Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 50 · 1 year ago

50: Running a Business and Finding Your Inner Warrior with Natlyn Jones

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Natlyn Jones is just an all-around rock star. She started getting into boxing from her husband, boxer Roy Jones Jr., and quickly realized the many benefits boxing can bring to people. She channeled that focus into SheWarrior, a brand creating sustainable activewear for the fighter in all of us.

In this episode, we’re chatting all about running a business, from getting started to social media to Natlyn’s worst moment as a business owner, and how she bounced back from it. We also wrap things up with a list of home workouts and songs to keep you motivated, so you can, like I always say, GET AFTER IT today. 

To celebrate 50 episodes and one year of Good People, Cool Things, I’m doing a MASSIVE discount on everything in the store. All month long, all items are 20% off, so get you some goodies.

Welcome the good people, cool things, the podcast featuring conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. I'm your host, Joey held, and today's guest is Natlin Jones, founder of she warrior, and Natlin is just an all around rock star. She started getting into boxing way back in the day with her husband, Boxer War Jones Jr, and quickly realized the many benefits the boxing can bring to people. She channeled that focus into she ware, a brand creating sustainable act of wear for the fighter and all of us. And this episode we're chatting all about running a business, from getting started to social media to Natland's worst moment as a business owner and how she bounced back from it, and it is stronger than ever before. We also wrap things up with a list of home workouts and songs to keep you motivated so you can do what I always tell you to do at the end of these episodes and get after it today. It's a lot of great stuff. Natlin's a delight and this is the first podcast she's ever done. I couldn't sell. I think she's a natural, so looking forward to many more podcast appearances as well. Honored that I am the first one that she's done. And guess what? Y'All, good people cool things celebrating it's yearlong anniversary. How exciting is that? It's been a year since I started this podcast meeting so many good people. There's lots more to come, obviously a lot more cool things on the horizon as well. And to celebrate I'm doing a crazily sale over at the good people cool things shop. You don't even have to enter a code. Everything's on sale. Just go to good people cool thingscom shop and you will score some sweet, sweet discounts on all that fun merch and, as always, if you'd like to get in touch with the show at GPCT podcast, on facebook, instagram or twitter. Love hearing from you. Love here and what you have to say. For now, let's hop into the conversation with Natlin. Let's say someone doesn't know who you are. Give us your elevator pitch, but also what elevator are we riding on while you're...

...giving the pitch? Okay, for someone that doesn't know who I am, I'm Natlin Jones. And the elevator. Oh, if I had to choose an elevator, let's just choose an elevator f the MGM in Vegas. Yeah, we'll just jump on one of those elevator. Lovely, lovely. Yeah, I think the elevator question throws people for a loop sometimes, but I think it's fun to see like one. I had one say it's they weren't sure but it was going down. It's like, well, I was impressing, but I think going up. Yeah, I think that's a more positive outlook on thing. Yeah, we definitely need that right now. So, yeah, what you're doing is certainly helping contribute to that with she wore. So can you kind of talk about, first of all, what that is, if people are unaware, and what was the inspiration behind launching it? Okay, so she warrior is my activewear brand and the inspiration behind launching she warrior it came from actually it started from me being in the boxing gym. I've always been into fitness. I helped my husband with his boxing career for some years. He retired. He kind of came in and started putting the gloves on me and we started hitting and doing some things and I love it. So that kind of sparked it and then as I was working out, sparring training like a fighter. I thought, wow, wouldn't it be great to actually be able to wear brand that represented that women could actually like identify with, that really spoke to the inner fighter, the inner warrior in us. So hence I kind of started brainstorming. I came up with the name she warrior and then I embarked on the journey to make it reality. So awesome. Do you still remember the first time you put on boxing gloves? Can You? Can you take us back to that moment? I remember the...

...first time I put on boxing gloves. It was actually before my husband retired. I was doing some combine training and things like that because, like I said, I've always been into fitness and I was actually someone was holding the mids for me and he was like that's crap, like how you're and you need to stop doing that because you're learning everything wrong. And so I was like okay, but it feels so good, and then he helped me a little bit, but he was so busy it just wasn't enough time. He's like, if you're going to learn it, you need to learn it the right way. So, you know, some time went by. I you know, I did tennis other things, and then a local gym, like one of the franchises opened up in town and I was like, Oh, so excited. I join with the friend and we went there and it was really it was nothing about technique. It was all more about just, you know, cardio conditioning, which was cool, but I came home and I showed him some of the stuff we were doing and he was like, AH, no, that's not going to work and let me take you in the gym and we got to do better than that, because you can't be my wife and be hitting the bag life this. So that's kind of how it started. Actually remember that moment and I looked a little crazy at first, I thought. But you know, he was very encouraging and after you know, like a few weeks, I kind of started catching on the things just as fast or quicker than some of the fighters in there. So then he became highly impressed with my skill set. That's awesome and I think that's that's a good kind of point to like boxing, I think for a lot of people is kind of an intimidating activity and that it's like, Oh, you know, I need equipment. Do I have the right gloves? Do I need a full like, you know, a full punching bag and a speedbag and things like that, but it's such a good workout. Like I've I've probably I can probably count out my hand on one hand how many times I've done a boxing work out, but every time I was like that kicked my butt right and I feel great afterwards. So for someone that maybe is a...

