From Engineer to Entrepreneur
Ivy Lawson lived an ordinary life. She worked as an engineer for corporate America for 19 years. There was one thing, however, that Ivy’s ordinary life was missing; she was unhappy. Ivy was good at her job; she worked hard. But she was never recognized for her hard work. With a boss who constantly looked down on her, Ivy decided that she finally had enough and would leave corporate America.
When she left IBM, she decided she was going to downsize her house. As she was packing her things, she came across as a business card of a man who she met about seven years prior. He was the one who planted the seed for her to become an entrepreneur. She gave him a call and he remembered her after all those years since that one interaction. He had an opportunity waiting for her and asked if she would be interested in working with some bee farmers in Jamaica who produce raw honey. Ivy’s interest was piqued so she visited and checked out the scene. Ivy didn’t like honey, but when she tried this honey she loved it. She realized it was because this honey was straight from the hives. It was raw. It wasn’t boiled and unnatural and mixed with sugar, molasses, and corn syrup like the store bought processed honey. She liked it so much she convinced herself to visit 3 more times until she decided she was going to move her and two of her three sons to Jamaica. And that’s when Ivyees came to be.
Throughout the years, she has faced opposition. Not many people believed she could do it. They thought she was crazy to leave her well-paying job for a dream that could easily fail. This transition was an eye opener for her. It showed her who really supported her dreams and who did not. She lost many friends and family members over the years because they didn’t believe in her. But as Ivyees continues to grow and her success with the company, people have slowly come back to her. Ivy advises all entrepreneurs to believe in yourself: “The thing I would say to anybody who wants to be a business owner is ‘Believe in what you’re doing because nobody else will’. They will discourage you and look like you’re crazy. You have to be strong enough to overcome those obstacles.”
Since then, Ivy has followed her own advice and has come a long way since starting Ivyees in 2008. She has faced adversity and overcome challenges to get to the place where she is now. Where is she? She’s happy. She is having fun. She cares so passionately about her products and believes in them too. Unlike the cosmetic industry who only cares about making a profit, her end goal is to help people become more aware of what they are putting in and on their body. And every day she works towards that goal and is enjoying the journey to get there. She is as happy as a bee.