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: