Do What You Love
9 Fly Female Entrepreneurs Reveal Their #DoWhatYouLove Moments
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I asked a few of your favorite power players from all walks of life to share their thoughts on my life mantra and absolute favorite hash tag, #dowhatyoulove. The Fly Female Entrepreneurs took time out of their demanding schedules to reflect on the following two questions:
When did you figure out what you truly loved to do? What is it about your career that makes you wake up each day feeling blessed to do what you love?
Simply put, their responses were awe-inspiring. Each woman’s journey has led her to a highly coveted career, yet each of them remain humble and grounded. Take a seat, grab a cup of tea or glass of wine and get your LIFE! Spoiler alert: I answered the questions too. I mean, come on now. How could I not?! Ok, carry on…
When I was pregnant twelve years ago with my son I got the first sparks of what would later become Mama Glow. I knew after the birth of my son that I would work with women and support them along the pregnancy and birth journey. I was always passionate about wellness and women’s health. It was so simple I just followed what felt good and let the passion take the lead. When you put an intention forth into the world and pursue the path laid by your heart, you can move mountains.
I love the moment where a woman crosses the threshold of birth and becomes a mother. I go to bed feeling fulfilled, knowing that I have imparted grace, support and inspiration to the women who I am blessed to work with. I am so happy that I wake up every day and design my day in the way best suited for me and my son, so I can spend time with him and support him in his entrepreneurial endeavors as a DJ. After all, my son inspired the vision for Mama Glow and he always reminds me of that. It’s joy that drives my business.
Latham Thomas is a maternity lifestyle maven, wellness & birth coach, yogi, creator of MamaGlow.com and the author of Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy. @mamaglow
As a little girl (around 10) I thought I wanted to become a lawyer or an accountant because I fancied myself argumentative but fair, bossy, and good at arithmetic. As I got older I realized those vocations didn’t quite fit the mold so I started to explore other business tracks. My mom introduced me to a ton of awesome women in business over the years and I had the opportunity to sit down with a woman in “marketing” when I was about 15. It wasn’t long after that meeting that I decided that Marketing is what I wanted to do! I started reading college curriculums and landed on the Corporate Communication major. It was the perfect fit for my personality and the rest is history. Every job I’ve had since that moment has been in the Advertising and Marketing field.
I LOVE the creative that comes from the business of marketing. Developing strategy that ultimately connects with people through visual and spoken assets is amazing to me! Taking a mere group think tank idea and turning it into an award-winning campaign that speaks to the masses is something that is unexplainable. It’s like magic! The best part of my job is no two days are the same- I never know what fires need to be doused or what MAJOR wins will occur on a day-to-day basis. The excitement of the unknown and the thrill of the solution is what gets me and keeps me going. My job is good but my life is great and it is my value for life and respect for vitality that keeps everything in perspective.
Ericka Pittman is the Vice President of Business Development at Combs Wine & Spirits. @erickampittman
When I was maybe seven years old, I went to a fashion show with my mom in Trinidad. I remember there was a Q&A part and the owner of a local cosmetics store asked a question from the stage for women to win a prize. The question was “What is the color of Elizabeth Arden’s famous door?” I knew and shouted out right away, “RED DOOR!” And I won a Fendi perfume gift set, complete with body wash and eau de parfum. I already loved my mom’s beauty products and that led me directly to this path I’m on today! After that, I began assisting at the perfume store over the Christmas season (kind of like a store mascot), and I clearly remember helping grown women pick out lipsticks and perfumes that would be perfect for them. 8 years old. That’s when I figured it out!
My career is a fun one – it involves playing with makeup and hair products every day! So that feels like a blessing in itself, but the REAL thing I enjoy the most is the feedback from my readers. I love that I directly know and am reminded daily that I’m making people happy, by giving them helpful information to improve their lives and feel better about themselves. From the comments on my social media feeds to emails, to blog comments and shout outs – I am regularly reminded that I’m making a difference and that means a lot to me. It keeps me going and is a daily blessing!
Patrice Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com and often referred to as the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging. @afrobella
At a young age I knew that I was good at talking on the phone, negotiating, event planning and being persistent. I didn’t know what type of career this would evolve into, but later I learned that these are necessary skills required to work in the field that I’m in now – public relations. What I love most about this work is the journey. There are so many elements to making a campaign succeed or a project come to fruition and all of that excites me. Knowing that my work is making an impact on someone’s life is truly rewarding. I want myself, peers, colleagues, and friends to succeed.
