Tell us a little about you and your company.
Della’s Apron, LLC provides on-site training and technical assistance to early care and education providers. We also provide webinars, conference presentations family education workshops and instructional design services.
How long have you owned your own business?
I have owned my business since 2003.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I have worked in early care and education since 1998. In 2003, I started the business as a means of providing after school enrichment services. Since that time, we have grown to provide additional services, as mentioned above.
What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
The best advice I received when starting my career was to be a radical. As a radical, you must have an extreme sense of confidence, creativity and courage.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started your business?
I wish someone would have told me to simply be myself – both as a trainer and as an individual. It sounds odd; yet, I invested many precious years attempting to emulate the style and techniques of other trainers – all because I did not trust my passionate energies.
What are the three skills that new entrepreneurs need in order to succeed?
1. The ability to network with an eclectic group of individuals. I professionally meander with individuals who represent a variety of backgrounds - artist, web designers, restaurateurs, IT geeks and healthcare professionals. Networking with a variety of folks provides a wealth of varied perspectives – which keeps my approach to training and technical assistance radically fresh.
2. Resilience. An entrepreneur must have the ability to bounce back after setbacks. Setbacks in entrepreneurship are a constant factor; yet, an entrepreneur must also have resilient faith in the purpose – remembering the “why” of the journey. By remembering the “why” of my professional pursuits, I am able to fall, get back up, dust myself off and keep moving forward.
3. [To be} Teachable. One of the best skills I adopted early in my career is the willingness to learn. I spend 2-3 hours each day learning something new. I attend seminars and conferences. I take webinars. I read journals. I attend networking events. I connect with early care and education providers throughout the world through social media. Each of these experiences provide priceless experiences.
What routines do you have in place to help your days run smoothly?
The night before, I prepare my clothes, review my calendar, organize my workbag and create my schedule for the next day. I wake up early (5:00 am), read my daily inspiration, have breakfast and I am in my office space by 7:30 am.
How do you find balance as an entrepreneur?
I find balance by having fun – EVERYDAY! I give myself breaks throughout the day. I use this time to have lunch with friends, stroll through the local art gallery or chat with my fellow customers at Starbucks. I also eat a cupcake and read a book every day. Cupcakes and books are essential for my sense of balance.
What is your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is the freedom to move around. I establish my schedule, I determine the clients and I am free to give myself a vacation.
What do you do to unwind?
I love to travel. I love to hang out with my friends and family. I also REALLY, REALLY love to read. I can read a book a day.
What is a project that you are working on right now or just finished?
I am currently working on a project entitled The Preschool Peace Project. The goal of the project is to expose young children to a variety of creative, enrichment experiences – with a multicultural, anti-bias approach. The curriculum is designed for children ages 6 weeks – 8 years old and includes community visitors, family education and professional development sessions for staff.
How can people get in touch with you?
Facebook: Books Talk by Della’s Apron
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tamekaph