Saturday, August 19, 2017

‘Making sure all is well with my family keeps me moving toward my goals’

Enterprising People Business Radio Talk presents
A BUSINESS CONVERSATION WITH MOTHERS IN BUSINESS

BY KIMBERLY BAILEY-TUREAUD

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we spoke to several Las Vegas moms making a difference in the world of business. In their own words, we found lessons on achieving the balance required for successful parenthood and entrepreneurship.

LaVona Lewis (center) and her children.

Co-Pastor LaVona Lewis, mother of two teenagers and owner of Transforming My Life — a branch of the health and wellness company Ardyss International: My company helps reshape my customers’ bodies. I have been in business since 2013 as an independent contractor. I am a home-based business owner, and before I started my business I was a client of Ardyss International for three years. I lost a great deal of weight from the healthy products, and now the business is benefiting me financially. Making it in my business and family is accomplished with balance and patience. You have to really be patient with yourself, and communicate with your family. Having a business can be overwhelming, and I had to teach myself. Learning about business took a lot of effort and time, and I didn’t want my family to suffer. I had to remind myself that all my work would pay off in the long run. I had to take some time out, and remember that my family is a priority. We designate Saturdays as family days and Fridays as date nights for my husband and myself. When I first started my business, I started working on Saturdays — and noticed that the children didn’t have that individual mommy time anymore. So I realized that something was missing, and that my children needed to see me and totally connect. They missed the silly me, the joke-telling me and not-business me. My dear mother, Joyce Leggett, recently passed — and she inspired me in so many ways. I remember her telling me not to underestimate the influence I have in someone else’s life. Making sure that all is well with my family keeps me moving toward my business goals. For more information, call (702) 472-1598

Lola Hall

Lola Hall, retired owner of Lola’s Hair Fashions — one of the first Las Vegas hair salons for African-Americans. A mother of three, she has eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren: I can remember doing hair for Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, and Diane Carroll at my Lola’s Hair Fashion business. Back in the 1960s, African-American entertainers could perform on the Las Vegas Strip, but they couldn’t go into many businesses (as customers). So, many came to my business to get their hair done. I was inspired to start my business because, at 3 months old, I was afflicted with a handicap that left me partially paralyzed on the right side of my body. People such as Dr. Charles West, and others at that time, encouraged me to make my dream of running my own beauty salon a reality — and they really encouraged me. I was determined to open my business, to show other people who were considered handicapped to know that they too can follow their dreams, and have a business of their own. It is important that they know they can provide for themselves and not depend on others. I would say to other mothers in business to remain prayerful, and operate with love and kindness. But remember: It takes hard work to become successful. I ran my business for 20 years, and it was all worth it. While running a successful business is gratifying, women should always remember that family is very important. Always hold family close, and make an effort to spend time together and have regular dinners together. Encourage one another and love each other. Never forget where you come from, no matter how successful you get. Remind your children of your history, because it is important for them to know where they came from. Sometimes our children take for granted what they have today. There was a time when we had to go outside to the bathroom, and wash our clothes on washboards. African-Americans in Las Vegas were not allowed to go into places of their choice back in the 1960s. We should never take for granted what others had to fight for in order to have the many luxuries of today.

Reba Labatt

Reba Labatt is owner of an American Family Insurance franchise. She is the mother of two children, now in their 30s, and one stepdaughter: I provide insurance services to clients, and my main focus is business and life insurance. Life insurance is of particular importance for me right now — especially for people in the community. It really affects me when I see people in our community holding a car wash to pay for a friend or relative’s funeral. I tell people that if you are in your 20s and in good health, you can possibly get life insurance for as low as $20 a month. Family is very important to me, and I can remember a particular Mother’s Day when my children were about 10 and 9 years of age. They brought me breakfast in bed, and my son went into the yard to cut me some roses to place by my plate, because he saw that on a television cooking show. But when I began to eat the breakfast, I remember seeing bugs from the roses on my plate. Nevertheless, I kept on eating the breakfast like any good mother would. We often joke about that Mother’s Day, but it was the best.” For more information, call: (702) 880-7142

Margaret Batts

Margaret Batts is the owner of Brilliant Travel and Tours travel agency. Originally from Detroit, Margaret is a mother and wife who is, “Only claiming success.”

“I am so excited about my Brilliant Travel and Tours Agency, and through the grace of God I am on a positive life track. The most devastating moment for me was when I lost my son a few years ago — but through the power of prayer and love, my days are bright. I met my husband 15 years ago, and he too lost a son; but the Lord brought us together. My business and family is well balanced, because I stay in touch with my other children while operating my home-based business. My mother always told me that I needed to choose a career such as an attorney, judge, or travel agent because I like to talk and I love people. Also, I am very active with nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Women’s Auxiliary, the Medical Skills for Life Institute, Detroit Connection, Sisters Network and Heart & Soul Hospitality. Being involved with nonprofits makes me feel good about myself. Also, it serves as a great networking vehicle for my business. There is power in prayer, and it is healing.

For information, call: (702) 219-7831.

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