Mildred Muhammad 2

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mildred Muhammad

Name and occupation:

Mildred Muhammad — International spokesperson on domestic  violence, women’s rights advocate, author of “Scared Silent” and founder of After the Trauma, a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of domestic abuse to rebuild their lives

What do you love most about being a woman?

What I love most about being a woman is being a mother. My children are my greatest joy, and when I look into their eyes, I know God’s promises are true. The ability to give birth is amazing.

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

I haven’t dealt with a lot of sexism in my industry, but it is still there. When I participate in domestic abuse rallies, there are those that feel we don’t give the full picture of domestic abuse because we focus on women survivors.  Some people criticize us and our industry, saying men are victims too. There are men survivors, but we focus on women because the percentage of women survivors is much greater than the percentage of men.

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

I’m a member of 411 Voices, which is an organization of women entrepreneurs who serve as expert speakers and sources for media outlets, businesses, nonprofit organizations, research groups, etc.

Who or what inspires you most?

The victims and survivors of domestic violence inspire me. There’s not a moment that goes by that I don’t try to think of different options that can be taken, so that women and children are safe from their abusers. This is my passion. This is what I feel that God has pressed upon my heart to do after coming through my trauma – and I take it seriously. They are my inspiration.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I was a body builder in my younger days.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

If you’re starting a business, find a need and fill it with what you know. If you have a hobby or an interest that can be turned into a business, that’s a good place to start. Then decide how to organize it. Look into a sole proprietorship. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to go. Then, network as much as you can, particularly through social media channels. Lastly, whether you’re just starting out or have been in business a long time, stay on top of things in your industry. To be successful you have to know your industry inside and out. Read industry publications and articles, participate in online discussions, network within your industry, etc.

Websites:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mildred Muhammad (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski (dangerouslee.biz)
Alaia

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Alaia Williams

Name and occupation:

Alaia Williams, Business Organizer, Networking Group Founder, and Dot Connector

What do you love most about being a woman?

Though challenges still remain and improvements in our culture would be welcomed,  I feel like this is the best time to be a woman. I didn’t grow up during a time when I was regularly told or treated like I was less than a man or had to be subservient to one. Also, as a woman in business, I feel like I have additional opportunities and resources that have definitely made a positive impact on my life. While the group I run is open to men and women, I have joined organizations for women business owners in the past, or attended events geared toward business women. Those of us who are active, at least here in Los Angeles, are rapidly building connections, and in many cases, strong friendships. Most of the female friends I have made after leaving college are other women business owners.

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

Fortunately, no. At least not that I have been aware of.  When I started my first business back in 2006, I was a Professional Organizer specializing in residential projects. Most people in the industry were (and possibly still are) women. In terms of the networking group, I think most people are concerned about it being an active groups with interesting people to meet and less concerned with my sex.

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

 I’ve belonged to several women-only organizations in the past, but my preference is for organizations that are open to both men and women. I also run a networking group and it has been open to men and women since day one. I do, however, have a mastermind group that only has women in it, and I try at least once a month to have a dinner or social gathering with some of my closest female entrepreneur pals.

Who or what inspires you most?

People who have overcome great odds to achieve great things. Everyone has different capabilities and what not, but when I look at people who achieve amazing things because they worked really hard, stayed positive and didn’t back down, I can’t help but realize that I don’t have any excuses for not making my dreams come true.

Something about you that would surprise us:

If eating bacon three times a day wouldn’t kill me, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

Ask for what you want. You don’t know what you’ll get if you don’t. Ask for what you’re worth. You’ll be bitter and resentful if you settle for less.

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
Mag

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski

Name and occupation:

Mag Retelewski, President and Founer of Clarteza

What do you love most about being a woman?

Emotional intelligence.

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

To a certain degree yes but I also experienced bias since I was born in Poland.

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

Yes, I created my own organization and hire mostly women (not by design, but somehow it happens this way).

Who or what inspires you most?

I believe that Passion Persuades and this is the biggest source of my inspiration.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I am a violinist (with formal schooling!) and speak more than one language.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Follow your passion and question a status quo.

Website and social media links:

  • Irish-American Heritrage Month Spotlight: Belinda Blakley (dangerouslee.biz)
DrKaRae

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ka Rae’ N. Carey

Name and occupation:

My name is Ka Rae’ N. Carey. My occupations are wife, daughter, friend, stepmother, licensed professional counselor and clinical addictions specialist

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love the flexibility and freedom being a woman affords me to be creative on a daily basis with my appearance. I can choose long pants, short pants, long skirts, short skirts, make up, no make up, and the hair possibilities are endless!

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

The helping profession is female  dominated so there is not much sexism to encounter in the profession.

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

I am a member of the National Association of Professional Women, and the Women’s Business Center in Durham, NC.

Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired most by my mother and husband. My mother inspires me with her  remarkable ability to make miracles with minimal resources, and never ending confidence in me. My husband inspires me with his awesome gift of calm in any storm, and the ability to help people see the positive side in the most dire of circumstances.

Something about you that would surprise us:

At Work: In my clinical practice I have three “co-therapists”, two turtles and a hamster! They do a great job in helping my younger clients talk about “tough stuff”.

When I am not at Work: I have endless energy when I am dancing. I am an avid dancer with talent in many varying styles including Latin, ballroom, and urban styles. 

Advice for women entrepreneurs:  

I would advise them to not be afraid to follow their dreams and to surround themselves with people who will support their dreams.

Website and social media links:

 

Brianna

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Brianna R. Sadler

Name and occupation: 

Brianna R. Sadler, Attorney.  Partner, Madgett Law, LLC.

What do you love most about being a woman? 

