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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson

Name and occupation:
Vee Carson Owner/Operator Of Las Vegas Shoe Shine Girl

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Surprisingly for the most part I am very respected in my industry, but every once in a while you get one person that thinks you are not worthy of respect as a business owner, and the you’re not as good as them attitude.

I don’t think it has as much to do with being a woman business owner, as much as it has to do with the line of business. Historically not all shoe shiners are educated so people sometimes tend to think you are stupid or uneducated. Its actually kind of funny at times.

I actually had someone give me a card and say they’d pay top dollar for us to work a convention. When I called to follow up he gasped with surprise, maybe because he wasn’t expecting me to follow up. He was shocked so he sighed then paused as he said “ I was just being facetious.” After feeling kinda like a jerk he apologized and I just kindly told him that in the future if we can help you with your marketing efforts feel free to contact us. I don’t think he will ever do that again to anyone else.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Not at the moment. Lately my time has been a little limited, but I love to network with other women and organizations that support women in business.

Who or what inspires you most?

People, experiences and challenges inspire me.

Every time I shine a pair of shoes at a convention or event, and my clients are complimented on what a great idea it was for them to have shoe-shiners in their booth it just makes me want to keep going. Happy customers are what makes it all worth it. It’s not just the bad things that make me strive to work harder, but it’s the good things that inspire me. For example, my husband and my little brother really inspire me. Sometimes just talking to them about something else they will make me have a bright idea or give me something cool to brainstorm about.

I believe that if something is meant to be it will all fall into place not because people say it, but because I have experienced it. When I got my first call and I had no idea how I was going to pull it off, and everything just fell into place, that is when I got really pumped up and inspired. I knew then, it was really my calling.

I received a call for a TV interview from my first client before I even had my shoeshine stands. Amazingly the money, the shoeshine stand and everything came all as if it was meant to be. Three years later I am still here and things are getting bigger and better each day.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I love shoes??? But, seriously I really do love what I do. It is actually therapeutic. I have an entertainment background as a radio show host and entertainer.  I am a also a web designer, public relations, and marketing consultant for small business owners.

I have shined shoes for over 10 years off and on before I started my own business. I gave Mr. Universe 2009 his very first shoeshine and also shined the shoes of many celebrities.

I have a book in the works called “ Not Just A Stupid Shoeshine Girl” and I also have a new radio show called “Shoeshine And An Interview”.

I really love sharing information with aspiring business owners so if I can share some info or tips feel free to send me an email and I will be glad to share what I can to help you out.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:
Don’t do what you’re told! Listen to what people say but only absorb what applies to you.
Don’t tell everyone what you are planning to do because some people don’t want to see you happy or successful and they will try to get you down and depressed so you don’t keep going. If people try to make you feel bad because you are a mom, a wife, or a caretaker there is nothing wrong with having dreams and going for it and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting more!

If you don’t give something to yourself then you will be no good to anyone else! Ask for help. Even when it seems like it’s impossible, remember its not. Each situation is unique and we all have our challenges, but there is always a way to do things even if that means five mins a day, early in the morning, or late at night when everyone is sleep.

Pace yourself. It’s hard to be patient when you want it now, but nothing happens over night. Nurture yourself, your ideas, and your business so you don’t get burnt out, stressed or depressed. Everything takes time. Never think – If I don’t do it now it won’t happen. It will happen. When everything is suppose to it will all fall into place.

Even if you don’t have any money you can still start a business either by taking a few bucks from a current job, freelancing, or creating your own work until you get what you need to get going. It can be done, trust me. I have had my fair share of road blocks and challenges. If people are trying to stop you maybe it’s because you are going to be really successful. Don’t give up and ask for help!

Your local SBA (Small Business Association) sometimes has some really cool people who can offer advice and resources. You can also call your local trade schools and colleges for an intern to help with odds an ends. It’s a win win they get to learn and you get help getting your goals accomplished.

