The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Jazmine Farmer
1. Quit comparing yourself/your business to others
2. There’s always stuff to do
3. As a woman, learn to ask for what you want and what you need
4. Show your employees and those around you that you value them
5. It’s going to be okay!
In this episode of the Hive Five, we are honored to sit down with Jazmine Farmer, the founder of Calamity Jane’s Apparel, a state-pride themed apparel brand. Jazmine was a stay-at-home mom before being inspired in 2013 to design and sell an Oklahoma themed shirt in order to benefit victims of the deadly tornadoes that impacted the Moore, Oklahoma area. Without intending on creating a big business, she realized that her designs were getting attention, and in the last five years has grown Calamity Jane’s Apparel into a multi-million-dollar company, being sold all throughout the southeast United States in over 500 retailers.
In this episode, we talk about the dramatic growth she’s experienced, but also how she balances being a big-time CEO and a mom to her two kids at the same time. Determining your priorities and balancing them with your responsibilities is very important and we dive into that a little bit more in depth. Jazmine also talks about what it’s like being a successful female founder, but also about some struggles along the way. We hope that you enjoy this episode as much as we did, and make sure to go check out Calamity Jane’s products!
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today. My name is Keegan with bright B and this is catherine with bright and we are so excited today on the high five podcasts to have jasmine farmer jasmine farmers was a stay at home mom maybe is now, but really she’s turning five,
founder and owner of calamity Jane’s apparel based in Oklahoma City. We’re really excited to have you, Jasmine.
Yes. You all. Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Well, Jasmine, tell us a little bit. I probably butchered that intro, but stay at home. Mom, owner, founder, both. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Yeah, so very unintentional business where I think a lot of people have an uncontrolled business. I am a stay at home mom and I james, about five years ago when the Moore Tornado came through and 2013. I just wanted to do something to give back to the community and I thought it was an easy way to do that. So I just got with a local graphic artist company and tee shirt, tee shirt, and then I had people approaching me and asking me about producing a line of state pride themed apparel in. Here we are five years later.
Wow. Starting a you, you said something and I said no, that’s not true. Said starting a online or just a tee shirt company in general as easy. There is no way that was easy because I will tell you I’m going to go out there and say I tried that and I failed miserably. I’m not talking, I’m not talking about anymore. So you tell me.
Yeah, no, totally, totally get that. But you know, and I mean, and believe me when I say I’m intentional because I think so when I started it originally I was looking for an outlet of creativity or something. And so I wanted to do this tee shirt thinking, okay, I’m going to take a little bit of my time, this is going to make me feel good. And um, it was honestly just a huge blessing with what it turned into and you know, it sort of at my house, out of my garage, my husband was a huge cheerleader and supporter. He thought initially he was like, yeah, this is great if this is something you want to do with your time, do it. And then as it progressed and progressed and progressed, it got to the point where like, wow, this is a real business, um, I’ve got to kind of rethink of how I’m going to run all this and still try to judge this whole business owners, what is this look like, you know,
tell us what it has grown into today.
So it was the one teacher that we designed for to give that for the tornado relief. And today, five years later, because we just celebrated our fifth birthday in May, we are predominant part of our business and our brand to stores. So we felt close to a thousand different retailers now across the southeast United States. So most of our stores are located in states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina. And Georgia. I believe is where are most of our stores are at, so it’s real crazy. So we have that aspect of it. Um, we are now collegiate license with the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. I’m super proud to say that we’re their number one, um, women’s tee shirt apparel company. So we beat Nike and under armour, things like that. Um, and we had an incredibly bright and have an incredible foundation and base of customer support in Oklahoma. So I mean it. When I say it became something beyond my wildest dreams from my garage, it, it really did it. Yeah. It’s been incredible.
There’s nothing wrong with that. And so there’s gotta be some struggle in between there. We’re trying to figure out how am I going to do this of being a mom, being a business owner. You’ve not really been a bit of stone before. What were some struggles that you went through to get to this point
at whatever point in your life cycle, in your business you’re at, there’s always that struggle, whether it’s insightful, beginning, whatever. There’s always the ups and downs and starting out. Initially it was obviously the struggle of, wow, okay, I’m starting a business, I don’t really know what I’m, so how do I do it all the juggle of, of my garage, the struggle of a baby and a young child in being a mom to them and giving them attention because me, y’all know, owning your own business or being really establishing a business, it is like fifth child and you have to nurture it and you have to love it and you have to give it time and attention for it to grow. There was that whole struggle of that and you know, I’m just thinking about it and thinking back, I initially I was like, how, how have you find that balance and how do I put down and stop what I’m doing at work because it’s always there.
