“Every woman should have in her closet a perfect fitting suit with multiple style blazers to vary her look”

When Marie Hamilton-Abston walks into a room her presence bespeaks confidence. Everything about her look, her walk, and her talk says ‘she means business.’ As an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience Abston always knew that her hard work would pay off. She alongside her business partner Essie Florence started a healthcare empire that was built to last. 

While she can share knowledge on business, style, and grace she can equally converse about the ground level work and days when it was blood, sweat, and tears. She always knew when it was time to dress for high fashion or a time to dress for a high performance day filled with deadlines, pressure, and a heavy workload. 

When asked what her definition of style is she was sure to give me an elaborate answer. Abston responded, “Style is a display of a person’s characteristics through visual imagery that sets them aside from anyone else.” 

As a successful and powerful entrepreneur, my personal style is business professional conservative. I convey my professionalism and leadership as a leader through my personal style when I walk into any room. Depending on the day, I may wear a professional pants suit, dress, or clinic scrubs. My personal style presents a positive, professional image that aligns with my business healthcare brand,” she tells Sheen. 

Today, Abston is a history maker. Earlier this year she became the first Black woman in Mississippi to own an opioid treatment clinic for addicts. A vision that has been near and dear to her heart since the age of 9 when she was abandoned by her mother who struggled with addiction. 

Abston sat down with Sheen for a candid discussion about the meaning of grace, OWN Network’s “Belle Collective,” and the 5 wardrobe pieces that every woman should have in her closet. 

Q: What does the word GRACE mean to you? 

A: Grace to me is a testimony. God’s grace is what saved my life even though at times I may not have deserved it. It’s God giving me the strength, courage, and faith to push through the most difficult times in my life when I wanted to give up due to my mother abandoning me, when my marriage failed, when my business was under major attack as a result of me being cast of reality tv, and when a long time family friend I trusted into my life extorted me for money by filing a false sexual harassment lawsuit against my business for a enormous amount of money. At the time, I didn’t know the impact this lawsuit would have on my business. All I knew was as a medical provider I could not be charged with a sex crime to maintain certification and licensure. I was being attacked from every direction of my life. I did not know how to process what was happening in my life, I was afraid and I wanted to end it all. I wanted out because I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But God made a way out of no way even when I did not see a way. God never left or forsaken me and It was his grace that saved my life. That word has taken on a whole new meaning – it’s more than just a word, it’s my truth and one of the best descriptions of my relationship with God. 

Q: Talk about your role and presence on OWN Network’s “Belle Collective.”

A: On screen, I play a recently divorced single mother of four children, a grandmother of three, and an entrepreneur pursuing a Doctorate of Health Administration in college while fighting health issues, navigating a family tragedy, and dealing with my mother’s substance use disorder. Despite balancing and striving to build a healthcare empire, I show real-life challenges in my personal life.

It is very important to me that I tell my story as a Black entrepreneur because I am relatable when it comes to being a teenage mom. I’ve experienced abandonment by a parent, divorce, health challenges, entrepreneurship, and raising children as a single parent. I have overcome everything that was intended to destroy me. In addition, it gives other women hope that she too can overcome any obstacle in her life knowing that she is not alone. 

Q: What are 5 wardrobe pieces that every woman should have in her closet for business and work? 

A: Every woman should have in her closet a perfect fitting suit with multiple style blazers to vary her look. Essential tops and business shirts mixed up in different colors, textures, prints and shapes to keep her business outfits varied. She should also have business dresses that are more muted, subtle, and appropriate for the industry of her profession. I also recommend that women have business skirts to mix and match with her essential tops and business shirts – this creates a variety of professional looks. Lastly, I like business pants and trousers with different styles, cuts and colors to create different looks to pair with essential tops and business shirts.

Follow Marie Hamilton-Abston on IG @marie_monroe_certified

Photo Credits:
– Kingdom Reign Ent (Carlos King)
– Tim Ward (@ Par Photos)
– Bryan McKenney