...little intimidated, a little scared to try boxing, can you kind of talk to not just the physical but also the mental benefits of doing a boxing workout? Oh, yeah, sure, I think personally like you should never be afraid to try anything and boxing should definitely not be one of those things. I mean, you know, even if you mess up, there's really no right or wrong. It's like I try to be in the mindset that, you know, everybody's on this journey to improve themselves. Whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better, just to make it through the day, then you do it. So, you know, you put on a pair of gloves, you beat the bag, even just you don't necessarily even have to have a gloves because you can just go through punch drills. You Know You can jab, you can throw your right hand, you can hook, you can do lateral movement you can. You know, boxers do jump rope push ups, you know all that core stuff. So boxing is really great, even if you don't have all of the equipment like a boxing ring or a speedbag heavy bag, because you still can do the movements and the techniques and it engages your entire body. You know, hand foot eye coordination, your core, everything's engaged. So I think that's why when you probably did it's like it's no other to me. I've done a lot of different workouts and there has never been one that completely engaged almost every single muscle group like boxing has. And then it's the mental thing, because it's like just to punch or hit something. It's like a stress reliever. So I've always wanted to be like a yogi person. You know, this is in noma stay. All is well. I mean I love that and I do a little bit of it, but I don't think it's technically probably my personality. So it seems like the Boxing Gym has turned into my Zin. When I get in there, it didn't matter what happened an hour ago, it didn't matter what's going to happen tomorrow. It's like I really focus on in that moment,...

...like I'm in that moment and I feel so good and I feel empowered and when I'm done I feel more relaxed. It's like it's like notma stay with the with the fist. It's a great tag ladder. Yeah, yeah, I feel like boxing. The Times I've done it I always learn a new muscle. Yeah, but I didn't know I have. I'm just like, why is this sore like that? I didn't even know there's anything like it's like kind of the glue, but it's like not really, and it's just so good. Yeah, for sure. Also going on, so going from boxing more so to the business of things. When you made that transition to she wire, what has surprised you about running a business? Let's see, let me think what has surprised me about running a business. I actually I've had several businesses in the past. I've ran a personal training studio, I did some things in finance. I actually helped my husband with our boxing promotions company. So I kind of was versed in what it is to have a business. So nothing probably really shocked me. I think the most surprising thing, or the thing that I've had to learn to navigate with the most social media and marketing. So you know how you think? Well, social media, the Internet kind of levels the playing field a little bit for smaller brands to be able to have a platform and a voice, but it's still hard to find your audience and to find your niche, and that's probably been a little more difficult than I initially imagined. Yeah, I think it's. I know some people will see a brand that has, like, you know, twenty million followers and there are they're like, Whoa, that's so coool and I'm like, show me the brand with like Twentyzero followers, but they're...

...all super passionate and engaged yet them. I'll take that any day. Like building that following your right is so difficult, but when you have it it's way more powerful than just like a large number. Yeah, it's priceless. I never had a personal presence on social media because I can see how, like me, people are so mean sometimes and negative and the energy can just be bad. It can be used for good or evil. So I always thought, you know, I don't want to put myself out there to be bombarded with criticism and I don't want to try to live up to some some image, you know. So I'm like, I'm a pretty normal person, I think, and I'm genuine, authentsic and I just live my life. So it was new for me navigating the facebooks and the instagrams and then you have, you know, the tick tocks and the snapchats and I mean the list goes on and on. But I'm learning. I'm kind of learning on the job. Yeah, and it is definitely an ongoing learning process, partially just because they'll always change the algorithm and they'll change what's like instagram every new week. They're trying to keep up with ticktock and every other social platform. So the introduced reals now real sort the thing that if you're not posting those, you're getting bummed down and it's just like it's a constant struggle. It's constant and it's hard to keep up with and it's a lot, but you need it and, like you said, if you can make it work and you can find the formula, it's priceless. But so she wire offers a lot of different different pieces and and you've partnered with a company whose name I'm blanking on on the boxing gloves side of thing. Rival, yes, rival, yes, I was like a knew it wasn't our Huh? Yeah, and so if like thinking of all the things you offer, is they're like...

