Today we’d like to introduce you to Liani Antelo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Liani. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in Miami Lakes in a pretty traditional home. My parents always did a great job balancing work and time for my brother and I. I was surrounded by hard working people and very inspired by my grandparent’s transition to America from Cuba. They started up “La Canastilla Cubana” which was a very popular baby and furniture store in the ’80s and ’90s. I think I get that entrepreneurial spirit from them. Growing up in that store definitely planted the seed for me wanting to be my own boss one day, so while in college, I started Liani’s Events. It was an event planning company that I used to pay my way through college and other exciting parts of my life. Which leads me to the next part…
I fell in love with my soulmate at 14 years old and six years later, I married him. Our love story is a crazy one. Derek and I have definitely not had the most “normal” marriage. Aside from getting married very young, my husband played professional baseball for the first four years of our marriage for the Pittsburg Pirates minor league farm system. That sounds glamours and all, but it’s far from it. We were placed in apartments and had roommates. (Not ideal for honeymooners.) You also didn’t know what level you could be called up or down to at any given moment. One year, we moved six times in seven months. Keep in mind, I was 20 years old and no idea that dryers have a thing called a lint compartment that you had to clean… much less anything about life at all. I grew up a lot and gained a lot of life experiences that have made me who I am today.
After the baseball madness, we settled back down in our hometown of Miami Lakes and started our family. It wasn’t until I gave birth to my little girl and boy, that I also gave birth to A Darling Bowtique. Being a stay at home mom was amazing, but I wanted something I could release my creative energy with. I knew event planning was no longer for me because I wanted to have weekends with the family. So, I started brainstorming on other ways I could get creative. Then, one day, I was attempting to brush my teeth with my newborn son in hand and 2-year-old daughter tugging at my leg when it hit me. I’m going to start making bows. I’m always buying them and can never really find what I want or the price I wanted to pay. It started searching for store names on Etsy while Minnie’s Bowtique was playing in the background. I kept typing names in until A Darling Bowtique worked. (Yes, it’s spelled that way because of Minnie’s bowtique, don’t judge me… I was on Mom mode when I named the store.) Then, I got to make them. It was a hobby with just friends and family supporting me and before I knew it, I was a full-blown business. My store was super girly, which made me feel very guilty since I had a son as well… that’s what lead me to the custom T-Shirt branch of the store. We have now become a one-stop shop for families and business owners. We have expanded and added mugs, license plate tags, key chains, totes, sandals and much more.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth is definitely not the word I would use to describe my A Darling Bowtique Journey. Between self-doubt, certain projects not going to plan, and simply trying to balancing it all… I wanted to quit more times than I can count. Business is just like life. You can’t avoid the bad things but you can always control the attitude you have towards them. Things will go wrong but the lessons learned from them are greater than any loss. As Rocky Balboa would say: “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
My advice for anyone starting their journey is to just do it! I always hear people say “but I want to make sure it’s perfect.” If that was the case, you’ll never get started. In fact, I hope when you start things aren’t perfect because then there is no opportunity for change or growth. Believe in yourself and make sure to surround yourself with positive people so when the doubts kick in, they snap you out of it. Never take advice from someone you wouldn’t want to trade places with, write down your goals and just get to work.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about A Darling Bowtique – what should we know?
We specialize in custom T-shirts and hair accessories. Our slogan is “For the DIYers and Don’t have timers.” We provide digital downloads for those with a cricut or silhouette, crafty side or rather do things themselves. But also complete the product for those who simply don’t have the time or it’s just not their thing. We pride ourselves in being a one-stop shop for all your personalized needs in business or fun.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I love youtube. It has such a wealth of information. I research every machine on there before purchasing to see it in action. I have also learned most of my techniques from youtube. I love listening to Impulsive and Living Large Podcasts while I work. They make me laugh and every episode has some type of inspiration in there. Gary Vee is too intense for me daily, but I do like a lot of his messages.
- Website: www.shopadb.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @adarlingbowtique