It’s always there and go home to my kid or, or a mixture. I say, you know what? I can leave this here and come back tomorrow because you always had that pool of I really need to get this done, but when do you say no? And I think that initially in something, how do you learn to balance that? Because I think it’s hard when you have a vested interest in something, whether it’s a relationship, a family business, whatever it is, it’s hard to find that balance of. Yeah, starting off, I had to learn how because I had a degree in marketing. I was close to a master’s degree in international business studies I had with my babies for five years and, and I had just been out of that work world and back at the time I did need a creative outlet. I didn’t realize what I was doing, like signing up for a full time Gig, but I’m, I’m proud of what it was and what it’s become for sure.
In this last five years where you said, I think I’m just going to give up. This is too hard. Was there anytime in your life in this last five years?
I can honestly say probably on a weekly basis, the days and times where I’m beating my head against the wall thinking, oh my gosh, why can’t I get this to work this way? Or this is not how I thought, you know, I think a big struggle for small business and entrepreneurs and starting out and especially today in my banking industry and banking world and being able to acquire, you know, a line of credit to be able to do that and a lot of time for us to keep a really huge surplus of inventory in stock for stores to purchase, you know, their volume orders. And so that overhead costs for F is crazy. Going back to the banking for small businesses, I know I’m not the only one who struggled with this. Just finding just that the up and down of your cash flow, all of it. I think that a lot at me, I hope that there’s other people who are also banging their heads against the walls right along with me saying, holy cow, what am I doing? But you know, then something comes along a blessing, something unexpected and you’re like, okay, I’ve got this. Or, you know, you go home and like going out and running or working out and clear my head to look at this differently or what can I do differently to trying to figure out a solution, you know? But yeah, I mean there’s lots of times I’ve been like, oh my gosh, I’m done during the towel, but I just hadn’t gotten to the point where I want to pull the trigger quite yet.
Our listeners are probably chomping at the bit to hear the five key takeaways that you brought for us. So let’s go ahead and dive right into those and talk about those.
Okay. So number one, quit comparing yourself and your business to others. Tell us the inspiration behind that comment.
Putting these together. I want the whole lifeline of my business where I started and where we’re at now, especially in the beginning stages after it really evolved into business and I acknowledged that it was me thinking to myself or asking the question, oh well this company is doing this, this company’s doing that, or we should be doing this or we should be doing that. And so at first I feel like especially the first real year of my business, I didn’t get like a good grasp of who like calamity Jane because I compared, I compared my, I compared myself to all these other businesses and companies and whatever, and I find I feel like just what my customer consistently wanted and then I just got the point or I quit looking at other social media or other websites or whatever, whatever. And I just finally that, you know what? I don’t really care what they’re doing. There’s plenty of room in the marketplace, let them do their own thing. And I’m gonna do mine, were consistent. I’m good at it. This is what my customer wants. And what I actually finally came to that conclusion. It really was an Aha moment because I was better able to focus on my actual business and my stream and really excel at that. It made a world of difference.
I compare myself to other moms or feel bad because I’m doing a business, whatever, and I’m not able to do this or that with my kids. And I had that struggle as man that that mom, she’s got it all together or whatever the case is, but at the end of the day, my kids, they love me and they’re proud of me and they loved coming to my office and helping and whatever else. And so I think that we all can do that comparison and it’s not healthy. Right.
You said your kids come into your office. It can be challenging, but something about having your kid there and having the presence of,
It really is. And they’re so proud. Oh my mom made that shirt or super sweet. They take pride in what we’ve done and what we’re doing and they feel a part of it. My husband also ended up visiting him and they respect him and the dad works right. I think for the mom part, they see that mom works and works full time, but my little girl’s softball team, I coach her team and I’m at every guitar practice for my son or every baseball game. It’s a lot that they see that mom is still able to juggle the role of a working mom. And I’m still able to juggle the role of mom. Granted my house is perfectly clean and we eat a ton of chick filet, but exactly so it’s a win win.
Well, as Kagan’s oldest son would say when he comes and works with us.
