All Articles Tagged "black women entrepreneurs"
There has been a lot said lately about how women can rise up the corporate ranks. Well, there are other women who decided to take their careers into their own hands and create their own corporate reality. We have asked nine female business owners what they like most about being an entrepreneur.
Head Women In Charge: Katrina Parris Pinn Tackles Home Life, the Real Estate Industry, and the International Floral Business
Katrina Parris Flowers New York, a high-end floral boutique and gift shop, was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team, Katrina Parris and Mark Pinn. They offer single-order custom floral delivery across NYC, floral service delivery nationwide, via a consortium of like- minded florists who share the same aesthetic and flowers for weddings, large and small events and personal celebrations.
Katrina Parris Flowers New York has been the subject of many articles over the years in publications such as Time Out New York, O The Oprah Magazine and others. It has been named New York magazine’s “Best Bet,” and has been one of CitySearch’s “Top 10″ Florists in New York City three years running.
We had a chance to catch up with Katrina to discuss what prompted her to start a flower business and how she remains organized, motivated and successful.
Ory Okolloh is a woman who juggles it all: she’s a mother of three, a wife and works as Google’s policy manager for Africa and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. “I don’t sleep much,” she tells Forbes. “It helps that I love what I do and I am very passionate about it, so it doesn’t feel like work.”
The busy Kenyan native says she wants her kids to see how important it is to care about the world and have an impact. Her goal is simple: to focus on Africa’s untapped potential. She is known for her politically aware blogs, digital initiatives and her commitment to helping keep governments accountable. Okolloh stepped onto the scene with Mzalendo, a website that keeps Kenya’s government accountable. Mzalendo tracks each representative’s parliament activities, monitors and analyizes every bill and every speech. She then went on to co-found Ushahidi, a free open source platform for crowdsourcing crisis data. Ushahidi is a combination of eye-witness reports and has assisted in monitoring Kenyan elections, tracking violence in the Eastern Congo and even mapping post-earthquake Haiti.
With her online political accountability experience, Okolloh landed her current position as Google’s policy manager for Africa. In this position, the digital and political saavy young woman says she focuses on three priorities: getting more African users online, content for African online users and the role of technology in various African countries. But even though her professional career centers on digital initiatives, Okolloh believes that technology alone isn’t what Africa needs.
“I don’t think technology or social media alone can bring political change,” Okolloh said to Forbes. “At the end of the day you still need to go offline unto the streets. If you look at the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia- even Occupy Nigeria here, it might have been spurred and organized online, so technology plays the role of a facilitator, but at the end of the day the real impact was felt when the people went out to the street. So no amount of protests with a popular hash tag would have achieved the kind of impact that happened when people actually went out.”
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Behind the Click: Ashley Baxter, Digital Marketing Manager for J.C. Penney
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
- Why African Philanthropists Are Calling For Africapitalism
- Will Scandal’s Success Pave the Way for More Diverse Images of Black Women?
- How She Made It: Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founder of Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: A Sister-Run Business Brings High-End Tea Stateside
by Darralynn Hutson
Growing up in the inner city of Kansas City, Missouri, LaShawnna Stanley had dreams of being her own boss. Motivated to never accept the status of “Welfare chick,” LaShawnna said the birth of her daughter was the driving force for her to succeed. “I was the only chocolate chip in my family and for a long time, I never could really identify,” expresses Stanley, 42. “I met my family on my dads side for the first time at the age of twelve and it made me feel happy that I was me. It’s so important to know where you come from.” Today, the owner and CEO of Ethnicity Models, a flourishing modeling and talent agency that specializes in ethnic models – is on a mission to motivate other women to do the same.
MN: How did you start Ethnicity Models?
LaShawnna: I initially started the company recruiting models that looked good in my clothes. I owned a clothing boutique on the beach (in South Beach, Miami) and needed girls with curves; we starting doing fashion and modeling shows on the beach. More and more people came, especially celebrities and that’s how it started to grow.
MN: What was your method of raising money?
LaShawnna: I worked for corporate America for 10 years and had profit sharing account that I liquidated to start my business. It wasn’t a great deal of money but I used what I had to get a little start, reinvested what I made until eventually I had a complete business. I think it’s important for aspiring entrepreneurs to know that you do not need lots of money to start a business, you can start with a little and grow from there. Focus on doing what you love and the money will come.
MN: Who were your first clients and how did you close the deal?
