Flights of Fancy Mom

I'm a mom with dreams.  I want to live my life with no boundaries.  One day at a time.

Maye & Company ~ January’s Woman Owned Small Business Spotlight

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Every month in 2017, I will spotlight one Women Owned Small Business. I love hearing the different reasons that women decide to take control of their destiny and become successful while doing it! What’s the saying? “When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” January’s Woman Owned Small Business Spotlight is on:

Maye & Company

Jacqui: Tell me a little something about you. Where did you go to college? What is your ‘day job’ if you have one. What hobbies do you enjoy?

Madeline: I am a 24 year old entrepreneur. I attended the University of Oklahoma and received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography with a double minor in Geographic Information Science and Sociology. Currently, I work for an Oil and Gas consulting company, where I am a GIS Mapping Specialist and as of recently, I manage our new up and coming GIS based web service.

I am also the owner of Maye & Company boutique. My boutique is a small retail business specializing in clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home decor.

My hobbies include barre, a workout designed by using techniques from ballet, tai chi, and yoga. I am a pageant competitor and have been competing in numerous pageant systems since I was 17. I also enjoy reading romance novels and I love anything to do with the English aristocracy. (think Downton Abbey, The Duchess, Reign) and British nobility.

Maye and Company Store at Ole Stables Marketplace ~ Photo by Shelby’s Photography

Jacqui: What motivated you to start your own business?

Madeline: During college, I worked in retail, starting as a Sales Associate and worked my way up to Assistant Manager at a corporate retail store. I learned many different skills relating to the retail business such as customer service, business processes/procedures and how to manage a team of Sales Associates. I also worked closely with our corporate managers and learned the ins and outs of running a business.

At one point after graduating college, I wanted to become the Manager of my store, however the District Manager at that time, decided not to allow my advancement. Shortly after I was offered the position at the Oil and Gas consulting company, I realized I missed working retail and decided to do something about it. So, I took the skills I learned from running a corporate store to opening up my own. I can now say with pride that I am the owner of my own company and a young entrepreneur in the making.

Jacqui: Tell me about your business. What made you choose the products you sell?

Madeline: My business is a small retail business called Maye & Company. I sell clothing, jewelry, accessories and home decor. I sometimes sell items that I have made myself. Since I did work in retail, predominately clothing, throughout college, I decided that I wanted to open up a business that was very similar to that. I try to envision my buyer whenever I do buy for my store. I follow current fashion trends so that my customers can keep coming to me for their style advice and for stylish products.

Jacqui: What is the toughest thing you’ve faced in starting your business?

Madeline: The toughest thing I have faced in starting my business, surprisingly wasn’t getting it off the ground, even though I did have a mini panic attack when first purchasing my inventory! What I find the toughest, is staying ahead of the game. Always knowing what your customers want, before they know it themselves. It’s difficult to predict how a product will do. I find myself picking things out that I think are cute and that I am sure will sell. At times, those are the items that don’t sell. Then I’ll see something I wouldn’t think would be a popular item, but I’ll take a chance on it. They end up being the items I can’t keep on the shelves.

Maye and Company Store at Ole Stables Marketplace ~ Photo by Shelby’s Photography

Secondly, predicting the market I am set up in. We have a lot of small towns in Oklahoma, and I have to predict products differently for smaller towns than I would larger cities. For instance, I travel all over Oklahoma throughout the year to set up trunk shows. A trunk show is basically like a pop up boutique that I create at a show a business hosts. I pay to rent a space for the weekend and set up my pop up. Shows are huge for me. I tend to sell more during a weekend trunk show than I do in my store in a month. One of my best shows was in Oklahoma City, the biggest city in Oklahoma and one of my worst shows was in Ardmore, OK, a small country town. With those being very different markets, attempting to predict the needs was a challenge.

Jacqui: What’s kept you motivated to keep going with your business?

Madeline: I love this question!  I have questioned myself more during this journey than I ever have before. I have asked myself, “Why are you doing this? Can you do this? Should I continue? Or should I quit now?” It has been difficult. I made money the first year I opened and I lost all of that money in the second year Maye & Company has been opened.

