In 2006, Cheryl Lynn Pope wrote her first book. In 2009, her second book was inspired by her daughter, Zaria. After writing her second book, her brand, The Princess Within Boutique, was created. Her motivation stems from her desire to equip girls with the skills to believe in themselves. Read our interview with the lovely Cheryl below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After my parenting book was released in 2006, I decided to delve into the children’s book genre. Never having written for children before, I decided to host events around the princess theme in order to garner publicity for my upcoming project. The first event was the movie premiere of The Princess and the Frog in 2009 – and that event was a HUGE success.
I then decided to host a Princess Tea Party in 2010 and that event was even more successful! The Princess Zaria Brand began to take on a life of its own. We have since created the Princess Zaria fan club, Princess of the Month on our website, frequent princess themed events for girls, and will produce the 2nd book in The Princess Zaria book series this fall.
Currently, we have close to 100 girls, nationally, in the Princess Zaria Fan Club. This project grew out of the desire for girls to receive mail in their own name. After girls are registered by a parent or family member, they receive a princess kit that includes a tiara, membership card, princess stickers and tattoos, a bookmark, a small princess gift (bracelet, nail polish, lip balm, etc) and an autographed poster of the fictional Princess Zaria. Princesses are also able to be featured on our website each month. A family member nominates them and a few days later they are uploaded to the site.
We also host two signature events annually. The Princess Ball is held every April during National Princess Week. It’s a black tie event for the girls and their guests. The Princess Chocolate Party is held every October positioned between Sweetest Day and Halloween. Other Princess events have included pizza parties, jewelry making events, ice cream socials, American Girl craft parties and a yoga exercise session.
The 2nd publishing project, Best Friends and the Bee (book about best friends who enter a spelling bee together) will be released this fall. We are excited to offer events and products that are self-esteem boosters. We believe that all girls are princesses and we will continue to celebrate ‘The Princess Within.’ For more information about Royalty Industries, The Adventures of Princess Zaria and our upcoming signature princess events visit www.princesszaria.com.
Tell us about your business.
The Princess Within Boutique is the hub for all products and services we promote. We host a national fan club for girls ages 3-11. We host special girl-targeted parties with a huge focus on our annual Princess Ball and annual Chocolate Princess Party. Other events that we’ve hosted are potato chip parties, ice cream socials, princess movie premieres and book signings.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Right now, we are gearing up for our Annual Princess Ball. It will have a Hollywood Theme. Girls will walk the red carpet, we will have red carpet interviews with paparazzi. We also have an ongoing Princess of the Month feature. In January, we started our Tiara Tuesdays where girls (princesses) can be nominated to receive a tiara each week. Next month, we will begin promoting our 7th Annual Princess Chocolate Party.
Where is your business based?
The Princess Within boutique is based in Metropolitan Detroit.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I go by the Nike slogan ‘Just Do It.’ So in 2015 I began researching publishing and wrote and published my first book the following year. For my party planning piece, I watched and shadowed others who were working in the same industry. I began with my Princess Zaria fan Club in 2010 after my second book was released. I used social media – mainly Facebook, at first to promote my events.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media has been the most effective way thus far in raising awareness for my business. Word of mouth and parent testimonials have been strong as well.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge has been managing the business without staff. I mainly do everything myself from marketing to production to event planning.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I have begun to overcome those challenges by seeking out assistance from relatives and parents whose girls are in my various programs.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I motivate myself knowing that I am leaving a legacy for my family and that I am empowering and inspiring the girls in our programs.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I firmly believe that there is nothing new under the sun, but it is the way you approach your ventures. I distinguish myself by building relationships with my clients. I know when most of the girls birthday’s are, I familiarize myself with the extracurricular programs the girls are in and we have a members only event on a quarterly basis.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I have ever received is to NEVER give up on your dreams.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
My advice would be if there is anything you have a passion for, find out how to monetize it and make your dreams come true.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
My favorite business resource is Evite.com – I use this to invite guests to our awesome events.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The latest book that I have read is Steve Harvey’s “Jump”. It has given me some excellent tips to strive for in my business.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I think I am always learning how to market and promote. It would be great to enlist ambassadors to share the awesome benefits of the brand.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goal is to increase our Princess Fan Club membership. We are doing this by reaching out to current members to share the benefits.