Multitasker Alexis Davis Is Building A Business, Modeling & Getting Her College Degree
Alexis Davis is a tiny bit of an overachiever. She’s pursuing her college degree full-time, booking modeling and acting gigs, and she’s running Hoo-Kong, a jewelry design business she founded. We asked the multitasking entrepreneur how she keeps so many balls in the air without dropping any.
MadameNoire: Between school and Hoo-Kong, you have a lot going on. How do you manage it all and maintain a personal life?
Alexis Davis: I had to learn how to juggle and sacrifice hanging out with my friends. I didn’t get to do as much hanging out as I want[ed] because I had to make sure that I dedicated time to my business and my schoolwork.
…I juggle my personal life and Hoo-Kong by prioritizing. I don’t know how to put work aside sometimes. Sometimes it’s three, four o’clock in the morning and I’m still working and strategic planning and marketing and blah blah blah, but I try to make time for Alexis.
MN: What inspired you to start Hoo-Kong?
AD: I decided to take everyday safety pins and create everyday luxury for women. The name Hoo-Kong comes from my mom’s last name.
MN: Why safety pins?
AD: My aunt was a strong inspiration for my pin designs. She was making them like over 20 years ago… [A]ll the safety pin designs that I have seen have been very simple. So I said ‘Why not take them and turn it up a notch?’ I didn’t want to do something that was common. I didn’t want to use metals or some silvers that other jewelry designers were using. I wanted to also… keep the cost down, and see if I could be elaborate on the beading.
MN: What was the process of starting Hoo-Kong?
AD: Google became my best friend researching how to incorporate a business. I found ways that you can incorporate a business online which is a little bit less expensive… [I also had to figure out where] I could buy my beads wholesale. I had to get my tax ID number. I thought that it was just as simple as contacting these businesses and saying ‘Hey! I’m a business!’ but it wasn’t.
I had to get my website up. I couldn’t afford to pay a website developer so I had to learn the ins and outs of building a website… Finding a great distributor for my packaging, and going up to these places in New Jersey and sitting down, having meetings with the packaging companies and really being strategic [about] how I want it to look, what I want it to say. Getting my logo done. Making sure all of my jewelry was [copyrighted]. There [were] a lot of legalities that went behind everything.
It’s not just pretty. It’s not making jewelry and putting it out there on the website and putting it on Etsy. I had to make sure that my stuff was right from the ins and outs, [especially the] Terms and Conditions.
MN: What’s the payoff to doing all this juggling?
AD: People’s reaction to my jewelry and how much they love it and the packaging. I expected that people were gonna like it, and that some people may not have liked it. But to know that I have built new relationships with people I never knew before, that [is] one of the most exciting parts.
MN: When you’re done with school, will you seek a full-time job, or are you planning on putting more energy into Hoo-Kong?
AD: More energy into Hoo-Kong. I don’t even know if I could put any more energy. I put so much, but yeah Hoo-Kong is my baby and I have to ride with that. For personal satisfaction, I have to complete college, but this is my work life. Hoo-Kong.