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February 2023 | Member Highlights



Meet Business Owner, Joy Edwards, Founder & CEO

Tell us how you got into entrepreneurship.

In 2014, I suffered a chemical burn on my scalp from a perm. I was looking for products to cleanse, treat, and heal my scalp and hair, but everything had chemicals. Not wanting to aggravate my scalp with more chemicals. I began doing research looking for all natural products. When I didn't find anything I thought would work for me, I began researching natural ingredients and began mixing up various oils and butters that were know to have natural healing and moisturizing properties. I came up with a formula I knew would be great, but it needed finetuning. During my search I came across a soap-making class and enrolled and not even 30-minutes into the class i was hooked and in love! I not only discovered a passion for soapmaking, but I also received the help I needed to fine tune my formula which is not my body butter. Growing up, I always had very sensitive and dry skin. The soaps my mom bought from the store were harsh, irritatiing, and drying to my skin and the lotions weren't emollient or nourishing to moisturize my skin, so my skin was always dry and ashy. To be able to hand select ingredients and make my own skincare has been life changing! I no longer had to worry about my skin being dry, itchy, and ashy all the time and being embarrassed and uncomfortable to scratch my skin when it was itching because I knew as soon as I started scratching, it was going to leave white, ashy scratch marks all over my arms and hands. Having skin that was soft, hydrated, and moisturized and not dry, irritated and itching all the time was so liberating and freeing, I knew I had to share it with other women suffering from dry, sensitive skin so I began my business, Sweet Surrender.



What’s one of the greatest accomplishments you have achieved in your business?

Maintaining and growing my business up to this point so far has been my greatest professional accomplishment. Coming up with a business name, getting your business license and permits, and all the things that encompass starting a business is fun and easy, the work is in maintaining and growing your business. When I first started my business in 2014, it was me, Vista Print, Google, YouTube, and lots and lots of tears, frustration, and prayers! There were countless nights of crying myself to sleep, frustrated and ready to give up, but it was that same frustration, tears, and prayers and encouragement of my family that kept me going then, and keep me going now. My kids are my biggest cheerleaders and my greatest accomplishment in life. They encourage me, support me, and believe in my ability to do what I set my mind to. They are my greatest joy and motivation to keep pursuing my passion of formulating and making cosmetics.


Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

In 3-5 years, I see myself living and enjoying the fullness of my dreams. I'll be surrounded by family and friends in my dream house. I'll have my own manufacturing facility and lab. I'll be making products to sell in my own boutique, but my products will be on the shelves of Nordsroms, Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and manufacturing toiletries for luxury BNB's and five-star hotels across the country. When I'm not working, I'll be traveling and exeriencing all the beauty the world has to offer with my family.


What do you love most about being a CEO Chick?

I love knowing I'm not alone. It's very comforting and empowering to be surrounded by, and learn from successful, powerful women that are where I am, and have made it to where I'm trying to be and are helping others get there too. And the beauty of it, is that these women look like me!


Who inspires you?

My kids are my inspiration for all that I do, but I'm truly inspired by all Women of color who have stepped out on faith and fought to make a difference in their lives. The women who fight daily to create their own tables to have several seats at. All the women that don't accept "No, can't, and won't" as their fate in life.


What is your favorite book/podcast you recommend to our CEO Chicks?

At the risk of sounding corny, the Bible. I haven't had much time to read for pleasure in quite some time, but every morning I start my day with a blble verse and it gives me the inspiration, courage, and guidance I need to keep going everyday. No matter how hard or challenging things get, I'm reminded that I'm not alone and I am fully equipped with everything I need to overcome the obstacles, temptations, and challenges life brings.


What advice would you give other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Never give up on yourself or your dream. Everyone's dream is special and unique to them. If not one understands your dreams and vision but you, it's okay because it's not everyone's dream or vision to see and fulfull, it's yours.


How can people connect with you and your products/services?

People can connect with me on social media. I promise in 2023 I will be stepping out of my comfort zone and allowing people to actually connect with me and not just my products.


How can people connect with you and your products/services?


 

Meet Shana M. Jones / Vice President


Tell us how you got into entrepreneurship.

I got into entrepreneurship over 25 year ago when I realized I could assist more people that had a desire to own a home if I opended up the doors of opportunity and educated consumers. Provideing a platform for success. The answer is yes you can OWN property!



What’s one of the greatest accomplishments you have achieved in your business?

My gretest accomplishment by far was staying in business over 10 years and expanding stategically and helping employ over 100 people. Folks that are still in the business to this day. Making an impact on a community that did not have a simular business. The west side of Chicago is a tough demographic loacation. My vision came full circle but hard work and dedication was key, even when times got tough.


Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

I see myself with several streams of income from a few different sources. I also see teaching and more consulting, developmental projects and a larger team to assist.


