With a degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a half-decade spent in the digital media world supporting employee wellness and global communications, Chelsea DuHaime has launched her brand Brunette Decorum to help go-getters alleviate burnout and embrace balance.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I was working as an Human Resources Coordinator at a small technology company when we started going through major changes in the organization. In 4 years we had gone through a total of 6 acquisitions and a major rebranding, leaving employees overworked, burnt out, and frustrated.
As I worked my way from Human Resources Coordinator to Employee Experience Specialist and Internal Communications Specialist, I built out a variety of programs, events, and platforms to increase team morale and mesh the melting pot of cultures coming into our company, but I realized that this was just the first of many steps that needed to be addressed in employee wellness.
From there, I began assessing why employees were feeling burnt out and what we could do to solve this problem. The majority of those suffering from burnout were lacking work/life balance.
In addition to tweaking our platforms, events, and communication methods to create a well-balanced lifestyle for our employees, I was inspired to launch Brunette Decorum. I wanted to create a resource dedicated to go-getters suffering from burnout everywhere, not just those in the corporate world.
Tell us about your business.
Brunette Decorum is a lifestyle brand dedicated to go-getters suffering from burnout. On the Brunette Decorum blog, I focus on the 3 essential elements to achieving balance, including lifestyle, career development, and self-care.
Remember, nothing in this life is instant, but building the lifestyle you desire starts with nurturing yourself first.
Subscribe to the Brunette Decorum newsletter for a variety of personal experiences, professional advice, success stories, exclusive discounts, giveaways, and must-try self-care routines to become your best self!
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Yes! Follow @brunettedecorum on Instagram and message me to receive 25% off your first order of Care/of Vitamins. For future contests, giveaways, and discounts, subscribe to the Brunette Decorum newsletter and connect with me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!
- Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley
- SHRM Human Resources Generalist certification
- Schwinn Cycling certification
- AFAA certification (coming soon)
Where is your business based?
When I launched Brunette Decorum, I was originally based in Los Angeles, but now Brunette Decorum resides in the beautiful city of San Francisco!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first step in any business is to identify a niche or a need that your audience can benefit from. After identifying the work, life balance issue that many of us experience, I began assessing what factors led to an imbalanced lifestyle and unnecessary stress.
Well, if you couldn’t guess… the phrase ‘work, life balance’ already identifies two of the major challenges we face, which are maintaining a successful career while leading a desirable lifestyle. The third challenge we face is something people ignore all too often, self-care.
By focusing on these 3 essential factors to achieve balance, I created a brand that my audience could benefit from. Ask yourself, what makes you unique and how can you use that to create a business that your audience or customer base can connect with.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
In my experience, social media has been a huge help in raising brand awareness, but I think the biggest way to make a splash is to connect with like-minded bloggers, brands, and businesses. With a supportive network promoting your brand, you’ll be unstoppable.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
While I have a degree in English Literature and experienced background in editorial, global communications, and wellness, it’s been difficult to be taken seriously as a new blogger. In any new business it’s flustering to figure out what to tackle first in order to build a reliable network.
How did you overcome these challenges?
To overcome my difficulties, I started reaching out to other like-minded bloggers, brands, and companies for advice and business opportunities rather than waiting for them to come to me.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I remind myself of why I started my business in the first place. I wanted to create a valuable resource for others while leading the lifestyle I desire as well. Live the life you love and love the life you live, right? You only get one chance to do it right, so why not take the risk for happiness?
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Again, it all comes back to creating a niche that you can rock. Ask yourself, what makes you unique and how can you use that to create a business that your audience or customer base can connect with.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
It’s an old saying, but ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ There are days I question if my brand is truly making an impact, but then I see the responses from my readers and I’m reassured that I am slowly, but surely creating a resource that others can benefit from.
Sometimes it’s difficult to stay present and avoid overthinking, but then I remind myself that my business is just beginning and success doesn’t happen overnight.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Always be consistent. There are days or weeks that become overwhelmingly busy, but you have to make time for your business if you want it to be successful. Don’t slack on marketing tactics, blog posts, or whatever your product/service may be!
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
My favorite tools include VSCO, Planoly, and Canva. VSCO allows me to plan my Instagram feed ahead of time to create the aesthetic I want my readers to experience. Planoly allows me to schedule my Instagram content, so I can spend more time focusing on other aspects of my business. Canva is a tool that provides (mostly) free templates to create a striking marketing graphics.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
The Forbes article, “Billion-Dollar Bumble: How Whitney Wolfe Herd Built America’s Fastest-Growing Dating App,” is not only interesting, but inspiring. Female entrepreneurs are making an impact more than ever and I’m ecstatic to be a part of that.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m currently looking to connect with other like-minded brands, bloggers, and businesses. I’m all about giving back and finding a win-win for all parties involved. If you’re a blogger, brand, or business owner focusing on lifestyle, career development, or wellness, I’d love to connect for future business opportunities!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Brunette Decorum will be getting a huge makeover in the coming months as I switch over to WordPress. Stay tuned and be prepared for tailored content that better suits your needs. Remember, nothing in this life is instant, but building the lifestyle you desire starts with nurturing yourself first. Embrace balance with Brunette Decorum.
What social media outlets do you use?
Hashtags #brunettedecorum #livebeautifully #embracebalance #bossbabes #womentowatch #wcw #wce
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