I question things I want in life. Right now, I live with my dad rent free. This has helped tremendously while I work on my business. I have been able to buy my inventory with the money I save on rent. But now? I want my own place and that has left me with the question, “Can you have your own place and keep your business open?” This has motivated me to be more diligent with saving money and practicing money management. I now think to myself that I can and will make this work.

Jacqui: Where can people find your store?

Madeline: I have a booth at a business marketplace called the Ole Stables Marketplace. It’s located at: 1301 24th Ave SW, Norman, OK.  I also post my items on my business page Maye and Company or on Instagram under @mayeandcompany.

Jacqui: Do you ship your products for out of town customers?

Madeline: I do ship anywhere within the US with a small shipping fee.

Jacqui: What charity do you participate with?

Madeline: I participate with multiple charities in Oklahoma. I am a longtime member and volunteer for Autism Oklahoma and the Autism Piece Walk and 5k. I’ve been an avid advocate for Autism Insurance Reform, not only for Oklahoma, but for every state.

I also volunteer and am a member of the Miss Amazing Pageant Organization. This pageant provides opportunities for girls and young women with disabilities  to build confidence and self-esteem while participating in a pageant and supportive environment.

I am also a social media advocate for The Curbside Chronicle, which is a non-profit in Oklahoma city that aims to provide resources, employ, and empower our city’s homeless. Those who come to The Curbside Chronicle are homeless individuals who end up becoming their own small business owners, called vendors. The Curbside Chronicle produces a magazine every month. The vendors then sell these magazines for $2 on the streets of Oklahoma City.

Once they sell their inventory of magazines, they can purchase more to make additional money, for $.75 each. The vendors get to keep 100% of the profits outright for themselves.  But they also learn valuable skills, such as how to be a small business owner by buying more inventory to continue making money. The Curbside Chronicle has counselors that advise them on money management skills. Once they have enough saved up, The Curbside Chronicle will help the vendors to find homes, jobs and transportation for their new jobs.

Jacqui: What words of encouragement would you give to other women who are on the fence about starting their own business?

Madeline: I would say GO FOR IT. You never know what you can accomplish until you try. I was scared to start my own business.  I was afraid of failure.  Afraid that I was spending too much of my hard earned money on something that I wasn’t even sure would work. But I continuously told myself (and still do!) that you cannot be afraid of the “what ifs” What if I fail? What if no one likes my products? Will people take me seriously?  What if I have to close in a year?

We cannot live our lives thinking of the “what ifs”. Sometimes we have to be reckless and we have to jump into something without seeing where we might land.  Even if I decide that it is time to let my business go, I can say that I tried. Not many people can say that. The most brilliant businessmen and women in this world today got where they are now because they believed in themselves enough to try something. So the next time you have a crazy thought, an invention, or a business design, GO FOR IT. Because you can always pride yourself in knowing that you believed in yourself, your dreams, and your aspirations enough to take that leap of faith.

Madeline – The owner of Maye and Company ~ Photo by Shelby’s Photography

Madeline, thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story with us!  I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say you have a lot going on between your work, your business and the many charities that you volunteer for. And being so young, you have many things to be proud of! Congratulations in taking that step into entrepreneurship!

Madeline’s pictures for this spotlight were done by Shelby’s Photography. You can see more of Shelby’s photo’s on Facebook and Instagram!

53 Comments

  1. Alli Smith

    I’m impressed that Madeline owns her own business at age 24. Seems like she knows what she wants and how to go about getting it. I wish her much luck as she grows her business. I lived in Oklahoma for 4 yeas, so I know all these towns/cities that she mentioned.

    Reply
  2. candy

    You are a busy and well accomplished woman at the young age of 24. Best of luck with your job and hope your business is successful. Looks like you have some great looking item.

    Reply
  3. Dina Demarest

    So young and so on fire! Grab the world by the tail and keep going Madeline! You’re going to go far in life.

    Reply
  4. Terri Beavers

    I think it’s amazing that she has such talent at a young age. I’d love to visit the Maye and Company Store sometime.

    Reply
  5. Paula Schuck

    24 is so young to own a business! That’s quite impressive. I love the look of her store. It’s got such a cool vibe.

