iHomeRegistry features women from all different industries on our Women in Business Series to promote and support one another. We sat down with Cindy Strong, owner of Waitress World, LLC, and heard her inspiring story. Check it out below!
I started Waitress World LLC on September 14, 2013!
I started my business due to the lack of resources. For over 25 years, Cocktail waitresses in most casinos wore these very shiny nylons that would hurt your toes and the thick elastic band would dig into your waist and it was very painful. Also, regardless of of your skin color, we all wore the same color nylon so if you were of an ethnic race they were definitely not going to match and if you were very pale, they wouldn’t match. So one day I went to purchase a pair and they were sold out, I called different stores, I had other cocktail waitresses check stores on there side of town, but still no luck. So I thought to myself why am I driving all over town for a product I don’t even like. So I said that’s it I’m going to make my own nylon it shouldn’t be that hard ( oy was I wrong) but that was the birth of Waitress World LLC. I designed comfortable nylons in a variety of shades, that even help with tiring legs due to walking required with being a waitress.
As far as obstacles… I didn’t even know where to begin, who do I call, how much money will I need, should I get investor? Well I received lots of “who are you, no we can’t help good luck.” When I finally received a yes they wanted me to order so much product it wasn’t possible, not only that but they required cash because they didn’t want to take a gamble if went out of business. So I felted defeated, I cried, lost weight and wanted to give up. But my husband was like, “You’re not a quitter…you can’t quit.” So I found another company, pitched my idea and they worked with me. It was a roller coaster of a process but I’m currently still in business with that company.
I am married and we have now 13 year old daughter so it was quite difficult in the beginning. I went from working 3 to 5 days and usually taking very nice summer vacations , to working 7 days a week most of the time and going on vacation 4 hours away to the next town. She’s an only child so she is used to undivided attention. It was hard for us all. But in the end I believe it was something she needed it taught her independence, because she was depended on me for everything, which is not good all the time. But I will never forget when someone ask her what celebrity she admired most and she said, “my Mom.” When found out it wasn’t Beyoncé I knew I made the right decision!
Well, being a waitress in Las Vegas you are faced with sexism all day. But once I became a business owner, I experienced a whole avenue. Some people wouldn’t take me as serious after meeting with them, they would say, “you should come hang out and we can get some drinks or something.” I would get so frustrated. I’ve invested so much time and money in my business, I don’t have time become your hangout partner. So I decided to bring my husband to see if my results would be different and they were! They looked at him for all the answers instead of me, and he would say, “Sir, ask her this is her business.” After a few meetings like that, I was much more respected.
My advice to a younger me: Invest in yourself early! Always plan long term!
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