Don’t let other people discredit you or your ideas. Don’t let people control you it will be the downfall of you and your business. Stand your ground, be yourself. and don’t be afraid to say “No” when you have to.

Website or social media link:

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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens

Name and occupation:

My name is Cindy Clemens and I am an Entrepreneur/Co-Owner of a Marketing Education Company.

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love being a mother, a girlfriend/partner, and all that those things entail. I love that because I am a women, people I meet are usually instantly more relaxed around me. I am way more likely to get a hug from someone I just met at a networking event than my male business partner/boyfriend (even though he would be just fine with hugs).

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Not really. Sometimes male customers feel more comfortable talking to my partner, but generally it doesn’t mean they won’t talk with me. My industry tends to me more male dominated (at least where speaking is concerned) but that is okay with me since I am not sure I want to step into that role 🙂 . I can’t really think of any time there was something I couldn’t do or that I was held back from simply because I am a woman.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I don’t belong to any organizations that are specifically for women. I used to belong to a local networking group that was exclusively for women and I found that as far as business went it was really no different than coed groups. I tend to not really be pro-women, Girl Power, etc. I believe that we should forget about gender, color, and even age and just look at the person for what they have to offer regardless to those other things. So I guess because of this I guess I have never been drawn to groups that cater exclusively to women. Some of the best business things I have been involved in have included men, and on those organizations I would never have met them so…. 🙂

Who or what inspires you most?

My daughter. I know it might sound a bit cliché but since the day she was born I have done everything I could to be the best mom I can be. Almost every single thing I do or say or participate in has her in the back of my head. I aspire to have her be proud of her mom every single day. I don’t think I always accomplish it, but I think I am successful most of the time.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am not sure. I try to be myself as much as possible most of the time so most people I know are seeing the real me. But for people who don’t know me yet…maybe that sometimes my friends call me the anti-girl? Meaning I am not a “typical” woman, whatever that means. I could care less about clothes. I NEVER wear makeup and really never have. I went through a phase in high school but it didn’t last. Oh, and I absolutely hate shoes! All kinds of shoes. If society would let me go barefoot I would. My ultimate goal in life is to be so famous or rich that I can go barefoot and instead of being called crazy, people would just say I was a bit eccentric. 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Just be you. Don’t worry about being a woman or about being one of the guys. Follow your heart and do what comes naturally. You are a woman. If you want to look pretty, then look pretty. If you want to hug people, then hug people. Focus on being the best you you can be and being the best at what you do and the rest will take care of itself.

Website and social media link:

Bleau Royale

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Bleau Royale

Name: 

Bleau Royale

What do you love most about being a woman?  

What I love most about being a woman is the ability to be soft and sweet or hard and tough as nails when the situation calls for it.  Women are extremely underestimated and it’s nice to surprise people with how strong, smart, or excellent you are at something you do.                                                       

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry? 

I have never had to deal with the issue of sexism.  If I were ever approached with the issue I’d be ready.  I love a good challenge any day, and having to show my capabilities to operate within a certain capacity or field wouldn’t be hard to prove.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners? 

I am currently in process of joining NAWBOLA (National Association Of Women Business Owners).

Who or what inspires you most?

What inspires me the most is God, my children, and my struggles.  Life hasn’t been easy for me by far.  It has made me stronger than I could ever imagine I would be.  God has been and will always be the pillar of my first strength and my children give me my second wind.  Strong will and perseverance run through my blood inspiring me to accomplish nothing but greatness.

Something about you that would surprise us: 

I’d have to say my imagination will surprise you.  My imagination surprises me at times!

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

The advice I have for women entrepreneurs is they must have a lot of confidence, knowledge, and a tremendous amount of faith in God.  They are in a leadership position regardless of their particular station within their organization. Each leader contributes to the success of a company which is only one reason you need to be confident. There are many aspects to leadership, confidence, faith, and improving in all areas. Your success in a leadership role depends heavily on your knowledge of your organization. The knowledge of your organization is imperative to function and efficiency. 

