I interviewed my next feature in June 2021 and I love how on question #9 she answered her future collaboration would be manifesting an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show before 2021 was over and in October 2021, she did just that. Harper was the youngest audience member to visit the show. I share the pictures👇🏽
Meet Paulette Bonneur – Entrepreneur + Author + Founder of Harper and Hunter, LLC
Mother of two, wife, four-time cornea transplant recipient and a woman who is unapologetic about going after her dreams, I’m talking about Paulette Bonneur, she is a force to be reckoned with, an epitome of beauty, resilience and unstoppable strength. As co-author of “Everybody Love Your Body” a body-positive children’s book, owner of Harper and Hunter LLC and Interim Director by day. Paulette is on a mission to show other moms and women in general that you don’t have to have it all together, to have it all.
I’m so honored Paulette to have you apart of my blog and my platforms. Thank you again🌸💋❤️
Let’s dive in……….
Entrepreneur + Author + Founder of Harper and Hunter, LLC
Featured Entrepreneur: Meet Paulette Bonneur – Entrepreneur + Author + Founder of Harper and Hunter, LLC
Interviewed by: Anna Svetlik De La Rosa
Episode: # 77
MY INTERVIEW WITH PAULETTE BONNEUR
Q1. What did you want to be growing up?
Imagine leaving the set of your very own talk show after an amazing recording. Interviewing amazing guests with a diamond studded microphone, walking red carpets, and using your gift of gab to share stories and amplify voices. That was what I thought my adult life would be like.
Growing up I was always the child who talked a lot. My nickname from the neighborhood maintenance man was Chatterbox. I figured the perfect career for me would be a talk show host. I just knew I would be the next Oprah Winfrey!… I mean, how hard could it be? After a very short-lived Mass Media degree during undergrad before switching majors my hopes of talk show mastery soon faded. Additionally, college was when I started noticing there was something wrong with my eyesight so I self-eliminated myself from my dreams since in my mind reading a teleprompter with my vision would be nearly impossible. I think there is a part of me that wishes I didn’t give up on that dream however I get to use my gift of gab regularly and thank God for my voice every day.
Q2. Tell us all about you and the story of how you have gotten to this point in your life?
MY LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL MESS… And I am okay with that. My mess has become my message and for that I am so grateful. I was born a star. I have always felt that there was something inside of me that made me shine bright. Others throughout my life have also noticed this special “thing”. To be honest, I have not been the most comfortable with shining bright and on numerous occasions have dimmed my light to make others more comfortable. I have gone through a lot in life just like so many other amazing women and what I didn’t realize until now was that my story was the link that connects me to other empowering women who empower women.
I never really understood the value in sharing my story until my 4-year-old daughter and I published our first children’s book “Everybody Love Your Body”. It is a body-positive self-love book for children, and I realized that if didn’t share my story I would be doing a disservice to myself and to my daughter. It is almost like I found my voice and did not know I had lost it. I have had four cornea transplants and it was this huge secret that I carried with me for over a decade. In fact, many people know that I even suffered temporary blindness not once, but twice!
Having children has helped me give myself so much more grace. Laundry, dishes in the sink, toys all over the place after I have cleaned them up a million times… they do not care! My children Harper (4) and Hunter (1) love me regardless. Having a baby, starting a business, and publishing two books and two coloring and activity books during the pandemic must be the wildest thing I’ve ever done. It has been a great ride though because my daughter has been with me every step of the way, I get to teach her about business and include her and use her ideas to propel our endeavors. Even though returning to my 9-5 post-partum has not been easy especially trying to build a legacy with my kids, it has been helpful because my mess has become my message and it is so freeing.
I’ve also stopped dimming my light. I shine bright and those who love me will love me, anyone who doesn’t will have to wear their favorite pair of sunglasses because I have no plans to dim my light ever again!
Q3. What do you think are the three biggest mistakes women make when it comes to achieving their goals?
- DO IT SCARED! I feel like women (including myself) want to have it all right before we start. How can you achieve your goals if you do not even start? Do not make the mistake of thinking you need to have it all figured out. Just start and learn as you go. Your audience wants to support you on the journey, and you will look back and be proud of how far you have come.
- COLLABORATE DON’T COMPETE! If you have goals and you have been trying to get them accomplished without success, maybe it is time to collaborate with another amazing woman doing what you want to do. It’s all about collaboration over competition. Had I not reached out to someone in my network who was doing what I wanted to do I would never have known that she offered a service to help authors publish books! I invested in myself for my daughter and I. Now, here I am with my toddler in tow showing other amazing women that they can publish books, start businesses and so much more!
- CELEBRATE YOUR WINS! I am the worst at this but getting better every day! If you do not celebrate conquering the small goals, how can you celebrate the big wins?
Q4. What is one of your most treasured accomplishments?
