Amanda Parramoure of My Leather Legacy: “You will have to grow as a person equally with your business when building one from the ground up”

You will have to grow as a person equally with your business when building one from the ground up. I brought my money habits, limiting beliefs, and rebel attitude with me when I became a business owner. I thought I’d keep them in my personal life, nicely tucked away. But it doesn’t work like that. […]

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You will have to grow as a person equally with your business when building one from the ground up. I brought my money habits, limiting beliefs, and rebel attitude with me when I became a business owner. I thought I’d keep them in my personal life, nicely tucked away. But it doesn’t work like that. Everything gets unpacked and dealt with, so the faster you let yourself grow and be challenged personally, the faster you can move onto the next stage of business growth.

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Parramoure.

Amanda Parramoure began binding books at home as a way to earn income while keeping her small children at home with her. Little did she know it’d launch her into a practical career she’d allow to take her into something she didn’t even realize she wanted…a creative career. She has built the artisan leather journal brand My Leather Legacy to introduce the world to bookbinding and the powers of creativity while getting to be a crafty chic herself, every day.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up as a crafty Midwestern farm girl, watching Martha Stewart on TV at 10:30 every weekday, pretending to host my own TV show. I’d imagine I was leading others in making things that produced something fun and amazing regularly in my youth.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” Corrie Ten Boom.
I started to realize I wanted a life that outlived my years on Earth, and the best way to do that would be to follow any of my talents that showed up and brought joy to both myself and others. On top of that, I wanted a company and a brand also has the power to spread beyond more than just my life.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

My mama taught me to be teachable and humble, and I adopted a fearless view on life early on. This has helped me to always be ready to take in feedback, never be above anyone, and be ready to open doors to any opportunity that might come my way. This goes a long way in business and life, because I’ve come across so many incredible people ready and willing to pour into my life if I took the time and listened with an open mind. And I did. And it’s equipped me to handle so many big things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I had a business coach volunteer his time to me for a whole year which equipped me to believe enough in myself, build my team, and to follow big PR leads without hesitation. At the end of that year I pursued a lead to be on Good Morning America and landed it! My team and I were ready with our systems and procedures, and we were able to deliver in ways we never would have been before that year. It could have ruined me, but instead it launched me, because I took a year of time to listen, be taught, and fearlessly dream.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

Absolutely. I pursued a career in book repair and binding because of a unique opportunity and friend already in the business. For 13 years I repaired old historical leather books, partly because I enjoyed it, but partly because I thought I had to make books only the way other people told me they wanted their books made. I had a hard timing not getting to use my artistic abilities if my clients didn’t want me to. I got to handle beautiful materials that got me dreaming, but only the ones they wanted in ways that they wanted. I really thought people would only pay me to make things that fit in their specifications and that I’d be restricted to that most of my life.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

In 2016, I was challenged by some fellow artists (I now embrace the titles “artist”, “bookbinder” and “CEO” simultaneously) to create something myself as a product I could sell. So I did, and it was embraced by others, but especially by me. And that was the turning point where I really let it sink in that I have good ideas. I have good taste. I am a creative, and I can use that creativity in business. Other people started asking me if I would do classes for them and let them into this beautiful world that I get to experience daily. There was a slight glimmer in their eye when they asked, and a full blown shine in both of ours when a class was done and I had successfully brought them into my world. I became hooked and there was no turning back!

I had some ideas about life and especially earning money, and I have a feeling it’s been related to my self-worth, combined with being a hard working farm girl and middle child between two awesome brothers. I thought in life I would have to be quite tough, very practical and logical, and keep up with those around me on their level.

I have had so many mental blocks and hurdles to jump over just to allow myself to believe that I could just be me, and just be that crafty 9 year-old girl who loved pretending to be on a stage or on TV. I still fight those ideas some days, but I indeed did break through by letting go completely of bookbinding for others, fully closing that chapter of my life, and declaring that my business would be a reflection of my creativity and leading others into theirs. The idea that that creativity is powerful, valuable, and worth a lifetime of my time and energy to bring to others has set me on a road to freedom that I didn’t even know was waiting for me.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

I would say finding a great networking group an landing on Good Morning America in 2020 AND feeling prepared for the busyness and successful growth it brought my company cemented the idea that I could successfully do this and be fully accepted for it was the changing point.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

So much of this has been walking through doors of opportunity that were cracked open for me. Bookbinding was that, but so was the shift to making journals and hosting workshops. Other people asked me to do one small thing after another, and I simply kept an open mind walking through those doors without fearing some sort of “failure”. I both believed in myself, and believed that those around me also had good ideas, and that maybe this path will go somewhere great. I built on the “maybe”.

How are things going with this new initiative? We would love to hear some specific examples or stories. 
In the past year I’ve been able to grow my team and myself with a laser focus on bringing creativity and journaling to people that they didn’t know they had. After every leather journal workshop I see eyes glimmer and empowered smiles. A recent attendee said, “I didn’t think I could do this. I didn’t think I could pull this off.” Coaches we work with are consistently telling us of the lives changing through journaling. And that’s why we’re here. To make the world more empowered and creative then they thought they were, so that they can experience that joy and peace, and know they’re capable to pursue more and more.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There’s so many people that it can be hard to pick a few so let me take a minute to thank all!