So number two, there’s always stuff to do
because once you get the complete. Kind of going back to what I was saying earlier, I still work on and I still battle, but I think I acknowledge it. I do a better job today than I did five years ago, that I can put something down and I tell them in my office listening, there’s always tomorrow, don’t worry about it. Don’t stress about it tonight at 6:00, go home to your family, whatever the case is. I think it’s really important for the health of your business, the health of yourself, for all of it. Collect established that rule as always. Be there. It’s not going to be for the most part, a make it or break it decision right then and there, but really remembered cut it down. It’s okay. It’ll be there tomorrow and don’t miss out on those little things with your, with your family and with your kids because there’s been lots of times I’ve missed out on picking my kids up from car pool and while it’s small and insignificant, I think to myself, you know what? I should have gone to the Carpool this week because what I did, xY, , Z in my office that I did into this Carpool could’ve waited until the next day and those little moments in my car getting the afterschool, that just having the conversation with my kids. Those moments, those are so few and fleeting.
It can sometimes feel like you are playing checklist like mark that off my list and I want to mark that off my list, but we all know that some tasks are more important than others and some of them are long term and it just drives me crazy when I have something on my list that I know I’m making progress towards and I can’t. I can’t mark it off. And that is a. That goes into prioritizing and how important that is. You know, whether you’re prioritizing family over business or just business task over a different business task that is such a crucial, you know, efficiency methods. So how do you make sure that you don’t neglect the most important items and save the ones that can be saved for later
because check my task list person, um, that at this point, five years into it, I am a bit more because even the people who work around me this I’m able to acknowledge what it’s not that important. It’s going to be fine and just really kind of for me, like right now today or my kids are getting older, but people said Bologna when people would say, oh my gosh, time before kids after kids, time flies by and it, and it really does. And so I think now I’m, my kids are going through school and it’s crazy and so unable to do need to do this, but it’ll all get done. It’s kind of a checks and balances.
Ladies Listen Up. I’m interested because point number three has to do with us. So I’m interested as well. I’m not discriminating, but your third takeaway is as a woman, learn to ask for what you want and what you need. I am very interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Yeah. We’ve had a piece of advice. I’ve learned to give all of them into my business. When I started five years ago, I wasn’t intimidated a little bit. I was in my late twenties, early thirties, and I was intimidated to really ask people for, I need help. I need you to do this. I need you to do that because I was more of the attitude. Oh, okay, sure. I’ll. Okay, I’ll get that done. Oh, okay, sure. I’ll just put that on my list to do that. Also, it was always something and it’s overwhelming to juggle that and I finally got to the point where I, whether it was from my customers, my doors, who I love and adore them, they do need something or a question answered or whatever the case is right then and there and they all want it individually right then and there and I can’t balance that.
I learned that I need to. Whether it’s delegate, whether it talked to my stores individually, a La, I appreciate you, but I’m doing this with my kids right now. Let me get back to you tomorrow. Whatever the case is, I’ve learned that I can’t do it all and if I want something or need it, I’m going to have to be more vocal about it because one, people can’t read my mind and to everyone else is really busy as well and they’re going to ask for what they need to fulfill them or can meet their needs. I can’t accept and I can’t take on everyone else’s stuff in addition to mine. So I think it is really important just to to learn to do the APP or whatever it is that you want or what you need and sometimes you get told no and that’s okay. At least you asked, but I think the point you learn how to do that.
Do you think that that is the nurture in you to try to take care of other people and make sure that they’re taken care of above yourself?
Yeah, for sure. Because I see that nothing negative or anything. I think it’s just how we’re wired and how we’re built. I think a lot of men able to do the because they don’t feel bad about it. It’s just, it is, but you’re right. As a woman, there is that nurturing side, whether it’s I want to take care of this, I want to take care of this person, or I think a lot of it is I don’t want to disappoint whom ever, you know, because that’s my thing. I don’t want to disappoint people work or my customers or my family or whatever the case is, my staff. But always putting that pressure on yourself and wearing that all the time. It gets really heavy and then you ended up not doing any of that.
Yeah. So yeah, I think that is a really critical thing for, for anyone but really especially a woman to learn how to do
so. I think it’s very important that we hear that nurturing and I think this goes perfectly with what, with what you’re saying, you’ve got to learn how to ask what you want and what you need. But the one thing I like that you’re saying is, hey, there’s more to that now so we know how to do that. Now you say, show your employees and those around you that you value them and how do you do that in your business?
