We had the good fortune of connecting with April Simmons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I ordered customized party favors for my sons 2nd birthday. When I received them, I immediately fell in love with the special touch of seeing his face all over the snacks. It was like receiving a souvenir to remember for the rest of both his and my life. I received chip bags, juices and coloring books that had his face on it along with his safari theme. I knew from that day on, I wanted to learn how to do this and create the same memorable feeling for others that I felt for myself at one point. Starting to make these favors opened the door for so many other avenues of creativity. Individuals started placing special requests for other items such as t shirts, candles, photo memorial pillows, branding items and more. I never turned down a request but instead used it as an opportunity to master the craft further and enhance my product inventory. This birthed my business overall : ClassandSoulCreations.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
In truth, the world of creativity can be a saturated field. However, I truly believe that what is meant for someone will never pass them by. I am most proud of my ability to manifest and achieve many of the things that I truly desire in my life. When I think back in time, I remember everything that is now present in my life when it was only a very strong thought within. I remember the first time I wanted to create custom favors, while now shipping statewide across the world. I remember years ago wanting to write a childrens book, now purchasing copies of my book on amazon to sell to others. I remember wating to teach courses, now enrolling members in my courses very often. I wanted to create a business for my son – now his shirts are being worn in other states. Those are things I am proud of. I am proud of my ability to keep going and making things that I want a reality, even in midst of my many responsibilities. I work full time for the State of NewYork, homeschool my son, raise him independently, and operate my statewide business. Seeing it all written down makes truly give thanks for all that keeps me going and thriving. No it is not easy work but it is very rewarding and special. In the more challenging moments, I simply go within and connect to the my heart space of desire and purpose of why I am doing this. It is very important to remain connected to your intentions when working on your goals. I am most excited about all of the ideas that come to me daily and everything else that I want to manifest in this lifetime. If there is one thing I would like people to know about me, it would be that every item I create is an energetic connection of goodness from me to them. I put alot of love and care into the things that I make. I care about the people I am servicing. I take my time in connecting with them and I have a very empathic ability to understand individuals. When you are working with customized items such as memorial gifts for loved ones that transitioned or even celebratory moments like birthdays, it takes someone who can truly understand and connect to those sentiments. I do that and I do it well. I believe that is what sets me apart. I have learned stronger boundaries along the way. When you are operating a business, boundaries are important. You must be able to clearly represent your business and protect it. Boundaries is definitely a valuable lesson that I continue to strengthen daily as it relates to my business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a good friend coming to town, I would do a variety of things each day of the week. Perhaps the first day can be spent trying out a delicious restaurant that has some form of entertainment. Comedy or poetry shows would also be nice coupled with a good eatery. If the weather was great, I would choose the heart of nature anyday. Beaches are super peaceful and sitting out listening to the sound of waves while the sun lightly saturates my skin is bliss for me.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I recognize my son Jayce T. Simmons as the catalyst and inspiration for everything that I do. He is the motivation and literally the reason I was introduced to the wonderful world of customization. I give thanks for my family that offers genuine feedback and endlessly listen to my ideas day in and day out and provide encouragement and feedback always, I thank all of the people who have taken the time to support my business even in the beginning stage. There is something very special about someone believing in your talents, skills and capabilities to use your services all around the world/statewide.