Lauren Wesley Wilson is the President of ColorComm, Inc., which houses the professional membership organization for women of color in communications. @lwesleywilson @colorcomm
My mom is an avid reader and there are over flowing bookshelves throughout the house. I read a lot of books just because they were there. One day when I was about 12, I picked up my mother’s copy of Terry McMillian’s “Waiting to Exhale.” I plopped on the couch and read it straight through. By the time I closed the book, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. (How to become a writer was the hard part)
What I LOVE most about my line of work is filling in the gaps in the popular stories. Often the perspectives of women, and Black women especially, are missing from the discussion. I make sure our stories are heard and our points of view are considered. My favorite part is the feedback. Even when readers don’t agree, I love that they are thinking and invested enough to be engaged with my work. It gives me a sense of purpose.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love and founder of award-winning blog ABelleInBrooklyn.com. @abelleinbk
You know what I LOVE? Business, entrepreneurship. I’m what you call a serial entrepreneur and I come from a family of entrepreneurs so I guess you can say it’s just in my blood. I founded my first business at 21, a boutique in Nashville, TN after I graduated from college. After I sold the business, I moved to NYC and one day a friend of mine in the music business told me I’d be a great publicist because I’m a people person, creative, dedicated and aggressive (I say ambitious lol). So after working in-house and at an agency for a few years, five years ago I opened the doors to my agency. And now while running one business, I’m on the verge of launching another.
What I LOVE most about my line of work, entrepreneurship, is the challenge. I always tell aspiring entrepreneurs that your business is only as successful as the time and dedication you put in to it. Which means you have to constantly challenge yourself, constantly re-invent the wheel, think outside the box and most importantly you have to have the heart to keep going even when it seems all odds are against you. I’ve had plenty of moments where I’ve been overwhelmed as a business owner but then the universe gives me a gentle reminder that I’m doing exactly what I was destined to do. I’m blessed to wake up to these reminders everyday when I walk into my office and the phone rings with new business on the other end. Just keep going…
Christina Rice is the Founder/CEO of LuxeLife Media Inc., a PR and Marketing agency based in New York City. @cricepr @luxelifemedia
I don’t know if I can peg a moment when I realized what I loved to do but over time I grew fascinated with magazines which led me to study photos and photographers and stylists and hair and makeup. I eventually went on to work in a salon and various makeup counters and worked with different stylists and makeup artists. Today, I’ve just sort of married everything that I know and love into a career. To be able to do that is an absolute blessing!
I am inspired and motivated by Black women. I never imagined that I’d be able to make a living celebrating women of color while assisting in their acceptance of their own unique beauty. I am able to employ my younger self (many curlBOX women are Black women in their 20s) and teach them the things that I always wish that I had been taught about self-love, life and business. I couldn’t ask for a better job!
Myleik Teele is the curlBOX Founder and Chief Experience Officer. @myleik @curlbox
I think I discovered what I truly wanted to do when I was 26 and started Black Web 2.0. Discovering your passion is an evolution and most people think they will instantly know what they want to do. I started out knowing that I wanted to do something creative and explored many different things including design and that lead me to starting Black Web 2.0 which lead me to NewME. Through Black Web 2.0 I discovered that I’m passionate about helping people become who they want through entrepreneurship. Ultimately I think that’s what I’m here to do however it wasn’t a direct path to discover that.
What I enjoy most about my work is helping people. There is something powerful about being a conduit to someone else’s success that I’m in love with. I’m lucky to get to wake up and do this every day at various levels.
Angela Benton is the Founder/CEO of NewME Accelerator, a social enterprise that accelerates entrepreneurs with non-traditional backgrounds. @abenton
When I was a little girl, I was totally obsessed with hair. Not just mine, but everyone else’s. I always tortured my younger sister by combing hers and in high school, I was the go-to chick for at-home relaxers, shaved sides (yes, I knew how to use the clippers) and whatever other styles were popular at the time. My “thing” with hair was so serious that I thought I wanted to be a stylist. Fast forward to college and my attempt to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up…the struggle to determine a career path was real, but what I did know for sure was that I wanted to be my own boss. I grew up watching my grandfather and dad run their own businesses. Post-graduation, I took a job with an advertising industry non-profit and wore just about every hat imaginable. My boss helped me develop my writing and event planning skills while encouraging me to explore a career in PR. I took her advice, landed a job at one of the top multicultural advertising agencies in the country and haven’t looked back since. The only difference now is that as an entrepreneur, I have the freedom of hand-picking the clients I represent. Doing PR for beauty companies has allowed me to marry my love for hair care with my passion for building brands. It’s truly a match made in heaven!
As if this wasn’t enough, I’ve also tapped into another passion through the creation of this blog you’re currently reading. Inspiring other women to do what they love by sharing the stories of Fly Female Entrepreneurs is like the gift that keeps on giving. In Her Shoes has exposed me to some pretty awesome human beings and opened many doors that I may not have had access to otherwise. When I think about my calling, I think about this labor of love. The ability to create content that has the power to change women’s lives and mindsets is truly a blessing.
Renae Bluitt is the creator of inhershoesblog.com and the Founder of Crush Media, a beauty PR consultancy based in Brooklyn, New York. @inhershoesblog