Meet Melinda Bowens, the owner and creator of When Life. She is a mom boss that was previously a Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse for 14 years before stepping way out of my comfort zone to begin When Life. She has never looked back! She lives in Alabama, is a music lover, coffee snob, am obsessed with new notebooks and will steal your pen in no time flat. She loves writing and connecting with her customers every single day.
1 | Tell me about your company… What does your company do?
When Life is a storytelling company that encourages, connects, and inspires others through the power of storytelling. I provide a safe, and anonymous if needed, platform for my customers to share the stories of their lives, while I share with them the stories of mine. I believe everyone has a story to share and a desire to have it heard. We all are on so many different journeys and have so much we can learn from one another. I also design products, mostly vintage inspired luxury t-shirts, that all have a designated story icon and associated hashtag. The hashtag is so that you can connect online with others who share similar stories.
2 | How long have you been establishing your brand?
When Life was created in November 2016, however I didn’t launch the brand officially until July of this year.
3 | What are some challenges you have faced being an entrepreneur?
I am a work from home mom, so my challenges so far consist of balancing my time equally between my obligations as a mom and wife and a business owner. I have 2 toddlers and a child with Autism, so my hands are full, but so is my heart.
4 | How much has social media impacted your business?
My answer to social media questions always usually get a laugh! So, I haven’t been on social media since the days of MySpace!! I even had to get help setting up my accounts. But…I love it! At this time, since I am not brick and mortar yet, all my business is conducted on social media platforms. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the connections I have made in the social media world. I love engaging with my customers and really anyone who enjoys following me or vice versa. I really believe that people are wanting to make those genuine connections, so I try to provide that. I also think that if I am asking others to share the stories of their lives with me, then it is my responsibility to make them feel safe and that they are being heard.
5 | What motivated you to take the leap and start your own brand?
My family motivated me to jump out and make the leap into the entrepreneurial world. At first, I just wanted a small Etsy shop to make some extra grocery money, but after connecting with some pretty amazing creatives who helped me with my logo and branding, they pushed me into going bigger. I am so glad they did! When Life started out as my personal creative outlet but expanded into bringing others together through storytelling. I was a nurse for 14 years and had to leave to care for my son with Autism. I figured out soon after being home full time that I needed something of my own. I set a personal goal of making enough to build a new home and a business goal of connecting others, and began to build When Life.
6 | What advice can you give to your fellow millennial entrepreneurs?
Just go for it! Even if you don’t go full force in the beginning like me, or have working on your dreams full time as an option, then carve out some time to get started. Lots of amazing businesses start off as a side hustle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Do not let fear or anyone else’s fears keep you from pursuing and finding what I like to call your purpose driven life.
7 | What is your favorite product and why?
My favorite product that I have now is our #whenlife shirt which is my logo tee. There is so much hidden symbolism behind my logo. We really tried to put a lot of thought into it. It is designed with the Tree of Life in mind first and foremost. There are exactly 9 lemons in the tree. Nine is such a symbolic number in so many cultures, but my favorite line of thought behind it is that it is just short of perfection. It is a reminder that no one is perfect, and everyone has a flawed story to some degree. The lemons are also distributed throughout the tree with some hidden and some that you can see better than others. This symbolizes that there are stories that we are beyond ready to share, and some that are just peeking out not quite ready for everyone to hear or know.
8 | Who is your biggest influencer or inspiration?
I can’t say that I have any one person that influences me per se. My inspiration are my customers and in trying to think through all the possible stories they have in their lives. I try and think when designing new content and icons for the tees what will resonate best with them and what can they most relate to. I follow them to see what they like and what they want and try to create around that.
9 | Do you have any promos that Bossfidence Babes can use to get your products this holidays season?
Absolutely! You can use CODE: BOSSBABE for 30% off any t-shirt in the shop!
Get Social, Connect with WhenLife: