1. How has your story motivated you on days when there seems to be nothing to keep you going?
    After surviving a mental health crisis and successfully graduating from a mental health facility that saved my life, I tell people that when they are depressed beyond a week, to contact a therapist to help them navigate depression during challenging times.
  2. In what ways, if any, did you have to pivot to ensure your vision was well executed?
    As a result of my mental health crisis, my business was dormant for over a year. When I became well, I made a conscious decision to not worry about what people say and chase my passion, and I relaunched Just Jai Wear, a stylish fitness and heated apparel brand.
    I connected with key resources who saw my vision, had empathy, and wanted to help my business thrive while we simultaneously save lives.
  3. How do you showcase the empowerment of Women’s History Month every day?
    I showed up when I had funds; I showed up when I was broke, and I was transparent when I returned to social media and generated publicity. I let my community know I am purposely connecting with individuals to help others dealing with mental health challenges.
  4. Who are some lesser-known female entrepreneurs from history that you admire and believe deserve more recognition?
    I admire Madam C.J. Walker. She exemplified a magnitude of challenges in the early 20th century but overcame all the heart-wrenching discrimination and verbal abuses to become the first self-made female millionaire in the US. She thought we could empower the community, learn to be resilient, drive innovation, and still inspire me today.I admire Michele Ghee because she is a transformational thought leader with over a decade of experience. She has been instrumental in helping women see their true value, exercise their rights accordingly, and ensure they are monetized for being resourceful. I am honored to have met her a few years ago and appreciate her selfless spirit.
  5. Reflecting on your own experiences, what are some effective ways that male allies have supported you in your career journey?
    I have had a male mentor for the past 20 years who has been instrumental in helping me formulate the appropriate words, evidence, and posture to ask for a raise, which I was successful with every time in corporate America. His name is Dave Cole. He inspired me to set short-term and long-term goals, give myself some grace, walk in the room with confidence, and not let anyone put me in a corner and agree to do anything that will compromise the vision of my business.I have another mentor who prepared me to have challenging conversations with C-Suite leaders when it is time to negotiate. He wanted to stay firm with my core values and not compromise them for any amount of money. He was also instrumental in helping me prepare for a multi-million opportunity.
  6. How do you strike a balance between ambition and self-care as a woman in a demanding business environment?
    My balance in business entails prioritizing my boundaries personally and professionally. It is crucial for me to schedule regular self-care activities 5 times a week (exercise, relaxation, a spa day, and taking care of my mental well-being). Additionally, setting realistic goals, delegating tasks to my team and employees, and practicing mindfulness have helped me manage stress much better.


Photo Credits: Nathan Pearcy