Veronica is the award-winning creator of Shaboo Prints — a boutique lifestyle brand designing feel-good products she has designed to make a positive impact on the world. Veronica uses “imaginovation,” inventing ground-breaking products by combining reality with imagination to provoke awe and wonder. She is a social expressionist and entrepreneur on a mission to return millions of adults back to a wondrous world full of potential, play, and a knowing that expressing their real self is the whole point — i.e., finding their happy place! This is her interview:
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I was a marketer and was working in various corporate environments, the last being commercial aircraft. I was feeling very unfulfilled and realized that if I was going to survive within that context that I was going to have to do more activities that brought me joy. I began creative writing and drawing on my off days. The joy I felt doing things I loved uplifted my energy, so I did more of it. Before long, and with the support of family and friends, I began to design and manufacture greeting cards for sale. What started out as a fun hobby quickly evolved into a dynamic business, due to the positive creative energy that was behind it.
Now I am on a mission to provide products and services that will help others reawaken to their happy place, like I did.
When and why did you start your business?
Dissatisfaction and love. Dissatisfaction with my life, dissatisfaction with my job, dissatisfaction with my career trajectory. It became a powerful asset because being dissatisfied for so long made me uncomfortable enough to redirect towards doing what brought me joy. Once I started creating from a state of love I was amazed at the contrast in my life. Looking back, living and working in a constant state of dissatisfaction required me to die a little inside, to turn down my heart flame. However, once I began doing what brought me joy, I experienced a level of fulfillment that I thought was only imaginary. My fulfillment continues to grow and expand today, and it seems to have no limits. I have never been happier doing what I was made to do; freedom of expression is very fulfilling.
I want others to feel fulfillment. This mission has become our company byline — “Reawakening you to your happy place” — and remains the inspiration for my drive.
To what do you attribute your success?
Freedom of expression, following the breadcrumbs and never giving up.
Anyone can be good at something but to be outstanding is to do what you love and be who you really are. Consumers can hear messages of truth despite other marketing noise, so it is vital that my business (an extension of me) stays true to itself in all its products and messages. The indicator that I am being truthful is whether or not I am doing what I love. Doing what you love increases the measure of magnetism in all that you do and sets you apart. I believe people are attracted to businesses that are true and individual, which is why Shaboo Prints is experiencing success.
I also take my business in the direction of the yummy breadcrumbs, which are actions that feel right and have their own propulsion. They are the steps that are easy and natural and magnetic. They invariably lead me to greater successes. If I have to push at something or I am met with resistance I stop those activities and redirect towards the next yummy breadcrumb.
I also never give up on my business’s mission. I am its shepherd, committed to taking it places it needs to go, no matter how long or how far.
What is unique about your business?
Shaboo Prints is an extension of me. It is an expression of my unique perspective, my values, and my communication style.
Shaboo uses pure play and messages of universal truth to deepen connections with ourselves, others and our world. Our products are designed to help hold space for truth, pure play, imagination, and positivity.
The world is experiencing an epidemic of adult-onset doldrums. We are on a mission to inspire people to have bigger considerations of happiness and fulfillment.
As a business owner, I am also on a mission to prove that you can achieve a higher level of success by having fun and being fair.
What made you choose this type of business/career?
I worked hard in various jobs, earning a pension and benefits and living for the weekends, as was the norm. I started to get depressed, which baffled me since I was doing what was expected of me. After an emotional breakdown one Monday morning while preparing for work, I realized that if I was going to continue to live within that context, I had to do more of what I love — do things that brought me joy. I went back to the memories of my childhood to examine what that even was: playing, creative writing, and drawing. It was also what I was best at. I started to do those things, for the joy of it, which shifted my energy and quickly evolved into Shaboo Prints.
Today, I am doing what I love, using my innate skills. I think that’s where success lies for everyone.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Follow the energy and adjust to the emotional discomfort of expansion and change.
Shaboo Prints is a living entity that has its own energy. It tells me, using momentum, where it needs to go. Not only do I need to remain sensitive to its momentum (and that includes resistance), I also need to be able to deal with any personal issues that may slow it down.
If my business is naturally going in a direction that requires me to go, for instance to be in front of the camera, then I have to deal with any personal issues that may inadvertently become a barrier. I have to deal with my own issues so that I don’t get in the way of my business’s mission and success.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are so many! Failure is a sign of movement; you can’t take a step without a footfall!
One time I accidentally did not communicate with a vendor’s resource through the proper channels. I was not being underhanded, but I have to admit that it looked that way. I was in a creative flurry for product development and inadvertently stressed my relationship with a network partner.
I will never do that again. I will not act without full awareness of cause-and-effect. I repaired that relationship and now proceed with mindfulness and respect.
I cannot succeed without a network of support and now pay close attention to the quality and health of that network.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Ask yourself if it is something that you really, deeply love to do. A successful business venture will take years — sometime decades — so it should be something that you could do for that long. You can’t do anything for that long without loving it. If you are creating a business only to make money, it likely won’t last. You have to love what you do.
What’s been the best advice you received as a business owner?
Allow divine timing to occur.
Breakthroughs happen on their own time, especially if you are developing a branded business entity. My job is to do what is required of me as best I can. After that, I have to surrender to a bigger process.
Surrendering to a bigger process is not passive, but active. It requires working in partnership with your destiny.
If I have done my job, which is to create a unique business that has its own strong legs (branding, product development, marketing, strategy), then I have to trust, just like you would your own child, that its success is eminent.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to share with our readers?
Create your products and services from a state of joy, not effort.
Your joy is your signature secret sauce. It’s the magic dust that makes your offering alluring and magnetic to your consumers. Products that are infused with your happiness stand out!