Tell us about yourself, and what you do.
My name is Allison Smith-Mackey, MBA. I’m a free-spirited Aquarian who isn’t afraid of a challenge, nor do I like to conform. I’m driven by the transformative power of new experiences. I travel often, try new food regularly and I love meeting new people. Exploring the world around me through a creative lens is who I am, at my core. I am naturally an enthusiast of all things fashion, art, design and adventure!
I am a small business owner of e-commerce brand Orchid Noir, a collection of global artisan crafted hand luggage and jewelry inspired by my travels abroad. The collection is designed to make everyday special.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
My favorite experience in any country is the local craft market. I love soaking up the culture and building relationships with artisans who share their stories through their art. I spend hours speaking to natives who immerse me in their culture, and educate me about life abroad. Through the love of artisan markets I’ve developed relationships that inspired me to quit my corporate career and build Orchid Noir, to share curated crafts through my platform.
What keeps you motivated?
I’m motivated by being of value to others through my natural gifts and talents. The customer experience and artisan social impact are the driving forces behind the services I provide. Every time a customer shares their excitement about their purchase or an artisan tells me about their thriving family I know I’m fulfilling my purpose.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
Simon Sinek is a public figure I admire, for inspiring me to look inward and work towards becoming the best version of myself.
On a personal level my mom is my greatest role model. As a retired social worker her life’s work is helping others overcome obstacles with grace. She is the strongest, most generous, considerate, extremely hard working, person I know. My mom has taught me the importance of education, hard work and resilience in pursuit of goals and dreams.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I am a new mom of a beautiful 11 month old Skylar Elise, a wife to a loving husband Joseph and I have 2 fur babies Cinnamon and Pebbles and a turtle Harry. Fortunately, my husband is my greatest cheerleader and an amazing co-parent. He supports my entrepreneurial journey with care, flexibility and love. I refer to Joe as my chief emotional officer. Often work and life intersect however I’ve worked through many of the initial challenges. I’ve found that being mindful around time management, and being intentional to dedicating uninterrupted time to my loved ones, has helped to maintain balance.
What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?
My leadership style is simple; I take the position of a servant leader. I take responsibility for my team and provide guidance that accounts for the best results for all parties involved.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
If I’m being honest with myself the hardest obstacle I’ve had to overcome has been organization. As a creative I am not naturally organized in the traditional sense. I can find anything needed, when needed, but to anyone else my organized chaos would appear to just be chaos. However, over time I have learned by definition you cannot successfully run an organization without organization. I have overhauled every aspect of the business and refined my processes. My new found organization has made a significant difference in my time management, my ability to delegate and ensuring things run smoothly. I’m seeing measurable results will continue to motivate me to stay organized.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
I’ve never forgotten Maya Angelou’s quote “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” These are the words I live by and they have allowed me to create meaningful relationships, globally.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I am adventurous, creative, resourceful, self- motivated, energetic and compassionate and when I’m not working or traveling you can find me making memories doing any and every activity available. I’m an avid crafter so I always have a project lined up. I love art exhibits, botanical gardens, cooking, meditation and home decor.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
In five years I see myself continuing to explore the world and create new artisan partnerships while growing and nurturing Orchid Noir on a larger scale. I envision business expansion to touch more lives and elevate the art form of responsible accessories. I aspire to collaborate with national brands like Anthropologie, World Market, Target and/or TJMaxx.
How can you be reached?
You can reach me using below links: