A Girl Boss Conversation with Lalicia Stewart-McFarland, Aspiring Entrepreneur and Founder of M Ella’s Linen
Lalicia shares with us her experiences, inspiration, and motivation for pursuing her dreams as an aspiring entrepreneur, event coordinator, and her passion for helping individuals with intellectual disabilities.
As women, we wear many hats. Often times, we set our dreams and aspirations to the side and focus on our roles as wife, mother, and career women. Lalicia is a perfect example of what wearing many hats look like yet focusing your dreams and aspirations as well. In our Girl Boss conversation, Lalicia Stewart-McFarland shares her experiences of being a wife, mommy, and dream chaser. Lalicia is busy in the best ways possible. Every day you will find that Lalicia is filling the roles of wife, mommy, and visionary for her clients and their needs for upcoming events. Check out her advice and interview below.
Tell us more about yourself and the services you provide?
My name is Lalicia Stewart-McFarland. I’m am an aspiring entrepreneur, grad student, mother, wife, and advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. I launched M. Ella’s Linen in the summer of 2016. The name was derived from my grandmother the late Mary Ella Stewart. She was a homemaker, crafter, and the best seamstress. I believe I inherited my sense of ingenuity from her. I dedicated my company to her memory and the legacy she left for her family and community.
M. Ella’s Linen offers quality and affordable linen rental for any occasion. We also specialize in event planning, design, and coordination. We cater to all spectrums from the diy bride to large scale corporate events!
What ignited your spark to start your business?
I’ve always had an interest in party planning and was often called by family and friends to plan events. In the Fall of 2015, I left my fulltime job to become a fulltime grad student at the University of Memphis. The scripture, “Your gift will make room for you” (Proverbs 18:16), truly activated my spark to launch M. Ella’s. I began to receive request for linen and events and the rest is history in the making! M. Ella’s is truly a gift that God blessed me with to meet my needs and the needs of others.
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become an entrepreneur or chase their dreams while working full-time?
My three pieces of advices are
1) “Write the vision and make it plain” (Habakkuk 2:2) Have a game plan but know that plans may change and when change occur be willing to “adjust your sail”.
2) Know your why- What’s motivating you to stay on board? Tough times are sure to come; what keeps you afloat when rough currents hit.
3) Always strive for excellence; give your best in whatever you do. M. Ella’s strive to provide the same standard of excellence to all clients!
What three skills are needed to be successful in pursuing your dreams?
- Genuine/authentic- Be honest with yourself and set short and long term goals that are realistic.
- Wellness – Total wellness is essential in pursuing your dreams. Check in on your spiritual, physical, and mental state. The principal of mindfulness has become critical in helping me pursue my dreams.
- Drive/Endurance- “The race is not given to the swift nor to the strong but the one that endures until the end.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
What have you learned from your failures?
I have learned to reframe my failures as an opportunity for growth. I have also learned that you can recover from failure, “get up and try again.”
What are your greatest fears and how do you manage fear?
My greatest fear is not being able to meet personal goals. However, I can stop those thoughts by countering with positive thoughts. “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
What motivates you?
I am motivated by my family, compassion towards people, and my desire to be a beacon of light.
How do you define success? Do you consider yourself successful?
For me, success occurs when you are in line with your destiny. It also manifest itself when you are operating in your God given role. I also equate success to genuine happiness. Success is something that is continuing; one must work at it daily.
What is the best way to plan for long-term success?
The best way to plan for long term success is to set measurable long term goals, activate your goals, and then evaluate them.
How do you build a successful customer base?
- Referrals- If you are offering a quality services your customers are walking free advertisement
What makes you happy?
I enjoy the simple things in life like spending time with my family and friends. I am a thrifty type of girl and nothing makes me happier than having a few dollars in my pocket while exploring the local thrift store (my happy place). I also find happiness in being able to be a resource for people with disabilities and their families. I believe that this is one of my God given assignments.
Do you find social media helpful in your ventures? How so?
Social Media is helpful for getting your business out. You can reach the masses at a click of a button. It is also cost efficient which is very important for small business owners.
In one word, characterize your life as a wife, mom, and entrepreneur.
Metamorphosis. I am growing through so many changes right now in my roles and so excited for this new “me” emerging.
Where do you see yourself and your business in ten years?
In 10 years, I see M. Ella’s as a common household name in the Midsouth. M. Ella’s is so much more than linen and party planning. As mentioned earlier, I have a heart for working with people with intellectual disabilities. Recently I completed a Master’s Degree in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling and plan to merge my love for event planning with my career. M. Ella’s long term goals include providing a platform for vocational training for people with intellectual disabilities.
Ladies, I hope you found this conversation inspiring. It’s possible to be a wife, mommy, and dream pursuer. We don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. If you would like to connect with Lalicia, follow her at M Ella’s Facebook. For more information on the services she provides, you may email her: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big thank you Mrs. Lalicia Stewart-McFarland for your Girl Boss conversation, sharing your experiences, and giving us your advice. Keep pursuing your dreams and inspiring others. #BossConversations #GirlBoss