Welcome to my new interview series featuring some of the brightest and most hard-working women I know. My goal for this series is to collect stories from women in all levels of their career. The hope is that their journey and their advice will trigger something in you, and help you take the jump you need to achieve your personal level of success. Whether they are freelancers, founders of their own business, corporate employees, or students, this #LadiesWhoHustle series will showcase their unique talents and help you unveil yours
Next up, a lady who does it all! From small business owner (of multiple businesses), to mother, and supportive wife, is there anything Jess Belfry can't get done? Jess is the owner of Buckhead Storage, a storage facility for RV's and Boats, and Hustle & Blow Dry Bar, a lifestyle salon based out of Savannah, Georgia. Hustle & Blow Dry Bar contributes to your whole well-being, from hair to skin to cosmetic beauty. And if that wasn't enough for this goal-oriented family, her husband is the owner of Louver Shop of Greater Savannah, which meets all your window treatment needs.
Now let's dive deep into Jess and her entrepreneurial spirit and see how this lady crushes all her goals!
Small business owner.
What was your dream job at 10 years old?
Tell us what your average day looks like.
I'm awake by 6:00 am and I check e-mails and finalize my social media posts for the day. By 6:30, I am getting my 10-year old up, cooking breakfast and packing lunches. We are out of the door by 7:30 to drop him off at school. I arrive to my first small business by 8:00 am, where I stay for 3-4 hours working with the team to execute a great client experience.
Around noon, I leave to head over to another small business that myself and my husband own. There, I work on billing, inventory, and respond to client inquiries. By 3:00 pm, I am picking up my son from school and getting him settled in for homework and violin lessons.
Dinner is on the table between 5:00 - 6:00 pm and then the day is finished by working on client contracts for both businesses, attending networking events, attending to social media and e-mail inquiries, and setting up anything needing immediate attention for the next day.
Wow, you seem very busy and productive! With all that's going on, where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I hope to have sold one of my businesses to someone who has the same energy and eagerness as I currently do and I hope to have at least one of my children managing the other business. I would like to spend my days volunteering and focusing on philanthropy while doing things I enjoy, like spending time with my family, hiking, boating and gardening.
What has been your biggest career struggle so far?
The biggest struggle has been building a team that shares in the vision of my business and is committed to the long-term success of the company.
And what has been your biggest career win so far?
My biggest career win is to be able to proudly say that my husband and I both own a small business and we also own one together. Our relationship has always been built on an entrepreneurial spirit and having three businesses while managing a family and still having time to hang out with each other is a testament to the support that we continually give each other.
Let's talk about advice! What's the best piece of career advice that you've received?
Write down your goals and check in with them often. Don't be too hard on yourself if you aren't achieving the goals exactly how you had envisioned. Also, make sure you have a good balance of realistic goals and super lofty goals. I made a mistake of setting a "lifetime goal" and I hit that goal by the time I was 26! I honestly thought that goal would take a lifetime to achieve. I completely underestimated myself!
That's amazing, I love your advice on setting realistic and lofty goals! Have you received any bad career advice so far?
A former boss once told me that I would not be able to achieve my career goals by being in "the state that I was in" (I was pregnant at the time). It was a punch in the gut. It happened when I was 28. Now, 10 years later, it makes me laugh at the ignorance he had. My family has helped make my career goals happen. They lift me up when I get discouraged and seeing their successes keeps me moving forward.
Who motivates you the most?
My career inspiration is Lotte Davis. I had the privilege of working for her for seven years. In those seven years, I learned so much about work/life balance, and about setting and surpassing goals. She is definitely not afraid to share her opinion, even if it sometimes comes across as a bit crass, but at the same time, you know her opinion is based on years of experience and is fuelled by a passion to be the best.
When do you feel the most confident?
I feel the most confident when I am in the middle of a hectic day. I love being busy and when I am my busiest, I know that it's because of the environment I created.
Currently coveting: Sitting by a warm fire, relaxing.
Favourite way to sweat: Hiking in the great outdoors.
Favourite book: Anything by JoJo Moyes.
Morning person or night owl? Neither! I'm so exhausted by the night that I can't enjoy it. And it takes me at least an hour to feel human in the mornings.
Favourite city: Nashville.
Get in touch with Jess!
Facebook: Hustle and Blow Dry Bar
Know anyone that would be great to feature in the #LadiesWhoHustle series? Connect with me on Instagram to nominate them - or yourself!