What do you love most about being a CEO Chick?

I love being a CEO Chick because like minded women are not easy to find and when you add the spiritual mentoring and the God based concept on growth and success you have a winning combination and approach to helping me be a better human being.


Who inspires you?

Grant Cardone inspires me. He has systems that he can teach and have proven to work applied correctly.


What is your favorite book/podcast you recommend to our CEO Chicks?

Think & Grow Rich


What advice would you give other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Make a business plan, follow a plan and HOEPFULLY have at least 1 person that can help.


How can people connect with you and your products/services?

Call me 312-907-7171 or email me at sjones@thefederalsavingsbank.com


How can people connect with you and your products/services?


 


Meet Christian Hills/ CEO of Salon Luxoure


Tell us how you got into entrepreneurship.

I originally got into entrepreneurship at a young age as I knew I wanted to be successful in life. I felt that entrepreneurs had a type of freedom that I wanted. I started out by helping my great aunt out in her catering business and nonprofit and got my humble beginnings working as her event coordinator and assisting her in the kitchen at the age of 10. Later, while in cosmetology school, I started to discover how gifted in both makeup and teaching I was. I even taught a few makeup classes while attending the night school program when our teachers would call off. This inspired me to open my first business, Behind the Brush. I opened my mobile makeup business while attending school and used my knowledge and school connections to build clientele and get booked on gigs like fashion shows, private events, and weddings. This experience really opened me up to entrepreneurship and somehow I knew entrepreneurship would lead me to my purpose. From that point on- I was obsessed. I had even let my learning leaders know that I was in cosmetology school to understand how to run a global business. I loved beauty and still do! But starting that business in school opened me up to a world of new possibilities.


What’s one of the greatest accomplishments you have achieved in your business?

One of my greatest accomplishments to date has been securing a space for my newly opening luxury nail salon in a very high-traffic, high-profile shopping center. The key to this success was allowing God to have full creative control over where this space is. I check in with my CEO (God) daily. This particular time, I made a decision that I was going to allow God to lead and be obedient and not try to do things "my way". Coupled with this decision, I decided to take messy action in order to allow God to move me forward. I learned that God can't move through me if I won't move. During my prayer time I faithfully said "God, how can I move 1% closer to what you are asking from me? What's one step I can take to move closer to opening this business?" And whatever I felt in my heart, I would pray on it and take the actions to make that thing happen. I didn't always get it right, but I was always on the right path.


Where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

Professionally, I truly see myself teaching and pouring into others. I believe that I have learned all of these things in order to share my knowledge, gifts, and trials with women who want to use entrepreneurship as the vehicle to get out of generational curses. I will be speaking on stages and supporting an empire of businesswomen to help nurture them into their calling. 3-5 years from now, I also own 3 of our flagship salons along with the launch of our nail academy. We are planning the launch of our franchisee program as well.


What do you love most about being a CEO Chick?

I really love the sisterhood! I have found what I believe is a lifelong friend, Tahira, in my first week of joining. That has now become my prayer bestie and sister in prayer & business. This is something invaluable to me as it was something I prayed for a long time- to meet the right community of women who can understand how audacious my goals were and still push me toward them. An environment and community of women who all were on the same trajectory as me, to be called and used for more. Who are building their purpose through passion and entrepreneurship, I especially love that we are a community of prayer!


Who inspires you?

My four-year-old son, Noah. His childlike faith in things allows me to humble myself. It gives me a refreshing look to believe and not worry or doubt. It inspires me and motivates me daily to believe in myself, my goals, and my capabilities in the way he believes in me.


What is your favorite book/podcast you recommend to our CEO Chicks?

I LOVE The Social Proof Podcast by David Shands. I listen to it more than music at this point. There is a blend of insightful interviews, education and realness that happens on that podcast. A book that was given to me early on in entrepreneurship that I truly recommend is called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. It is a great read for all entrepreneurs- no matter what stage of entrepreneurship you're in.


What advice would you give other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Narrow your idea down to just one business idea. Do this and then test it- before you file the LLC, before you purchase the website, before all of that. Get validation that people want to buy your product or service first. Get proof that people want to pay for this thing and get feedback on how to improve it. Once you make a few sales use that money to go them form your business. Please don't skip the step of validation. All too often I hear stories of how someone came up with an idea and they don't have customers or wasted so much time and money and they quit. Sometimes the journey of entrepreneurship is more valuable than your product blowing up. Sometimes you have to build up the skills it takes for you to carry your purpose.


How can people connect with you and your products/services?

You can connect with me directly through Instagram DM's, Email or by text. Just let me know you are a CEO Chick member or saw my interview with CEO Chicks and I will be glad to connect. My email is: christianhills.pro@gmail.com. The number to text is (925) 775-5388. My Instagram is below.


How can people connect with you and your products/services?






































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