Welcome to another week of our Featured Women Series!
This week, we're so excited for you to get to know Desiree Angel. We met Des through her 'Bee Golden Presents: Empowered for Greatness' event in Malibu, in which we were vendors. If you don't know about Desiree's business, Bee Golden, definitely check it out! It is a platform for women wanting to grow and connect. We've attended her amazing events and have met some pretty incredible boss babes!
Here's more about our sweet and beautiful friend, Desiree:
Tell us about yourself, what were you doing before Bee Golden Co?
I've always had BIG dreams. For many years, I wanted to be like my godmother. She was a real estate lawyer in San Francisco. My whole life I said I would be a lawyer like her, not realizing just how boring real estate law can actually be, no offense to any real estate lawyers out there. After college I worked for a few law firms doing clerical work trying to decide what field to go into when I finally realized, I had outgrown that dream. And that's ok. You are allowed to outgrow a dream just as you are allowed to outgrow people and relationships. A passion of mine had always been writing. I had taken every English class my college had to offer and somewhere deep down inside of me, I knew I wanted to be a published author one day. So what did I do? I took a human resource job while I worked on my novel. I finished that novel in 3 months and it has been sitting on my shelf for 4 years now but that's another story. The whole 9-5, working for someone else's dream, just never sat right with me so when the opportunity came to do something I was good at in the creative field, I quit my secure job in human resources, put my novel on hold, and took a risk. I took a job with Pantone 294, a small company with big dreams that curated memorable trips for sports fans. With only 5,000 followers and a vision to make this bigger, the founder and I grew it and scaled it to what it is now. After a year and a half, I was given co-ownership of the company and more responsibility. It was a very fun job, I was always traveling and meeting new people, not to mention it was also a lot of work. During my time with Pantone 294, I curated an event called "Women in Sports, Media, and Entertainment." This event was different than anything we had done before and it featured women in the sports, media, and entertainment industries who shared their stories of success and gave the audience tips on how to pursue a career in their field. This was the first event that I felt I actually made a difference in someone's life. Fast forward to two years later to this past March, I decided to give up my ownership and pursue the passion I have to help others.
What was the lightbulb moment for Bee Golden Co?
The lightbulb moment came during the pandemic. I was looking back at photos, reminiscing about my travels and events over the years and I came across the photos from the women's event. I immediately started thinking of ways I would make the event better and other events that I could do to help other women. I started thinking about how hard it is for some women to break into certain industries, the lack of support women have from their peers and society, and how important communities that provide resources for women are. I even started thinking about my own experiences and how I've felt being in a room where I was the only woman and how intimidating that can be. I've always spoken about doing something to help other women and I was finally ready to put it into action. That is how the idea for Bee Golden came about.
What inspired you to start your business and pursue this path?
I've always wanted to be a business owner. Technically I was with my last business but it wasn't my personal dream, it was someone else's. Did I believe in that dream? Absolutely. Was I invested? 100%! But that dream was not mine and if I've learned anything throughout the years, I didn't want my dreams to be put on the backburner while someone else's became a reality. I've always wanted to help women. Being raised by a strong single mother showed me firsthand the struggles that women face and the lack of support they get. My family has and will always be my biggest inspiration but my dreams must be mine alone. What do I mean by that? I can easily support my family by getting a 9-5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but I choose to pursue my dreams for the betterment of myself. Growing up poor, being the first in my family to go to college, becoming a homeowner to now a business owner, I do it all for my family but mostly I do it for myself. Helping others is essential to my personal growth. It's essential to who I am as a human being and fills my soul with purpose. I find this purpose with what I do with Bee Golden.
Do you have any investors in your business and if so, would you recommend raising funding from a third party?
I am a huge believer that you should fund your business as long as you can without investors. In my last company, we had no investors and no loans. We figured out how to scale without using someone else's money. However, every industry is different and sometimes an investor is just what you need to scale your company/brand. I highly recommend sitting down, make a plan and figure out what you need for your business and how much you'll need for start-up costs. Even if you have to make your dream your side hustle until you have enough funds to pursue it, I would do it that way. The minute you get investors is the minute you lose some sort of control over your dream so if you are seeking out investors, make sure that they share the same vision for your brand/company. You want someone to invest in your growth, not take over with their own vision. Sometimes the goal is to scale a business until it is big enough to sell it off and that is fine. But if you have a specific vision and mission for your business, try to hold out from getting an investor before you can establish your brand. I find that brands that are more established before they get an investor have more pull/say with investors on their vision than a brand just starting out. I highly recommend looking into grants for extra funding. You can apply for grants that are business-specific, women-specific, etc. and they are easily searchable on google. This is an easier way to fund your business initiatives without giving up full control.
How do you define success?
What's successful to me is not successful to someone else. For myself, I define my success by my goals. If I am reaching my goals, no matter how small or big the goal is, I am achieving success. I think it's important for someone to set goals in many areas. For myself, I set personal goals, financial goals, and career goals, and depending on how I am accomplishing those goals, I define my success. I also believe that in order for you to be successful, you must fail ALOT! What makes failure a success is a difference between someone giving up after they fail and someone that keeps trying.
What piece of advice do you have for women who are reluctant or afraid to go after their dreams?
Take the risk. The worst thing that can happen is you fail and then you are in the same position you find yourself in now. I believe that the risk is always worth it when your dreams are on the line. Every company, brand, job out there exists because someone took the risk on their own dreams so why are your dreams any less deserving? I also am a firm believer that the people around you can lift you up or tear you apart so surround yourself with like-minded people. Surround yourself with people who are always growing, always learning, and always willing to challenge you and your thought process. Surround yourself with people who just won't pick you up when you are down but will make you get up and try again.
How do you define your style and what is your go-to outfit these days?
Talk to me about business and I can talk your ear off for days. Talk to me about my personal style and that is something I am always trying to improve on. I guess my style is as diverse as the city I live in. I am a melting pot of jeans, tee's, and tennis shoes mixed in with blazers, heels, and little black dresses. I prefer comfort over trends. I have days where all I want to wear are leggings and other days where I'm a walking modern-day Audrey Hepburn. On game days you can find me wearing my favorite LA team's jersey and on off days dressed to the nines, eating brunch with girlfriends. I am influenced by the seasons, I love summer dresses and heels in the summer and chunky knit sweaters and boots in the fallI. I love hats. I think they can really upgrade your outfit. My favorite hats are my LA dad hats in various colors and my K+G Mode Boutique Rancher hat in Ivory.
Check out Desiree's upcoming event, 'Bee Golden Presents: Yoga+Tacos'. Go to www.beegoldenco.com to learn more!