Monyetta Shaw is the owner of The Evan Grace Group, which handles the management and development of global brands in the entertainment, fashion and publishing industries. Mompreneur host Nancy Redd and Shaw talk about identifying your purpose, being a role model for your children and so much more.
Shaw has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She started writing books when she was in school, and also had a clothing boutique in her earlier years as a businesswoman. But her big glow-up happened after her big breakup. It is no secret that Shaw went through a tough breakup with her ex, Ne-Yo. However, that experience turned out to be, in many ways, a blessing that helped Shaw discover her purpose and inspire others. Like many other mothers, she admits that she lost her identity a bit in her relationship. It can happen to anyone, but when your partner is a celebrity, it can happen hard. It is no coincidence that the emergence of Shaw’s company, The Evan Grace group, coincided with her split from Ne-Yo. “You reeled in the loss [of self] before it happened,” says Redd of Shaw’s journey.
Her breakup was also the impetus for another one of Shaw’s discoveries surrounding her purpose. Through her time on Atlanta Exes, she was able to be a role model for peaceful co-parenting. She had so many people reach out to her, expressing how inspired they were by how she handled her breakup. “If I was impacting at least one person it wasn’t in vain…my pain wasn’t in vain,” says Shaw. Continuing to be that strong role model for other single parents, and for her own children – to show how she can remain calm through any storm – has been important to Shaw.
How Monyetta Shaw Went From Boutique To Boss Lady
Today, Shaw is best known for her company The Evan Grace company, but she got her start as a boutique owner. She enjoyed that time tremendously and says some of her boutique clients from back in the day are still some of her closest friends. But closing the boutique was not a negative thing – it was the first step in recognizing her value and her potential and cutting dead weight out of her life. She recognized that she didn’t need to rent a brick-and-mortar location and pay a staff of 10 people to be successful. So she closed down shop and started to reevaluate.
Shaw had always been a people connector, excellent at connecting the dots between those who needed to know each other and who should be working together. For years she would handle those hookups for friends and acquaintances until she realized it was a lucrative skillset. So, she started charging for it – a move Redd gives Shaw props for. “The things we do for free we don’t realize…that is a very valuable service,” says Redd.
“How did you have the strength to request your piece of this connection pie?” asked Redd. Being upfront is critical, says Shaw. “Contracts, contracts, contracts…have it on paper.” The two agree that sometimes, women fear looking “too official” but have to do away with that fear.
Cut Out The Weeds To Let The Garden Grow
Currently, Shaw is in a phase of life where she is cutting out things and people who no longer serve her. Curating her circle is important, she says. “Protect your vibe…your energy…your space…like your life depends on it. Because it does.” She doesn’t hesitate to remove someone from her circle if she knows their values are no longer aligned. And she tells all mompreneurs to take note that if even one person in their network is a weed in the garden, everyone suffers. Other people and groups don’t want to work with your entire circle if you have one person who is rude or unprofessional within it.
The Legacy Of Values
Shaw grew up with less than what her children will have, and did not have the lifestyle or the access that her own children get now. Redd asks how Shaw works to maintain the values her family has passed down to her, through the generations, while also allowing for this success-oriented perspective shift.
Teaching her kids that things won’t be handed to them is important, says Shaw. And teaching them to give back and treat everyone with respect. She was taught “Always treat the janitor the way you treat the CEO,” and she instills that in her own children.
To all mompreneurs out there who are working on their own business, Monyetta Shaw implores them to “Just keep going…keep the faith” and to remember “You are just one generation from changing the game.”
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