It Girl | DAYNA LANGLOIS
By: Danae Edmonds With a beautiful Etsy shop filled with empowerment, it was hard not to notice Dayna and her talent. Dayna Langlois of Dayna Lee Collection has created a stunning brand based off of sharing lovely words of encouragement with the world. With staple pieces such as "She's building her empire" and "Hustle for the pretty things," Dayna is a perfect fit for Speaking of Everything because she uses her gift to inspire others!
Name: Dayna Langlois
Job Title/Company: Owner/Creative of Dayna Lee Collection
Education Background: BSc in International Business
1. Tell us a little about who you are.
I am a late twenties mom to two very handsome little boys. I have a background in International Business yet a resume of food service jobs. And this year, I decided to change my life through Dayna Lee Collection.
2. How did you know that graphic design was for you?
If you told me in college or even earlier this year that I would be doing graphic design… I don’t think I would have believed you. It goes to show, you can never truly predict where life will take you. I have no training or experience in graphic design and I fell in love with it when I picked up a stylus and my tablet. As time progressed, I knew exactly what I wanted through my work and discovered a love for design.
3. Who are you most influenced by?
Who are you most influenced by? My inspiration is Emily McDowell. She is absolutely amazing! Her hand lettering is unique, she had little experience like myself, and I like that she writes a lot of her own quotes. I strive for her success!
4. What was your first job and how long did you hold that position?
I was very career focused as a child. I would be the neighborhood babysitter, I worked as a dish washer and prep cook at 14. And I had an entrepreneurial spirit in grade 6 when I launched a small business called “Nail Works”. I took appointments and painted nails at recess.
5. What inspired you to open your etsy shop?
I’ve always been an avid Etsy shopper. I trust the process so making the decision to open my own shop was an easy one. I took a risk to quit my previous job to try and do something on my own. I knew that on Etsy, I could put something out there and the world could see it and I was increasing my chances at making a living.
6. What were your initial goals with your work? How have they evolved?
I had made some very small goals when I began. There was a lot of self doubt and feelings of unworthiness as I lacked experience and training. My initial goals were placed on myself starting with producing a solid collection. I worked so hard each day just designing for the first few months. Then goals were to participate in one craft show in 2014 and find myself in one of my favorite shops. As things can progress so quickly, I think you need to keep creating new goals, and always be pushing forward and challenging yourself along your journey. I have reached my 2014 goals and have added to them.
7. What do you think is the most important life skill you learned from being an entrepreneur?
Through this entrepreneurial experience, I have found my voice. I won’t let my shy personality stand in the way of success. I have a vision for my business with high expectations of quality and through this process I have been pushed out of my comfort zone to assert myself and ask for what I want. I am honestly really proud of this growth and I just want to show other women, that you don’t have to have an outgoing personality to run a successful business.
8. Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
At a villa in Italy? I hope in five years, that I’ve truly established myself as a business dedicated to empowering and inspiring women and that my husband and I can run the business from Europe with our children. I hope to have a team of amazing women working with me, building this empire and supporting others with their dreams through the work of Dayna Lee Collection.
9. What is a typical day like for you?
As a stay at home mom, there is no set schedule to my daily routine. Social media is ongoing throughout the day as I believe it’s important to stay connected, remain available, and to consistently share new work. Otherwise, I do what I can with the time that I have. Each order requires a different process, whether I need to run to the printers, the post office, or place orders online with my manufacturers. I’m always excited to see what opportunities or orders come in and start fulfilling them right away. I tend to design in the evening when I am alone in addition to preparing packages.
10. What was the biggest obstacle you faced so far in the process of pursuing your dreams?
The biggest obstacle I’ve faced so far is myself. If you look at my work and read my quotes, you might be confused by this. But the truth is, I write what I need to hear. “She got out of her own way and amazing things happened”, “She’s building her empire” are just a couple examples. I know I slowed myself down because I started to doubt myself. If you don’t believe in your own work, how can you expect other people to? I began to realize that what I was doing was big. I was telling other women that they can do whatever they put their minds to - and I was setting an example.
11. What is the best piece of advice you have received?
My father always taught me the importance of networking and this is something that I have taken with me while running my business. Despite my quiet personality, I have enjoyed connecting with fellow designers, small business owners and entrepreneurs and I value each relationship and opportunity presented by these amazing people.
12. When do you get your best ideas?
Oddly enough, when I’m driving. Because it’s the only time you can’t write an idea down so of course it only makes sense. My husband must laugh, because I’ll tell him to open my notes in my cell phone and write down part of a quote. I’ll have him edit it a few times until I’m completely satisfied. Isn’t he wonderful?
13. Can you share with us one time that you failed and what you learned from that failure?
Sometimes what you interpret as a failure, is actually a blessing in disguise. Earlier this year, I considered quitting my job at a coffee shop to be a failure. I saw it as giving up. I had tried so hard to make it work, but my soul was being destroyed and I knew I had to walk away. I thought I was a failure for walking away from an income when I have a family. But I truly believe when you take a step in the right direction, everything will fall into place. If I had stayed there, punishing myself, where would I be today?
14. How do you unwind?
Wine and Netflix! I unwind by curling up on the couch with a bag of chips and a chick flick. I think a lot of moms agree this is a great way to unwind.
15. What would you tell someone else who wants to start their own business?
Please go for it! I’m not telling you to quit your day job and take that huge leap into running your business full-time tomorrow but please just start pursuing whatever it is your dreaming about today. You’ll have these excuses in your mind that you aren’t good enough, that you don’t have the money to get started, that you don’t have the time. But let me tell you, if you want it bad enough - you’ll make it work. If you have the desire, dedication and the drive, I know you’re going to be amazing.
16. What do you hope people take away from your story?
I want to show women how quickly you can change your life. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through right now. You have the power to change your story. When you make that decision to make yourself happy, things will start falling into place. 9 months ago, I was working the drive-thru handing out double doubles. Some people are cut out for this industry, and I just didn’t have what it took. I have a huge respect for all food/customer service workers because it can take so much out of you. Since this decision, I have found something that makes me happy, that gives me a purpose and a desire to empower and inspire other women to follow their own dreams.
17. Anything we missed that you would like to share?
This was such an honor and I just want to say thank you.