|Psychelia Terry, Founder Urban Intimates|
What steps did you take to get where you are today?
Prayer and planning. Those are the two top things I did. Lots of graphs and charts all over my walls. A lot of reading books and magazines about women who are living their dreams. Printing out stories about these women and putting them up all over the walls to keep me motivated.
What was the defining moment when you knew if you didn’t change you would never reach your goals?
After I graduated from college I worked for a fortune 500 company in sales and marketing. I always had this thing that I wanted to work for myself. After a lot of let downs, I still had in my mind that I was going to be the vice president of that company. I was doing everything according to the plan, I had million dollar accounts and I was making a lot money for them, but I wasn’t making any of this money for myself. I decided to walk away to follow my dreams. I had the faith and experience. It was all about me going for it.
Did you always know you would get here?
Let's just say I always had a feeling that I'd be successful. I didn't know how or at what but I could always tell. I always found myself pushing harder to accomplish more than what was expected of me.
Did you have a plan?
I’m a go for it kinda girl. I can’t promise I had a plan. I had a passion, a passion for more. Passion to work for myself, a passion for longevity, to leave a legacy for my family. Sometimes I find myself back pedaling trying to figure things out. I shoot for the moon first, and figure out what stars I need to hit in order to get there later.
What kind of distractions did you have to deal with or overcome?
Definitely naysayers, people saying that it wasn’t going to happen and also myself. A personal distraction of mine was low self esteem. Even though I got my MBA last year and I was the only black woman in the class, sometimes I thought I couldn't do it. These were distractions that helped me to reroute how I was going to reach my goal.
How much of an impact did others play in your decision making during your building process?
I think I would say about 25%. I always considered myself to be a person that knows where I'm going, but I will definitely listen to what other people have to say. I listen to mentors and people who have done it before. My husband is my biggest my supporter and my best friend. We call each other our front row seaters. We say that because you always need that one person in the front that’s going to cheer the loudest for you. I will never be able to claim that it’s all me.
Were there times when you wanted to give up?
Every other month it seems like. But I quit my full time job. That day I was driving home, asking God what am I doing? Am I really walking away from my job? That was the day we got the email from Essence Magazine. We can be our own worst enemy and that’s where issues can arise. Every time I want to quit I think about that time. I have such a special relationship with God that he sends me messages that push me and help me know this thing is real. I also received a letter from Abercrombie and Fitch from a high powered lawyer that they were going to take legal action against my business. They claimed that I infringed on their trademark. I knew that everything was developed by me. They were going to take me to court and fight me for my brand. That almost deterred everything. At that time I had so much support and I was able to lean on my husband. I knew that we have to be doing something right if a company like this is coming after us.
What made you keep pushing towards your goal?
I’ve always known I’m here for a reason because it could have been different. I was third in my class. I was a part of a matriarch family raised by single mothers and experiencing that I always wanted better for myself and my family. That’s what pushed me. I wanted to be able to accomplish my goals and pass my story on to my children.
What advice can you give other women who are striving for their own goals?
I tell other women the same thing I tell myself. For them to be their loudest cheerleader so that whenever negativity comes and things aren’t looking up they have enough confidence to push themselves. Without confidence, it’s going to be hard. I walked into an event where I knew I did not have an invitation to ask the celebrity guest speaker to support the company and the foundation. He actually denied me, but after the show I pushed through the crowd and handed him my business card. That was my self confidence. Even though his bodyguards denied me, seconds later I bumped into the Chief Essence Magazine editor who offered to pass along my information regarding my interest to be featured in their magazine. Always be prepared, keep your business card with you at all times. You never know who you will meet.
How do you feel about where you are now?
I feel blessed and privileged. Blessed on a spiritual level. I feel like God remembered me in my quest. Privileged that I’m able to fill this role. I feel privileged to have the friends in my life that believe in me and to have learned what I learned so that I can implement it now.
As a young professional, Founder of Urban Intimates, Psychelia Terry experienced challenges finding companies that understood and appreciated her uniqueness. Using her innate sense of style, love of fashion and affinity for urban culture, Terry hopes to provide women with designer products at prices that are much more accessible. "I've done a lot of research to have these fabulous experiences of girlfriends noticing there is something radiantly different about my beauty, and I created Urban Intimates to share that experience."