...a favorite outfit that you have if you're coordinating from head to toe. What would be like your your power outfit? Yeah, I have a couple, but if I want to go bold, I really love our leopard ombre print. It's bold and it's kind of like this goal yellow thing and our logos kind of embedded inside of the leopard print, the Sports Bra and the legging is pretty dope. So that's says one. I'm definitely one of my favorites. And then we have a compression that's all black. I love all black to it's black with the matching sports bra. It's pretty Badass. So I like that one too. and has that tummy control thing, high waist. You know, it's just comfy, but it's still, you know, you look good when you have it on. So that is always a tough Combo to pull off. Is Comfy and looking good at yes, it's death. Yeah, a thing to do, I agree. Fantastic. Well, maybe, and this doesn't have to be with she were, but your having been involved with so many businesses, I always think this is a fun thing to ask to, even though it's not fun in the moment. But what's what your worst moment as a business owner? I'll one of my worst moments probably in my she wore your journey as a business owner, was bringing on the wrong digital marketing firm. So that was a big learning experience because I wasn't well versed in the aglarhythm and all these things. So the company, it was small, but they threw out a lot of words and a lot of things community building and it was just a lot of time and money wasted, to be honest. I they didn't have anything ever to show for it. And then, you know, I stuck with it for probably four or five...

...months, but when I saw it wasn't going anywhere, I probably should have let it go a little bit sooner. But I'm the person that goes well, I don't want to be wrong, you know. I want to make sure I'm making the right decision. They seem so nice, you know, but when I, you know, cut the cord a little bit in a nice way, it completely went they weren't nice. They were more nice to me at all because I didn't want to do it anymore. So that probably it was a learning experience. But, um, that was probably the worst thing that has happened this spar but I learned from it, so it's not really an ill, it's a lesson. So yeah, I think that's and I don't think four to five months is is too long for that too, because it is it really any kind of campaign or partnership. I think it does take time. I mean I have a marketing background and there's Times where we'll be like a week into working with someone and they're like why aren't we like front page of the New York Times right now? I know I'm like because you literally like just launched a month ago, like it's it does stick out. Yeah, yeah, along those same lines to like that's a good point of their results. Weren't really showing anything. Like even if it's like hey, we don't have that New York Times hit, but we've gotten into, you know, some trade magazines or we've had some people posting about us on social like, you can still point to that and I think it's at least in some elements. It's easy to spin like hey, we haven't actually done anything, but like here's something that sounds impressive, and I think learning like the difference between. Is this actually something impressive, or are they just doing that to kind of like save their own but I think that's a important thing to learn and you really don't learn it until you kind of go through something like that. Lee, you're absolutely right, yes, and that's exactly what happened. And then they kind of blame the fill you're on myself and...

...the some of the team that I had working with me, and I'm like wait, that's Deflection, you know, not saying, you know, we didn't make some mistakes, but you're completely off base. And so, yeah, yeah, it was sad. I was like, well, why are they so mean? I don't understand what happened, you know, but whatever, you know, I move on. They kick rocks done. Kick rocks is such a good and soul. I love it the so you kind of did get a taste of social media with that, that meanness. there. You got a little bit. I got, I got, I got a little bit. Yeah, yeah, it's true. I got a little bit, but you know, I'm I think I'm smarter and wiser for it and I'm still trying to figure some things out and you know, going through life you're gonna make some mistakes, but you learn from them and I've learned a lot, so that's a good thing. That's always good. Yeah, it's bad if you're if you're going down wrong paths, routine and land being like this time it'll work. But yeah, learning, doing the same thing, specting result. Yeah, I think that's the definition of insanity. Yeah, I think you could be right. Yeah, and one other thing I wanted to such time was you're very big and sustainability and wanting to use products that are either recycle or sustainably sourced. Can you kind of talk about why that is important to you and obviously it's a thing a lot of companies want to be doing. How are you making that happen? I'm big, well, I was when I started this whole mission to make the active where brand. I my goal was to be sustainable and made in the USA. So after some research I was able to do those things and sustainability was important to me because of the you know, the footprint that we have on the environment. So when I did some research I was kind of shocked to find out, because you don't think about clothing, how many end up in a landfill and...