I am so proud of myself for all the earned media coverage our business (Harper and Hunter LLC) has received since the start of our business in August of 2020. “Just” a mom and her toddler sharing our story with the world. The reason I am so proud is because of what people do not see on the back end. Many of the initial earned media opportunities I received happened while I was nursing a newborn at 2am holding a cell phone in one hand and a breast or bottle in the other. Dimming the screen light not to wake the baby and emailing/ sending messages on social media to get our story out then following up. If that is not an accomplishment, I do not know what is! It has been an amazing ride and I am so very proud of earned media with no experience. We were featured on every top local new station in our state and have plans to continue that success.
Q5. Tell how you process work load stress or personal stress or just to much coming at you at one time? Ex: Exercise, Meditation, Journal or all the above.
Honestly right now I am working on it. Since my son recently turned one (YAY) and we have a rhythm going I am getting back to being more strategic about stress management. I recently found a therapist which has been amazing (yes, black women go to therapy too! Its healthy for all women to have a safe space to process and vent). Additionally, I am starting to bullet journal again and bought a daily planner to get my beautifully messy life back in order. Don’t get me wrong, the sometimes-uncontrollable mess of life will always be there but planned properly the stress can be reduced significantly.
What is your Personal Process?
Personally, I am a very linear thinker and a calm head. I think through situations and decide if the outcome is worth the energy or effort it will take. If it is not worth my time, I don’t disrupt my peace. I have found that protecting my peace is the best safeguard to unnecessary and unwanted personal stress.
Q6. Do you have any beauty secrets?
Do not sleep in your makeup ladies! Even tired, I take my makeup off, wash my face, serum and moisturize twice a day. It makes such a difference in the look and feel of your skin! Stick to your routine!
Q7. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming successful, you are killing it?
I do not believe there is one pathway to success. I do believe however that whatever your path, pattern or formula is, it must include consistency and resilience to make it to the top. I am killing it because I’m doing it scared, giving myself grace and not letting others define success for me. Do I have a long way to go, yes… but I am enjoying the ride!
Q8. If you could speak to one woman from history, who would it be?
Michelle Obama is a class act. She is a staple in modern history and if I could have a direct conversation with her, I know it would be life-changing.
Q9. Any future collaborations you are manifesting that you want to share?
I am totally manifesting a collaboration with the Drew Barrymore Show before 2021 is over! I used to be embarrassed to share my desires out loud because well… what if they did not happen? Stop it! Manifest it and move forward! That being said, anyone who knows someone hook this mama up! (Wink, wink)
- Favorite snack: Sunflower seeds and I have a major sweet tooth so fruity candy!
- Favorite quote: Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind always.
- Favorite movie: I have several. Loosing Isiah and Pretty Woman are my classics. Unknown is a new favorite. Action or thriller are my jam (no scary movies for me!)
Q11. Do you sing in the shower?
To know me is to know I love singing in the shower… and in other rando situations.
Q12. I want to have a little fun and get to know Paulette a little more below👇🏽
- Gold or Silver: Gold to compliment my melanin!
- Gucci or Balenciaga: Whichever is on sale! 😊
- Dogs or Cats: Dogs
- Nike or Puma: Nike… Just do it!
- Sweet or Salty: Sweet
- Summer or Winter: Summa summa summa time!
- Pancakes or Waffles: Depends on the day… I love both!
- Diamonds or Pearls: Diamonds baby!
- Netflix or YouTube: BOTH!
- Reading Books or Audible Books: Audible! I swear by it!
- Instagram or Twitter: Instagram 24/7!
- Toilet paper: 1 ply or 2 ply : 2 ply keeps the tush nice and dry!
- Red or Pink: Pink of course!
- Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee: Neither… tea or cocoa!
- Comedy Movie or Action Movie: ACTION all the way!
More About Harper & Hunter👇🏽:
Paulette Bonneur is the powerhouse behind Harper and Hunter LLC – a mommy and me kidpreneur brand created to provide quality children’s products in various forms. Everything we do is done with love with our littlest consumers in mind.
Harper and Paulette:
Dynamic mother-daughter duo and co-authors of “Everybody Love Your Body”. a body-positive children’s book that promotes self love and awareness of self and others.
Harper is a 4-year-old who knows what she wants so when she started strutting throughout the house unclothed singing her infamous “naked song”, Paulette took note. The pair used it as an opportunity to talk about body positivity and safe touch.
As a four-time cornea transplant recipient, Paulette was aware of the importance of loving your body no matter the condition. It’s something she wanted to instill in her children. From that notion, the seed for “Everybody Love Your Body” was planted.
Fast forward to this summer while Paulette was on maternity leave with baby #2 (Hunter) when the book was written, published and released to help other families teach body positivity and self love in their own homes. Although the book is authored by the pair, Harper is the star of the show to whom the book would not have been possible without.
Hunter: What about Hunter? Don’t worry, Hunter is 1-years old and has a little time to let us know what he want’s his first book to be about, so until then we will continue to read and re-read “Everybody Love Your Body”
And for the bows, it’s a great way for Harper and Paulette to bond as mother and daughter. The pair enjoy making bows that are sent around the world.
Photo Credit: Nuku Photography
Photo Credit: Shutter Glee Photography