We had the good fortune of connecting with Cherise Orange and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cherise, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I started You Just Got Oranged right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. It was a time when I was stuck in the house, transitioning to a new apartment and learning how to live alone. Needless to say, I had a lot of time on my hands. So I devoted all of my extra time to my business. When I wasn’t working my day-to-day job, I worked on my business. At one point, I was working 14 – 16 hours a day.
But as I grew as a business owner and gained more clients, I had this constant feeling of burnout. I felt like I was always working, my health was declining, and I was frustrated with my business because I didn’t have a break. So after talking to my business besties, my therapist, and my Cru Team, I realized that my investment and need for perfection weren’t aligned with my initial goals.
I started my business because I desired freedom. Freedom of time by making my work schedule. Freedom of space by having the capacity to work from any location I wanted to. And freedom of money, not being confined to a set salary determined by someone else.
Since then, the most important lessons I’ve learned are the need for boundaries and understanding what that looks like for me. To be successful and create freedom of time, space, and money for myself, I have to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This means:
– Being okay with saying “no” to a potential client if they aren’t a good fit
– Meal prepping on Sundays so I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to eat during the week
– Going to Yoga 3/4 times a week
– Not working after 6 pm M – F, as well as giving myself the space to only work one week per month if need
– Being okay to ask for help and rely on my team. I’m building a culture, not just a company
– Being systematic in how I build and step back from relationships
What should our readers know about your business?
When I started YJGO, I asked myself – how can we thrive on what makes us unique? I realized our vision could genuinely change how government entities and corporations engage with women of color-owned businesses. And, it turns out, I was right. Since then, we have had the privilege of working with amazing women of color-owned businesses and government entities that support women of color in living an abundant life, all while creating strategic partnerships that increase impact and outreach and yield lasting results.
As a one hundred percent women of color-owned business with a team of all women of color, our approach to design is to support women of color business owners in a culturally affirming and appropriate way that elevates converts followers into paying clients and customers.
We believe in hope, hard work, and big ideas. As marketers, we focus on brand storytelling in a cohesive and impactful way. So we lead with strategy first. Since we started in 2020, You Just Got Oranged has been
– commissioned by the City of San Jose to design the Black Lives Matter Installation
– helped clients increase sales and client retention by 100%
– collaborated with several Women of Color businesses all over the U.S. and Canada
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When I’m with my best friend, it’s always a party and a photo op. She’s been to the Bay Area so many times to visit, and if she were ever to visit again, my main objective would be to take her to the Restoration Hardware Restaurant in Marin County. It’s best to go at night and sit on the rooftop with the fireplace and stare at the mountains while having a great conversation.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many individuals and organizations that I would love to dedicate my shoutout to. So many have been part of this journey, whether it was making sure I didn’t hit complete burnout, being a voice of reason, and more.
Words cannot describe all that they’ve done, but thank you to my
– partner Andy for being dependable and my listening ear
– my business besties who became my family Marla, Maria, and Toya
– to my family who as always road for me
– to my powerhouse
images of cherise orange photo credit to Emily Kim Photography