women entrepreneurs

Refresh Your Career Toolkit

Refresh Your Career Toolkit

We're more than halfway through the year, and it's the perfect time to start thinking about ways to level up in the second half of the year. Below we've included five new tools to add to your career toolkit.

1) For The Aspiring Entrepreneur: As some of us are preparing for our seat at the table or securing our seat, many might be thinking how to create their own empire…

This Is Us

This Is Us

Almost three years ago, I decided I needed something more out of life.

I wanted to lend support to other women striving to obtain their career goals, and I felt like my experiences up to that point would be able to lend a diverse voice to the career development conversation.

I have to be honest, I wasn’t 100 percent sure how I would do this, or what it would look like.

ICYMI: Starting Your Own Business (The Do's and Don'ts)

ICYMI: Starting Your Own Business (The Do's and Don'ts)

Every month at our *After 6: Career Conversations*, we get all the way real about issues faced in the course of our careers. This month, we talked to Sherry Sims, Founder and CEO of Black Career Women's Network. Sims shared about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, including some of the do's and don'ts of starting a new business.

If you couldn't join us in person, we've got you covered with some highlights!

From The Archives: Networking Like A Pro

From The Archives: Networking Like A Pro

Networking is one of those words that can bring a smile to one’s face or seem like a chore. People tell me, “You are so good at networking and making new friends, how do you it?” Here are 3 sure fire tips to help you navigate your personal and professional network.

Life's Hamster Wheel

Life's Hamster Wheel

Posted up in my office are the following words: Hopeful, Fun, Relentless, Committed, Successful, and Confident

Every time I look up from my computer, I see these six words staring me in the face. On days when I don’t feel confident, these words speak life to me. On days that don't seem successful, these words breathe life into me. 

What words, phrases, or quotes breath life into you? 

Oftentimes, we are grinding and hustling so hard that we can feel trapped in life's perpetual "hamster wheel." That wheel where we can’t stop, won’t "stop 'til you get enough," or do enough. That wheel makes us run so fast because we want to prove all the haters wrong. 

The Road to Passion, Purpose, and Entrepreneurship

The Road to Passion, Purpose, and Entrepreneurship

In college, many of us aspire to graduate and immediately land our “dream job” -- that job that will allow us to live the type of life we always dreamed of. Once we get out into the “real world,” however, we usually end up falling into one of two categories: 1) Having found our “dream job,” we feel totally happy and fulfilled in our careers, or [this is most of us] 2) We don’t.

Those who fall into the second, “unfulfilled” category, have two choices: 1) Keep doing what you’re doing and remain unfulfilled, or 2) Change course.

Dariana Colon-Bibb, Chief Strategist, The Rebelle Agency

Dariana is the Chief Strategist of The Rebelle Agency, a development and management company, that works with clients in the "entertainment, lifestyle, sports, and non-profit industries."

How did you end up choosing a career in your industry?

When I was in college, I was studying to be an investment banker. However, after a summer internship in the field, I quickly realized that it was not my ultimate blessing (although it did highlight my aptitude for numbers and my ability to be a “bulldog”). I was in a transitive point in my life leading into my Junior year, and a Spelman sister of mine asked me to be her Presidential Assistant for a new student organization she founded, the Black Public Relations Student Society (BPRSS). Always up for a challenge, I said yes with no prior knowledge of the industry.

Meet Cee Sando, Social Media Marketer, Fashion Stylist

Trust Your Gut

1) Do you remember the moment when you said, I have to pursue my dreams and do work that I am passionate about?

Absolutely! I was living in Toronto, at a job I could not stand and that I dreaded going to every day. I KNEW that it was absolutely NOT the life I was meant to be living. I vowed to do everything I could to drastically change my situation. First, I did the responsible thing and started saving every single penny – I downsized my home, liquidated most of my material items, and even sold my car to be able to have as much saved money as possible. Then I did the ultimate crazy thing and
moved thousands of miles away, to a city I had never lived in, and where I did not know a single person. Plus, I had no idea how I would support myself. My gut told me that I needed to be there at that time and I listened. Craziest and best decision I ever made!

2) What’s next for you in 2016?

This year has already been a huge one for me! I can honestly say that I have never been better or happier than right now! I have finally come to terms with being a typical Gemini in all things, including my career. For years, I battled between focusing on practical/ business/ left brain pursuits versus artistic/creative/right brain interests. I have now created a career that is the perfect marriage of the two! I know I am the only person able to do what I do exactly in the way I do it, and that is incredibly gratifying. I love being a wardrobe stylist, working on set and dressing my private clients just as much as I love putting together social media marketing campaigns for retail stores, training beauty corporations on how to make the best use of Snapchat, and posting on Instagram on behalf of a favorite fashion brand. Merging my love of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle with my obsession for social media in this way is what my education, training and experience has been leading me to. I have a number of fashion editorials coming out in print this season and I did costume design for my first film, which comes out this summer. I also have a limited list of incredible social media clients that I am super proud of!

3) Where does your inspiration come from?

Everywhere! From a cup of tea, the street style I see on daily walks through my Hollywood neighborhood, or the ideas I get during my yoga practice... all of my experiences inform my work.

4) How important is a good support system?

Having a good support system is huge! As an entrepreneur, I know having the right support can mean the difference between success and failure. No woman is an island and it is a waste of time and energy to think you need to do, be, or handle everything on your own. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I did not know a single person and it has taken me time to find the right group of positive, driven, energetic people to surround myself with. It has been 5 years and I am still working on it, but I am finally in a place where I feel brave and comfortable enough to turn to my system and ask for help when I need it.

5) What advice would you give women who want to start a business and/or pursue their dream?

The best advice I have ever received and the one thing I will say time and time again is TRUST YOUR GUT. You have all the answers to every possible question you can think of, because only you know what is best for you! Learn to listen to that inner voice that might be very quiet right now. Regardless of how weird, crazy, or counter intuitive the voice might seem, trust what you hear, and everything else will come naturally.

6) You’ve been in the entertainment/fashion industry for some time now, what are some lessons learned?

I'll double back to the previous answer here, because after making so many mistakes I realized that if I had been able to trust my gut a lot sooner, I could have saved myself a whole lot of money, time and disappointment. Besides this, the best lessons I have learned are:

  1. Stay true to yourself.

  2. Be 100% true to your word.

  3. Punctuality is a game changer.

  4. Impossibility is relative

  5. Jettison trends, wear what makes you feel like your best self.

  6. You only have 1 pair of feet so be good to them, even if that means wearing sneakers to work!

7) What are a few of your favorite must-haves?

 My phone (obviously)

 Lip Balm

 My rescue pit bull/ service animal, Stokely

 My styling kit (because I never know when I might receive a last-minute booking)

 Tea in a travel mug

 A killer pair of sunglasses (right now I am absolutely obsessed with a new local brand, Burkinabae)

To learn more about Cee Sando, and to see some of her great work, visit her website, Facebook, and Twitter

Jennifer K. Goss, Executive Director, The 31 Project

Jennifer K. Goss, Executive Director, The 31 Project

I thought about how many young ladies I missed out on reaching, I thought about how my vision had sat in a box and collected dust.  These thoughts literally made me sick to my stomach and I began to weep uncontrollably. In that moment I realized I could not wait any longer.