...the waste and the by products to actually make the clothing. So I'm like wow, this is insane. So I thought if I could contribute in a more positive way, that would be great. So I was able to find a company that had the materials where they use recycled materials like classic bottles and Worless Eyes, and I thought, wow, this is great. It's more of a positive impact. I think, you know, some of US care about the environment and will care about the brand and the back story and will feel good about purchasing products from a company that was, you know, aware of that and trying to be positive and make a positive impact. So it's a small thing, but I think, you know, all the small things add up and the environment it's I think if we take care of it, it'll take care of us and it's, you know, for generations to come. So we have to definitely make some changes on all ends if we want to keep moving in a positive direction, I think as far as health and just everything. So yeah, it is sustainability was important for me. I know sometimes it can be a little bit hard because things are more pricey, sometimes you're more limited with your silhouettes and things. So I hope you know, even as our company grows, I hope to be able to stick to the game plan of sustainability as much as possible and still be able to offer a versatile collection. So absolutely, and I think a lot more consumers are learning the value of having that. And you mentioned the the price differential. I think most people are willing to pay pay that difference knowing that, hey, we're not harming the earth and if you're, you know, one of, I hope, the majority of people that are looking at like climate change,...

...of things that are impacting the earth negatively and are like, wait a minute, can I do something to perhaps slow that down, and even just the tiniest but I think most people are willing to do that and I it's good to see companies like yours really making that a big point of of the business as a whole. Thank you. Yeah, I think so too. I think a lot of people are willing to pay for that and I think it's important. So hopefully, as time goes on, you know, more and more brands get on board. So I think, you know, together we can have a like, a huge impact eventually. I know everything takes time, but you know, it's like baby steps. So my part, and I'm trying to do it if we applaud you for it, and and and perhaps this is a negative segue, but I obviously two thousand and twenty a year like none other these troubled times. Perhaps you've heard about them, but we obviously doing business in a pandemic is a little different. But I think your business is set up nicely. That I mean people can do boxing workouts from home. I have probably worn athletic we're more in the last year that I have it because it's it is comfortable just to be lounging around it, even if I'm not doing a workout that day. It's nice to have have things that you can wear around the house. So has the pandemic kind of shifted Your Business Strategy or business operations, or is it kind of just been business as usual? Since the pandemic? It's been business as usual as far as our model goes, but it did somewhat shift my boat in a different direction. Well, I guess it's stalled us out for a little while...

...because our manufacturer had to shut down in New York and that lasted for maybe five months, and then when the protesting and some things happened, there were some fires and some different things. So then they had to shut down for another three four weeks. So I definitely was thrown behind with making my new collections and being able to fulfill orders on something. So it threw me a cardball, but we bounce back and we recovered, but it changed some things. But you're right and that, since it's active, where at leisure more now than ever, since we're more home and we're doing zoom and it's like the the waste up type of stuff. That that I think people are in it more and being home, I think people focus more on there. Will you have time? In a way it's hard, like your mental and your physical wellness, so you're able to take the exercise class when you're looking at, you know, the videos, whether you know the fitness influencer or whatever. I think people are able to try more things at home because they're not able to go into their gym. So I think in that way it was it wasn't like completely detrimental for us, but it definitely did slow things down. I said, these troubled times, but I just as much. I've heard, you know, pivoting and resiliency and the face of all of this, but I I think, I mean those are overused terms, but I think they're they still hold true. Is that the brands that were resilient in the face of this and and, you know, maybe made some changes either in their mindset or operationally just to kind of keep up with everything. I think those are the ones you still see. Yes, I'm thriving and doing well, and so, yeah, hopefully two thousand and twenty ones a little...

...easier on all of us. But yeah, we've at least got this under all these yeah, yeah, we'll see how it goes. I have a fingers crossed. Me Too. We all we all do like, Hey, you know, let's you know, I'm so done with two thousand and twenty. But I was one of the people that was kind of afraid to say I'm so excited for two thousand and twenty one, I can't wait, because I knew just waking up the three hundred and sixty five that it wasn't going to make a difference on what was happening. So I'm like, what of two thousand and twenty one is even were first. So I was one of the people that's like, oh my goodness, two thousand and twenty is my years. Your clarity, this is I'm going to kill it this year, and so I'm like, how about you just be quiet and see how things play out? And that's kind of the seat I'm taking right now. Yeah, I'm just going to stand in the corner, I'll observe everything. Well, we'll take it from that. Yes, yes, for sure. All right, well, you're almost off the hook, but we always like to wrap up with the top three. Okay, and even though we're recording this at night and it's, you know, maybe close to bedtime. Yeah, but so we can start tomorrow, okay, with a nice work out. What are your top three workout tips to bring out your Inner Warre? Okay, top three workout tips to bring out your inner work I'm going to give you. These are like things you can do at home and they don't require much, but it's like the most bang for your book. So it's like engaging your muscle groups and it gets your heart rate up. So one would be birthies. That's one, and my next would be planks. Those are great because it engages the core, and I firmly believe in, like scientifically the core. If you don't have a strong core, everything else will eventually fall apart. So that's why I love a plank. And from there I...

