Psyche Terry, the CEO and founder of Dallas-based multimillionaire brand UI Global Brands, is a trailblazer in the retail industry previously having a plus-size intimate apparel and beauty company sold in 5K plus stores across the country including Walmart, TJ Maxx, Ross, Target and Sally Beauty.
Psyche and her husband Vontoba are not only savvy entrepreneurs but truly dedicated to philanthropy by partnering with Water is Life (WIL) to address the world’s water crisis. For every UI Global Brand product sold, one gallon of water is donated. WIL recently partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deploy small portable water treatment units into communities where residents of Houston were affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Meet Psyche Terry.
What is your day-to-day like at work?
My day-to-day at work consists of creating exciting brands, values, and relationships with my mass retail customers and my everyday customers. This looks like me walking retail floors, looking at my competitor’s value, looking at my value and looking at what’s next, new and hot. I also spend a considerable amount of time meditating and considering future opportunities of growth and real opportunities. I do a lot of reading from week to week on other greats who have succeeded in entrepreneurship well beyond my greatest imagination. I interact with customers that buy from me and customers that buy from my customers too. Between that and being a mom of three kids and working side by side with my husband, I’ve got my hands full.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
I show up every day for two reasons. I enjoy inspiring other people to let them know that girls like me from places like where I am from can make decisions that can impact the world. I also love a good deal. Because I love a good deal so much, it only makes me work harder every day to make sure I’m providing the best value for my customers as possible. I go for the jaw drop effect when customers see our offer and see our price value. It gives me goosebumps.
How did you determine your career path?
I actually saw the movie Pretty Woman years ago as a little girl and decided I wanted to be a professional working woman. I had no idea what type of work Julia was in but I knew I loved that people were enamored by her beauty and her ability to make decisions and shop. She showed me that no matter where you are from you can change into this beauty of a swan and get the guy and win! I figured business school and an MBA would get me on the path to be just as successful as the imaginative beauty in that movie. Years later, I realized her role in the world and discovered I had come too far in my new found dream of having my own fashion and beauty business helping to transform women inside and out every day.
What industries connect to your career choice?
I’m in a different genre than most beauty companies. I’ve built what is known as a lifestyle brand. I fully play in the food, snack, beverage, household cleaning, cosmetics, health and beauty, bath, naturals, and hair industries.
Describe the skills that will be essential to future business leader and innovators.
Being a leader you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to be okay with people not liking your decisions or your ideas. You’ve got to be willing to back your ideas no matter how crazy, prove them and argue your case with passion and vigor. I’d say being a good negotiator, having charisma, and my favorites, honor and integrity are skillsets that can’t be learned but internalized and honed.
Describe innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
In my business and life, I look at things for a long time. I consider what else can be done with it or how it can be done differently for the greater good. I’m a soft builder and a better maker. I don’t make new things I look at what is already created, look at needs unmet and am the bond in the middle to bring them together.
How do you set goals and evaluate your success?
I set three to five reasonable goals per year. I measure myself against the goals each month to determine if I’m tracking well. I then at the end of each year expect to cross or check off two to three of the goals and carry at least two of the goals over to the next year. I then add a few more to that list and repeat. I’ve been doing this every year since my first year of college. I’m successful in my opinion just by dreaming and creating the goal. I’m even more successful if I check off one a year.
Who do you consider your peers in your field? How have they supported you? What best practices have they shared?
My peers are other business owners. I’ve befriended investors, salon owners, ER owners, and even dentist practice owners. I believe in the power of three always have a person you are pulling up, a person that is side by side [with] you and a person you are leaning on from above. My peers have shared best practices around HR, insurance, legal remedies and have been great people for me to unleash.
Name your favorite role models for success in two different industries.
Jessica Alba is a superstar. Well, she is a superstar but she is also a business mogul that I’ve been tracking lately. I think she is wise beyond her years and has done amazing things in the business industry. Jay-Z is a killer. Well, I’ve read books and that can be argued but I mean in the business industry he is a dominator. He is a brand creator and a better maker beyond his years. I’m proud to have him in my generation to actually see on a daily basis via his constant moves of success in business.
Names three books that you would recommend to others.
Empire State of Mind by Zack O’Malley Greenburg
Mommy Millionaire by Kim Lavine
The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You by Jessica Alba
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
As a life hacker, I pride myself on learning once and for all. I don’t want to make the same mistakes more than one time and I don’t want to make the same mistakes that other people made attempting the same path I am attempting. It is important to me to have and learn from lifelong lessons.
Describe the voice of success that you hear in your head.
In my head, I don’t hear a voice of success. I usually hear myself asking about the next thing. Every now and again my voice in my head will listen up to someone that genuinely means good in congratulating and suggesting that I “succeeded.” That’s when I sheepishly smile, only for a second and begin daydreaming about the next thing again.
Community success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
I wasn’t raised by my mom or dad. In fact, they were teens when they had me leaving me to be raised by my great aunt as a single mother. We didn’t have much but we had a community. I am a huge advocate of reinvesting in the community. The community helped raise me and it is the reason that I take helping, serving, and financing opportunities now.
What role does technology play in your daily life?
Technology plays a huge role in my daily life. It helps me stay connected across the globe and the country. This keeps me up on customers, my factory, my employees, my family, and my friends. We would have a hard time being successful without it. From bill pay and cash receipts to new product design, we are invested in technology.
How have software or technology tools made a difference in your life?
QuickBooks has been a huge help in helping us move over to the 21st Century of keeping track of our company’s finance, stock, inventory and rate of sales. Of course, cell phones and every app that helps me stay connected to my customers is a huge deal. Photoshop is fantastic for design and staying fresh and cute in my every idea for new products too.
Define your personal culture.
My personal culture is defined by my integrity and my honor. The two words mean everything to me. I am very charismatic, beautiful, playful, fun, and enjoyable to be around but none of that matters unless I complete my first personal tasks of being accountable and recognizable. I know I stand out so my personal culture is to make sure that when I do it is for good reason and that it leaves a legacy and a pathway for others to successfully do it too.
How does music impact and influence you?
Music sets a mood. I love every genre for different reasons. I use music to help me wake up, worship, work out, get my kids energized, stay happy at work and to settle down into the evening. As a classically trained violinist myself, music is my heartbeat.
Describe your favorite vacation spot.
I am a vacationer by personality. I love to be anywhere where I can be a trend spotter in food, fashion, culture and identity. My favorite place to do this is Australia. People are friendly, fashionable, carefree and understand the value of good tasting fish meals.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about the world I would change its leadership to be filled with honorable life givers. I think if we were led by people that honored integrity and life then people in return would follow and it would change our society and economy immediately.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If I could fast pace all my mistakes and get there without the hassle of learning, I would do it in a second. I’m impatient. Since I can’t change the natural process of growth, I’d change my inability to be patient.