We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmelle Kendall and Robin Stokes |and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carmelle and Robin, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Carmelle: Be flexible! It’s great to have concrete business goals and milestones in mind, but when the unexpected happens (good and bad) it’s very important to be flexible on how you attain those goals. With Robin and I, we have the same future goals for our business but how we get there is uncharted territory, so sticking to a blueprint might not always be the best idea. I love that we can stay flexible and go with the punches that come our way.

Robin: I have learned to just get started. It’s true that perfect can be the enemy of good, and it is easy to want everything to be a certain way when you own a business. Instead, Carmelle and I have done what we can with what we have and made the most out of our available time and resources. I think if I kept waiting for the “perfect” moment, we would be further behind. The greatest takeaway for me has been taking action and learning lessons as we go.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

What makes us both excited about our products is that our cards keep it real with the reader. We also love being bold in our content and designs and illustrations. Not many topics are off limits for us.

The entrepreneurship journey is never an easy one! However, scaling slowly helps to prepare for growing pains. We haven’t had too many bumps in the road, but we definitely have had some! We overcome our challenges by researching as much as we can and trying to be well-versed before making any decisions. We also aren’t afraid to ask questions. Luckily our network is very diverse and we can ask around if we need a second opinion on something before making big business decisions. And lastly we take it one day at a time. There is always a challenge that needs addressing but we try to take baby steps so that we aren’t having to address all of the problems at once.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Carmelle: Let’s see, it’s so hard to narrow down all of my favorites! For breakfast, we have to go to Le Petit Marche for a cute cafe vibe. For lunch, I have to hit up Upbeet for my healthy kick. For dinner, I love the tapas at Bar Mercado or Bulla in midtown. I’m also a big fan of Korean so I love to hit up Bufurd Hwy for authentic cuisines. I’m loving Sokongdong Tofu House. For drinks and fun, we can play games at Ormsbys or bowl at Painted Pin. For outdoor activities, Best End Brewing Co for great beer and live music, bike riding on Silver Comet Trail, any outdoor festival. Oh, and of course we have to go thrifting/antiquing. Highland Row Antiques is a great shop that has it all.

Robin: I’m starting my day at West Egg and ordering my friend the Peachtree Plate so they can try it all. We’ll then stroll around the area and pop into Hudson Grace, Anthro, and L’Artisan Muse. I’m a sucker for a good margaritas so after shopping, we’ll head to JCT for a drink. That will remind me how much I love the rooftop at Estrella so we’ll scoot over to the beltline for that. I like to people watch so we’ll stroll for a few hours, sit down in piedmont park, and then head home to shower before our dinner that night at Superica. I’m taking them to Serenbe on Sunday to get some fresh air. It’s right outside the city, but will be the day trip we need. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Katrina Parris at NiLu in Harlem will always get a shoutout. She allowed us to have our launch party in her store and also gave us our very first wholesale order. She saw something in us and our business before we even knew what we had going! She will always be our favorite wholesaler and cheerleader.

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Image Credits
Vijay Agrawal

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.