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

Hi Thu, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I got laid off 7 years ago from an Advertising Agency. I used that as a needed push for me to go after my own dream of building something for myself and my family instead of helping others build theirs. The laid off turned out to be a blessing in disguise. During the laid off period, I started my own SEO business called Digital Centrix in 2016 and was able to create that work/life balance for my family. It was a challenge at first taking care of two kids while working at the same time. After a while, I was able to set a dedicated work hour – usually after my husband comes home from work, he would watch the kids so I can work on proposals, invoices, sales calls, meetings, reporting, etc.

What should our readers know about your business?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is my main business. I also sell LED neon signs online. Right now, my main focus is managing our vacation home rental in Angel Fire, New Mexico on Airbnb and VRBO. We were going to have someone else manage it for us but ended up doing it ourselves to save that 20-40% fee. I’m glad we decided to go that route. Doing everything yourself is so much better than paying someone else to do it for you. There’s also a lot of heart into it and it’s just more personable. I remembered getting a notification from Airbnb regarding our 1st booking! My husband and I did our happy dance in the living room while the kids stared at us like why are they screaming lol. It’s just more rewarding since we set up the listings ourselves from the photos to the content and all the other small things. It was a challenge to find a local cleaner that we can trust since we are 9 hours away from our rental property. We had a few that fell through a couple days before the arrival of our 1st guest but luckily we managed to find a trustworthy and dependable cleaner just in time. Being a host is such a different kind of experience. You start to contradict yourself here and there, questioning yourself whether the guest will like this or that, will they appreciate the extra touch you added to the house, and many other things. The worst part so far is waiting for that first review. It was nerve wracking. I received a notification that our guest has left us a review. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep that night. Woke up to check my mail and luckily, it was a perfect 5-stars. I plan on printing that out and frame it lol. But yes, when you put in so much heart and love what you do, everything is worth it. And sometimes, you just have to take a risk and just trust the process.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I have so many! For food, I highly recommend Mr. Max in Irving (great authentic Japanese food). For a girls night or a group date, Bishop Arts District is a must! There’s cute restaurants like Casablanace and Paradiso. I’m more of a Fort Worth kind of girl so I highly recommend checking out the Sundance Square, Reata, and Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar.

You’ll find me with my family eating out somewhere in Carrollton mostly every weekend. Ari is my favorite all you can eat Korean restaurant and Möge Tee is currently my favorite boba shop!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest support system? My whole family, especially my husband, Allen, who deserves the most credit. He has been and continues to be extremely supportive through it all. I have so many business ideas in my head and never once did he ever try to stop me from executing it. For instance, during the beginning of COVID where it was still relevantly new where there was a shortage of face masks as well as materials to make them, a good friend of ours suggested for us to start making fabric masks and sell them on ETSY. I jumped on it right away! Borrowed a vintage sewing machine from my mother in law (never sewn in my life at that time), hit up the fabric store and bought all the materials needed, hit up YouTube videos on how to sew a face mask, created an ETSY shop and learned how to sew overnight. Within 3 months, I received over 1500 sales on ETSY and sewed at least over 2000 masks. I was basically creating fabrics, sewing, ironing, packaging, and dealing with customers every day from 6am to 1am. My husband not only was working full time but was always watching the kids for me. It was the craziest three months of my life. I enjoyed it, it was a great experience but was glad it slowed down after 4 months. I had to stop taking orders so I could make time for my family. But yes, I couldn’t do it without the help and support of my husband behind the scenes.

Website: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/666060030400478069

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/diem-thu-t-1420208/

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