    Reply
  6. Pam

    I love supporting small business, so thanks for introducing us to Maye and Company. What a cool business, and 24 is so young to own your own.

    Reply
  7. Claudia Krusch

    Wow Madeline has so much going for her at only 24 years old. This was a great interview with her.

    Reply
  8. Jelli

    Wow, I wish I had been so accomplished by 24! She’s got a great thing going already. Love the way she’s set up her shop. The displays are lovely.

    Reply
  9. Teresa

    I love that you are focusing on great gals this year! i always love to hear about true success stories of fabulous working women!

    Reply
  10. Chubskulit Rose

    I love that dress worn by the owner. I think I would enjoy myself browsing through that store.
    Chubskulit Rose recently posted…Music is Like a MagnetMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Sapana V

    It is really inspiring. Being an entrepreneur at the age of 24 is a commendable job. Good work.
    Sapana V recently posted…Modern Names Starting with Letter ‘H’ for Hindu BabyMy Profile

    Reply
  12. Bites for Foodies

    I was just speaking to a fried, and fellow entrepreneur this morning! We shared our stories. Owning your own business seems to be the way to go nowadays.

    Reply
    1. Jacqui (Post author)

      I couldn’t agree more. When working for corporate America, you’re at the mercy of management and peers. When owning your own business, you create your own destiny and are more motivated to make something of your business because you’re more invested.

      Reply
  13. Dawn McAlexander

    She is really motivated for someone so young. I like her little store too. I wish her the best of luck and hope she has a lot of success with her business.

    Reply
  14. Chelsea {Unscripted}

    Thank you so much for spotlighting a small business owned by a woman. In the words of the Kimmy Schmidt theme song, “Females are strong as hell.”
    Chelsea {Unscripted} recently posted…Valentine’s Day Lingerie For All Shapes and Sizes {A Gift Guide}My Profile

    Reply
  15. Eloise

    Ambitious and a go getter! very nice! I’m sure it is difficult at times, but where there’s a Will there’s a way… I wish her success and I find her shop very charming : )
    Eloise recently posted…If You Forget Me, By Poet Pablo NerudaMy Profile

    Reply
  16. Farrah Less

    Very inspiring story , age doesn’t define how capable or not are you to put a business. If you have positive outlook and life and hardwork nothing is impossible. You just have to put your time and heart on something that you enjoy doing.

    Reply
  17. Mimi Green

    This was such an inspirational read. Most of the time getting started is the hardest part but she did it. I would totally shop here.

    Reply
  18. robin Rue

    Wow, she is so young! What an awesome interview. I enjoyed hearing her story!

    Reply
  19. Divya

    What a beautiful lady! Hard to believe that she’s already so successful at that age! Hard work and determination certainly do pay off!

    Reply
  20. Miss Thrifty

    Haha – a lot of commenters have picked up on this entrepreneur’s tender years. Seems to me that if Madeline is this driven & successful at age 24… then what will she be able to do/have done in 10 years time?! Go Madeline!

    Reply
  21. Tara

    I love that you feature and showcase women owned small businesses on your blog! Her shop looks lovely!

    Reply
  22. karen

    Love that you are featuring small business owners who are women! The #GirlBoss power to inspire others is major – love her boutique feature!

    Reply
  23. Jessi

    That is so inspiring! Owning a successful business so young is an awesome feat. It looks super adorable too!

    Reply
  24. lydia

    Owning an own story is so great! I love the look of her store, it’s so boho chic!

    Reply
  25. Bill S

    What a great spotlight!!! I love learning more about small businesses and how they got started up!

    Reply
  26. Courteney Noonan

    This is such a lovely post. I love seeing young people succeeding like this. 24 is a great age to become a business owner. How inspiring!

    Reply
  27. CoCo

    What a cute little place, and even more impressive that someone that is only 24 is the owner! Way to go! This is awesome!

    Reply
  28. Barbara Ritzman

    A business owner at the age of 24 awesome. So wish I would of pursued the same vision when I was younger. Cute little boutique as well!

    Reply
  29. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    Wow, at 24 she already has accomplished many women’s dreams or owning their own business. I would love to open and run a bakery one day.

