We had the good fortune of connecting with Xen Gray and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Xen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe the most important factor behind the success of my brand is engaging with my customer base. I’m very active on my social media. When people develop some semblance of a relationship with you they are more apt to support you because they feel like they’re supporting a friend and not just another business hocking their wares. Also when my clients share special moments like anniversaries, new babies, getting married I make sure to comment with congratulations.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Xen & Thrifty is a side business or as we like to say “Side Hustle”. In my 9-5 I am a Project Manager and I absolutely love it. I fell into project management when I was selected by management to be part of a new initiative. 5 years later I’m still in project management and I plan to continue on that career path in addition to growing my small business. Falling into project management has taught me a valuable lesson.. Do not be afraid of change! This helped me make the needed changes in my small business when I hit a wall a couple years ago. At one point I contemplated walking away from the business but instead I pivoted and made a change. As soon as I made the change it was evident that was the right move to make. So now if something is not working it.. I’m no longer afraid to make changes as needed. A question I get asked a lot is if I’m going to quit my 9-5 and solely work my business. The answer is NO! I just want people to know that you can do both. If you love your job and you love being an entrepreneur and you are able to do both.. do just that!

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.
I live in the Charlotte Area but I love fun adventurous activities and places that are pretty chill and laid back. Some of the places we would eat besides what I would cook at home would be
LuLu’s Maryland Style Chicken & Seafood
Some yummy Mexican from Mi Pueblo and of course that means Margaritas!
We’d stop by What the Fries in their new store front location
Some of the activities we’d do would be some hiking or bike riding along the Greenway and some indoor rock climbing
If it’s summer time there are always activities in Romare Bearden Park like Jazz in the Park
Do a little museum hopping and of course some shopping at some of my fav thrift stores.
It would be a fun-filled week with an array of activities.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am part of a small collective of women owned small business who help encourage each other and share tips they’ve learned that have helped them in their business. We support each other and most of these women I have never met in person but I have grown to view them as friends. Additionally my Xen & Thrifty VIP group not only support my business by purchasing but they provide valuable feedback and insight from the customer standpoint that has helped me make decisions that help me improve my business.

Website: www.xenandthrifty.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xen_and_thrifty/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/XenAndThrifty/

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