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Most people use adversity as an excuse for giving up. Bonnie Hewitt isn’t one of those people.
On the latest Inner Edison Podcast, we talked about her inspiring entrepreneurial journey.
From single mother with chronic illness to award-winning entrepreneur—this is her story.
The Struggle Is Real
Bonnie started her life with a traumatic childhood. Her recollections of that time are few, but she remembers how it felt.
What she didn’t realize was that her body was keeping score as well. As a young single mother, she burned the candle at both ends to care for her children.
That was, until the day her body completely shut down. She had developed a very rare condition that left her paralyzed.
Bonnie explains it like this, “It felt like I had a stroke. I spent almost three weeks in the hospital learning how to eat, walk, type, and talk all over again.”
At the time, she cared for two older children, one of whom was on the spectrum. She needed to pour all her energy into her kids. That left little time to care for herself.
“My body kind of shut me off like a surge protector,” she explains. “My body was kind of like, if we don’t stop you, you’re not going to stop yourself.”
She spent five years trying to get back to her old life. That only exacerbated her chronic issues.
The final straw was when she found out one of her medications was making her sick. She stopped taking all twelve of her medications without turning back.
Finding a Mentor
She credits him with helping her get to where she is in her entrepreneurial journey. He told her to focus on her health and her household before moving forward with her business.
What started as a way to make money turned into a full-fledged business. She started by designing apparel on Etsy. That transformed into creating custom-made masks and vintage clothing.
Her apparel is up-recycled, making her designs one-of-a-kind. She now operates under the business name Posh Notions.
Two Minute Drill: Finding Success
With some success under her belt with Posh Notions, she started to think about ways to give back. She used Posh Notions as a way to make up-recycled clothes for bullied children. She pitched her idea on the television show 2 Minute Drill.
To her surprise, the judges loved her idea, earning her $50,000 in cash and other prizes. She is putting her earnings back into the business. She is also taking advantage of working with a digital marketing firm, one of her prizes from the show.
What She’s Learned
Going from chronic illness to successful entrepreneur, Bonne has learned a few things. One of the first things she’s learned from her experience is to say yes to ideas.
She learned to trust her ideas and to go with them, even if she didn’t have it all figured out at first. She says, “You don’t have to have answers right up front, do the first thing.”
She’s also learned that it’s essential to assess your skills when starting a business. She explains that it’s important to pick something you would like to learn. That way, as you learn, you can apply it to your skillset.
Last, she’s learned it’s essential to conduct market research to see where you fit within a niche. If you niche down far enough, you fulfill a need that’s not met. That makes it easy to find your ideal customer.
Said another way, dare to be different than the market.
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