Leap of Faith
Crystal Perkins has mastered the delicate balance of owning a successful business and being an amazing mom. Read in our 2016 Boss Moms feature about how she was able to boldly follow her dreams by building her business from the ground up, all while holding the demanding, yet rewarding title of “Mom.”
By Amy Gordy/Photography by Brian Chilson
With a little faith and a lot of determination, Crystal Perkins discovered the path to her successful apparel business. “This all began when I was going through a really tough time with my husband—we had lost our home and I had lost my job. My daughter, Kennedy, was 3 years old at the time. My faith grew stronger during that hard time, though, and God spoke to me and let me know that he was going to get me though this but that it was my responsibility to share my story and inspire others,” Perkins said.
After a year, she and her husband, Remondos, were back on their feet, and Perkins found new employment. She was at her new job when she was suddenly inspired with the idea for Faithful Chics Boutique. “God spoke again to me and I left work right then and went to the store to buy a notebook. I sat in my car in the parking lot for the rest of the day and filled the notebook with my first designs for Christian T-shirts. I decided to follow my dream, and in 2014 I launched Faithful Chics Boutique.”
Perkins started her venture in her home office; she then quickly had to move to her living room, and finally—after a stint at the Outlets of Little Rock and Park Plaza Mall, she opened her own brick-and-mortar store in January 2016.
She started with women’s T-shirts, and has since added a collection for men and children. “I am very family oriented, and I needed shirts for my daughter,” Perkins said. Kennedy, now 6, is Faithful Chics’ biggest fan. “She loves the company and even comes up with her own ideas. I get her feedback on color choices and designs. She keeps business cards in her purse at all times, and will pass them out at the grocery store and at school. She has such an amazing entrepreneurial spirit!”
While getting her business off the ground was a balancing act for Perkins, she said that being in the new location has offered a great sense of stability, and allowed her family to have some breathing room. “It was a challenge to balance it all, but now I’m in my own space and have employees I trust to run the shop if I need to leave to get Kennedy from school or make dinner. I’m just so fortunate to have my family, and to get to live my dream of sharing faith and God’s love through apparel.”
THE INSIDE SCOOP with
RECALL AN INSTANCE WHEN YOU HAD TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING IN YOUR CAREER FOR MOTHERHOOD. In my career I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices with time, because I was forced to be an employee and miss out on school activities, lunchtime, etc.! However, as a boss mom, I refuse to miss any of those memories.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ANY MOTHER WITH A DREAM OF STARTING A BUSINESS? Balancing is difficult so don’t beat yourself up for not having it all together. My husband always tells me that I can’t put 100 percent toward all my roles in one day. Sometimes I commit 80 percent to our business and 20 percent to being a mom, and vice versa. That doesn’t make you a bad mom—you’re just focused on working hard and providing a future for your little one. Also, I’m big on leading by example with Kennedy. I always allow her to be a part of the business. We share a workspace in the back office. She attends all my speaking engagements and vendor events. It’s so important to allow your children to be hands-on with your business. When she’s at the store with me I give her little tasks to complete, like cleaning the windows or folding shirts. Most times, she just sits at my desk and writes inspirational notes to the staff.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING THING ABOUT BEING YOUR OWN BOSS? Being able to inspire and encourage others to have faith, dream big and work hard! Also, having the flexibility of creating my own schedule. One of the highlights of each day is leaving the office and picking up Kennedy from school. One of the worst feelings in the world while working my career was depending on afterschool programs until I left work at 5 p.m. Now, I no longer have that problem.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN IT’S JUST “ME TIME”? I read devotionals and pray. My “me time” also includes getting a manicure and pedicure.
WHO WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR MENTOR OR ROLE MODEL? My cousin, Chirie Bazzelle, is my mentor and role model. Also my sorority sister, Theresa Timmons-Shamberger, is one of my role models. Two of my celebrity role models are Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR YOUR BUSINESS? I plan to launch my nonprofit organization called The FAITH Project. FAITH is the acronym for Fueling Awareness in the Homeless. The FAITH Project is designed to cater to the homeless community. So often those who live on the streets are forgotten. However, I feel that it’s important to meet people where they are, and take faith, God’s love, awareness, resources, support and inspiration to the streets.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST PARENTING ACHIEVEMENT? Instilling Christian values, faith, inspiration, confidence and dreaming big into Kennedy!
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Walk by faith, pray about everything, worry about nothing, dream big, serve others and give!