Meet Alisha Byrd, the founder and entrepreneur behind bohemian-inspired accessories line Eclectic Star. We’re proud of Alisha for pursuing her passion – read more about her entrepreneurial ventures below!
Q: What sparked you to set out on the path of entrepreneurship and start Eclectic Star?
A: I have always felt like I was supposed to go into business for myself, I just never knew what it would be. Before Eclectic Star had a name I would create bracelets and give them away to my family and friends. It wasn’t until people actually started requesting custom orders that I decided to give my hobby a name and get more serious about it. At the time I was extremely unhappy with my day job and noticed all of my energy was going into Eclectic Star. So I decided to take a leap of faith. I quit my job and pursued Eclectic Star full-time and haven’t looked back since.
Q: What does Eclectic Star represent in your life, and how does the brand differ from similar competitors?
A: Eclectic Star represents freedom to me. It has allowed me to make my own rules and do things on my own terms. I have never felt like I was really living life until I started Eclectic Star. Not many people can say they wake up and are able to do something they love everyday. My brand is very authentic and personal. I’ve never liked the idea of wearing something that a million other people were wearing. So for the majority of my pieces, when they are sold out they are gone for good. I also try my hardest not treat my customers like customers, I try to build relationships with them and let them know the person behind the brand. My personality shines so much through the things I create, which allows my products to be more unique rather than whats trending at the moment. Also being the loyal southerner that I am, the majority of my materials come from locally owned or southern-based businesses.
Q: What is it like managing Eclectic Star on a day-to-day basis?
A: Each day I learn something new and some days are a lot harder than others. I basically do everything myself, from making new products to prepping new orders to go out to working on getting press and ordering new supplies. It is definitely a one woman show.
Q: On top of all of the work that you do, what is your best firsthand advice for maintaining a work-life balance?
A: I would say that sometimes you just have to force yourself to stop what you’re doing and get out for a little while. It is so easy to consume yourself with your business, especially in the early stages. That’s great, but too much work can really weigh on you, and if you are doing something you love you don’t ever want it to feel like work. Trust me one night on the town won’t hurt one bit.
Q: What’s next for Eclectic Star? Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?
A: I definitely see Eclectic Star being sold in several small boutiques across the U.S. Getting my products in a few Urban Outfitters stores would also be a dream come true. I also see myself introducing apparel into the brand as well. Building a team has to be at the top of the list and moving into a designated office/studio space to work out of so I’m no longer taking over my living room.