Profile: Judith Parks, Ph.D
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Founder of The Pampered Lady
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting Judith Parks of The Pampered Lady because of a message she had on her t-shirt. When I read the words “Change Starts With A Woman”, I thought to myself, she’s talking about me and every other woman who agreed with that message. I believe that words have power and that you can change your life based on the words that you let take root in your heart.
Founded in 2010, The Pampered Lady is an online merchandising company and brand. The mission of the company is to use the vehicle of merchandising to promote the ideals of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-empowerment, and goal achievement among women and young girls throughout the world. The Pampered Lady accomplishes this by combining uplifting and empowering messages of inspiration and common, accessible items such as attractive, flattering t-shirts; journals; mugs; posters; greeting cards; baseball caps; jackets, baby/children’s clothing, and many other items.
Judith Parks is on the road to success and she’s using the The Pampered Lady to encourage, inspire, and motivate women one message at a time.
Get to know Judith Parks….Next up is my Q & A with The Savvy Sistah!
Savvy: What inspired you to start The Pampered Lady?
Judith: As an engineer and operations researcher* by training, I quickly discovered how having a strong education in mathematics – how having strong math skills – helped to provide me with the confidence to begin learning about, and dealing with, my own finances. The more I worked on familiarizing myself with, and optimizing, my finances the more enjoyment I got out of learning how to do such things as creating financial goals for myself, developing investment plans, and crafting spending plans. So, it was the confidence that I gained and the enjoyment that I felt from getting my own finances in order, that then gave me the confidence to take the risk of starting my first business, which I did in 2006.
Through becoming a voracious reader of all things personal finance and business ownership, in addition to learning from others including mentors, I realized that I had received so many positive benefits from the experience of running my first company, that I wanted to develop a way to encourage others who have big dreams that they want to accomplish (whether its in personal finance, business ownership, weight loss, etc.) to go after them. I particularly wanted to encourage women and young girls to do this because as a human being and a woman, I certainly understand how challenging finding such encouragement can be in a world where too many people tell you ‘No, you can’t do that’. Additionally, I wanted to do this in a way that was fun and appealing, in a way that people could easily connect with. So, after thinking through a few ideas, I came up with the idea of having ‘words of encouragement’ placed on common items such as attractive and flattering t-shirts, journals, travel mugs, and the like. That way, we have a fun, practical, and attractive way for us to “wear inspiration” – to be inspired and encouraged anytime, day or night, wherever we go.
*Note: Operations Research is the scientific study, analysis, and implementation of advanced mathematics as applied to ‘real life’ circumstances, for the purpose of optimizing those circumstances.
Savvy: What was the first message you put on one of your t-shirts? Why did you choose it?
Judith: The first message that I put on a t-shirt was: “World’s Fiercest Future Millionaire”
One reason that I chose this message was because it was a bold and provocative statement that I thought would resonate with people.
More importantly though, was that a key part of the inspiration for creating The Pampered Lady company was to inspire within women, the desire for financial independence, freedom from consumer debt, and continuous investment in their financial education. I wanted to inspire within women, the belief that they could achieve these goals. It seems that people in general are scared to talk about money…especially their own. They seem to be afraid to face the truth about their financial circumstances. Yet, I believe that the more you talk about what admittedly is an emotionally charged subject, the more you learn about finances – budgeting, consumer debt avoidance/elimination, financial planning, investing, cash flow, the differences between assets and liabilities – the better your chances of building confidence surrounding your personal finances, and taking back control of your financial life. So, the message “World’s Fiercest Future Millionaire” is meant to be a source of inspiration, and a daily reminder to maintain the kind of attitude and belief in yourself that gets you to that goal.
Savvy: Where do you see The Pampered Lady in five years?
Judith: I see progress in 2 main areas:
1) Having the messages translated into multiple languages, beyond English, so that we can better target specific countries and cultures. We are particularly interested in countries and cultures where there is an emerging educated female middle class.
2) We would like to develop a stronger kid’s line so that we can introduce the concept of financial literacy and education to younger age groups. It is my belief that one of the ways that the gap in math and science test scores for US children can be closed is by making those subjects fun, interactive, engaging, and relevant to the environment in which they live. But it often takes looking at the child’s entire environment in school as well as outside of school – including such things as what they wear, what they play with, and what they read – to spark a child’s imagination in that direction. We could call it, sparking their “I-Math-Ination”.
Savvy: What encouraging words do you have for other women who desire to start a business?
Judith: The short answer is – GO FOR IT! Win or lose, it will only serve to enrich your learning - if you allow it to.
The longer answer is that doing so starts with believing in yourself. It starts with developing the belief that you have what is takes (or can find what it takes) to be a great success at your chosen endeavor.
After that, I would say that it’s about creating a compelling vision for yourself and your business; Be willing to develop your leadership skills and your ability to inspire others; Commit to regular investments in your financial education – both in time and in money; Finally, make sure to surround yourself with a great team of competent, uplifting people. Surround yourself with your “Dream Team”. Do not try to carry the load alone, to do everything by yourself. At the end of the day, it’s really about being willing to hold yourself accountable and take 100% responsibility for the results that you achieve, as well as any mistakes that you make in the process.
I am a big fan of not just swinging for the fences, but swinging beyond the fences. When you do that, you certainly risk making mistakes and striking out. But I say, ‘embrace these mistakes’, learn from them. Once you have done that, then develop the confidence, self-esteem, and self-belief to recover, then you become that much bigger, better, and stronger for having gone through the process.
Judith Parks of The Pampered Lady is using messages to inspire, encourage, and motivate women and that’s why she’s The Savvy Sistah of the Week.