Tag Archives: March 8

IWD – It’s Not What You May Think

Happy International Women’s Day!

Today we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women from all around the world, past and present. Today we also reflect and advocate on behalf of women’s issue and gender equality and social equity.

At Super Woman Productions and Publishing we contribute to International Women’s Day by hosting the only official IWD event in Michigan each March 8, called Women’s Day Tea. This year isn’t any different. However, for the first year this year, I ran into a small roadblock. In Detroit, I’m accustomed to people being behind in receiving and sharing information. I’m also accustomed to people not being receptive to something that is different from what they typically know about or are exposed to. Detroit isn’t the most innovative place in the world, like it once was.  It takes time for people to understand the value of something “different”.  Although I’m accustomed to these factors, I don’t accept them and I find ways to work around them.

This year, however, I received a lot of inquiries from women business owners whose only interest in Women’s Day Tea was to be a vendor at the event. I literally received messages on social media, by phone and email asking if there were any vendor tables left for the event. They didn’t seem to understand that vending wasn’t the purpose of the event and that I only offer four vendor tables to create an added feature and opportunity for women-business owners in Detroit, that would help them to meet and interact with other successful women in hopes it will encourage them and help them economically. Most of the women who contacted me by phone immediately dismissed me (practically hanging up on me) when I told them that vendor tables were sold out, and they didn’t allow me an opportunity to invite them to attend. Women who contacted me by email, didn’t accept my invitation to attend and responded with “let me know next time you have an event with vendors”.  Very disappointing.

When I vented about this sudden upswing of women business owners only wanting to be vendors at events and not understanding the importance of IWD as a whole, someone had the audacity to suggest that I should just turn the event into a vending event since so many people seem to want that and, in essence, just take the women’s money since they didn’t know any better.  That’s not the type of business woman I am and that does not contribute to the purpose of IWD.

In my post event surveys from Women’s Day Tea for two prior years, attendees stated that the event vendors were not the primary reason they attended the event or would attend again. Those who attend, attend to celebrate the purpose of International Women’s Day more than they attend to buy products from vendors at the event. In fact, their attendance still supports women-owned businesses, and attendees network with each other and hopefully support each others’ businesses and community projects after the event concludes. So, if my paying attendees have an understanding of the goal of the event and attend because of that goal, why would I want to shift the focus to please those who don’t have an understanding? I wouldn’t. And there are thousands of other events all over Michigan, throughout the year, if women want to buy a vendor table for a few hours or an entire day. I stuck to my guns. I did not turn Women’s Day Tea into a vending event or expo.

As a result this is what happened:

I received an email from an internet television program asking if they could cover the event; they now have a level of exclusivity and “bragging rights” because they get to cover the only official International Women’s Day event in MichiganWalt Disney Pictures contacted me and asked if they can send representatives to give away promotional items to the event attendees. Of course I said ‘yes‘ and it may turn into future business opportunities with Walt Disney Pictures. At the last-minute, for online ticket sales, tickets were still selling. I woke up this morning to emails from women asking if they can pay at the door.

At 6 pm today, Women’s Day Tea will take place as planned. The ladies who attend today will have a delicious and fun time, receive gifts and giveaways, network and celebrate the purpose of International Women’s Day with one another. Selected women in attendance will be awarded as #MakeItHappen honorees. Those women who opted not to attend Women’s Day Tea because they only wanted to be a vendor, have unfortunately lost out on opportunities to be vendors at the I Feel Good! Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference in August at Wayne State University, where we have up to 20 vendor tables available.  I have learned that sometimes passing up one opportunity because it doesn’t fit what you think it should, results in other missed opportunities. I truly wish more women in Detroit would realize that. That’s today’s lesson on being short-sighted, I suppose. 

Making History

On March 8, 2013, Super Woman Productions and Publishing will host the first annual Women’s Day Tea in celebration of International Women’s Day. This event’s theme is Sip and Sushi and has been a plan for the last year from the time I was first introduced to the concept of International Women’s Day by a friend of mine who lives in Italy. He informed me that it is celebrated different ways in different cultures, internationally, and even informed me of the Italian tradition celebrated by women on March 8th of every year for as long as he could remember. I immediately began to feel like we (women), particularly in Detroit, were missing out on something fabulous and empowering. So I began to do my research. My Super Team and I then began to determine how best to celebrate the occasion here in Detroit on March 8, 2013. Needless to say, we had some very grand and amazing ideas. As expected, it was turning into a rather large-scale endeavor. Unfortunately, because people aren’t as quick to embrace new ideas in Metro Detroit, we also had to contend with the funding of such a large-scale event. So we decided to trim it down from grand to fabulous. As usual, in my Super World, that resulted in all of the pieces coming together quickly and very well.

Then we ran into a dilemma, completely of my own doing. What do I do about The FabLife Radio Show broadcast for that same night, during that same time? Mista Ecks and I had decided that in celebration of International Women’s Day, on that night, we’d honor the women who were most instrumental in hip hop on the show. We had already contacted the appropriate people to book those guests and had already received positive responses.  How can I be in two places at the same time? My business manager said not to worry because we ‘d just broadcast The FabLife Radio Show from the Women’s Day Tea.

Brilliant!! Problem solved!

We found our ideal location, which is a woman owned business, called Socra Tea Detroit, at 71 Garfield in Midtown Detroit, a few days later. We posted our tickets online and within a week we sold all of our vendor spots to other women business owners. Tickets started selling and inquiries and offers started flowing in. Some offers we’re not able to accept because they cost money that we don’t want to spend. After all one of our goals for the Women’s Day Tea is to raise money towards the cost of the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference this August; not just give money to other companies and people to do what we can do ourselves at little or no cost. But we were able to accept the majority of offers provided by other women business owners in Metro Detroit to assist them with receiving additional exposure for their businesses through our event.  

