Tag Archives: #WDTIWDDetroit

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. 

The Happy Dance

Everyday that I’m alive is an awesome day. There are days when I’m having an exceptionally awesome day. On those particular days I do my happy dance. My happy dance isn’t one that too many people have ever witnessed we do in public. At least not that I’m aware of. It’s a cross between twerking, krumping, the Harlem Shake (the one from Harlem NY, not the one from YouTube), and a myriad of other dances that make me look incredibly silly. If you were to ever see me do the happy dance, believe that you’d never forget it. Ask the lady that saw me doing the happy dance in my car one day, with Drake’s “The Motto” blasting from my stereo. I can only imagine the conversation she had with the next person she spoke to started with, “You should’ve seen the crazy lady in the car next to me today”.

Sometimes I do my happy dance in my chair, or in my car at a stop light, or even while cooking. Sometimes it’s randomly done when I get good news or even while I’m receiving the news. I’ve been known to break into the happy dance before replying to an email giving me good news. Although it’s not something I’m quick to do publicly, I love to do it. Sometimes my social media status update only says “*happy dance, happy dance, happy dance*“. Some Super Fans have grown to know that means I just got good news, have another accomplishment under my belt, or have completed a task I’ve been working towards. I don’t always share the details of why I’m doing the happy dance, but the news is eventually shared with everyone when it is ready to be shared. Today I did the happy dance and it felt really good. There are so many great opportunities coming in my direction that I can see myself doing it more often as the year progresses. The FabLife Radio Show is now on two internet radio networks for your listening pleasure booking guests for mid to late 2014Super Woman Productions and Publishing is hosting the only official International Women’s Day event in Michigan for the second year in a row. I recently spoke at Jaiden Shephard inaugural event Finding My Way Home at the Royal Oak Public Library. I’m going to be the media sponsor for another upcoming event in April of this year. In total Super Woman Productions and Publishing is hosting or affiliated with five events in 2014 in Metro Detroit and adding more to that number soon. As you can tell, I’m entitled to a few happy dances.

Everyone has something they do when they feel really good or receive good news; at least I think everyone should. Allowing yourself to feel the joy in an experience or accomplishment sometimes makes it more real.  So often we go through life not allowing ourselves the freedom to express joy and happiness for fear of what others may think or say, that we rob ourselves of that moment of joy. I refuse to be robbed of my moments, no matter how small. It took me to long to appreciate the small moments leading to bigger ones for me to ignore any of them going forward. Life is too short.

I encourage you to do something, anything, random, fun or funny (but healthy) when you feel joy, receive good news, have a great day or accomplish something in your life. Make a spectacle of it even if no one else is there to share it with you. Be silly with it, even if someone else is watching. Love every second of that feeling and let it take you over from your head to your toes.

Embrace it.

Enjoy it.

Then do it again.

*happy dance, happy, dance, happy dance*  

Estrogen Economy

It is true that people, in the Black community, in particular, need to cooperate with each and support each other more. In a time when we should be learning to co-exist more peacefully with one another we are often too divisive among ourselves. We self segregate and hold onto mindsets that set us up for failure instead of embracing those that encourage us towards greatness. I recall sometime ago when speaking with my mentor about my business goals, he asked me what my demographic is. I told him “Detroiters” are my demographic and he told me I was wrong. I said “Black folks” are my demographic and again he told me I was wrong. I admitted to him that I was confused and didn’t quite understand what he was leaning towards. He told me “Your demographic is women. Not women in Detroit. Not Black women. Women, period. No matter where you go or where you’re from, women will be able to relate to you because you are a woman, too.

Although somewhere deep down, I probably already knew that, on that day it was like the hand of God Himself granted me infinite wisdom.

Some of what I was already doing in my business model was fitting my demographic; I just needed to be fully conscious of it. 

