Theda Blackwood is a self-employed entrepreneur and former actress renowned for her performance as Annie in the Broadway musical. In this episode, Theda takes center stage to recount her remarkable journey of personal reinvention after a successful early career as a child actress.
After finding early success in the limelight at the young age of ten, Theda faced the inherent challenges and harsh lessons of the professional world. In this conversation with Christina, Theda emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and finding a business that aligns with personal values and needs as you traverse through various stages of your life, both personally and professionally.
Theda’s inspiring story highlights the resilience needed to navigate career transitions and the fulfillment that comes with helping others succeed in their own journeys.
Theda Blackwood is a brilliant businesswoman who has reinvented herself multiple times. Theda shares her fascinating journey of success, starting from her supportive upbringing. Despite the limited options available to women when she was growing up, Theda’s mom was ahead of the curve. She instilled in Theda the belief that she could be anything she wanted—and this set Theda on a path for a successful and rewarding career.
At the age of 10, Theda auditioned for a school play. She used the skills developed in that play to compete in and win Little Miss Virginia Beach with her musical talent. This unexpected win led to public appearances and eventually caught the attention of industry professionals who advised her mom to take her to New York. Theda’s agent, wary of stereotypical stage mother scenarios, made sure that Theda’s interest in pursuing Broadway was genuine.
The audition process for Broadway shows, including “Annie”, involved challenges and choices. Ultimately, Theda landed a role as Annie’s Understudy while also securing a Pepsi commercial. Her early success was fueled by Theda’s ambition and passion along with the encouragement she received from her supportive mom.
Non-Traditional Paths and Navigating Perceptions
When Theda was developing her career as a young actor, she had a tutor who traveled with them, teaching various grades. Theda, who was in seventh grade at the time, humorously notes it as the best grade to not be in school.
After the adventure of a year-long tour that covered 28 cities, Theda was ready to go back to being a normal kid. However, the director had different plans. He asked Theda to play Annie in the first national tour. It was an opportunity she couldn’t refuse.
When her tenure with “Annie” ended, Theda returned to high school as a freshman. Integrating back into traditional school life after missing the middle school years was complex. People treated her differently, and Theda had to learn how to navigate perceptions others had of her. This early lesson prepared her for the future and the industry she is in now.
Success with a Home-Based Business
Fast forward to adulthood. Feeling the monotony of being at home, Theda sought an outlet and discovered Southern Living Magazine’s at-home division. Christina emphasizes the importance of finding the right balance for oneself, whether it’s staying home with kids or pursuing a career, and Theda’s time building her career with this direct sales opportunity brought her much success.
Theda narrates how she built a multi-million dollar business with Southern Living at Home—she focused on home parties and sharing decorating and entertaining ideas with Southern Living products.
Home-based businesses and the opportunities they offer are unique. Theda shares that the conventions and recognition reminded her of her Broadway days as Annie, but this time, she was an adult who felt better equipped to handle it.
The Importance of Resiliency
No stranger to disappointment, Theda candidly shares her experience with the closure of her last two startup ventures. Despite building successful businesses, both ventures closed—one after six years and the other after two and a half.
Theda’s resilience and ability to bounce back quickly become a focal point of admiration. She elaborates on her approach to setbacks—although she has successfully closed down companies in the past, she chooses to not let it define her. Theda put intense effort into researching 15 different companies and their products to align herself with a new venture that she not only believes in, but also offers a positive culture, pay structure, and long-term stability.
Although there are many challenges that come with entrepreneurial ventures, Theda’s resilience, determination, and commitment to finding opportunities even in the face of setbacks is a huge reason that she has been able to find great success throughout her career.
LimeLife by Alcone
When the pandemic forced her second venture to close, Theda immediately got to work to find a new opportunity for her and her team. From selling home products, jewelry, and now makeup, Theda has always been passionate about making a difference in the lives of women by filling needs and solving problems.
Her motivation is deeply rooted in her mother’s journey with self-confidence, and she strives to empower other women, no matter their age. Theda traces her diverse ventures—all aimed at boosting women’s confidence.
So, how did she discover this new opportunity? Reminiscing about her time in New York City practicing for Broadway, Theda visited the Alcone store for makeup supplies. Years later, she encountered the founder of the Alcone store when launching her jewelry line, and this connection eventually led her to her current venture.
Theda introduces LimeLife by Alcone, a family-owned company serving professional makeup artists for 75 years. The company’s mission to bring high-quality makeup to everyday women resonated with Theda. She expresses her happiness and fulfillment in her new role, and she is excited about the company’s excellent systems, products, and all-natural skincare. Theda’s passion and gratitude shine through as she emphasizes that this venture feels like her legacy company.
There are many exciting opportunities for women in the direct sales industry, particularly for those in their prime years. We’ve all heard the myths surrounding this industry, but Theda shares important insights on how it actually works.
Theda passionately shares her perspective on why direct sales, especially in beauty and makeup, is an excellent career move for women over 50. For example, the convenience of having a ready-made business in a box, with marketing assets provided, allows individuals to focus on building their brand without dealing with the intricacies of supply chains.
The discussion touches upon the concept of “Primetime Women,” those over 50 who are increasingly joining businesses like this to enjoy flexibility and work on their terms. Theda provides insights into the minimal startup costs involved and emphasizes the importance of profitability from the start to help avoid debt or inventory issues.
Theda’s role with LimeLife by Alcone is multifaceted. She helps women feel and look more beautiful while also building confidence in their businesses. When embarking on a new venture like this, it’s important to find a supportive company and leader, especially for women who may be seeking confidence and skills after being home with their kids.
Theda encourages women to take the leap, emphasizing that there is no risk involved, and the potential benefits include making money, building a community, and forming meaningful connections. The supportive nature of the community, where success is celebrated without jealousy, makes it a unique and empowering experience for women in their prime. The direct sales industry can serve as a platform for women to reinvent themselves, gain confidence, and form lasting connections.
Easy and Affordable Business Opportunity
For many women, home-based business like Theda’s ventures can be a great way to make an income that allows for flexibility and balance for women juggling responsibilities of family with aspirations to build a thriving career. Christina and Theda discuss the accessibility and affordability of joining the direct sales industry, particularly in the makeup and skincare sector.
If you’re looking to get involved, Theda explains that joining their business is simple. The start-up cost of $39 includes a backstage pass offering discounts, free training, and the flexibility to progress at one’s own pace. This low entry cost makes it significantly more affordable when compared to historical models like Southern Living. While it’s common for many women to be apprehensive about putting themselves out there—especially those who have spent years dedicating themselves solely to their families—Theda is fired up about helping women overcome fear and instilling confidence.
An important theme in this episode—and this podcast in general—is the idea that it’s never too late to pursue new endeavors. There are many inspiring examples of women in their seventies and beyond thriving in various fields.
Connect with Theda
As with all episodes, Christina concludes this conversation with two standard questions: the greatest thing Theda has accomplished since turning 50, and where she sees herself in 10 years. Theda reflects on successfully restarting her business as a significant accomplishment and expresses her vision of continuing to work and learn. Her resilience and passion help her to find joy in her work.
To learn more, connect with Theda on Instagram (@theda.blackwood) or LinkedIn.
See her full episode here:
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