Posted by Shari Neal

I used to be fearless. I don’t know if it was the naivety of youth or something else, but I would get ideas and I would make them come to reality. I started Bon Bon Vie in 2010 with the money I saved from living with my mom after college. I have always loved graphic tees and I was a budding designer in my spare time. I was working as a web developer and that job wasn’t lighting my fire. So I signed up for screen printing classes and I started with three shirts (Brown Skin Lady, Rep Chi (RIP) and Entrepreneur). I ended up not printing the tees myself, but I found a great printer and I put up a website. I made banner ads and put them on some high traffic blogs, cause that’s what you did back then if you wanted traffic. Anyway, Bon Bon Vie was an instant hit. I made money, my shirts were in stores, celebrities wore my tees. I had nowhere to go but up.

I quit my job to run this thing full time, but I had no idea how to run a business. The biz finances were a mess. I made more designs, but eventually my creativity got stagnant. Then I got sick and depressed. I spent my money on blood tests and doctor visits. The money and savings ran out. I had to get another job. Bon Bon Vie couldn’t be a priority anymore.

I often think about where it went left. I got older, I got tired. Life got real. But for some reason I’ve always felt like an impostor. I let self-doubt and fear drive my decisions. I wonder how things would have been different if I truly believed in myself and my business and didn’t allow Bon Bon Vie to wither away. But it’s too late to live in the past.

Even with the stops and starts, it still had a heartbeat. Even with my best attempts at self-sabotage, it survived. I’m somebody’s mom now, but I like to call this business my first baby. And it’s time for this baby to grow up. This pandemic has given me the time to give it the attention it deserves. Thanks for all of you who have followed me on this journey and I hope you love the latest product drop! Some of these tees were made 10 years ago, some a year ago, some a week ago, but I wanted to stop being scared and put it out there. I don’t know what’s next yet, but I know big things are ahead.

❤︎  Shari