Setting it up

Angela Hebert, left, readies her booth at Saturday’s Home & Garden Show at Westview UMC, 6407 Sayle St. Hebert recently opened a boutique, Lenore Cole, featuring her homemade soaps and candles, in the Uptown Forum.

Angela Hebert’s love of art was fostered at a young age by her grandmother, Mabel, during her childhood in a town called Orange, located on the Texas-Louisiana border.

“She always had her coffee cup in one hand and her paintbrush in the other,” Hebert said.

Hebert would work on different paintings and crafts with her grandmother, and her appreciation for art kept growing.

“I’m a creator at heart,” Hebert said. “If its art, I have probably touched it in some way or experimented with it; I love it. I love making things.”

Even before she opened her boutique, Lenore Cole, at the Uptown Forum mall in downtown Greenville in February earlier this year, she had been making custom gift baskets for the women in her family. She created homemade candles and soaps, along with anything else she could learn to make on the internet for the enjoyment of her family members.

They, in fact, enjoyed it so much that they encouraged Hebert to open a shop. Hebert hopped on her computer and researched other items she could make to include as part of her gift baskets. Once she nailed down a vision for her products, Hebert started an online boutique through Etsy.com called The Purple Match.

And just like that, she was on her way to becoming an entrepreneur.

By this time, Hebert had moved to Greenville with her husband, Thomas, who landed a job at L3 Technologies. The two first met at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School near Orange.

Already a mother to two children, Cameron and Madison, Hebert said starting a business was not an easy task.

But Hebert had wanted to own her own business since she was 16 and she wasn’t about to let hurdles, societal or personal, get in the way of her goals.

“We have to be a mom and a wife, but as soon as we aspire to do business, women have to worry about what our husband thinks, or if I’ll have enough time to take care of the kids,” Hebert said.

Rather than being bogged down by societal expectations, Hebert said she was honest with her family, who were all supportive of her decision.

In 2016, she rebranded her business to “Lenore Cole” after the middle names of her two children.

One of the big influencers that she has had is YouTube personality Renae Christine, who has a social media community dedicated to sharing tips for small businesses. Hebert said her thoughts on running a business changed dramatically after she participated in one of Christine’s annual programs called “Handmade Titan University.”

She also keeps up with Christine through email and exchanges resources with other business owners in Christine’s social media community.

“Honestly, I don’t think it would have come into fruition without the internet,” Hebert said.

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, a D.C.-based advocacy group, reports that the U.S. has seen a 58 percent growth in the number of women-owned businesses since 2007.

Hebert told the Herald-Banner that this growth is a welcome change. She said she will continue to look up to successful women like jewelry designer Kendra Scott and aspire to expand her business moving forward.

“If it’s something you really want to do, you’re going to find a way to do it,” she said.

Education & Special Projects / Royse City Reporter

Hojun Choi is a native of Houston and a graduate of University of Texas at Austin, where he studied journalism and worked as a reporter at The Daily Texan. To reach him outside of business hours, email HChoiReporter@gmail.com.

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