Many of the everyday aspects of business life will impact your confidence building ability. Success is within your grasp, all you need to do is reach out and grab it by increasing your sense of good business practices to manage your success in every aspect of your job.

The first thing that needs to be is realized is that all of the different parts of business are separate. This is also a fact for the rest of the company. Your business is influenced by many influences as a whole as well as separately. Whether or not you realize it you can draw confidence from the success of others as a company as well as individually. 

I highly encourage women not to dismiss prayer as something that will help them build their own confidence. Vision comes before any desire and dream. If there is no vision of what you desire and dream about having you will never succeed.  You will quickly see that there are hurdles in every business, and prayer will definitely help you jump over them. Stay focused and do not give up on what you desire or dream of. Clear one obstacle at a time, don’t give up, and you will learn to achieve the confidence levels you so desire, and operate within your full potential.

Website:

www.bleauroyale.com

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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale

Name:

Peggy McHale

What do you love most about being a woman?

Being a Mom! And, the ability to multi-task without blinking an eye!

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

Yes but it is subtle. Very clearly, the old girls network is not as evolved as the boys club.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

Yes, Women Presidents Organization, New Jersey Association of Women.

Who or what inspires you most?  

The pioneers for women – like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Alice Paul. Without them, the doors would not have been opened for us.

Something about you that would surprise us: 

I’ve danced at Carnegie Recital Hall.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Believe in yourself and don’t give up your dreams.

Website:

www.consultants2go.com

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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster

Name and occupation: 

Sandi Webster is a principal of Consultants 2 Go, an Inc. 5000 management consulting firm that provides marketing and analytic consultants to Fortune 500 and mid-size companies.

What do you love most about being a woman? 

I love how creative I can get in a pinch.  I find men do not have the need to be creative all the time so it takes them a little longer.  If it’s a meal and I know there are people to be fed, I can create a dish from what I have in the pantry.  If it’s a problem to be resolved in my business, I try to think of creative solutions that makes the situation a win/win.

Have you had to deal with much sexism in your industry?

In the consulting business, sexism is subtle.  Clients will not say they want a man or a woman for a particular assignment; they simply ask for more resumes.  As a business owner, I have felt that I was not being taken seriously because I was a woman.  One example is I had a client who barely paid attention to my female business partner or I in meetings even though we were the best fit for the project.  We realized that he only spoke to men and brought a male consultant with us for the next meeting.  He directed all conversation to the male consultant even though he did not know the project well.  At the end of the meeting, the client said he noticed we brought our “secret weapon” referring to the male consultant.  We got the assignment and didn’t have directly to deal with him.

Do you belong to any organizations catered to women business owners?

I belong to Women Presidents’ Organization, National Association for Female Executives,  and National Association of Women Business Owners

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by stories of ordinary people who overcame tremendous odds to be successful in life, meaning financial success as well as remaining a nice, well-grounded person.

Something about you that would surprise us:

Most people are shocked that I am an introvert because I am perceived as a people-person.  I speak on panels or to large audiences on a consistent basis, but I’m a thinker at heart.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Find a more successful businesswoman to be your mentor, advocate or advisor.  They will take a personal interest in your success.

Website and social media links:  

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Does the Sun Drop Soda Commercial Chap Your Ass?

I’m not sure if I’m offended that they didn’t use a Black woman or if I’m offended that they used a White woman, but the amount of grinding going on in this commercial is wild! Especially at the beginning, she’s grinding like Snoop Dogg is underneath her.

Speaking of Snoop, he seems to be lending himself to many cornball projects lately. Charlie Sheen, now this? Oh well, gotta get paid, I guess!

There are a few positives; her ass is covered, she’s not a size 2 and she’s not sexy. I’m sure this is an attempt to taker her grinding to a PG13 level.

Does her “Droppin’ it like it’s hot” make you want to taste Sun Drop?


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