Shalendra Lux of Hattiesburg recently turned 30 years old, and the past decade of her life has been full of changes, including numerous experiences that taught her to practice the art of gratitude while also instilling in her a strong sense of inner happiness.
One of those defining experiences was the opening of her own business, Lux Accounting and Tax, which is located in midtown Hattiesburg.
She recently joined the business on a full-time basis after opening it as a side gig in August 2016 while working as a banker at Wells Fargo.
The business has allowed her to spend more time with her family, including her 3-year-old daughter, Eliana, and her husband, Marc, who is a tennis coach at William Carey University.
The couple met in May 2013 and were married the following year.
“We were blessed with our daughter, and it was very important for me to have a lot of time with her,” said Lux. “For a while, I juggled my work at Wells Fargo with my own business and also the busy schedule of being a mom, and it was difficult to do it all.”
Lux left Wells Fargo in February 2019 to focus on raising Eliana while also nurturing her full-time role as a small business owner.
“My business was my baby until Eliana came along,” she said. “I wanted more flexibility in my schedule, so I decided to leave Wells Fargo to focus on being a mom and growing my own business, which allowed me that flexibility.”
She said the decision to leave Wells Fargo, where she worked for nearly seven years, was a difficult one.
“I had a lot of milestones while I was working there, including graduating college,” she said. “I also met Marc through my work there, and I met many friends who are now considered family.”
Lux said her choice to embark on a new journey was also a frightening one, but the decision has paid off in numerous ways.
“The business is doing very well, and I’m 100 percent happy with my decision to go into it as a full-time job,” she said. “I work in my office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I work remotely the rest of the time. I get to spend time with Eliana, and I get to hear her laughing every day while running around the house. Right now, we’re into cooking and baking, and that’s so much fun.”
Lux said that she has always loved to cook, and she was obsessed with “Emeril Live,” a television program on the Food Network, while growing up. She added that her daughter is following in her footsteps and is currently consumed with “Butterbean’s Cafe,” a show on the Nick Jr. network.
“I was obsessed with Emeril, so I’ve always loved to cook, but I’ve never been a big baker,” she said. “However, my daughter loves the Butterbean’s show, and the little girl on the show loves to bake. So, Eliana is into baking right now. I have to step up my baking skills. We’ve started out with cookies, and now, we’ve moved on to cakes. Hopefully, within the next month or so, we’ll be pretty good at baking … maybe.”
When she is not baking with her daughter, Lux is preparing taxes and doing tax planning for businesses. She also focuses heavily on helping other people with dreams similar to hers start their own self-employment pathways.
“I guide people in opening their own limited liability companies,” she said. “I help them through that tax process, and I do bookkeeping on the side as well.”
Lux said she is grateful for so many things in life, including her family, friends, clients and the opportunity to operate her own business.
“I start my mornings with an exercise in gratitude, and I think about the things I have, the relationships I have … and it humbles me,” she said. “That exercise makes my days run more smoothly.”
She added that certain experiences in life can dampen one’s joy, but by practicing gratitude, happiness – and satisfaction with life – can always be found.
“We actually miscarried a child in October 2015, and that experience, of course, was damaging and traumatic,” she said. “However, happiness is being content with where you are in life. Waking up in the morning is a blessing within itself. Sometimes, just waking up is enough to be happy about.”
Lux said she also adds to her happiness by practicing a strict schedule of self-care activities for at least 20 minutes each day.
“That’s hard for us moms,” she noted. “We always say, ‘oh, I don’t have time for self-care,’ but then you have 15 or 20 minutes to get on Facebook or 15 or 20 minutes to do something else. I think it’s really important to just schedule at least 20 minutes to do something that you enjoy.”
Her self-care routine varies, but it usually involves a face, neck or hand scrub, doing a quick workout, eating a snack or reading a book, she said.
“You need to do whatever makes you happy in that moment,” said Lux. “You have to make a strong effort to schedule that time.”
Lux is originally from New York, but her family moved to south Mississippi when she was 5 years old. She is a 2008 graduate of Prentiss High School and a 2013 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she studied business administration. Her husband is originally from Germany.
“We’ve also found happiness by settling here in Hattiesburg, where there’s so many great people and a great sense of community,” she added.