Establishing Your Independence

Auvyonna Graydon co-founded her business, Tranquil LLC, at 21, while working at Whole Foods. She nurtured it—and her bank account—while she worked at the Florida Department of Revenue. Now, at just 27, she’s declared her independence and made the leap to dedicating herself full-time to Tranquil.

“Independence is my bread and butter,” she says. “I love relying on me. As a woman in today’s society, it’s important to be your own powerhouse, to make money for yourself, to supply your own gas.”

Auvyonna knew her goal was to leave behind employment and fully embrace her entrepreneurship. She and partner Jasmyn Germany have kept their business small and centralized—a tactic she advises other female business implement as much as possible. “Be as self-reliant as possible,” she counsels. “Jasmyn does logistics and operations. I’m the creative and do marketing, sales, design. I do all of the photography for Tranquil. Keep things in-house; do as much by yourself as possible when starting out, even order your own inventory. Every little bit helps the margin.”

Keeping her eye on the margins at Tranquil and establishing a solid financial plan for herself allowed Auvyonna to save up enough to allow her to leave a steady job to return to school and devote more time to Tranquil. “I want my art and my creativity to be my sole source of income and keep me afloat, but I’m not impulsive,” Auvyonna says. “My plans have plans. I saved money and had a financial goal to meet.”

And meet it she did—in a year a half. “I’m constantly manifesting my goals and seeing them come to fruition; I almost feel like a witch,” she laughs. But that magic is backed up by a lot of strategic decision-making, hard work and what you might call practical positivity.

“Stroke your own ego,” she says. “It’s important as a female entrepreneur to be positive—to tap into your own positivity and talk positively to yourself about what you’re good at: believe in yourself. But don’t be foolhardy; be practical and put effort behind your goals.”

That practicality has led to an intense focus on Tranquil’s branding and content. “We’re hypervigilant about creating a lot of sturdy content and analyzing what we’re posting to Facebook and Instagram—along with the frequency—making sure it all aligns with our message and image.” That includes creating Spotify playlists to create a mood and incentivizing repeat purchases with discounts when Tranquil is tagged in customer photos as a way to turn customers into brand ambassadors. 

Auvyonna and Jasmyn have grand plans for Tranquil: The global pandemic has slowed their plans to travel to discover international female artisans, creaters and makers in impoverished nations to partner with, but they’re still looking for ways to “support women who are bootstrapping and trying to get it together,” as Auvyonna says. “Being women in a capitalistic and competitive market, we want to enter into humble and productive conversations—to make it collaborative, not competitive.”

Part of that collaborative mindset includes a series of workshops Auvyonna plans for women in business based on the lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur, including:

  • Know where to put your energy; concentrate on the productive friendships and relationships, and surround yourself with people who want to see you win.
  • Spend time with yourself; connect with your inner voice and conscience. Stay true to those.
  • Learn how to be a pillar of mental strength for yourself. Your family and friends might be skeptical of your plans. Focus on being your own powerhouse.

 “Entrepreneurs can go through an insecure phase,” Auvyonna says. She hopes her example and coaching can help women find and celebrate their own independence, too.

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