    Reply
  30. Missy Burson

    I love she is fulfilling her creative soul with the boutique- I wish I was half as ambitious and confident at her age!
    Missy Burson recently posted…Glam Up Your Small Office Or Cubicle!My Profile

    Reply
  31. Debra

    What a great life with so many accomplishments. I love your store and the products you sell – it looks like my kind of place.

    Reply
  32. Jocelyn Cañasa Brown

    What a great interview! I love the spotlight on Small Businesses!
    Jocelyn Cañasa Brown recently posted…How To Start A Journal – And Why You Should Start Journaling NowMy Profile

    Reply
  33. Rachel @ Kitchen Cents

    This is my kind of place to shop. Looks cozy and great. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  34. Reesa Lewandowski

    Wow what a motivating piece to read about someone so young and bright! I love learning about women owned businesses. Best of luck to Maye Company!!

    Reply
  35. Tereza

    Madeline is such an entrepreneurial soul and so brave! What a great little story!! I also love this small biz spotlight series, it’s great to see bloggers supporting small businesses xx

    Reply
  36. Kiwi

    I love reading about women entreprenuers! She is so young but has a great plan, I love her shabby chic-ish store!

    Reply
  37. Kristin

    What a darling little shop. It takes serious guts to start a small business, but her taste is fabulous. I would certainly shop there!

    Reply
  38. Angela Ricardo

    As a military wife who could barely handle her busy schedule I am truly glad I came across your post. I love discovering and checking out new things. This post is really inspiring and good job on her determination and perseverance to succeed.
    Angela Ricardo recently posted…Dine in at Home with Veetee RiceMy Profile

    Reply
  39. Blythe Alpern

    Such a cute shop. I think my favorite thing about this interview is learning about how she is giving back. Not only is this good business, but also good for the community.

    Reply
  40. Amanda Love

    She sounds like an inspiring person. I think her shop is really lovely. It’s nice to see small businesses getting the spotlight as well.

    Reply
  41. Keren Charles

    What an inspiration to read about a young woman owning her own business. Her words of encouragement is the true definition of living your dream. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  42. Rachel

    She has a really cute shop. It sounds like she is really ambitious. I would never have opened my own shop at 24 years old!

    Reply
  43. Betty

    Always great to hear a success story from a woman who owns her own business. She is very motivating to have opened her own shop at such an young age!

    Reply
  44. Tami

    I enjoy supporting small businesses. This woman sounds like she is off to a great start.

    Reply
  45. Shelly B

    What an accomplishment for someone so young. She is really a go getter and focused. It is great that she also has a parent(s) that are providing her with living quarters and not charging her rent. This gives her an opportunity to reach for the stars. Many young people nowadays and not that focused on their future, nor are they that motivated. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, Madeleine, and thanks for showcases business owners that are women on your blog. It may inspire other women to spread their wings.

    Reply
  46. Vera Bortolotto

    WOW! That is inspirational! Only 24!! Something to aspire too. I just hope my kids will be that determined when they get older

    Reply
  47. Victoria

    What a great interview. I love to support small businesses. When I saw clothing and decor I was pretty much sold. I have to check out what she has available.

    Reply
  48. Lisa Favre

    I love seeing young entrepreneurs blossom with their businesses and do so well! It is quite inspiring! We are not too far apart in age but stories like hers totally make me want to do more.
    Lisa Favre recently posted…7 Incredibly Sastisfying Stir Fry RecipesMy Profile

    Reply
  49. Censie Sawyer

    How impressive! I am so happy to read a success story of such a young and talented woman. Great job. Keep up the hard work.
    Censie Sawyer recently posted…Top 10 National Parks to Visit with Your FamilyMy Profile

    Reply
  50. Kiwi

    Great interview. I love supporting small businesses. She reminds me of me, she is young but a serious go getter for her business.

    Reply
  51. Crystal Lopez

    Love this! Small businesses mean so much to communities all across the country! This is so supportive of that and a great way to find out more about business owners. Really enjoyed this read!

    Reply
  52. Bites for Foodies

    Wow, that an inspiration she is! There are a ton of small business in my area, and now that I think of it, most of them are owned by women! Kudos to all these women living their dreams and taking risks!

    Reply

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