Yes, I’m from Detroit and I love my city, even when it doesn’t love me back. Yes, I’m Black and I love my people even when they don’t treat me or each other right. But at the end of the day, I love myself. And I am a woman.  I understand what that means from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. I understand how women often are working and trying to achieve in male dominated fields, but lack support from other women and from men. I understand how many women have to work, go to school themselves and send their kids to school as well. I understand what sacrifices women make for their loved ones. I understand the issues women have with men, relationships, self-esteem and finances. I get it because I am a woman.

I’m also smart enough to know that if I sit around and just wait for specifically Detroiters and Black folks to embrace and support me, I will never get to where I want to be.

One of the things I’m most thankful for is that I understand and embrace diversity as well. Although I’m “prowoman, my Super Team is very diverse. We range in age, experience, race, class, education and culture. However, the majority of the members on my Super Team are, in fact, other women.  This wasn’t intentional or determined by company policy. It is what is meant to be and therefore it has developed into what it is. Simple. I don’t discriminate against men, but I do find it more difficult to work with them sometimes because of their preconceived notions based on physical attraction or what their experiences tell them a woman should be able to do…and not do. I’ve had more men claim that they would love to work with me then turn around and be deceitful and dishonest in their business practices, than women have, because unfortunately, the men started off with an agenda that wasn’t about business at all. I’m not the only woman who has had this experience with men in business either. I operate my business with integrity and character and I expect the same from all the people I do business with. It just so happens that the people I can work effectively with are other women.

This year thus far has had many amazing developments for The Brand. This month has been another fast paced, yet amazing one in my Super World. And throughout it there has been a common reoccurrence. I was being approached and embraced by the women in the room, no matter where I was at. It’s one of those things you have to step outside of yourself for a moment to realize and reflect upon. It’s a moment I have to enjoy at that moment. Which I have learned to do.

Women’s Day Tea was a complete success on Friday, March 8, 2013. It was a celebration of women in hip hop and women owned businesses. At the event we had Mae Day, Lola Damone, Smiley Davis and El DeBarge Jr. in attendance. Everyone that attended said how much they enjoyed the event. Many of whom wanted to know when we’d have another event and if we’d have another Women’s Day Tea in 2014. The answers are ‘yes‘ and ‘yes‘. I was so happy that everyone else enjoyed themselves. All of the stress was definitely worth the smiles and ‘thank you’s‘ from everyone.

We’re working towards completion of the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference this August. The goal is to reach young women and show them possibilities that will help them become stronger, better, more confident adult women; and help adult women become stronger and better as well. The goal is not to make women into what men think they should be, but to teach women to embrace what womanhood truly IS.  Womanhood is not us tearing each other down (‘she’s fake’, ‘look at her, she thinks she cute’, ‘I don’t like her because of her shoes’); it’s about us building and lifting each other up. Building and lifting each other up sometimes will require positive reinforcement, correction and constructive criticism. Those things are not esteem or dream killers; they are strength and confidence builders. We’re looking for ways to save money on the venues and materials as well so that we can have the young ladies ages 11 – 18 attend for free and then pass the additional cost savings on to women attending over the age of 18. We’ve also added the option of In-Kind donations for the items that we need to make the event a success, such as beverages, lunch, marketing materials and advertising. We’re seeking media partners across Metro Detroit who may be interested in being title sponsors in exchange for helping us get the word out. I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference is promised to be another successful Super Woman Productions and Publishing event held in Detroit, just like the two we’ve had so far in 2013.

About a week before Women’s Day Tea, a brilliant concept popped into my head from God. It was two simple words:

Estrogen Economy ©

What is it? What can it do? How do we get it? And yes, I’m copyrighting it. It’s about to be huge.

Prior to the concept being gifted to me, I was already contributing to the concept. Women’s Day Tea on Friday, March 8, 2013 was clearly evidence of that. Super Woman Productions and Publishing was the only company in the state of Michigan that held an official celebration of International Women’s Day. That’s one point for the Estrogen Economy© already. Over the next several months, my other upcoming projects will also contribute to the Estrogen Economy© in many ways as well. I hope other women, and companies throughout the state of Michigan, will join this initiative over the next several months. Some have already indicated that they will. That makes me smile.

#EstrogenEconomy – 2013 through ∞