We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christine, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is the ability to believe in myself. You would be surprised at the amount of obstacles that we think that we cannot overcome but in all actuality, we are completely equipped for if we just change our mindset to believing that we are able to. I’m reminded of a study where one group of participants learned to play the piano for a week while another group simply thought about playing the piano for a week, without actually touching a piano. At the end of the week, both groups were able to play the piano with the same amount of skill. Not because playing a piano is easy (which it’s not), but because the second group was able to change their pathway just by believing they could. Our mind is a powerful tool.

As humans with free will and the ability to think for ourselves, you are going to run across someone who doesn’t believe in your vision. They think they can get your service/product somewhere else for cheaper, with better quality, and in a 30-second production time. They don’t understand your craft, and therefore, do not see the value in it. And that’s okay. Your vision is not for everybody. Your target audience is not everybody. Your story is not for everybody to resonate with. What’s important is seeing three likes and sticking to your regular posting schedule on Instagram. Restocking inventory when you had five sales in the past month. You’re going to look crazy at some point and people may question you to try to discourage you. I’m sure somebody told Rihanna that there were plenty of makeup lines that were already established and she really didn’t need to make another one, yet she did it anyways. Now, she’s a billionaire and probably laughing at whoever that person was that told her to just give up. We have to believe in ourselves so much that we keep going. On the other side of that criticism could be the breakthrough you were looking for.

Too many people miss out on opportunities simply because they think that they can’t do something/aren’t qualified enough/are too much or too little of something. Apply for the job anyways. Go to the audition anyways. Be more afraid of NOT taking the opportunity than taking it. There are so many people that tell us we can’t do something on the daily. Why should you add to that? Be your biggest supporter of yourself and show up for yourself EVERY TIME. Stop with the negative self-talk and hype yourself up at all times. Think about if the business goes exactly as planned, or even better, instead of thinking about the opposite. Imagine the success, the supporters, the fame or credibility or whatever you want from your business. Close your eyes and really envision and feel it. Now that you’ve done that, you’re one step closer to making that vision come true.

Another important thing to mention is don’t be afraid of failure on the path to success. If I try something and fail, at least I have the luxury of saying I TRIED, which is more than what many people can say since they never take the risk. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out how we envisioned. Even in failures we learn that it’s not so bad. Life goes on and we can find multiple reasons to still be grateful. More importantly, we gained the invaluable ability of believing in ourselves to the very end. Once you develop this, you realize that you can do so much more than you give yourself credit for.

I’m so thankful to even have the opportunity to share a part of my story with others. I would love to leave the readers with a quote that has become more prevalent in my life each day. I truly hope that it resonates and inspires you. I’m proud of you, keep going.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” -Proverbs 23:7

What should our readers know about your business?
I run a luxury picnic business in Houston called Luxe Picnics HTX. My business specializes in creating a one-of-a-kind experience to celebrate life’s best moments. We host birthday parties, date nights and proposals, friend gatherings, and all other special occasions. What sets me apart from others is that Luxe Picnics HTX is one of Houston’s first black-owned luxury picnic services. We offer many different packages, with different entertainment options, and a plethora of add-ons such as food or photography that can enhance your experience. I can plan your entire date night and all you would have to do is show up! This takes the stress, hassle, and pressure off of you so that you can enjoy your special occasion and worry only about how many priceless memories you can make.

I sat on this business idea for almost a year before actually launching. I did my research, planned extensively, bought my items, and made mock picnics and yet, never posted anything. My website was completed for months before it officially launched. I can say it was hard for me to launch, because I had to overcome my fear of failure. I had to reframe my thoughts to focus on the positive and I had to convince myself that I could be potentially blocking the best thing that has happened to me by being afraid. I listened to “January 28th” by J. Cole for almost a month straight, and even created a vision board with one of the lyrics from this song that said “If you ain’t aim too high, then you aim too low.” I truly had to convince myself that I am capable of greatness and that God doesn’t want me to fail. Learning not to compare myself to others and second-guess my decisions was a large obstacle to tackle but I can say that I am making a full recovery from this. Negative self-talk is something that was engrained in me as a child but I am taking the time to work through this and overcome it. Now that I have worked through this, it allows me to put my all into my business.

I am extremely excited to see where my business will be a year from now. I’ve learned that patience is virtue. Nothing sustainable was built overnight, but comparing myself to others will only take away from myself and my business. I have learned a few lessons but I am continuing to remain open to all experiences and where they will take me. Being humble is key and being curious is a must.

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.
If I had to show my friend the city, I would for sure take them to my favorite bars in Midtown, Uptown and/or Downtown. Houston is known for their nightlife so I would make sure to have my long list of places ready for them to choose from. For food, we have to go to Taste Bar & Kitchen, Snooze for brunch, Phil & Derek’s, Union Kitchen and the Breakfast Klub. I think anything food/drink/nightlife related is the go-to in Houston. Other places to visit would be the Water Wall, the Galleria (which I hate because of how busy it is but I would go for a friend), the Color Factory, the Rodeo (during the season), Museum of Fine Arts, the zoo, Oyster Creek Park, and any other chill places would be good for during the week.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to thank a few people that without your love support and encouragement, I wouldn’t know where I would be. My friends from high school and college, my coworkers from CH, my mentors/professors from UH, my line sisters, and anybody else that I might have missed. You all have changed me in such a significant way and I would not be myself without each of you. Thank God our paths crossed!

Website: luxepicnicshtx.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luxepicnicshtx/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christine-smith-717613204/

Image Credits
Photographer – @marymoments___

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.