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Daily Inspiration: Meet Aysegul Lufcy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aysegul Lufcy.

Hi Aysegul, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My story began when I decided to move to the U.S. to learn English and study Computer Science at the age of 18. I moved to Missouri to obtain Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Soon after, I started my career in a dominantly male field and became a big women’s advocate, especially in the workplace.

My love for self-care started after I became a mother to my beautiful daughter. Being a first-time mom is definitely not an easy task, so I started to focus on “me time” as much as I could with the support of my family. This is when I started using products like anti-aging oils, herbal teas, baths, and relaxation products to help my body and mind stay calm and healthy.

There are a lot of great products out there and they can be somewhat inexpensive if they are coming from mass production factories, but most of those contain harsh chemicals and may not be vegan or cruelty-free. This is when I entered the world of hand-made products and found great, hardworking women that started their own small businesses producing all-natural, vegan, environment-friendly, and cruelty-free products. I wanted to use natural ingredients on my skin and support small women-owned businesses. This inspired me to launch Lively Peony (livelypeony.com) to gather all these products under one roof. I am also happy to be able to bring a variety of self-care items to the communities here in the St. Louis area from different parts of the country.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There are a lot of ups and downs and it is definitely a bumpy road, but hard work pays off in the end. There are a lot of challenges and new skills that I had to learn and conquer. However, I decided to do it all myself, from building the website to product research and more.

I launched Lively Peony during the high peaks of the recent pandemic and decided to go with the E-commerce platform first. I quickly learned that there is a lot of competition, along with a lot of new information I would need to learn and would need to build skills that I did not have. I had to do product and market research, contact all the women owners and build trusting partnerships, test their products, come up with packaging/shipping logistics and presentation, along with advertisements and related marketing strategies, while also maintaining the website.

Lively Peony is still at the early stages. But I believe in myself and that with the work I have put in, it will grow to support more and more women while also contributing to protecting the environment.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I currently have a 9-5 job aside from Lively Peony as a Senior Software QA Engineer at a Global Software Company based here in St. Louis. I have a degree in Computer Science and a Master’s in Information Technology Management.

I am most proud of the fact that I was able to come to the United States by myself at a young age, with very broken English and take on the adventures and experiences that have to lead me where I am today. I am so glad I did because it has been a great journey. I have met a lot of great people (and a few bad ones 🙂 ) along the way, learned different cultures and gained experience in different areas of life that I strongly believe has made me who I am today.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Every single step I have taken has been a good learning opportunity. I wish that I started this business earlier on. I was just afraid because I thought that I didn’t have enough in me to make a business successful or I didn’t have enough experience or skills to even start. I was wrong. I know now that I had everything in me to get started, work through the struggles, and learn from others, implement my dream, and launch into reality. It is never too late. If you ever want to start a business, make your one-day reality by starting day one today! I failed along the way and you may too, but you can’t have success without failure and it is absolutely OK to fail. It is just part of the process. Use them as learning opportunities. I feel like that is the best advice I can give to someone who is just starting out.

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