The number of women-owned businesses grew by 74% between 1997 and 2015–a rate that’s 1.5 times the national average, according to the recently published 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express Open. Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., accounting for some 9.4 million firms.
Women are proving every day that we have the ability to do anything we set our minds to achieve. I got a chance to speak with a pioneering woman; Charmaine Nichelle C.E.O of XoXo Kalani to hear why she choose entrepreneurship.
1. Why do you think Black Women are the fasting growing group of entrepreneurs?
I personally became an entrepreneur in order to pursue my innovative desires. It is such a great blessing to have the ability to be a stay-at-home mom, but in my case, that just wasn’t enough. I have to stay busy. My mind is always working and I am constantly coming up with solutions to needs that I have as a stay-at-home mom and as a consumer. Perhaps many of the other women of color, entrepreneurs, are like me and simply want to get paid for their creative ideas and turn them into lucrative businesses. The ability to create your own schedule is also extremely appealing to women like me because we already have so much going on, so being able to run your business on your time, make money, and still run the show at home is for me a win-win.
2. What was your first taste of entrepreneurship and how did that shape your character for today?
My first taste of entrepreneurship became a reality for me five months after giving birth to my son-my third child. Being married to a hardworking man that travels for work, having two school-age children, and a newborn at home quickly forced me to realize that I simply did not have enough hands to get all of my routine tasks done. I found myself in constant need of assistance with running errands, preparing meals, doing laundry, and everything else so I thought to myself, hey, if I am feeling overwhelmed then there must be other parents like me that feel the same way. With that, I launched my first business called I’m Not An Octopus, LLC which provided extra hands to parents in and around the Charlotte, NC area. I hired a team of 12 that worked as Personal Assistants to families in the area. We did everything from caring for kids to give parents a break, to meal preparation in homes for families and even traveled with families to ensure that if parents wanted to have a date night while on vacation they would be relieved in knowing that they had extra hands on deck they could trust to care for their little ones.
3. You are a successful beauty-prenuer and mom, what are the building blocks to your success?
The building blocks to my success runs deep. I am very blessed to have a patient and understanding husband that supports me in all that I do. My children, of course, look up to me and knowing that motivates me to want to be the very best that I can be each and every day because I know that they are watching. Then there is that extremely special reason that drives me like no other. Yes, I am in the beauty business, but my mission behind being in the beauty business is much deeper than looking incredible. My mission is to help resolve the homelessness crisis. When everyone works together and people put their money where their mouths are beautiful things can happen. Simply put, everyone wins. No one in the United States of America-the greatest and most powerful country in the world should be living on the streets. I want to make a real difference in the lives of the homeless by providing them with employment within my company as well as providing them with shelter, an actual place to call home, an actual physical address. Some may not know this but you have to have a physical address in order to get employment. How can a homeless person secure a job if they do not even have an address? It is nearly impossible. Through XoXo Kalani I am working to change that. I want beauty consumers to know that when they shop with us, they are shopping to give back. They are shopping to help provide a beautiful life to someone in need. The homeless need our help and I intend to make it easier for them to access that help. With all that said, giving back has always proven to come back ten-fold and I accredit giving back and being both thoughtful and generous as major building blocks in my success.
This Queen is definitely creating a pathway of success not only for her family but for others as well. It’s stories like these that give us hope that there are still good people in the world and that should give you faith to follow your own dreams. By supporting this company you are helping someone who doesn’t have the luxury of a warm bed to get one. Go here for more information.
How are you using your platform to transform the world around you? Let us know in the comments section. We want to celebrate you!