Crystal Crawford is the owner of OrdinarilyXXTRA, a style page dedicated to fun vibrant fashion! Crystal started her love of fashion at a young age which was no surprise with having a hair model mom and a master seamstress step-mom. She began designing clothes in High School and fashion has been a part of her career aspirations ever since. Crystal created OrdinarilyXXTRA in 2020 after realizing she needed to be more intentional with sharing her style & the joy it brings to those she meets, to a larger audience.
LM: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
CC: I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO though I currently reside in sunny San Diego. I have lived in California for 6 years now, mostly in San Diego, though I spent a very interesting year in the Bay Area where I lived in over 20 Airbnbs. I am a multi-passionate person and along with my style page OrdinarilyXXTRA, I also maintain a food diary, But First A Taste. Besides fashion and food, I am also a technology geek. For my day job, I work as a Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Developer and really got the job from self-teaching myself how to code because eventually, I want to create Wearable Technology/Smart Garments (it all comes back to fashion lol).
LM: Tell us about your business.
CC: “Where you going?!?” is a question that I am often asked. My natural way of dressing in a fun vibrant fashion makes others think I’m is going somewhere special when I’m simply heading to the grocery store. OrdinarilyXXTRA is an outlet to share my personal style as well as the fashion trends I love. Recently, I started taking on clients for styling sessions and these looks will be showcased on OrdinarilyXXTRA as well.
LM: What prompted you to start your business?
CC: A simple Instagram post prompted me to start OrdinarilyXXTRA. My best friend posted a photo of two purses and asked her followers to guess, between her and I, who picked what. A lot of people guessed wrong, except those who interact with me in person. My friends would always get on me about not taking photos but I didn’t realize the impact until that post. I know I have style. People stop and compliment me all the time. But if I want to know about my style and thus get more clients to style for I realized I needed to put myself out there, and thus OrdinarilyXXTRA was born.
LM: Have you always aspired to be an entrepreneur? Why or why not?
CC: Though I entertained the thought of being an entrepreneur after high school it wasn’t until I moved to California that I started to really want to be one. I have over 10 years of experience with Food & Beverage and Hospitality jobs so when I moved to San Diego that’s what field I continued to work in. I remember working one day feeling good about the tips I made until I looked at the sales I brought in for the restaurant. The difference was vast and it really changed my thinking on whether I wanted to be an employee or an owner.
LM: What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
CC: The best part of being an entrepreneur for me is getting to decide what I do for a living. Now with anything, there are going to be parts I might dislike or rather not do but overall I get to decide the industry I work in, the products or services I create, and who I want to work with. I love being able to truly create a life I love.
LM: What’s the worst part of being an entrepreneur?
CC: For me, the worst part of being an entrepreneur is being misunderstood. There will be many people who don’t get your drive. Who think you should work less and maybe even underestimate you. That’s why I try to surround myself with like-minded individuals who understand my challenges as an entrepreneur and not just tell me to quit when I face an obstacle.
LM: What advice would you give a new entrepreneur?
CC: I would advise them to not be afraid to fail and to get inspiration from others but don’t compare yourself. I have started several businesses in the past that have not worked out. But each time I learned something new and it has helped me with my next venture. If I had let my first “failure” stop me then I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t have learned the things I need to be more successful now. As for not comparing yourself, I notice that when people are just getting started they want to see what everyone else in their industry is doing. Which is fine, unless you try to be someone you’re not and/or let other’s accomplishments deter you from your own progress. I’ve found that when I’m already feeling nervous about a new venture it is best for me to not look at what others are doing and just focus on myself and what I want to create.