Danielle Green is the founder and CEO of Passport 7, a line of luxury handmade eco-friendly candles and home accessories. Founded in 2011, Danielle turned a hobby of traveling and creating into a unique empire. Green took a break from her business to raise her son and during this interview she gets candid about the realities of entrepreneurship and why she loves what she does so much.
What was your inspiration to start Passport Seven?
In the spring of 2010, I graduated from my graduate program in Geography and Urban Studies. The temporary position I had through school was unable to keep me as a permanent employee so I ultimately I had to leave Philadelphia and move back home to Baltimore, MD. While living at home with minimal financial obligations, I decided to use the time to travel the world and find a hobby. That hobby became candle making. My interest in candle making derived from my love for home decor. I figured candles were an essential in any home. My experiences traveling and my candle making hobby were a perfect match and therefore birthed Passport Seven Home Décor & Candle Co., LLC.
Why did you have to give your self a break from running your business?
Welcoming a newborn and fully embracing motherhood caused me to take a break from running my business. I honestly had no idea what I had just gotten myself into — having a baby and trying to run a successful business. I didn’t want to negatively impact my business so I took the break to raise my son. But to be honest the break was the best thing I could have done for myself and my business. Not only did I birth my son but I used that time to birth fresh and transformative ideas on how I could efficiently run my business. During this time, my main focus, outside of motherhood, was rebranding Passport Seven. Before the birth of my son, I was running my business with no clear direction and no strategies in place to allow it to grow. With this rebirth, things are clearer and I feel more confident. I now have a new appreciation for and belief in taking breaks to recharge, refocus and reinvent yourself as often as necessary.
Please tell our readers some significant lessons you've learned on your entrepreneur journey.
My entrepreneurial journey has been full of lessons. Every scenario and every challenge has taught me something different but one in lesson I believe is crucial is the importance of being consistent. As an entrepreneur you have to be consistent in everything involving your business. It is easy to get complacent or even lazy as an entrepreneur but if you don’t work neither will your business. In the era of social media and perfectly curated content, entrepreneurship appears effortless. I’ve learned not to get too caught up in social media. You can have a million plus followers, curated pages, endorsements, etc. and still not be successful. I often ask myself “if social media goes away today or tomorrow how will I sustain my business?” I say that to say don’t count on social media as your only way to run your business. Have a email funnel, website, stationary, blog, etc. You have to make sure you can run your business without depending on one form of marketing.
What's the one thing you hope consumers take away from buying your product?
One thing I hope our passport holders take away from buying Passport Seven products is a sense of evoked emotion, the desire to travel, explore and evolve. Our products inspire “wanderlust and modish living’ via sustainable, handmade quality products. Our brand can be described as an abstract view of the world shaped by travelers in motion. So no matter where you are in life mentally, physically, or emotionally you can evolve in your space. We also believe our products provide you with a travel experience without leaving your home.
What advice would you give an aspiring woman entrepreneur of color?
Some advice that I would give women of color who aspire to be entrepreneurs is to be realistic with your goals and map out how you plan to reach them; don’t let anyone put you or your ideas in a box; and support other women. At the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I would have these grand ideas with no clear direction. Having a clear direction and being realistic helped me create processes that made me more efficient in running my business. Go after your dreams and if they scare you than you know you are moving in the right direction. Furthermore, we as women need to support one another. I live by the quote “there is enough for all of us to win!” No one can do it like you so don’t compare yourself to anyone and it’s okay to support another woman.
Want to support Danielle? Click here to purchase and use the code COLORVISION for a ten percent off your purchase.