Today we’re excited to introduce you to Crystal Ohikhuare. Crystal is a blogger, speaker and entrepreneur and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Crystal below.
Please briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Crystal Ohikhuare and I’m the fire behind TheCrystalOh brand. I’m an entrepreneur at heart – it’s in my blood. I’ve started over 8 business and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. This latest venture is where my true passion lies. Before starting my personal brand, I always launched businesses in areas I had experience. I’m an HR and recruiting professional by trade so I started an HR consulting business and most recently a staffing firm. I was a dancer for over 20 years so I launched a dance studio. I’ve had businesses that flopped and others that have netted over the million dollar mark, but this is the first time I’m starting something where my true passion lies – sharing my life and career experiences with other women in order to inspire, encourage, and uplift them each and every day.
How/why did you make the transition from running a boutique staffing firm to blogging about career and mommyhood?
COVID-19 destroyed my staffing firm. In all honesty, I had lost passion for the industry after being in it so long – I truly had no fight left in me to save the firm so when the pandemic hit and revenue fell, I had a gut check moment. We were on an incredible growth trajectory and then the bottom fell out – was I willing to stay in the trenches and fight for the business or use this time as my exit to go on to pursue my true passion? It was devastating – watching something you’ve fought so hard for swept away in a matter of weeks all because of a virus, but I faced a choice – I could wallow in self-pity or I could listen to the advice I’ve given other working women and moms and pivot. I’m a creative at heart – I love writing and speaking to others, encouraging them in their journey so I really had nothing to lose at that point. I started writing down tips and tricks, advice and insight that I had shared with friends, colleagues and women I’d coached previously. As I started writing, the list of topics I could touch on kept growing and growing. It turned into a podcast which turned into a blog which has turned into remote speaking engagements and growing this incredible brand.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to young women about managing their career and personal lives?
Put everything on one calendar! This has been life changing for me. I put all of my work meetings, personal appointments, social engagements, even chores and date night all on one calendar. This way you can see where your time drains are and how much you truly do for your family. It also helps show you when it’s time to delegate to another family member or outsource completely. Doing this brought me so much peace – it validated that I wasn’t going crazy and why I felt so overworked. It’s also helped me to become more confident when I say yes or no to something because I can check the calendar to see my full scope of responsibilities in career and personal life and make a sound, healthy decision.
What has it been like sharing so much of your personal life with your readers/followers?
It has been an interesting ride. I didn’t realize how much of me I’d have to share with my readers and followers and I have to admit that wasn’t the plan originally. However, as I kept writing and engaging with them I realized that your career is impacted by your personal life and vice versa. While we hate to admit it, often there is no separating those two worlds because you belong to both. If I was truly going to embody the concept of being an example to other working moms I had to give them everything – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It wouldn’t be fair to only show my highlights – I had to sign on for exposing myself along the full journey. It’s actually been freeing in a way.
Why do you think it’s important to do this? How do you see your brand growing over the next 3-5 years?
My brand is important because there are so few spaces for millennial working mothers of color to share their journey in a safe way. Right now, as our country is reckoning with racial tensions against the backdrop of a global health pandemic and an economic recession, Black mothers are shouldering the brunt of the load. So often, Black and brown working mothers are the backbone of our community and rarely do we have a moment to breathe let alone be encouraged by someone who is walking in our same shoes. I want women to look at my story, my life, my family and think if she can do it then so can I. I’m just a girl from Dallas who’s decided to grind it out to reach her dreams – just like so many of your followers. It’s my hope that the brand grows to have a community in the tens of thousands over the next few years because when women come together – especially women of color – magic happens.
Finally, please let us know how our readers can connect with you and learn more.