Since founding Curlbox, a luxury subscription box service, in 2011, Teele’s company has grown into a multimillion-dollar enterprise.
She launched her #MYTAUGHTYOU podcast in 2011, and has since developed it into a top 10 iTunes podcast grossing over two million downloads this year. Her podcast shares countless, relevant tips about relationships, business, finance and all around getting and keeping yourself together.
When did you decide to expand both things you naturally enjoyed and how do you see the brand evolving over the next three years?
I didn’t consider My Taught You a brand at that time, the podcast is really just how I am in my life in general. If I want to do something, I do it and podcasting is something I like to do. I like giving advice whether people like to hear it or not and it’s my personality and after a while people started enjoying it. I don’t make plans (long term) for Curlbox because beauty is such a fast paced business, that if you plan you get in trouble. We’ve succeeded at giving our member and customers more of what they want, including brands they want at a discount that they haven’t tried and want to.
You’ve worked in a variety of professional fields, how did you know you were ready to move on and try something new?
I think I have always been led by my gut and that gut feeling is how God communicates with us. I’ve never quit something when it got hard, but you know when people are getting up and are going to work and they want to cry? Then that Is when it’s time to move on because Joy, to me personally is underrated. We are going to work for most of our lives so we deserve to have joy in something that consumes a majority of our lives.
Your #MyTaughtYou podcast shares advice for women that sometimes isn’t readily available otherwise. What made you decide to start podcasting and how did you identify what theme and direction you wanted to go in?
I started podcasting around the holidays in 2011. I decided I wasn’t going home for Christmas because I needed to save my money and I had this idea, Curlbox, that was coming out later in the year and I needed to focus. It didn’t come out that summer but I spent a lot of the year working on it and I think being home alone on the holidays, I just started recording myself. When I decided I was going to move in a different direction professionally, I turned on my computer and started saying this is how I got here and it just continued.
Do you feel like the 5-7 years “overnight success” theory happened to your podcast with the newfound visibility?
Yes, because now people are podcasting their eyes out and I already have 100 in the can so even if you’re just learning about me, I don’t have that pressure to perform because I’ve already done it. I don’t have the pressure and I did it with no expectation of a reward. I think a lot of people are jumping into it thinking “maybe I’ll become famous” and I never thought like that. I had always wished there was this kind of content and voice out there so I just did it. When I first started 20 people used to listen and I don’t know how they found me. I podcasted about what felt good for me. My style is very five points, and I didn’t really listen to podcasts before, in fact; I never listened to a podcast up until last year when I listened to Serial Podcast. But I didn’t listen to podcasts, so I didn’t have anything to copy which I think a lot of people are doing now. This is an idea, and I’m going to break it down into five points so we have something to explain and I think without recognizing that I do it, I have no intention to tell stories throughout it and I end up telling it and roll with it.
Finish the sentences:
I feel the most creative when …
I am preparing for a big photo shoot. Like our in-house shoots.
My legacy will be …
I don’t know, I still feel really young. Learning- this is all new to me, and the way my personality was not always in vogue. People didn’t like the way I was for a long time. People are like she’s telling us to get our s— together, but she’s also helping us do it.
If I could have dinner with anyone in the world it would be …
Jay Z, but not to pick his brain. I’ve always been the biggest Jay Z fan and of course with Beyoncé, if she wanted to be there. However, I think picking someone’s brain is disrespectful. Either talk and get to know them or have a conversation. I think talking with someone is important. People walk up to me all the time saying they want to take me to breakfast. My response is often, For what? Things have to be an exchange. You aren’t doing business if you don’t have anything to give. You should ask yourself, do I have something to give? If you don’t maybe you should wait until you do or have a bit more experience. It’s important to remember just because you can buy a $7 coffee or a $12 lunch, it’s not cool or valuing who they are or what they do if you think that’s an exchange to pick their brain.
Originally published here on rollingout.com November 2016.