...would say if you don't have a jumper rope, you should get mine. If you can jump rope, I mean it's so great, like five two minutes of jump rope. I mean your war out, so you can like do that little. So pushups are great too. It's so many that I don't even know if I can do just like three. Yeah, but you can do and you can do dips. It's all kinds of stuff you could do at home. But probably the most for your book, I'll still say, is the birth because it's so many ways of modifications to do a burke and most people hate them, but it's like a love hate relationship. So if you can like grind it out, it's well worth it. Yeah, yeah, you said burpee and I died a little bit inside, but I know how effective they are. I think they're so effective and you can even throw some punches in there, you know, like when you get up, you can like throw a one two, jump back down, get up, one two. I mean you can do all kinds of stuff. Yeah, yeah, you can even combine the three of Burpee, push up and a playing like you can. You can make those all. Yeah, we can count them all as one. I it tomorrow. Well, Tom are supposed to be rested for me, but yeah, why not? I I'll do a five minutes of burpee plank push ups and then hate myself for it, but it'll be great. Okay, yeah, I think you'll like it, though, and it's like one thing I tell people. It's like don't things are hard, but take it low at first, especially if it's new. It's like, you know, maybe you can't do ten twenty minutes of jump broke. You know, just try to do two or three. You know, maybe you can only maybe you can't knock out fifty burpies, but maybe you can do ten. And it's like slowly build and be kind to yourself, because we all have to start somewhere and life happens. So sometimes you're going to miss a day, sometimes you know you're going to have a bad day. It's just life. So you don't let that completely sidetrack you. You get back on the horse and you ride again. Exactly. I like...

...that. I like that analogy on the horse and you might you might enjoy this. I did of work out. I mean this was two or three years ago, but I still remember it. Of the end of the workout was a springing in place and then she put on the song thunder by imagine dragons, yes, which is already like an overplayed song and a song. I'm like, I'm sick of this song, but I especially hate it now because she, the instructor, said anytime they say the word thunder, you do a Burpie. I'm like, I can't even keep up with that. They say it's so much, but it was a very sadistic work out, but I liked curles trying in right there. Yeah, it's just like this song needs to let's just turn it up for the rest of the days, I think. Yeah, music's important. So, yeah, I don't know how fiel about that song, but it's definitely some songs that can motivate me to get through something like that, and it's other ones they are like, what the Hell is going on right? Would you want to do a bonus, a bonus top three of your top through workout songs? Yes, I can do that. Okay, let's see the bonus top three. I love Rihanna, work, work, work, work, work, work, all time favorites. I'm going to throw my husband's in that can be touched, can't be stopped. We had it's like that's like one of the best ever Game Day type crap. You know. Then I would say my third one like anything missy Elliott or see her, like high intensity type stuff, and I can be but I like country, I like gangster wrap, I like all kinds of stuff. So it just depends on what kind of mood I'm in. But those type of high energy type of songs I can like sprint it out. You know, whatever I got to do, I can get it done. If my mentals not all the way in it, they kind of helped push me through. Yeah, yeah, Sierras a nice underrated peck. I feel like she doesn't get as much love as some of the others,...

...but like she didn't but her stuff spire. Yeah, like when it comes on I'm like all right, yeah, I can work to this. Yeah, and I should. I mean I should. You know, I'm gonna my girl, beyonce, like she gives me like I can't leave out. So yeah, yeah, but Sierra like she has some really dope music and she's definitely underrated, but she should be on everyone's workout playlists for sure. Absolutely retweet. retweeting. Well, that Lt of people want to learn more about you or she warrior. Where can they find you online? They can find us online at I am she warriorcom. So find us there, and we're also on instagram and facebook. For instagram it's I dot am dot she warrior, and for facebook it's the same thing. Fantastic, fantastic. Well that one. Thank you so much for hopping on the PODCAST. Hopefully this is your first podcast. Hopefully it wasn't too painful. No, it wasn't. You made us so easy and I was like, I had anxiety all day about it. So well, I'm glad I could. I could ease the anxiety a little bit. And of course we'll end with a corny joke. Okay, as we always do, I tried to even make it a little fitness, fitness them tear. Okay, what do you call a pig that does karate? I don't know. What do you call a pig that does karate? A pork chop? Good, after today, people, I get it. Okay, that's the fat. Okay, you can say it's bad, that's a guy, but it makes sense. Yeah, this is not that bad. I'll do it.

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