I recently had the honor of being featured in a new magazine, Fearless Commerce that celebrates Black women business owners in Minnesota. In the words of the magazine’s founders and editors, Shawntera Hardy and Camille Thomas, “by honoring and celebrating Black women business owners through sharing their story and presenting beautiful and positive imagery, we can help inspire and motivate all people.”
It was truly a wonderful experience to not only be in the magazine, but to also celebrate its premier launch at a reception that was held at Twin Cities Public Television with all the other honorees: Shauen Pearce, Tish Watson, Jasmine Brett Stringer, Junita Flowers, Kimberly Bedell Rhodes, Melissa Taylor, Emilia Ndely, Dr. Grace Warren, Alicia Belton, Miquel Purvis McMoore (who is also an executive recruiter), Dr. Artika Tyner, Char Dobbs, Dr. Ayanna Quamina, Alex Merritt, Dr. Joi Lewis, Meredith Moore Crosby, Faatemah, Brittany Lynch, Bianca Lewis, Jasmine Russell, Faith Folayan, Robin P. Hickman, Andrea Ellen Reed, and invited guests.
These Black women represent entrepreneurship across many different sectors — from health, beauty, and fitness, art and architecture, marketing and business development, to management consulting, community development, culinary arts, and of course, staffing services and executive recruiting to name a few. Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. It involves taking risks, lots of hard work, and very often operating with little to no safety net. On the other hand, it is an opportunity to make a living doing work that you feel called to do, and working toward that vision can be highly motivating and fulfilling.
I feel that my work puts me in an interesting position in two ways. First, with my husband, Sam, we have built Robinson-Robinson, a retained executive search firm that specializes in recruitment for executive and management positions, with a focus on providing a diverse slate of candidates to include women and persons of color. So we assist organizations in identifying and selecting excellent talent and assist applicants in getting jobs in some of the best corporations and non-profit organizations in America. I like that my work provides the opportunity to interface with people in either channel.
Second, I have learned that I am part of a significant business phenomenon that continues to evolve. Ms. Thomas mentioned this in an interview with Bloomberg TV news saying, “Black women are currently the fastest growing group of female entrepreneurs.” This is very exciting because I think it will result in us Black women building a stronger network amongst ourselves. New or young entrepreneurs often need and seek support, wisdom, and access to those like me who have experience overcoming some hurdles from being in business. On the flip side those of us with experience are always open to hearing new ideas from the up and coming trailblazers. I look forward to playing my part in being a resource for these women as well as a student in the exchange of ideas. In the words of the co-founders, “The bold women that Fearless Commerce celebrates have been unafraid to push the limits, share their gifts with the world, disrupt the norm and live life on their terms.” The launch of Fearless Commerce could not have come at a more appropriate time.
Magazine Photography Credits