I have the upbringing of a lady with the tenacity of a bull.  Women are now being allowed to be so many different things, from choosing to stay home and raise children to running huge companies!  The sky’s the limit, baby.  Of course there are still roadblocks, but we have been busting through them with zest since the beginning of feminism!  Also, I like that I insightfully know whether my suit matches my shoes, some men will never grasp that concept.

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

There are a lot of older men who either want to help me or treat me like a “little lady.”  Either way, it’s my job to get the best outcome possible for my client, so I have to be a chameleon to cater to however he sees me.  Women are also sexist toward other women sometimes, so I have to take the stance of letting them know I am aware that I’m a young attorney and I have a lot to learn from them.  

Who or what inspires you most?       

My family.  My great-grandmother was a feminist, leaving an abusive husband with no money and three kids.  She also is reputed to do a mean Charleston.  Another (more traditional) great-grandmother used her egg money to buy her children books, so they could be educated and learn English as well as Dutch.  My grandmother used her wedding money to go to college.  My mother supported my father through college and then went herself.  My family (on both sides) has quietly been run as a matriarchy for generations.  The fact that these women worked hard to create a better life for their daughters and their daughters’ daughters motivates me to do the same.

Something about you that would surprise us:    

I’m also a bartender, and I minored in dance and athletic coaching.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:         

Get mad!  Women are conditioned from an early age to accept everything in silence, and that’s not the case anymore.  If something isn’t right, say something!  Don’t just laugh it off.  You don’t have to smile if you’re not happy.  Finally, no one is going to do it for you, go out and get it yourself!

Website:      

www.madgettlaw.com

 

Shobha

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala

Name and occupation:

Shobha Tummala

Entrepreneur – Founder & CEO of Shobha

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love that I can be both strong and soft at the same time which I attribute to my female ‘super powers’ —  innate compassion for others  and the ability to multi-task.

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

I’ve been very lucky when it comes to dealing with sexism, and really haven’t had to deal with much of it. However, I am aware of certain situations in which sexism is known to rear its ugly head – like raising money and selling companies. Those are the type of situations in which people say that women run into sexism.  Occasionally, I’ve experienced sexism during our construction projects when we build out our salon spaces, but now that we have done so many, I am familiar with the industry lingo and know what I am doing, so the guys get over it pretty quickly.

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

I don’t belong to any specific organizations that are women centric. However, I do have a bunch of informal networks of women that we get together exchange ideas, get support and discuss issues. 

Who or what inspires you most?

Both my grandfathers inspire me the most. They educated themselves, built businesses, and went against the grain of the family to achieve it all. I am so proud of them. They forged their own paths and that is so incredibly inspiring to me. 

Something about you that would surprise us:

My family and I, including my very active and inquisitive two year old son, reside in Maryland, while my other babies – my three salons and product line live in New York, along with my team.

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

1. Believe in Your Brand: In terms of creating a brand – or more specifically her brand – Shobha knew exactly what she wanted it to be. She was creating her brand based on her needs and personal pet peeves. Tummala says, “You have to believe and be passionate about it before others can believe in it.” In fact, when she first opened Shobha, Tummala was the receptionist in the salon, so she got a chance to not only get to know the clients, but bond with them. Tummala says, “It was probably one of the most enjoyable times in my life because I got to see every day what worked and what didn’t in a very direct way.”

2. Trust Your Gut: Tummala says, “For aspiring entrepreneurs, I can only speak from my own experience, and the one tip I can offer is to trust your gut.” She continues by saying, “You can do a ton of research and analysis, but when it comes to making the ultimate decision, it has to feel good, not only to me, but to my team and our clients.” Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but that’s partly why she does it – Shobha has the ability to right a wrong, change lives, and change the game of an industry!

3. It’s OK to Ask for Help: When thinking about the advice she would give to her young self, Tummala says, “I would tell myself to bring in more people to help me at the very beginning. I was in the business doing everything for almost 3 years before I really brought people in to help me. I was so afraid of failure that I never invested in the company or myself really early on. I wish I had.” It would have made those early years much more enjoyable for Tummala. She says, “Hindsight is always 20/20, but now I understand why they say experience matters. If I started a company, I would go about it very differently in some ways than I did back then.”

Website and social media links:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Shobha Tummala (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
Erika Lyremark

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Erika Lyremark

Name and occupation:

Erika Lyremark (“Lira-Mark”), Business coach and mastermind behind The Daily Whip, where I teach beautiful babes to be bad-ass business women.

What do you love most about being a woman?

That it affords me so much choice! (I would have answered differently if you’d asked me this, say, 300 years ago.) I have an incredible array of options as a woman.

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

One of the benefits of working exclusively with other women is that that particular hurdle just isn’t an issue. Having spent 9 years as a stripper and 9 years working in commercial real estate, I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum, and it’s impressive. I like where I am now.

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

Currently there are more than 150 women in my online community with whom I interact regularly – that’s organization enough for me! That said, I am a host for Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle National Tour.

Who or what inspires you most?

My dad. My mom. Oprah. Seeing my clients go from scared and scrounging to soaring pros.

Something about you that would surprise us:

I live in Minneapolis, and not New York, L.A. or San Francisco!

Advice for women entrepreneurs:

Treat your business like a lady. Hustle, hustle, hustle, then hustle some more. Always ask for the dance.

Website and social media links:

 

 

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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:

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
IMG_0574-01

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

  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Sandi Webster (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Mag Retelewski (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Ka Rae’ N. Carey (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Claudia A. Hoexter (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Peggy McHale (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Cindy Clemens (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Katerina Y. Taylor (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Women’s History Month Spotlight: Alaia Williams (dangerouslee.biz)
  • Womens History Month Spotlight: Vee Carson (dangerouslee.biz)
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