Uma Stewart is a Savor Success Circles member with an impeccable eye for turning spaces into comfortable, inspirational, luxurious, fresh design. Her blog, Designing the Life, is widely read by design enthusiasts and professionals alike.
Uma joined Circles in the spring of 2014 with a line of textiles fully designed, but never launched. Though her design business was busy, she needed accountability and community to get her vision out of her workshop and into the world!
We had the chance to get an inside look at how Uma accomplished so much for her vision in just 90 days, her biggest lessons learned along the way, and how this talented mom, creative, and entrepreneur broke out of the “framework” in order to achieve her dreams!
Hi Uma! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. 90 days ago, what was your big vision?
My biggest goal was to get a well-suited showroom for my textile line in 1 or 2 key US markets.
Did you manifest it? How did you make it happen?
YES! I made commitments to my Circle to get a photoshoot done, get a website up, reach out to press, and possible showrooms. Doing the textile business alongside the rest of my work became a part of my routine, as did being a member of an amazing Circle of women. I was talking and thinking about it regularly, and in the course of events one conversation led to another and I was connected with a consultant in the textile industry. I remember discussing with my Circle wether or not I should hire her. At the end of the discussions I remember thinking to myself, well I said I was getting a showroom at the end of 90 days and I do believe this could be the fastest path there and I only have 30 days left! The day before the 90 days was over she called me from LA to tell me that my first choice of showroom there “flipped out” when she showed them my textile line (because they loved it), and that they were going to show and sell my line! Since then we found representation in DC, and we have plans for NYC and Boston this winter! Yeah!
What was your biggest lesson learned?
The way you will accomplish your vision will not be the way you map it out to happen, but an organic result of the work and laser focus you put on making it happen.
What were your struggles with bringing this goal into reality?
Launching a new business is a recipe for ADD. There is so much to think about and I remember telling my Circle sisters that I was having a hard time prioritizing my to do list and knowing what the best use of my mapped out time should be. Towards the end of 90 days I was feeling like I had accomplished a lot, but that I might need more than 90 days to accomplish something so big.
Did you ever feel like giving up?
Yes, yes, and yes. Producing a product has a completely different set of challenges from a service based business and it did take time and focus away from my very successful design business. Family, friends, and my team really doubted wether I should be spending my resources to launch something so big and new. Production issues are also really depressing to deal with!! As an interior designer I deal with them too but over 10 years I have worked many of the kinks out and have learned to solve problems. I would ask myself do I really want to do this again?! What if I spent this money to renovate my kitchen instead?!
If you answered Yes to the above, what motivated you to keep going? How did you get through it?
I’m an open book and so I had told everyone I was starting my textile line. And I have a tendency to do everything I can to keep my word, albeit on my own terms. Also, there was this thing in me that said I want to do something bigger, and I in my heart I think I have a unique perspective on design and I see Uma Stewart as a brand, not just a design firm or a person.
What did you learn about Give, Give, Get during the process of manifesting your vision?
It feels really good to give. Really really good. When helping a Savor sister with a biz problem you get to feel what it feels like to be an expert, and it is so much easier to be objective about someone else’s business and life than it is to be about yours. But in the process of being objective you can see the truth of your own situation in fleeting glimpses.
How did you lean on your Circle sisters for support during this period?
Just checking in and reporting keeps you on track. And voicing problems and frustrations helps you get them off your chest and move on. I’m in a new Circle no and we have mastered the habit of turning to each other for advice. It’s been an amazing resource.
What was one of the most important keys to your success?
I think it was that one fleeting moment where I really checked in with myself and decided the 90 day timeline meant something to me and that I may need to do something outside the plan to accelerate towards that timeframe.
What is the #1 piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs who want to live their dreams?
Know what you want, make a plan of action, get the work done. Change the plan of action when you see a new way forward to the end result, but still get the work done.
What’s your favorite way to savor the success?
End of the day a glass of wine, end of the week family and friend time.
You can join Uma and experience the difference accountability can make in your business. Apply for the upcoming round of Savor Success Circles through 10/16/15 or get on the list to apply for the next round!