I sat down with the owner of the online store Shop Chriss Zoe to talk balance and how she created success for herself. Christina is a 27 year old entrepreneur and let’s not forget to mention… an Instagram phenomenon. But as perfect as her life looks in photos, she had a winding road of trial and error before her business started booming. Originally picking up and moving to LA to pursue music, she tried her hand at a dozen different business ideas before she finally found one that stuck.
Do you recall a certain instance where a light bulb went off and you knew you’d be working for yourself? What inspired you and made you set out on that journey?
Yes! I remember working as a server at a bar making about $10-$30 a day off tips and the moment I got there I told myself I would only allow myself to be there for 2 weeks tops! I took a chance and started my own boutique. I invested $200 of the money that I really didn’t have to start Shop Chriss Zoe and the first week was excellent for me. I had support from all over and I was able to quit my job in 2 weeks. I kid you not. I didn’t want to work for anyone else. Everyone at the job thought I was crazy, but I was determined.
You had moved to Los Angeles once before and ended up moving back to your hometown Houston. When you went back to LA the second time, what made you tough it out regardless of the circumstances?
The second time around I had more strength in my system. I did a lot of mental preparation. I moved back only when I got a contract as a songwriter and was able to afford a few bills. When I left LA the first time and moved back to Houston, I felt that I sold myself short. I needed to really use my talents to achieve what I wanted.
How did you cope with your “Plan A” not going the way you had hoped and what advice do you have for other women going through the up’s and down’s of pursuing their passions?
We have to understand that our plans are not what is destined for us. We can only ride through our journey with positivity and a great connection with the universe. You can throw out requests into the universe and truly believe that it will be for you and this sometimes alters our purpose. I believe that we truly need to understand the power of our own thoughts. Once we understand that, it will be easier to understand the “switch” of our journey.
Overcoming failure can either break you, or make you unbreakable. What lessons have you learned about things not going your way?
Most things don’t go our way simply because we need to believe in something. Imagine getting everything you desired without working for it. We wouldn’t develop a need and a desire for anything. Keeping ourselves humble has to be the most important part of our journey. You can boast and brag and still lose it all eventually.
People are motivated by different things – family, money, dreams of a big house or a fancy car. What keeps you going?
I want nice things and yes I’ll work hard for them but my motivation comes from conquering my goals and inspiring others to do so as well. It comes from showing those who have dreams a way to do it without selling their souls to things that don’t matter.
They say “more money, more problems” – has this been true for you? How have you handled changing circumstances and friendships as you’ve become more successful?
I’m so grateful to have friends that truly understand me and my goals and dreams. They’ve allowed me to be who I am and that was so important in my growth. All money does is allow you to live comfortably, but you still have bills, you still have hardships & you still have to live with the fact that it could all be gone tomorrow.
How do you gain focus to stay on top of your business and what’s the hardest thing about staying grounded and true to yourself?
I always say, if I don’t work, I don’t eat. That’s motivation enough to get up early and push through wanting to be lazy. It’s not so hard to stay grounded because my circle is grounded. You really have to be careful who you keep in your circle. The people around you play a huge role in your development.
How important is it to be surrounded by like-minded Boss Babes and what does your group of girlfriends provide you with?
Boss Babes are so motivational! It’s kind of like friendly competition, though. Like, “Oh! I see you had a photoshoot today! Let me try to catch up!”. There’s never any bad blood with my circle because we’re all about coming up together.
A lot of people think that women can’t have it all. Is business or love more important to you? Do you put one before the other and if not, how do you balance both?
Love has always been important to me. I’m a psycho about romance and partnership. Being independent is also extremely important to me as well so I had to make sure that the person I chose is someone who is equally as ambitious as me. Someone who understands how to be a boss and someone who doesn’t mind that his other half is passionate about business AND family life. It’s just like the friends you keep but it may be even more important because this is someone who truly has the power to demolish your dreams and goals if you aren’t careful. Finding that balance is not easy, but once it happens, it is magical.
How do you define success and if you haven’t already accomplished it, is it in your foreseeable future?
Success to me is definitely overcoming the demons in my mind. Once I created an “I can” attitude, I created success. There is nothing I can’t do or try to do now and that makes me successful.
Now that your business has taken off, where do you see yourself in 5 years? You can name the things you want for yourself, or things you want for your business.
In 5 years I will definitely be a mother, wife and my business will reach the next level. I want to expand my business by selling men’s and kids clothing and create my own line of makeup as well. I really want to extend my brand beyond a store as well. I’d like to eventually get back into music and write for huge artists.
What is your B Werd?
My B Werd is balance. It’s so important to balance myself in every aspect of my life. I want to do so many things in my life and if I can’t balance it all, I will surely stress myself out. Here’s to balance! Cheers.