Women’s Day Tea – Sip and Sushi is a reality!

HERE ARE SOME FUN FACTS:

  • Internationally for 2013, there are over 500 events taking place for International Women’s Day
  • In the United States there are 83 different official events planned for March 8, 2013 in celebration of International Women’s Day.
  • In Michigan there is only one official event planned for International Women’s Day. It is mine.
  • In Detroit, Michigan is there is only one official event planned for International Women’s Day… Also, mine.

I was initially very shocked at the idea that Super Woman Productions and Publishing was the only entity with an official International Women’s Day event in the entire city of Detroit. Then I was really astounded that it is also the only event being held in the entire state of Michigan. Now, many of you know there’s a  big difference between someone throwing words on paper or in a press release (i.e. in celebration of International Women’s Day“) in order to increase their audience, and someone being granted the use of the name/brand/logo of an establishment for their event because it is legitimate. I have been granted use of the name/brand/logo for International Women’s Day because MY EVENT IS THE ONLY OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF MICHIGAN. Proof of this can be found by searching the events here → International Women’s Day

Super Woman Productions and Publishing under my leadership has made history in Detroit and it was completely unplanned. Plus, we’re not done. We’re adding additional amenities to Women’s Day Tea, including a live performance by someone who shall remain nameless for a few more days. His performance at Women’s Day Tea is his first performance in Detroit, Michigan. So now we’re making history twice with one event. Of course there are still those who don’t see the value in such an event, have no interest in attending  and don’t much care about what it can do for Detroit as a city. That is fine. They just won’t be present to witness history being made. For those who do attend or participate by making a donation of a raffle item or addition to the gift bags for attendees, they will forever be a part of something amazing and historical that took place in the City of Detroit.

Tickets are still on sale. Come out and support the only OFFICIAL International Women’s Day event in the entire state of Michigan on March 8, 2013. You can buy tickets here.

Come join Super Woman Productions and Publishing in making history.

 

 

 

Progress On Purpose

This year has started off surprisingly and pleasantly well for Super Woman Productions and Publishing. I have been pleased to include three phenomenal women to the Super Team in different capacities. I’m in the middle of an interview frenzy for interns to fill positions within the company that are structured for long-term opportunities. The FabLife Radio Show is showing consistent listeners each week with some significant growth as well. On March 8, 2013 we’re celebrating International Women’s Day and we have celebrity guests that are going to be on the show. We’re preparing for the launch of FabLife Apparel and Accessories this year and the fabulous ad campaign that will accompany it. I now also write a column for Thrive Detroit Street Newspaper which is sold at Source Books and D:Hive monthly. The February/March issue is available at both locations now for $1 per copy.

In this the fifth year since the birth of my brain child, I can say that I am truly happy and that I have learned how to enjoy the small accomplishments just as much as the larger ones.

Of course what I do isn’t easy (although I’m told I make it look like it is) and there are small challenges. But all of the challenges are a learning experience, as well as strength and character building exercises. Cultivating anything and doing it well, requires a lot of time, patience, persistence and work. People who blow up over night, are often forgotten about just as quickly. Where some people may feel that I’m not more “popular” because I have boundaries that I refuse to cross just for the sake of pleasing others, I’m perfectly comfortable with my current level of “popularity“. It allows me to maintain a life that I can enjoy without people being witness to my every move…for now. 

I have learned throughout this process (because that’s really what it is) that rejection and change are inevitable. I look at rejection as a necessary occurrence for people who I don’t need to exit stage left, so that the right people can be brought into my Super World. That often results in very positive change because the people who left had their own conflicting agendas. Anyone who tells me ‘no’ today, will one day beg to work with me. Not because I’m so much better than anyone else, but simply because everything that is taking place in my Super World is mapped out in the Master’s Plan.

It’s going to happen regardless of what anyone else thinks, says or feels.

So much of what I’ve achieved is not because of me; it is in spite of me. My accomplishments are in spite of me not having a degree. My accomplishments are in spite of me not having the understanding or acceptance of others (friends, family and peers). My accomplishments are in spite of me not being a reality TV star. My accomplishments are in spite of me not getting some of the opportunities I wanted to showcase my talents to others. Yet, I’m still here. I’m still growing. My business is still expanding. While others have yet to finish the same the projects that they told me ‘no’ to, I’m getting more projects of my own to work on. Daily new people all over the country (and in some corners of the world) organically discover Super Woman Productions and Publishing and are exposed to what I do.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is how “others” are able to progress in society because they have money or opportunities given to them that people of color (particularly Black people) don’t have access to. I disagree with that. I believe that all progress is deeply rooted in the desire of the individual or group of people. Sometimes in order to experience progress, an individual must put distance between themselves and the group because the group isn’t growing or supporting the process. Progress is intentional. It is conscious. It is strategic. It comes from having a plan and working that plan. It comes from being diligent and looking for ways to improve. It’s not dependent on or hindered by anyone or anything else, unless you allow it to be. So in your new year look at what you want to do, and determine what you need to do better in order to get there instead of looking for excuses not to get there. It doesn’t matter how much time it takes. Improve your time management skills. Time is an investment that pays off well if used wisely.

Make your progress intentional.

Make your progress conscious.

Make your progress strategic.

Progress on purpose.

Your success is waiting.