At a political rally in Sacramento, Sarah Williams made a custom tee-shirt based around a simple belief—healthcare should be as affordable as clothing. Her belief has blossomed into apparel company Affordable Healthcare 123, dedicated to helping bring medical care to all Americans one shirt at a time.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
The Idea for Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees came from my participation at a rally in Sacramento about the issue of public healthcare. I wanted to do something to help spread the word about the importance of affordable healthcare. Using my skills as a graphic designer, I made a t-shirt for myself that echoed the need for comprehensive and affordable healthcare. Pretty soon, whenever I wore it out, people would come up to me and ask where they could get a shirt like mine. That’s when I decided to start my company and donate a part of every sale to organizations that help people get access to healthcare when they’re unable to get it from anywhere else.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is comprised of getting up pretty early, around 5:30 a.m., and spending about 20 minutes meditating and another 20 minutes doing yoga. I believe in the benefits of deep breathing, stretching and clearing my mind in the morning time. These things help me to align myself with my goals for the day and not let anxieties and worries creep in. Afterward, I head to the office where I spend the first couple of hours letting my creative juices flow and design new shirts. Then, for the rest of the day, I spend time handling the business aspect of my company and make sure that everything is working cohesively. I work tirelessly at what I do because it is a cause very near and dear to my heart. My productivity springs from the deep interest I have in making sure that my company’s goals are met and that every order is fulfilled.
How do you bring ideas to life?
My ideas come to life through my computer. As a graphic designer, I use my laptop as the primary modality to create. I love using the Adobe suite, particularly Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m really excited about the trend of empowerment for women, in all areas of life. Equality has been something that has taken a stronghold in national conversations especially in the past two years, and I’m glad that the discussion isn’t stopping. I’m a firm believer in equal-pay and appreciate that the pay gap between men and women is narrowing and hopefully one day it’ll be non-existent.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I believe my morning routine and the habits I’ve cultivated therein make me highly productive. Meditating and focusing on my vision of the day ahead helps align things and take away from everyday stressors. Stress seems to be the antithesis of productivity, so I meditate and do yoga to counteract it on a daily basis, and it works!
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to be a little braver and to believe in myself a little more than I did. But, life is based on a learning curve, and I’m grateful to have reached a space where I can fulfill everything I’ve wanted to do.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Kindness and empathy will ultimately overwhelm corruption and mal-intent.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I make lists throughout my day. As an entrepreneur, lists help me make sure that I am on task and getting things done. I do it all day long and cross things off all day long as well. It’s satisfying to visually be able to see things get done and marked off.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Marketing on social media has undoubtedly helped Affordable Healthcare 123 Tees grow. Our shirts first became a sensation by word-of-mouth and people posting their pictures on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. This led to curiosity from customers who had not heard of us before and soon thereafter, the interest lead to new orders. Our marketing campaign fed into itself and the more t-shirts we sold, the more orders we received.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I believe that there aren’t failures in business or life; instead mistakes that we can learn from. Every entrepreneur likely faces setbacks, especially in the neonatal stages of their business. I knew very little about the managerial aspects of business, but I took it one day at a time and consistently learned from my errors and made changes accordingly.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An idea that I’ll share is for a product that I’m surprised is not out there yet. The yoga industry is growing, and I think that the industry is missing grass yoga mats. Of course, not real grass, but artificial turf that’s a little softer than what’s used for landscaping. Hopefully, someone will create that in the near future.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
After working for several days on end making sure that a large shipment would arrive on time, I got a full-body massage. It was indeed a great use of $100! I try to make sure to take care of my body as well as my mind, and it was a wonderful recharge.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I love Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. I use them on a daily basis to create my designs, and I love that these programs have stayed stable throughout the years. Adobe Illustrator is highly intuitive and allows me to create vector graphics seamlessly.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I cherish this book for its lessons on life and the hope it gives in times of sadness and relative desperation. Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who was imprisoned in concentration camps during the Holocaust, and he writes of the trials of life and the hope amidst it all. The resilience of human beings in their quest for betterment and the inevitable trials of life that we can all overcome are echoed throughout this book. The entrepreneurial spirit is one that resides in the spirit of the resilient endeavor. If you’re ever feeling down or feel your flame of ambition burning low, try giving this book a read.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” -Napoleon Hill
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