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Life & Work with Shamoneak Gibson-Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shamoneak Gibson-Thomas.

Hi Shamoneak, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
It all started with me wanting to make some friends with lip scrubs during the winter months, people really don’t take care of their lips as they should. I let my husband test it and he immediately said, “you have to sell this, it’s too good”. That was absolutely never my plan but he set up a WordPress website for me and we started with “Lip Krazy”. As time went on, I wanted to make MORE than lip scrubs and lip butters but the name wouldn’t make sense with my expansion idea; that’s when Krazy Essentials was born. I began to offer an array of products like, lip scrubs, lip butters, lip treatments, body oils, body butters, body scrubs, liquid highlighters, facial cleansers, lashes, etc., etc., etc.

As you can see from my website now, a lot of those products are not offered anymore. I had to take time and sit with myself about what I REALLY wanted to offer people and I landed on fragrances. As a kid, I HAD to have a collection of body sprays and lotions for daily wear; it just made sense for my focus for KE to be body/home fragrances and lip care moving forward.

What you see today for Krazy Essentials is my love for crafting signature fragrance blends in my body and home products. Lip Care will ALWAYS be a part of Krazy Essentials because as I stated earlier? People really do not take care of their lips as they should. I’m currently enrolled in school for my Master of Science in Aromatherapy to become a Registered Aromatherapist. I am so excited for the next journey for Krazy Essentials + Aromatherapy!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Oh absolutely not, I wish it was! The struggle of trying to figure out what you want to do, how you want to do it and the lack of support from family/friends has definitely kept me up many nights just crying with frustration. Idk, I believe a lot of people believe once you decide to open your own business that people will just support you because they know you and that’s not 100% true. It took me a while to figure out, those people aren’t my target audience AT ALL and that has helped me tremendously with how I do things now.

To touch on trying to figure out what you want to do/how to do it? It’s always in progress and I didn’t realize that. There’s no “end” in figuring out what you want to do with your business because as days pass, there’s going to be something that goes off in your head like a lightbulb. Then you’re right back to the drawing board, not starting over, but improving.

Omg, how can I forget to mention pricing and funding challenges! Pricing my products was a huge obstacle, I didn’t want to charge “too” much but then I didn’t want to cheat myself. It was a weird catch 22 that most entrepreneurs face but you literally have to make sure you’re comfortable with YOUR profit margin and your audience. Everyone isn’t going to buy in and that’s okay, I had to learn to not focus on those people but on those who don’t mind filling up their cart with my products. Funding everything out of pocket is a huge trek, no one was throwing me thousands (or hundreds) of dollars to begin and continue with KE.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
By trade, I was in Higher Education for almost a decade working in financial aid, academic advising and student accounts; but also I have experience in social work and medical. I’m still regarded as the “financial aid lady” and I will always be down to help people who do not understand how to navigate the financial aid system at colleges.

I finally (for good) left the Higher Education field in March 2022 and transitioned into GovTech. I’m most proud of this transition because I have ZERO experience in the tech field. I started switching up my interviewing process with my last few jobs by literally just showing up as me. “Girl, what do you mean showing up as you? You are you?” Right exactly, I am ME but I would show up as a shell of myself instead, and I kind of just got tired of it. I’m 98% sure that’s how I landed my first tech job without any experience in the field, coupled with transferable skills.

You absolutely do not have to be a stick in the mud while interviewing, be yourself. Why go in presenting as a shell of yourself? Be you! Apply this to your professional AND entrepreneurial work, BE YOU!

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Honestly, music. I love working (my professional job and KE) while listening to music, it helps ease my anxiety when I’m doing my thing. Literally, right now, I’m listening to Ari Lennox while doing this interview!

On top of that, I’m extremely inquisitive (nosy) and I like to ask people questions and gather resources that way. I have folders of numerous websites and downloaded pdfs on different approaches. I’m currently reading Brag Better by Meredith Fineman to help me get out of my own way with self-promotion.

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