebrities and in the press.
It was super expensive, so I initially told them no. But then they came back and reduced their monthly fee by 2/3. I thought this can help move my business forward in a big way and so I went for it.
It ended up being a terrible capital sucker. And it was a year contract so every month I was losing a lot of money without seeing results. In addition to the expensive monthly fees I also sent them thousands and thousands of dollars of free product to give to influencers and editors. It was a big mistake and I had to learn how to be creative to make up the money each month and to not feel like a failure.
I also learned about how to get the most from a contract. I didn’t really realize they were working for me and so I could’ve pointed them in the direction of where I wanted them to go. Instead of just giving them the free reign. I learned that everyone I hire I need to partner with in everything they do instead of assuming they will know what I want.
It taught me to be really careful with every decision, long term commitment and not to make emotional decisions. And even if you make a wrong decision you definitely learn from it.
What is your favorite pair of Mohala shades and how would you style them?
The Lana in Blush (pictured below) is my favorite pair. I would style them with the Yireh Indi Maxi in Watercolor Nude (pictured above) and a Pasar Wicker Circle Bag (pictured below) for a fun, light, summer look.
To Our Dreams,
McManus, Michael J. “Get the Facts on Women Business Owners.” U.S. Department of Labor Blog, 5 July 2017. https://blog.dol.gov/2017/07/05/get-facts-women-business-owners. 1 June 2018.
Linard, Laura. “Enterprising Women—a History.” Harvard Business School, 18 November 2002. https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/enterprising-womena-history. 1 June 2018.
Scarborough, William. “What the Data Says About Women in Management Between 1980 and 2010.” Harvard Business Review, 23 February 2018. https://hbr.org/2018/02/what-the-data-says-about-women-in-management-between-1980-and-2010. 1 June 2018