Entrepreneurs Ahsh Murphy and Shamika Bright have joined forces to open HYVE-LYFE, a sunglasses and eyewear company based out of Atlanta. Their company’s mission is to “… provide stylish eyewear at an affordable price to consumers who want quality, and fashionable eyewear.” And they do just that by not only providing fashionable and stylish eyewear, but also by providing an experience associated with the Hyve-Life. “We want to help push people out of their comfort zone and push them into owning their look, said co-founder Shamika Bright, who feels “…you can wear whatever style you like as long as you own the look!”
Rolling out spoke with these dynamic girl bosses to get their take on how they feel about collaboration over competition, their flourishing partnership and being entrepreneurs.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition?
Shamika Bright: We absolutely love the hashtag! Refreshing even. Finally, a movement that promotes inclusivity and growth for businesses. In our community there is a stigma that we don’t like to work together; crabs in a barrel mentality. Too many people are afraid of somebody beating them or rising before them. That mindset tells us that you don’t believe in yourself and your focus is skewed. We strongly believe that more and more entrepreneurs are creating co-ops and creating circles where they are empowering each other and sharing resources and knowledge to be progressive as a group and that is huge. This type of collaboration allows more entrepreneurs like ourselves, to grow faster and have more connections and resources than what would typically be available to us if we had to do it all on our own. The other upside is we can then reach back and help the next emerging entrepreneur and then they can do the same.
What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners or collaborators?
Ahsh Murphy: Accountability: If you can’t own it, you can’t earn it. This is huge because it fuses into so many other aspects of one’s character. It can also cost time and money.
Integrity: This goes without saying … or so it should. I have to be able to trust your motives and that you have a soul.
Reliability: You have to be able to hold up your end of the bargain and do what you say you’re going to do; and by all means, hold us to that same standard.
Who leads the charge, i.e., decision making?
SB: Ahsh Murphy leads a charge. Shamika Bright leads another charge. We consult with each other on all major decisions. We trust each other to make decisions on small matters for the best interest of the company. That’s the great thing about partnership.
One thing we know is that one’s value doesn’t diminish because someone takes the lead. We understand that at any moment, the lead may require a shift, and we are both more than capable of driving. It depends on the task at hand. It’s a collaboration.
What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
AM: Risks and mistakes are part of the journey. We feel that if you are not taking risks or not making any mistakes, this could be a clear sign of no growth and [you] relying on your comfort zone too much. In order to have major breakthroughs and major wins you must step out there and be willing to take on the risks and learn from any mistakes that may have been made, so the next time around, we know exactly what to do or not to do. Although we would love to pull this thing off with no mistakes, we just know that it doesn’t happen without them. We know we will have to embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity, peace of mind, etc.?
AM: Jesus, Faith, Jesus. He is our anchor, our foundation. He provides the peace of mind, the sanity, and the crazy belief that this thing is metamorphic and will lead to something so big that we currently cannot even see with our own eyes at this very time. We know the product we are selling is “Eyewear” however, it’s bigger than eyewear and will truly impact many lives.
Who are your mentors?
AM: [My] mother. [I’ve] seen her handle various obstacles, wins, and people over the years. We also have mentors that we have never met but have watched how they’ve moved and where they’ve overcome failure. Right now, we are truly open and looking forward to meeting new ones, whoever they may be real soon! We understand the importance of having that guidance and mentorship from someone who can not only help us in business but also from a personal standpoint. Learn before you earn is our philosophy.
Why did you pick the industry you are in today?
SB: We consider ourselves to be in the fashion industry. This is something that comes naturally to us. We believe we have a good eye and can identify with current trends, future trends, and a creative perspective on things. It truly was a natural fit, and an industry we felt comfortable in. One we could have fun, be ourselves and succeed.
What have been two of your biggest business challenges?
SB: Speaking from the standpoint of a new business, our current challenges are:
Not getting high on our own supply. We pretty much love every pair of our frames and want one in each color for ourselves.
Not over buying a product because we could choose which style over which … we are in love with so many styles.