Meet StartUp Chica 2018 Keynote Speakers Layla and Mya Parish
Sisters Layla (17) and Mya (12) Parish are successful teen entrepreneurs, motivational speakers, authors, and community leaders. They started Suga Babes Beauty in April 2012, a company which provides plant-based bath and body products, and innovative skincare workshops for girls and teens. Their mission is to inspire girls around the world by continuing to build their brand, host workshops and speak on topics that are relevant to youth today such as overcoming insecurities and bullying.
Layla and Mya are excited to be keynote speakers at this year's StartUp Chica Conference because they saw the passion that Latinitas has for cultivating the ideas and talents of our future leaders. It inspires them to see girls that look like them grow together and create a great sisterhood of change agents.
What is your favorite part of running a business?
Our favorite part of the business is sharing our story with other young girls. We really enjoy seeing the look on their faces when we tell them how young we were when we started our business. Their looks are priceless. We tell them that they can start living their dreams just like us, age doesn’t matter. We also enjoy sharing with our young audience the importance of knowing your worth and telling them that your current circumstance doesn’t matter because you are destined for greatness. Your past or current situation does not define your future or where you are going in life. You determine that! You are in control!
We know first hand because when we started our business our parents were going through a divorce and our mother was single and did not have a lot of money to help us get started in our business. However, when we told her our idea she never hesitated to help. She made a lot of sacrifices and here we are today. We have both experienced insecurities in our lives but we never stopped because we realized that our business is not all about us. We still have a long way to go, but one thing for sure is that we will not let anything stop us because we know there is a much bigger picture to our business than we can see at the moment.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve faced as an entrepreneur and what you learned from it.
Some of the challenges we have faced are being taken seriously and obtaining capital. Since we are young entrepreneurs people at times do not take our business seriously. We run a real business and not a hobby as most people think. We also struggled with capital (money). As we stated earlier our mom is the one who is backing us, we do not have investors. Everything we have done thus far has been because of our mother. She has worked really hard making sacrifices for our business. Our mother is our everything.
We’ve learned from these challenges that we have faced and learned to never quit no matter what. Stay in the race and finish strong. We have also learned to be consistent in all things. When you are consistent, doors will open. It may not happen overnight because, like Rome, you can’t build a business in one day or one year, it takes time. So, you must be patient, and while being patient, constantly working. You have to stick with it and not give up. We can promise you this one thing: if you stay the course you will see the fruits of your labor. We have been in business for 6 years and we are just seeing the seeds that we have planted starting to spring up.
Tell us about someone who motivated you to pursue this career path.
Our mother is our biggest motivator and supporter. She does everything in her power to make whatever we need to happen, happen. We saw her passion for helping other women start their businesses. We saw how she paid attention to the smallest details and she was basically a perfectionist. She goes above and beyond what she is required. Watching our mom operate in business has really inspired us on this career path of being entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur is not about yourself, it is about coming up with a solution to help others.
What problems could be solved in the business world by increasing the number of female founders?
We are glad you asked that question. One of the problems that could be solved is the stereotype that women do not work as hard as men. Women work just as hard if not harder. Women have built successful brands, some by taking nothing and making it into something spectacular. Women see things through a different lens, therefore, they operate differently. Women are major influencers and the backbone of everything.
What advice would you give other young girls who might be interested in starting their own business?
Our advice to other young girls who may be interested in starting a business is to do you! Find something that you are passionate about, write it down along with a plan and then find a support system that can help you execute it. When you work your passion the hard work is so worth it. Remember, don’t listen to the noise and chatter of others. You can do anything, there are no limits.
What is it like to have your sister as your business partner?
Being in business as sisters is like any other relationship it takes teamwork and patience with each other. We have our ups and downs. We don’t see eye to eye all of the time. There are often times when Mya may want to play instead of working and that can be frustrating. Even in the frustrating moments we still manage to get the work done. One of the major advantages of being in partnership as sisters is that we have known each other all of our lives♥! We trust each other and know that at the end of the day we are building a powerful brand that will touch and change young girls all over the world. So, to know that we can share this experience together as sisters is an amazing feeling. We are truly blessed.