We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeanelle Keaton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeanelle, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
You know the saying, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” or “no risk, no reward”. This sums up how I feel about risk. When you have big dreams and even bigger goals, there’s no way to get there without taking some type of risk. I know because I’ve tried it both ways with and without risks.
I remember balancing a corporate job and having the fear of letting go of a job that had absolutely nothing to do with where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. Yes, it was a great job (just not for me), great money (considering the average salary for my age) with incredible benefits but all things considered it didn’t align with what I wanted for my life. My fear caused me to hold on to a career that didn’t make me happy all because it allowed me to live a comfortable lifestyle and funded my business. Which don’t get me wrong is cool but there came a time where balancing a thriving business, working a 9 to 5 and being a mother just wasn’t feasible. Can you believe the inability to take the risk caused me to work an additional 2 years while I literally had to slow my business down to be able to do both?
I remember my closest friends and my partner encouraging me to ditch my job and pursue full time entrepreneurship. I would always respond with “I know but it isn’t that easy I have a child to take care of”. At this time I was a single mother so taking that leap of faith in al honesty just seem irresponsible to me. It wasn’t until I took the risk that I realized it was something I should have done years before.
Everybdy’s different and what we desire out of life is different but I’ve always been a gal who had big dreams and the reality is where I was wouldn’t get me there. While back then making the decision was so hard, I look back and couldn’t imagine life had I stayed making a quarter of what I make now which at the time seemed like such great job.
The ability to take the risk has me closer than ever to my dreams. Now don’t get me wrong the risk came with losses too but those losses didn’t feel like losses instead they felt more like lessons and learning experiences. Had I not took the risk, I would have been stagnant, unhappy and ultimately living a life that wouldn’t get me closer to my dreams.
I’ve been taking risk ever since and what I’ve learned is that it is important to take calculated risk as the mitigate the potential losses involved.
All in all I will continue to take risk and encourage those resilient enough to do the same because “in the end we only regret that chances we don’t take.”
What should our readers know about your business?
I own an Adult Specialty Store. We carry adult products and offer a plethora of services that aide in enhancing the bedroom for singles and couples. Our business is unique because unlike most of our competitors, we cover every sector from the consultant based at-home parties, a strong online presence, a brick and mortar and events. We take pride in a loyal customer base with no paid promotion in the history of our business which means our success and growth comes from word of mouth from those who support our brand.
Getting to where I am in business today was far from easy as I’ve taken so many losses. In an industry that is considered high risk, Ive dealt with the inability to use most payment processors and the inability advertise in most places. Imagine having issues like how will you take payments or your payment processors holding thousands of dollars for months at a time all because of what you sell. It was rough but I’ve learned to navigate through this industry pretty well. It’s taken years to get to this point.
Overcoming the challenges was hard but as my dad says “you gotta stay ten toes down” and as my husband says “rough ain’t tough enough for me” so when I would run into hurdle after hurdle I would just get back u, get tot he drawing board and figure it out.
Another big challenge I faced is starting this business from self-funding which in most industries isn’t a problem but when you need inventory for consultants, for the online store and for the physical store it gets tricky. Imagine selling over 200 different products and trying to stock every product for every sector of your business. Yes, It was tough but like with everything navigated through it making concessions like increasing ordering and pretty much align it day by day, taking profit cuts and more.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned is how importance back office is. My beginning years, I was just winging it and not doing things such as taxes and accounting correctly here I am years later still backpedaling to get things straight. Another huge lesson I learned is to protect the things I’ve built. I’ve had people offer me enticing partnerships which int he end would allow my brand to go bigger a lot faster but to give away so much of something I’ve worked so hard for is just not for me. I rather continue to bust my ass to make it happen. it is honorable that so many see the success in my business but these sharks will give you nothing for everything if you aren’t careful.
I would like the world to know that my bran dis bigger than selling sex as some would see it,. Our success stories from our “Lovies” (what we call our loyal customers) range from repairing marriages on the verge of divorce, women with infertility issues bearing babies and aiding in the healing journey of women who suffered from sexual trauma. We take in pride in being such a vital part in the lives of our customers. Our services are intense whether you are in for self-discovery, needing to spice up your relationship or would like to learn more about the bedroom in general. Our products are amazing.
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.
So I am not too familiar as I recently located to NC and during Covid I haven’t been able to explore much however if my best friend was coming to my home city, Baltimore I would definitely recommend a trip to the Comedy Factory. I love that spot you can get great drinks, a good laugh and an overall good time. I would also recommend Fells Point for the night life. It’s sone fun bars and great food down there plus you can bar hop and find people of all kind, music of all kind, karaoke, you name it, its there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a special shoutout to my husband who taught me how to hustle, how to take risk and what this “successful” life really takes. I would also like to thank my village, my mother, my father, my sister and brother who day in and day out assist me in anyway they can from the kids all the ay to the business affairs. They truly are the epitome of support from countless days and nights preparing for the store opening to assisting in vendor affairs, deliveries and more. They’ve been there before I had payroll. Last but certainly not least I’d like to thank my power circle, my bomb entrepreneurial childhood best friends who encourage and inspire. We share information, help each other through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, share resources and more. They are all so monumental to my success.