My purpose in chronicling our journey to Target was to show you the hardwork that goes into pulling this off behind the scenes. I didn’t want you all to look up one day and see me on the cover of some magazine, and think wow I could never do that. The reality is that you could.
Each of us has a Target. We have that dream deep inside of our heart. The one we’re too scared to chase or don’t even know how to start pursuing. It could be going back to school, starting your own catering business, changing your career, buying a house, or whatever.
The point I’m trying to make is we’re all scared, and it’s okay to NOT know what you’re doing. I promise you I didn’t know what I was doing when I started this company, and in many instances, I still don’t.
People often ask me if I’m excited about Target. One one hand, I’m super ecstatic about the opportunity, but many days, or rather most days, that feeling is over taken by the FEAR of the unknown. We haven’t hit the shelves of stores yet, and we’re already getting emails about what’s required for 2016. It’s a lot to digest, take in, understand… You get my drift. Most days, I have to remind myself that we made it this far, and we just need to take things one day at a time, one email at a time, one breath at a time.
When I wrote my first book back in 2009, it was such an accomplishment. 1. Because I self-published it, and 2. Because when I started Harvard, I couldn’t pass the writing placement test, so I had to take the remedial version of Freshmen English before taking the actual Freshman English class. To write a book, when I have never been the one to be amazing with words, was such a blessing and a testament to God’s power. In my sight or in the natural, I’m like who am I to write a book, when I could barely make it through freshman English. But God had a plan and a purpose.
When I first started on this project, much of what I wrote was super boring and sounded like it should be in some kind of encyclopedia. However, I met an editor, and he helped me to find my true voice. With Anthony’s coaching, I was able to give advice and guidance to women all over the world, who were looking to go natural, but in a relatable, easy to understand and non judgmental way. You see I had the information and the experience, but maybe not A+ writing skills. Still, he put someone in my path who helped me achieve my purpose. That was in 2005. #thisfarbyfaith
The same thing is true with starting this product line. I’m not a chemist. I knew nothing about formulas or making shampoos, or flash points, or sourcing ingredients or packaging, but God had a purpose for me and he put everything I needed to launch tgin in my path. Just like with the book, I had to start. I remember procrastinating for 2 years before actually working on the product line, because I was too scared. Back then, I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t know how to do it. But, I just started researching and trying different natural recipes.
Along the way, I met people who were willing to help me and suggest who I should talk to and who I should work with. One of those introductions actually panned out to be my chemist. She was the one with the skill. You see, I didn’t have to know everything I thought I needed to know to start tgin. My chemist had the technical expertise, but what I brought to the table was my experience with a lot of products that didn’t work. Together, we made a great team. I never thought it would come to fruition like this. When I was looking for recipes, I thought I would be the one to come up with the formula, but all God was really trying to do was put me on a path to finding the chemist, who already had the recipe that I needed. #thisfarbyfaith
I have so many stories like this, but the final one is about the money. Sometimes, we think our dreams are too big, too costly, or we don’t have the right background, experience, etc. The list of excuses is sometimes like 10,000 pages long. Getting into Target is an expensive endeavor. When you’re talking about 50,000 bottles, caps, labels, shipper boxes, and then throwing in raw materials, you’re going to have a major cash flow problem unless you’re sitting on top of at least 150 stacks.
Over the years, I’ve been approached by individuals wanting to invest in my business on numerous occasions, but it never felt right or like it was the right time. I always felt deep down inside that I didn’t have to go look for the money. The money would come looking for me. Well, that’s exactly the way it happen. One day, I was invited to speak at an event to talk about tgin’s expansion (this was long before Target) and one of the bankers in attendance loved what I had to say. After the program, this woman came up to me, and said I need to help you get more money. I knew right then, it was right. So once again, I didn’t have to have the $150 stacks to get into Target, but God would find a way to put me in connection with the person who did, which would make it possible for me to get the business to the next level without taking on outside funding #thisfarbyfaith
You see, if you have a dream. You don’t always have to have everything you think you need to achieve your dream. If you think, I don’t have the money, don’t worry, God’s got that. If you think, I didn’t go to College, don’t worry God’s got that too. If you think, I’m not short, tall, skinny, pretty enough, again God’s got that. Whatever you think you have or don’t have, it doesn’t matter. It’s already been handled. You just have to start walking in faith!
So, this is my message to you.
If you have just a little bit of time on your hands, open your bible and flip to Proverbs 3:5, which reads “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding”. If you have a little more time, flip to Exodus 4 and read the story of how Moses told God he was not eloquent enough to implore Pharoh to free the Israelites.
You see this entire life we’re living, it’s not our own. Our plans are not his plans. Our ways are not his ways, and it’s not for you to understand.
I just wanted to leave you with this message, this morning, before I start working on getting through last week’s email
Chris-Tia Donaldson is the owner of Thank God It’s Natural and the author of the best-selling book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Natural Hair. You can follow her on Instagram @tginatural or on Facebook @thankgodimnatural. Tune in every Monday for the Target update until we launch nationwide in stores on March X, 2014.