Nytia Baker and Surraya Price Isaac are making organization look good
Running a business

Nytia Baker and Surraya Price Isaac are making organization look good

Name: Nytia Baker and Surraya Price Isaac

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Pronouns: She/Her; She/Her

Business: LA FEMME LUXE LIFESTYLE LLC. We are a stationary and lifestyle brand that focuses on self-advocacy, chic organization, and finding luxury in everyday life. We offer a variety of stylish office accessories, lifestyle planners, and other paper goods. 

Describe yourselves in three words: Goal oriented, innovative, and creative

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

We have been best friends for over 30 years and have always had a love for organizing, planning, and entrepreneurship. As two women with multiple businesses, we’ve always relied on planners to keep our luxe, busy lives in order. Over the years we’ve come across an abundance of amazing planner options, but never really found one that catered to our specific lifestyles and incorporated all the elements that we loved. We would end up buying multiple planners a year in order to appropriately manage our lives. 

One day, chatting about the planners we had recently purchased, we joked about making our own. Then it really hit us that it could be a reality! We started out by brainstorming all of the components of a planner and stationary that we loved but had never seen in one place. Taking both of our creative, strategic minds, we set out to bring the La Femme Luxe Lifestyle Planner to life. Everything we’ve ever wanted in a planner and in our organizational lives, we poured into this brand.

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the first year? 

Done is better than perfect! A lot of the time, we wanted to have everything done perfectly, but realized harping on perfection could create loss of time and missed opportunities. 

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner? 

The most surprising thing we learned about becoming business owners was that there is hardly ever any down time! You sometimes think that being your own boss means more time to yourself, but in actuality you’re thinking about your brand 100% of the time. Either way we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

How does running your own business make you feel? 

It is empowering! To be completely honest, because we are in the middle of it, we sometimes forget to stop and celebrate every win, big or small. To take a moment and relish in the fact that we can say “We created something amazing and people really love it.” This is an awesome feeling. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome or are working to overcome? 

One of our biggest challenges to overcome has been honing in on our uniqueness. Reminding ourselves that we do not have to fit into a box and the reason why our customers love our brand is because we don’t always follow the crowd. This can sometimes be hard to do in the world we live in. Standing in our uniqueness is how we set ourselves apart. 

What challenges do you feel are unique to Black small business owners? 

Visibility and exposure. Prior to 2020 and the ‘Support Black Business’ push, it was very difficult to receive full acknowledgment and support. The perception is still different—as if some black businesses aren’t as polished and professional. It’s a perception we will always push to change with how we operate as a business. 

What are your proudest moments? 

Seeing our 2021 Lifestyle Planner in print in our hands for the very first time. It was a moment of pure happiness knowing that we created it from blank pages—a very exciting moment for both of us!

What are the next big plans you have for your business? 

Reconnecting with our community a lot more this year is something we really want to do. Since starting this business in June 2020, we’ve realized that we actually have a community of like-minded people who are excited to connect with us. We have a ton of new product ideas in the works, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of us.

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going? 

One thing that’s unique about our brand is that it’s a partnership. We get to fall back on each other for support and motivation when times get tough. There is always someone there to help the other out of a rut. 

How can Black business owners support each other and their community? 

Pull up! A like, a comment, a share, a small purchase, or even word of mouth to your own communities about other black businesses can go a long way. This will help with attracting new people to each other's communities and creating more exposure for one another. We’ve always believed in “Collaboration Over Competition.”

quote image
Every idea you have has legs that can manifest into something great.

What advice would you give to other Black business owners just starting out? 

Don’t ever NOT try something. Just think through it. Every idea you have has legs that can manifest into something great.

What advice would you give new business owners about balancing work and mental or physical health? 

It’s probably the most important thing you can do. Doing the work for your business is important, but putting your mental and physical well-being first is more important. If we don’t give our minds and bodies the attention it needs, we won’t be any good to the businesses we love so much.

What’s the single most important healthy habit you’ve developed that has contributed to your success? 

Keeping a gratitude journal. Stop keeping score of your failures—there are enough people out there doing that. 

What’s your “power song” and why? (A song that pumps you up and makes you feel ready to take on anything) 

“Cheers To Life” by Voice. This song is an affirmation saying we are winners. It’s is a reminder that everyday we breathe is a reason to “cheers to life!”

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