Pascale Rowe, also known as Ms. Bling, stepped out on faith when she left her career at American Express. Making a respectable $70,000 annually as a sales rep for the company, Bling decided it was time to leave behind her financial security, benefits, and 401(k). Born of Haitian descent, Bling developed a brand, social identity, and more importantly a business utilizing social media as her main marketing tool.
A failed marriage and negative bank account provided Bling with the determination she needed to find a way to succeed. “I was a wreck,” says Bling. I had no idea how I would turn my passion into profit, but I knew that I would not give up.”
For 125 years, Swarovski has been producing its precision-cut crystals seen across entertainment, fashion, and design. Bling saw an opportunity in the market to use a well-known brand in her designs that catered to a different demographic group. “Blinging out jewelry, clothing, and accessories is a personal statement that gives an item pop,” exclaims Bling. “My starting goal was visibility. Getting highly visible people to wear my product was the best way to make this happen so I sourced my contacts. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, and Trina were creating visibility and intrigue for my brand.”
As Bling’s business blossomed, she expanded her accessories brand into retail fashion, motivational speaking, and writing. “I am only as successful as the ones I help, and I truly believe this,” says Bling.
Helping to inspire countless entrepreneurs, Bling travels throughout the country speaking at conferences and networking events.
“When I began this journey I didn’t have other entrepreneurs or business people to lean in for advice and insight. I will take every opportunity I have to be that person to an entrepreneur who helps them along their journey.”
Building a brand has not come without setbacks and disappointments for the successful entrepreneur. In 2013 Bling decided it was time to author her first book. Working with a “manager,” Bling was given a template for online bookselling. Before the book’s completion, Bling was instructed to offer the book as a “pre-order” which she obliged.
“Initially I was thrilled at how many copies were pre-ordered,” says Bling.
When the pre-orders came in there became a feeling of extreme pressure to write just anything to deliver on the launch date. “My integrity did not allow me to do this so 11 months later Self Made, Self-Paid Without Losing My Self-Worth was finally released. Before its release, I contacted customers via e-mail and put up an Instagram post offering a full refund of $20. To my surprise, over 90% of the customers wanted the book and said they would wait. Every customer received a refund or the book. Anyone who says otherwise may have heard of the delay debacle and may be speaking on it but I can guarantee they never ordered it.”
This ordeal taught Bling a great lesson that she applies to her business practices today. She adds, “although many people pre-sell items, it is something I shy away from. I prefer to under promise and over deliver in everything I do. Therefore, if I do not have it in stock, it is not for sale.”
Selling is what Bling has been doing and her strategic approach is paying a dividend. “One thing that I do is work hard. I am my brand therefore I am meticulous in my approach. From wardrobe shoots to consistently updating my platforms with in-stock items, I measure and remeasure myself daily. I must continue to grow, evolve, and be better.”