We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Saint-Fleur and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was thinking to myself I have a unique mindset that can produce something that will speak to others around the world. I have a story that many others can relate to and are waiting to see vocalized and branded. I had to go through the motions of planning out my steps and coming up with ways to make the brand a physical franchise and not just an idea in my mind. Getting something out of your head and on paper is a process many people minimize but it is definitely essential. I knew I had to do a lot of research before I could get anything in motion. What name wouldn’t my audience find offensive, who would I allow to be associated with the brand, and more questions along those lines were popping up in my mind before I could truly make anything solid. I definitely can look back and say it was a process but worth every step.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I hold many hats and could not seem to place myself in one particular category. I am Julie Saint-Fleur: the business owner, marketing operations specialist and children’s author. To tell you more about my work I will rewind a bit and give a background on who I am. I started my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 14 as a hair braider. Taking over a decade of knowledge I turned that in itself into a business: Marketing Operations Specialist. I help other companies properly brand and market their visions. Allowing everyone the opportunity to sit at the winners circle. A little more recent in history, I became a burn survivor. I turned my pain into a promise – to myself and other survivors to keep healing and striving with purpose. My business Survivors Only displays a flame on an assortment of different merchandise. Taking my same story I also wrote a couple of children books highlighting my story in a way that young people can relate. What I believe sets me apart from others is my transparency. I never want anyone to think this is a walk in a park for me – I believe in always sharing my high and low moments. I am proud of all aspects of my professional life but I am super excited about the launch of my forever flower company “Fleur De Ju”. I took my last name that means Flower in french. I did a soft launch for mother’s day and the feedback was confirmation that I was going in the right direction. I believe I am where I am today, professionally, because of my work ethic. I do not believe in cutting corners and I am willing to work 20 hour days to accomplish what needs to be done. I feel like business is far from easy but the reward for hard work is worth it all. When I face challenges in business I always tell myself to step away and acknowledge growth and blessings. These challenges I am facing would not exist at a lower stage or if I did not have the success I had so for that I am grateful. Business teaches you a lot about yourself and others. My biggest lesson to date is the art of patience. Nothing happens over night and I had to learn that for myself and also teach that to my customers and clients. If the world walks away from anything from my segment I want them to know that my brand and story is here to teach about resiliency. There is nothing that you cannot overcome and accomplish when you put you mind to it. From third degree burns to college degrees and much more. Nothing can stop you but you and that is my forever motto.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough one because I am a homebody but if I had to step out I would recommend a few food spots. Opa-Locka is home to the restaurant Crabman 305. If you are into seafood and soulfood mix this is a great place to drop in. On the opposite side of the spectrum in Coral Springs you’ll find BJ’s Brewhouse. The menu is literally a book and everyone will find something they like to eat there. In the middle you can land yourself at Rock Bar at Fort Lauderdale beach and enjoy finger foods, good hookah, music, and buy one get one fish bowls. Outside of those places I would convince them to go to Sunday Brunch at club Iguana. Great music and the food is definitely worth the crowd.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I can certainly credit my success to my support system. My family and close friends who motivate me and encourage me to continue to be myself and share my story. They are usually the first to know about an idea before I put it in ink. My sister, Nancy, for never failing to run to my rescue when things got to be more than I can bare on my own. Her commitment to my brand and business is unmatched and unwavering. I would hope that all entrepreneurs would be so fortunate to have someone like her in their corner. My followers are like my virtual family. They support all my ventures and are always encouraging me to do more. They have all taught me that no one does it alone.