Q&A with Stephen Thomas, CEO of Elygantthings

Stephen, tell us a bit about Elygantthings.
Elygantthings was established in 2008. Started off with the goal to provide quality home decor and other products to upgrade the lifestyle of its owner and founder. ​

What gave you the idea for Elygantthings and how did it start?
The idea to start a business had been festering since my adolescent days. While I was learning how to manage my grandfather’s barbershop as a young man since then, I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I started my business back in 2008 with the goal to sell physical products to my local neighborhood. Which then turned into wanting to help other small businesses like mine. Get the tools and help needed to stay in competition with competitors and increase sales by sharing knowledge and lending a hand from time to time with hands on tasks directed towards growing exposure and potentially gain sales.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite part would have to be the positive influence owning a business has had on my family’s view of me and the example I’ve set.

What are your keys to making yourself productive?
The key to my productivity first and foremost is to keep a positive outlook and learn from the mistakes I have made. What also helps is the positive feedback from former and current customers and clients.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.
My long-term goal would be to leave my children and descendants a business that has become a house hold name that is around for generations.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?
My valuable lesson came when I first started out as a businessman. I was not knowledgeable enough to conduct business online. I was young and under the impression that business offline worked the same as online. I learned that I had some learning to do very quickly.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?
My advice would be: make sure that you make up your mind of what it is you want to do in life. Then further your education in the way that fits your personality and keeps only the company of those who are on the same page as you are. Learn from your mistakes and don’t let mistakes get the best of you. And finally. Let no one stand in your way, but do not step on anyone with negative intentions.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I love to garden. Being a person who loves nature and wanting it to stay as beautiful as it is. I enjoy the process of taking care of and nurturing a life form designed to benefit one’s health on all levels. My other favorite thing to do is to turn off the adult side of me and have some fun with my children. And to teach them valuable insights into life’s mysteries they wouldn’t be able to learn in typical education settings.

Name a few influential books you’ve read and/or websites you keep up with that you’d recommend to readers.
If I had to refer a book to someone new to the business world, it would be. Built to Last by James C. Collins, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, Jerry I. Porras​ ​(HarperCollins; 1994).​ ​And for a website worthy of following. It would have to be. The website Alignable.com would be my choice. It is a new company with a great start in connecting businesses to each other locally and nationally. I would recommend any business new or established to not only use this website. To invest in this companies future, which could potentially gain benefits that lead to long term business relationships. Alignable has great potential and will be a great place to start gaining exposure for your business.