Here at the Western Women’s Business Center, we celebrate each of our clients’ wins because we are in the business of seeing you succeed! We also love sharing those success stories as inspiration and motivation for all the other hard-working entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina.
This success story featured LaVie Montgomery and how she turned her passion into a business. Let’s learn a bit more about LaVie and what her experience of becoming an entrepreneur has been like.
Please provide us with some background about you and your business, including your products and services.
“I’m a 3rd generation Asheville native. My family is full of educators. I am an Asheville High School graduate (Go Cougars!). I went to UNC Greensboro for my undergraduate degree (Spartan Pride!) and received my Master of Science in healthcare and business management at Winston Salem State University. My hobbies are hiking, photography, writing, connecting, and sharing stories. I don’t meet a stranger. My name LaVie is French for ‘the life’ and perfectly fits my personality.
My business is Dope Diva’s Accessories. I sell custom-made earrings that convey a message. I’ve always loved earrings. I’ve always loved to make a statement. I feel naked without them. Ever since I was a young girl, I would wear earrings. I have different categories of earrings: inspirational, religious, politics, music, humor, etc. They are “conversation starters” and often connect us to people from all walks of life.”
How did you start your business?
“It wasn’t hard to start. For the past two years, I’ve had the idea. A year and a half ago, I researched and gathered info on creating and distributing my product. I’ve been pushing my product off my Facebook page, but I hope to launch my website page in the next few months. I want this to expand beyond the 900+ friends I have on Facebook. I plan to expand on more products beyond earrings in the coming months.”
What inspires you?
“I am active in the community advocating for the education of youth. You will see this reflected in my earrings. My clients wear my custom earrings with their business logos. They are literally a walking billboard! What’s better than a nonverbal, fashionable, statement piece that inspire complete strangers!? Once, I was at a grocery store, and someone came up to me and said, “Oh my, I love your earrings! My professor wears them every day.”. It’s nice to walk around town and see people of the community wearing my product. “
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
“Write your plan down. Connect with someone you can trust and who also believes in you. Do your research on the industry you plan to go into. Make an action plan and have steps in place to achieve your goal. Find a mentor and connect with other business owners in the industry. Go for it. Find the right resources. You have to play to win; you’re always going to lose if you don’t try.”
How can we find your business?
“You can find my business group page on Facebook as Dope Diva’s Accessories. Request to join the group. I will accept most people into the group within 24 hours. My main selling point is on Facebook, but I am often around local pop-up shops here in Asheville, NC.”