I need to get whether it’s today or tomorrow, I know that you’re going to be working late hours. Super sorry about that. I acknowledge that, but I needed that or whatever the case is in my team who works with me. They’ve been here from day one, day one employees. We are a tight knit group of people and I think it’s because I show each of them value and honor them by, you know, I listened to what they have to say, respect their comments, their feedback, whatever it is. I’m respectful to them and they know that when I do the APP or hey, why don’t you guys have this day off, whatever the case is, it may be random acts of kindness that I do and may the words of affirmation, whatever the case is, they’re acknowledged and they know that they have value with me personally and within the business setting and I’ve had people come in and evaluate and look at our business and stuff and everyone has gone away with the with the comment as your team is tight and we are, but I think I really believe it’s because I’ve done my very best to show each of them how much I appreciate them and value them.
Like I said, by different things. Like one year I gave my printer, my screen printer kid worked such long hours, making sure we got our collegiate season bent. He had to take off. Any time he’d worked, weekends had done. I mean just gone crazy above and beyond and at. At the time it was. This was a big thing for me. I bought him and his family a trip to Disney world, all expenses pay for their spring break and gave it to them at our Christmas dinner together and bided his kid and I let them open it up as a family and they were shocked and just Lord. Right. But that was something I had to like really put money back. I’d planned it. I put money back for it. It wasn’t something like I could just write a big old check for. I had to really think about it, implanted out, do that for him, but I wanted to. He and he knew that and I thought I wanted to because I want it to show him my appreciation and acknowledged that he took so much time away from his family to do what he needed to do for our business,
Disney world, but that is something that him and his family are never going to forget.
Like I said, whether it’s words of affirmation because that’s something that he needs a lot of times. Like you’re doing a great job and I appreciate that. Just acknowledging those words for him are sometimes more than what I could by him and just just having. Having that with the people around you is so important with that. Whether that’s your spouse, your kids, your friends, whatever. Just investing in those around you, whether it’s time, whatever it is, it’s such a. You know, you learned your love language for sure.
Yeah. Bob Marley music right now. It’s going to be okay.
Yeah. Yeah, it is. We all laugh about it now. It’s the absolute mantra of our office because there’s lots of days that we all look at each other and we’re like, what in the world are we doing? And we done this wrong 10 times. This is not going how we planned it was going to go. This came up that’s been thrown in. This machine’s down, that person, whatever the case, and if it doesn’t go the way we envisioned. It kind of goes back to the quote we were first talking about the beginning. You know, the bank didn’t extend the loan like you think it will or the order didn’t like you hoped it would or you didn’t pick up this many customers in whatever quarter like you needed to do. All of it is a lot all the time and we here at our office, we’d just gotten to the point. Okay, let’s step back for just a second before we really overreact because at the end of the day it’s going to be okay because at the end of the day, whatever stress and the stress, it’s true and you know I’m, I’m like, I’m not really big. It may look insurmountable but you can still go home and lay your head down at night and I hope not going to come and arrest you and take you to jail.
Going to hope and in whatever the case is because in the event, because lots of small business hasn’t worked. What hasn’t worked in the event? Your dream, your idea, your whatever desert in depth working like you thought it was going to be. If you have to close your doors, if you have to regroup and do something else, at least you tried, you did your best and it’s going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. As you know, my pride a little bit, her sometimes going to be okay is, you know, I’m going to have to file for bankruptcy to get whatever the case is that to cut, you’re going to be okay.
Yeah, it is. And it’s scary to think about, but at the same time, you know what sometimes I think about is heck, if I can work this hard, I can go get another job if I need to.
That’s exactly right. I mean I would be an incredible employee for someone down the street. Like if I had to, I could go do that. Yeah.
So then you would never want to do that, but at the same time if you had to, man, you can pick the best employee that they’ve ever had.
Exactly. Yeah. I mean that’s the thing. I, I could do it, but yeah. And so, but then at the end of the day it’s going to be okay. Whatever happens.
Yeah. That’s great. Well, we really appreciate you sharing your key takeaways and I want to go over these real quick one more time, so quit comparing yourself, your business to others. There’s always stuff to do as a woman, learned to ask for what you want and what you need. Show your employees and those around you that you value them and it’s going to be okay. Exclamation mark, exclamation mark, underlined, underline.
That’s it. Yeah, those are. Those are. Those are my key takeaways. Yep.
That’s awesome. Well, thanks again for being on today. We want to make sure that everyone subscribes and gives us a review on what you thought about Jasmine’s conversation with us today. Don’t forget if you are looking for insurance quotes that don’t staying, try bing.com where insurance quotes don’t stay in. You’re at the right place. Click get a quote and you will find a qualified insurance agents of your choice, your control, and you will get exactly what you’re looking for. Guys, we really appreciate it. Hope you all have a wonderful day and we will see you next time.
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