But especially Julia. When I was an unsure, pregnant 22 year-old friend that was at a difficult place in life, she took me on and taught me everything she knew about bookbinding AND business, and I’ve had to draw on both daily to get here. 
And Keith Weaver of Weaver Business Coaching who did the same over a decade later and coached me to stop being a business owner who ran around putting out fires, into a CEO who puts her time to the best use and leads her team to do the rest.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

I had a friend invite me to a free Facebook PR Group called Press for Success by Sabina Hitchen. I figured another Facebook group couldn’t hurt to pick up some tips and tricks, right? Well I started to realize Sabina really knew what she was talking about when it came to PR, so someday when I was ready for something big, I might even buy into her paid group. And then one morning I happened to catch a live video she did just 22 minutes after she posted it, where she said GMA3 was asking for small business owners who did a lot of shipping. I figure, what the heck, I’ll shoot my shot. I’m sure she’ll be flooded with responses but it doesn’t hurt to get into the practice of trying. This was my first PR pitch ever!

I received a couple follow up emails pretty shortly, but didn’t let myself get too excited. It sounded like they were going to select me, but it was March of 2020 and George Floyd was tragically murdered the week I talked to a GMA producer.

I knew I wouldn’t hear back and I was bummed, but that was okay.

A few months later, Sabina said they were looking again, so I went for it. The producer remembered me and said they were going to choose me for an episode in November (prime time for gift products like mine). She asked me not to say anything for a while, but shhhhh, I immediately called my best friend!

Not only did I get to share my journals on Good Morning America 3 and receive loads of orders, I was gifted 10,000 dollars from Scotch brand, and a year’s supply of their new shipping material. The money was used to invest in a large machine that is equipping us to jump into wholesale selling.

I wouldn’t have been ready in March. I had just started with my business coach. I had barely had my assistant trained in, or my journal sewers lined up. It was perfect timing and incredibly encouraging to be the recipient of such a boost during the difficulties of Covid.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

Along with hating my own voice comes the idea that I can’t speak with authority to an audience, or be a true expert on something I didn’t even receive much schooling for. I read that author Susan Cain hated speaking, so to get over her hatred for it, she booked a couple hundred speaking gigs in one year. By the end of that she was almost completely over the fear, loved it, and was an established expert.

So, I called as many organizations I could and did anything creative that I could with them on whatever level, usually workshops even if they were small. And 4 years later, I still have to gear myself up mentally but I finally head into workshops with complete confidence and knowledge that I know what I’m talking about. I believe my message is valuable and I have the ability to share it with authority and kindness so that it can bless others.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

I have been hoping I would get a chance to share this part! I’m HUGE into networking in-person and online, and building a tribe of people that encourage you and promote you, and speak life into your blind spots and your successes. The first thing I did when I moved to a new state as My Leather Legacy was on the cusp of starting, was join a networking group. They welcomed me into what felt like the coolest secret club there ever was, and every single week they spoke words of praise and encouragement. They helped me name my business, and gave me my first connections and sales which helped me believe that I was onto something.

I really don’t think we can build a business from the ground up without an incredible network. So I always recommend the same thing — search high and low for an awesome group of positive people. Your very business, and sanity as a business owner, and future can truly depend on it.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

I was renting a studio space for my book repair business when a kind woman came in and intrepidly asked me if I ever taught classes for book binding. I immediately thought of how much I hate the sound of my voice, and I knew that if I taught classes, I’d have to get over that, or just learn to be okay with it. I really, really wanted to give her some of the joy that I found in book binding though, so I desired to get over that because I thought the reward would be greater than the growing pains.

So I started small, but I did start! And I think that’s important. My first “workshop” was my mom and two friends in my garage on a rainy day with a style of books that I didn’t stick with. But I let that energy of their smiles, and the idea that I had something neat to share, carry me to the next workshop and the next, and that sense of reward has indeed proven to be greater.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

You will have to grow as a person equally with your business when building one from the ground up. I brought my money habits, limiting beliefs, and rebel attitude with me when I became a business owner. I thought I’d keep them in my personal life, nicely tucked away. But it doesn’t work like that. Everything gets unpacked and dealt with, so the faster you let yourself grow and be challenged personally, the faster you can move onto the next stage of business growth.

It will always be a bit scary — every time you level up and deal with more risk you’ll still be scared. You just learn to work scared at times. Then the small stuff isn’t scary any more, and you’re ready for bigger stuff.

I used to think filling retail orders was all I’d ever want to and be able to handle. Then I figured out I could do wholesale with the investment into some big machines that I told myself I’d never consider. Now we are jumping into wholesaling and loving every minute of the growth that used to feel scary.

The growth we want rarely happens in the timing we think it should. But if you keep holding on, and walking through doors of opportunity, it will happen. I knew early on the entrepreneur life was for me. I wasn’t so scared of anything that I wouldn’t do it. As soon as I found out I could place a huge order of leather or paper at a better price, I wanted it yesterday because I decided I was ready. But that’s not how it works. You learn to budget, plan, risk some more debt properly, and it might be 6 months or a year or more. But you have to wait for it to fall into place when the timing is right.

You’ll need more coaches than you ever thought — don’t put off getting them into your life. I noted that my business coach really was the catalyst that changed my life in just a year’s time. If I had hired him the first or second year, I could have grown

I do NOT need to do it all to save money, grow slowly, and minimize risk. Hiring out skills right away that are not my specialty the best use of my time is one of the most powerful business tools I wish I had utilized early on. VA’s especially are a really awesome tool of the last several years

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

A movement that embraces creativity and the arts and believes it is necessary for all ages, genders, brain types and lifestyles. One that recognizes it’s healing and empowering properties for an anxious and depressed world where we are all walking around with various levels of trauma and hurt that needs creativity and journaling regularly.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. 🙂

Oh man, I’d love to chat with Sarah Chrispy AKA Wholesale Ted on YouTube. She is a consumer physchology whiz! Or Daymond John of course, I’m a huge fan.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Thanks for asking. Our website is On Instagram you can follow @myleatherlegacy or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Likewise! Thank you for helping business owners!

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