On Monday September 10th, Angelina held a workshop to introduce two very special women --Francilia Wilkins-Rahim, who is now the new New York Google Digital Coach, and Keisha Smith-Jeremie, who is the successful founder of the delicious applesauce company Sanaía.
( Left: Francilia Wilkins-Rahim, Center: Angelina Darrisaw-Cheeks, Right: Keisha Smith-Jeremie)
Angelina is confident that Francilia will be an outstanding coach because of her wealth of knowledge. Francilia knew she wanted to work to serve small businesses at the early age of 23 because she wanted to give minority business professionals the tools, knowledge and confidence to expand their business as well as have a fair chance in the corporate world. After taking on her first client pro bono, world spread about her capabilities and determination. It was after this client that she won her first contract for 20 million dollars, she even went on to help the mayor of New York City with a 40 million dollar fund. Her career only continued to flourish from there. After speaking on a panel for Google, Angelina knew she had found her new New York coach. This is how Francilia crawled, walked and then ran into her purpose. We could not be more proud to have her on the team.
Keisha had a talent and a passion, and an incredible recipe for some out of this world applesauce. She built Sanaía because she saw an opportunity for growth in a market that wasn't capitalizing on the fact that thus far applesauce was only produced and marketed for babies and the elderly.
She launched in July of 2017 and ran every aspect of her company, from making the applesauce to packaging it to sending it out. She knew that if she wanted the company to really grow she could not go on doing this single handedly. She also knew that she did not have all the answers, but she did know that the "goal should be not to know everything, but to figure it out" (Keisha Smith-Jeremie). So she asked around, she asked even in circumstances where she thought no one would know the answers. This was one of her greatest assets and opened many doors and relationships that gave a helping hand for her business to prosper.
Keisha also realized that being the little guy gave her certain abilities that the big guy just doesn't have. Small businesses have the capability to experiment, pivot and innovate their business at the drop of a hat so use it to your advantage. Don't be afraid to fail, just try to fail early and fail as inexpensively as you can. Lastly, embrace different mindsets because this ability will prepare you for the sustained ability to move through entrepreneurship.
( Sanaía applesauce, now available on Amazon...and in my belly)