All Things Melanin
#GoGetter Spotlight: Alyse Hope of EAT. PRAY. HOPE.®
Alyse is a true trendsetter. Her fashion sense is impeccable, her work ethic is undeniable, and her ability to "go out and get it" is apparent to any one that knows her. Alyse is one of those people whose spirit shines through when you encounter her. She's one of those people who isn't as concerned about being at someone else's table, but creating her own, marching to her own beat and building her brand and business from the ground up.
Alyse is a true #GoGetter. Her passion, determination, and ability to pour into others while still seamlessly working full time and pursuing her dreams will leave you motivated and inspired. Alyse spoke with us about her brand, the ups, downs, and everything in between on her entrepreneurial journey.
What’s your definition of a Go-Getter?
To me a go-getter is someone who is ambitious, fearless, and motivated. They aren’t afraid to take risks and go after their goals and dreams.
Introduce EAT. PRAY. HOPE.® and why you decided to launch an apparel brand.
I started EAT. PRAY. HOPE.® (EPH) as an extension of my fashion blog, I Am Ms. Hope. My goal was to create uplifting, inspirational apparel for everyone, (men, women, and children). Our anchor verse is Jeremiah 29:11. In addition to the clothing, we do our best to give back and volunteer with local nonprofits.
Once I got my blueprint down for EAT. PRAY. HOPE.®, I got it trademarked right away. I officially launched my website on December 3, 2018 and the rest has been history!
What was your “aha” moment that inspired EAT. PRAY. HOPE.®?
EAT. PRAY. HOPE.® was inspired by my last name, Hope, my fashion blog, I Am Ms. Hope, and my favorite movie Eat Pray Love. The significance of the phrase is whenever we go through something you have to eat (both food and spiritually feed your soul), pray to God, and hope for answered prayers! When I was younger, I was teased about my last name but now I understand how much power there is in having a last name of HOPE!
What is your ultimate goal for EAT. PRAY. HOPE.®?
My ultimate goal for EAT. PRAY. HOPE.® is to be a household name. I want it to be a one-stop shop for inspirational, fashionable apparel and uplifting daily devotionals.
What has been one of the most rewarding moments you have encountered so far in launching your brand?
I am most proud that I have built my company from the ground up. What started off as a dream/vision has now become my reality. I love seeing people rep my brand proudly as if it’s their own! There is no greater feeling!
EAT. PRAY. HOPE.® is literally a lifestyle. Each word is a vital part of our life that we need to survive daily.
What is one setback you’ve experienced and how did you overcome it?
Inflation, Inflation, Inflation! Unfortunately, with me being a small business, I am weakened by the prolonged recession and have fallen subject to the inflation increase with my vendors. Because of the state of our economy, I have learned to adjust my prices accordingly within my budget.
One way that I’ve learned to stay ahead of inflation is to stock up on inventory before prices from my suppliers go up. This has really helped me out a lot. However, I have to be careful not to jeopardize my cash reserves when buying ahead with inventory.
How has entrepreneurship impacted you? What have you learned?
I wish I could say that my entrepreneurship journey has been easy, but unfortunately, it has not. There have been major growing pains! From experiencing bad web developers, vendor issues for my apparel line, inflation on shipping, t-shirts… etc. I can go on and on. There are a lot of small things that I didn’t think about when running a business. However, what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger. Every lesson that I have learned has made me a better businesswoman, and for that I am truly grateful.
What’s your favorite thing about owning your own business?
Well that is easy, I am my own boss! I call the shots! More importantly, I have the freedom to make the decisions that are crucial to my own business success.
You work a full-time job, along with your apparel company, and have numerous other obligations, what does balance look like for you?
I have learned in order to have balance in my life, time management is key. I am a woman who wears many hats. I am a National Sales Project Manager for my corporate job, a fashion blogger and a business owner. By default, my 9 to 5 comes first because it pays the bills, but I am learning how to manage my time so that I don’t neglect my other obligations. Also, I have a good monthly planner, where I write down everything, so I won’t miss a beat!
What would you say to people who are on the edge of following their dreams and/or passions?
I would say be a go-getter and go chase your dreams! Network, build across and ask for help! Sometimes we can be so prideful, but you have to put your pride aside and ask for help. We have a tendency to want to do things on our own, but we need to use our resources.
It might seem easier to cut corners, but there are times when you just need to contact that attorney to read your legal documents. When you need someone to review your financial documents, hire an accountant. Issa Rae said it best — build across when you network and build with the people around you.
How can people get in touch with you?
The thing about being a #GoGetter is that it's a lifestyle. You don't just wake up and say "I want to be a #GoGetter." No, it's something you work towards every single day, no matter what life throws at you. Alyse does just that.
Be sure to visit Alyse's website and support her brand.