6 Lessons Learned from Building Bon Affair
It’s dark. Jayla can feel the presence of the makeup artist hovering. As soon as the soft brush lifts from her skin, Jayla opens her eyes and catches her own gaze in the mirror. Here she is, waiting to go on camera and pitch her business, Bon Affair. To say she is nervous is an understatement. Her hands shake as she pushes herself up from the chair.
A few weeks earlier, finished with hair and makeup, Jayla was told she wasn’t going to be able to pitch that day. They had run out of time. She was hesitantly promised a second chance, but it was unlikely. Luckily, she did receive a call back.
This time she is waiting in anticipation. The hours seem to inch by. She wonders if she will be turned away again. To her relief she is given the second to last time slot. After months of applications and preparation she is here. She walks on stage and starts her pitch. One and a half hours later she has $150,000 from Mark Cuban for 35% ownership of the company.
When you speak to Jayla, it is clear this project has been one of passion and commitment. In her previous work, she traveled extensively and attended many social events. Not a beer drinker, Jayla often chose to drink wine. Wine however, was often too strong for a long night. By adding sparkling water, she found she was able to last all night with little day after effects. This experience was her spark of inspiration for Bon Affair Wine Spritzers.
Bon Affair is currently available for delivery through online sales. To get here, Jayla has made many changes, has lost money and experimented with a collection of ideas. Through it all, she has stayed true to her original product.
Here are six lessons learned through the growth of Bon Affair.
1. Stay persistent and love what you do.
Persistence from day one is part of what has allowed Jayla to get where she is today. As a natural creative, it is no surprise she made the jump. However, she had no idea how difficult it was going to be.
“I sometimes wish I had kept my job when I started the business. It was hard to make ends meet and I ended up taking some contract jobs and getting a bartending gig. But I loved what I was doing so I continued to push forward despite the difficulty.”
2. Jump on the opportunity.
When she developed the idea for Bon Affair, she knew she was onto something. There was likely a large market looking for what she had to offer. With this knowledge, she kept pushing to make the best product possible.
3. Stay true to your goals.
Jayla wanted to start a family and launch her business. Just nine months ago, she had her first child. “I am glad I never gave up on both my professional and personal goals. Now that I’ve done them both, I couldn’t be happier.”
4. Learn to say no.
During the development years, Jayla easily become distracted by new ideas. Unfortunately, these ideas cost lots of energy, time and money. She now recommends to learn how to say no and focus on the core product to make it the best it can be.
5. Work on forming and maintaining positive business relationships, especially with investors.
Business relationships are critical to the success of your business. Whether a business partner or investor, make sure the relationship is good. Don’t get distracted by money or influence. Instead, think about what the future with this person may be. These relationships can make or break a business. According to Jayla, working with Mark Cuban has been a very rewarding experience.
6. Creativity is necessary to stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be afraid to get creative! Make sure the business side is strong, but remember, creativity helps you stand out. TV shows like Shark Tank are half entertainment and half business. Focus on what the consumer, investor or other interested party wants and cater to that.
As we wrap up the interview, Jayla glances aside and a grin stretches across her face. Her eyes sparkle as she says, “You know, the experience of Bon Affair has been a fantastic one. Hard, yes, but also worth it. I am so glad I took the risk nearly five years ago.”
To learn more and order some delicious Bon Affair Wine Spritzer, visit bonaffair.com