LaShawnna: My very first client was a charity event for Magic Johnson’s foundation. Magic had been a mentor of mine for many years. He knew I started the company and gave us the opportunity to gain exposure. After that FUBU was in Miami looking for models for a calendar they were producing. I went to the casting with my models and waited until the end to have a one-on-one conversation with the owner Daymond John and convinced him that FUBU and Ethnicity pretty much had the same meaning and that he should use my models.
MN: How did you find the best models?
LaShawnna: It’s funny, I’ve never really had to find models, they always find me. Once I started out with my first five models and the word got out about how protective and supportive I was with my company; not to mention they call me “the negotiator” when it comes to getting the best pay rate for the girls. I get so many request from models, I had to start a online talent database community website that helps me manage and keep track.
MN: What type of Boss are you?
LaShawnna: I’m fun and playful; most people feel like they’ve known me for years. But when it comes to business, all games are put aside. As soon as the job is complete, I’m back to being my silly lil self. I’m the type of boss that creates other bosses, if you are around me, I will bring the entrepreneur out of you one way or another. You will look up and have created some type of business out of doing what you love. I love bringing that out of people.
MN: What advice do you have for aspiring models?
LaShawnna: My advice would be do your research first before anything else. Trust your intuition; if something doesn’t feel right, trust that feeling. Last but not least, don’t do anything in this business that you can’t share and be proud of with your mother and grandmother.
MN: What’s your advice for women struggling with being their own boss?
LaShawnna: Take time out for yourself no matter what. Learn balance and realize the business will still be there after your mani-pedi and massage, so don’t neglect taking time out for yourself. The happier you are, the more business and opportunities you will attract. I also recommend reading self help books by other bosses such as Russell Simmons, Oprah and Donald Trump. It will motivate you and also give you new ideas and inspiration.
MN: What is it that sets you apart from other Talent/Modeling Agencies?
LaShawnna: Ethnicity is personable and very family-oriented, which I think people are drawn to. I also set very high standards for the company and will not settle for less. Now, I listen to the lyrics in a song before booking my models. I can turn down a job if it degrades women. I didn’t do that in the past but now I’m taking responsibility for how women are portrayed. The girls have rules and regulations that they must adhere to. And I must enforce them. On set, I’m called the momma bear, a lot of the producers don’t like me. I have to fight all the time to keep respect. I didn’t know that at first, I had to learn that.
MN: How do you maintain and continue to grow in a lazy economy?
LaShawnna:You have to diversify yourself and your business; you have to have more than one avenue of income. In addition to representing talent, I am a casting director, producer, and I still own an online boutique and just started a modeling academy. I do motivational speaking for aspiring models & entrepreneurs, as well as, women’s empowerment life coaching. I believe the universe is abundant and it’s only a lazy economy if you believe it is.
(Inc.) — Rumia Ambrose-Burbank, president of Vendor Managed Solutions, which buys maintenance supplies for other companies, recalls how she spun her firm off from what was then Electronic Data Systems, where she once worked in finance.
What’s your favorite Carol’s Daughter product?
We already told you about all the fun we had in New Orleans, well we have even more to share with you! Check out this exclusive interview with Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price. She gives advice to budding women entrepreneurs and she tells us about fab new products to look for at Carol’s Daughter.
Peep the video!
Read the rest of this entry »
So you wanna be, or you are, a small business owner? Here are some much needed tips…
Read the rest of this entry »
As we all know, February is Black History Month and typically we pay homage to our ancestors and predesscors who paved the way for us and made immeasurable contributions to this country and the world. But the Grio decided to put together a list of 100 black people who are making history right now. They are the people our grand-children and great-grand-children will read about in their textbooks.
The Grio’s “100 History Makers in the Making” list is diverse. Here’s one little snippet:
When Amiya Alexander’s friends couldn’t afford dance lessons, the then-9-year-old dancer decided to start her own studio. Now 12, this entrepreneur brings dance classes to children in underserved Detroit communities with a bright pink school bus that she’s not yet old enough to drive.
Isn’t that precious? Read more about Amiya and the 99 other trailblazers on the Grio.
Who says you need a fortune or a grand business idea to become an entrepreneur? Nobody: that’s who! There are plenty of buyers out there, who are willing to consume what you may want to sell. The best part? You don’t even have to leave your home to reach them. If you’d like to see which industries are hot to explore from home, take a look at our selection… Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Lots of women dream of owning their own business, becoming their own boss and breaking free from “the man,” but do you have what it takes to branch out on your own professionally? Consider the following entrepreneurship tips and questions, and decide whether you’re really ready to run your own business! Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »