I’m excited to bring you a truly inspiring boss lady for our second interview, she is a new friend who has the sweetest heart and an incredible story. Last week we met for lunch and I loved hearing all about her journey. Early on in her career she realized she wanted something more, and over the past 6 months she has been making it happen.
Boss Lady Naomi Martin Shares Her Story
Tell me a little bit about yourself, who is Naomi Martin?
I’m an only child, wife to a boy from Pennsylvania, and lawyer turned entrepreneur. I was born in North Carolina while my dad was stationed at Fort Bragg with the military, but am from and have grown up in sunny South Florida. I spent a couple years in Boston for law school and loved sipping lattes and finally having a reason to buy those pretty J Crew coats. But, South Florida has always been home and I was happy to come back after school. After a stint in the law, more on that below, I just launched my curated gifting company, The Presence Co. Now, I’m living my passion, blending my love of gifting and philanthropy into beautiful curated gift boxes for all occasions, with a nonprofit item in every box.
Yes I do! I am so excited to say our “doors” are finally open at The Presence Co.! Our mission is to help our world gift better, and gift for good. We curate gift boxes for life’s special moments, from celebrating a housewarming, to letting a friend know you are thinking about them during a hard time. We also design larger custom orders for occasions like corporate events, client gifts, and wedding welcome gifts.
I believe gifting is one of the rare moments in life that we get to tell those closest to us that we care in a way that is truly personal. I also know that life is busy and it can be hard to find unique, sincere items. That’s where we come in. We get to know you and your gifting needs, and we design and curate gift boxes that speak to your event and serve as an extension of you. I’ve always been passionate about nonprofit causes, and my cousin Lexi introduced me to Scentsability, an organization that makes candles and employs individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities. I discovered that there’s this huge, beautiful world of groups making passionate items with a cause behind them. I believe gifting at its truest creates community and connection. At The Presence Company, we include a nonprofit item in every box to introduce you to an organization you’re passionate about and to help grow this sense of community. I’m so excited to get started!
How did you get started with this? How did this vision come to be?
When planning my own wedding, I loved the details and the nitty-gritty. I searched high and low for little items that I felt truly spoke to us as a couple and helped generate the timeless atmosphere we wanted to have on our wedding day. I was an English Literature major in college, so I’ve always appreciated the process of story-telling, how a story comes to life, step by step. I had an “aha” moment last year when I realized that my love of details, storytelling, and helping people could come together through one thing we all do at one point or another: gifting. It’s one of life’s sweetest acts, and although I’ll admit I’m not always the best at it in my personal life, I realized I had a deep desire to help us all do it a little better, with extra time, digging, and creativity involved.
You’re not wasting any time getting this off the ground, what has this journey to fully launching your own business and getting it off the ground looked like?
I’m really not! I practiced law for two years and I quickly realized the corporate life was not for me. It took me about another year to gather the courage to say “yes” to my gut and leave the stability of my job behind. But once I finally did, I hit the ground running. Side note: I did take a much needed holiday before jumping into The Presence Co. I spent two weeks in the Montana mountains, hiking, reading, and having lots of BBQ and maybe a little beer. It was amazing! After my trip, I knew so deeply what I wanted to create. On the other hand, I knew what it felt like to be doing something you aren’t invested in, which also motivated me.The journey of launching has been like going to school all over again. Before this, I didn’t know if Quickbooks was one word or two, let alone how to use it, and I had no idea the amount of time and energy that goes into creating a new business. I’ve learned that, like everything else in life, your business should be quality over quantity. Finding a couple of things you are really passionate about and diving in to them is really important. Your whole purpose can turn on a small detail, and you can add value and beauty to others’ lives by honing your skills in that area.
What or who has been the best support or guidance you’ve received in launching The Presence Co?
Like the rest of us, I have a girl crush on Jenna Kutcher, and I’ve learned a lot of business tips from the GoalDigger podcast. Two other podcasts I find helpful are The Tim Ferris Show and How I Made This. I think they are like sitting down over a coffee with someone who is successful in her/his field, and you get to learn the true “behind-the-scenes” of their entrepreneurial path.
My cousin Lexi has always been a light in my life, and her job at Scentsability started my journey of discovering many amazing nonprofit products. I’m determined to spread awareness about these causes through our beautiful gifts.
Saving the best for last, my husband has encouraged me to chase my dreams and just be 100% myself.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to do what you do? Did you have issues with people taking you seriously or getting the support of others behind you?
Along the lines of being in school again, there have been times where I also felt like the new student in school. It’s easy to feel like you know the least and have so much catching up to do in your industry. I do my best to focus on the community that I try to nourish every day, and invest in relationships and events that foster true connection and growth.
What are you most excited about in launching your own business?
Getting to know people! As part of what I do, I get to be a small part of big moments in peoples’ lives. Helping them curate gift boxes that are a part of those occasions means everything to me.
I also love that I’m completely in control of the direction of my business. Every victory or failure is on me, and that power and responsibility gives me a lot of motivation.
What least excites you about having your own business?
Quickbooks… Quick books?
What has been your biggest struggle in launching?
It’s been a great exercise for me as a new business owner, but sitting down and digging deep about who I am and what I want my business to stand for, and how these elements are portrayed through things like branding and our voice has not always been easy. Like anything that’s growing, sometimes you take wrong turns, and sometimes what you think you are isn’t really the truth. Answering tough questions throughout the development and branding process has helped me learn a lot about The Presence Co.
If you were to provide advice to the girl who is currently day dreaming about starting her own business what three tips would you give her?
- That little thing or small activity that you get giddy about is not small. Listen to your gut about why you like the activity, and ask yourself: could this add value to someone else’s life?
- Reach out to people, start conversations, and get to know others’ journeys. Doing so will help you discover your own.
- Write it all down. Get your thoughts and ideas out on paper and pick three simple acts you can do today toward them, even a small act like sending an email or making a coffee date are action steps toward those goals.
Let’s cheer on this sweet boss lady and show some love to her beautiful new site as today marks the official launch of her meaningful new business, The Presence Co!
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