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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Black Entrepreneurs Month: Sheridan March

Sheridan March Selfish LLCSherman OaksEmail: sheridan@selfishbox.coWebsite: www.selfishbox.coThe economic lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus have killed many businesses. But in a way, the lingering quarantines created Selfish LLC.  Sheridan March and Rebecca Freed co-founded Selfish LLC in Sherman Oaks at the height of the pandemic in July after March was laid off her job.Selfish is a subscription box service of wellness merchandise procured from U.S. sources, many of which are owned by African American entrepreneurs. Many of the products are aimed at soothing people during the stressful times.

“The meditative and introspective nature of self-care is so relevant to our slower-paced pandemic lifestyles,” said March, who is Black.Like many new businesses, there has been a misstep or two.“We’ve made mistakes like those middle school side bangs, a few too many headband moments, and exacerbating skin sensitivities with drug store masks and fragrances,” the pair wrote at the Selfish website.

Question: Tell us how you got your business started.March: Just like many others, due to the pandemic, I was laid off of my full-time job. That time and space really allowed me a chance to reflect on my purpose and passion. Self-care has always been incredibly important to me, so myself and my business partner began curating products around the idea of a self-care box that featured small and minority owned brands. It just felt like a perfect fit.Do you like being your own boss? Do you ever think about trading it all in for a steady paycheck?I really do enjoy being my own boss. The flexibility in my schedule is something that is necessary in order to run a small business. However, I do currently have a full-time job on top of Selfish and I find that organization is key in managing both.

What’s the best aspect of running your own business?The best aspect of running my own business is working with my best friend. My business partner and I met each other in kindergarten and have been inseparable ever since. Although we are incredibly different, self-care is something that we have always had in common.

And the worst?Lack of time. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! When you run a small business, there’s always something more to learn and improve upon. I’ve had to learn to be much more flexible and lean into change.What’s the biggest challenge your business has faced? And how did you deal with it?The biggest challenge is not having run a small business before. It comes with many obstacles, but I take them all as learning experiences. We all make mistakes, but it’s all about learning from them and doing better the next chance you get.What advice would you give someone who’s about to start their own business?My advice would be to make sure the business you’re about to start is something that you’re beyond passionate about. So much work, energy, sweat, and tears go into running a small business. It’s so important that the reason for starting the business isn’t for monetary gain, but because you love it.

Has being African-American affected your business?Absolutely. With the current climate and racial unrest taking place in the United States, many Black businesses have been highlighted recently. Showing support for Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs is a way that citizens can be allies for the culture. Additionally, the Black community has come together in so many ways to uplift one another and the love that we have received since our launch has been outstanding. We hope that we can continue to champion other Black-owned, small businesses.  Do you think you’ll ever start another business?I definitely think that Selfish is just the first of my business ventures. I also work full time in the youth talent management space and could see myself finding a way to integrate all of the things I love about Selfish with my love for the small screen.Of course, we must ask about the pandemic. How has it affected you and your business?The pandemic has been, in a lot of ways, the inspiration for Selfish. We shaped the tone and feel of the brand to be supportive and nurturing in a way that we felt people really need during this time. The meditative and introspective nature of self-care is so relevant to our slower-paced pandemic lifestyles.  How do you think your business will change, post pandemic? Post pandemic, we hope to be able to tap into more in-person events and engage with our community in real life. We will definitely see a shift in website traffic and online sales, but we hope to seize the opportunity to build out more revenue streams and nondigital marketing strategies.

 – Mark R. Madler

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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