For this former retail executive, becoming an entrepreneur was the realization of a life-long dream. But it wasn’t until the birth of her first son that Shennel Fuller decided to create her own children’s clothing line, Miles and Milan.
And according to TendLab CEO and Co-founder, Amy Henderson, there is no better time to make this decision:
…any parent who leaves their child to go to work—whether it’s a choice or financial necessity—must grapple with the distance it creates. There are times when we want to be with them, and we can’t be. And this forces us to question what we are doing, and why we are doing it. Answering this question forges us, like steel in molten fire, into stronger, more motivated versions of our former selves.
Like other successful entrepreneurs who leave the corporate world beyond, Fuller followed the fire in her belly and refused to take no for an answer. Her tenacity and fortitude were inherited; as she is the daughter of hard-working immigrant parents who instilled in her, an unparalleled work ethic.
With the support of her husband, parents and sister, this founder charted her own course to becoming an entrepreneur and hopes to inspire other women to do the same.
Fuller: My entrepreneurial journey started three years ago after my first son, Jackson was born. My background is corporate, and I’ve held a few executive positions. I was teetering and trying to figure out if I wanted to go back. I was always a very dedicated and hard worker. But now my hard work was focused on keeping this baby alive. I was trying to figure out how I could feel the most fulfilled. I wanted to be doing what I was most passionate about. I knew it was retail and fashion, so I wanted to continue being immersed in that world, while also having the flexibility of being with my son and not missing any milestones.
For a while, I did some consulting. I was helping a major corporation by revamping their whole retail strategy. I loved the freedom of consulting; the flexibility, being my boss, managing my schedule and being able to live in both worlds (motherhood and fashion). I would bring my son to my business meetings. My work was still getting done, so I kind of shifted the narrative. I felt like if I’m going to be giving you great ideas, and developing your strategy, I can also be rocking my son at the same time if he needs me. Which made me think, not only could I be consulting more but I can take it a step further. My dream was always to have my clothing line, and that’s pretty much the reason why I got into buying and working for those corporate companies, to begin with.