“The pressure to be thin is brutal,” says a stay-at-home mom. (Photo: Ben Baker)
Ann approached another mother at a school function recently and happily introduced herself. Not only were their younger kids in kindergarten together, she explained, but their older sons played in the same weekend soccer league. “She said, ‘Oh,’ and just walked away,” Ann remembers. “That was it. ‘Oh.’ It was a school event. It wasn’t like it was the steam room at Bliss where she was naked.”
Ann is certain she knows why her fellow mom dissed her, if in fact she did. It has nothing to do with Ann’s confusing on-again-off-again marriage, or the disparity in their net worths. (Ann is middle-class; the other woman is profoundly wealthy.) No, as far as Ann is concerned, the reason the other woman turned tail is that Ann works full-time. Her adversary, on the other hand, is a gloriously full-time stay-at-home mom — with all the attendant benefits that implies not only to her youngsters but also to the life of the school. A stamp licker, an envelope stuffer, an active member of the parents association, a person who can always be counted on to bring not one but two or three dishes to the annual potluck dinner — even if, as Ann suspects, she buys them and passes them off as her own. “In the school directory, you can see who has a job and who doesn’t,” Ann says, imagining the woman taking a black marker and banishing her to oblivion. Continue reading →
I’ve been so busy holding on to all things that I have bogged myself down. I can’t do much to help others until I allow myself permission to feel what I was feeling and address these feelings. As many of us have been taught, we are every woman. We never let them see us sweat…..I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. But one thing I couldn’t do, was deal with my feelings. Continue reading →
The beauty of being a woman is that we are innovative, flexible, ever growing, changing and reaching! I came across this report and wanted to share for inspiration, support or just food for thought – ENJOY!
Click HERE to check out the 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report that was commissioned by American Express OPEN and published in March of 2014.
This publication marks our fourth annual investigation into the state of women-owned businesses in the United States, providing stakeholders in the women’s enterprise development community – policy makers, entrepreneurial support organizations, suppliers and customers, and women business owners themselves – with information and intelligence that can aid in their efforts.
The 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report contributes new and timely insights concerning the growth and development of the nation’s women-owned businesses. It also provides details on where growth leads and where it lags, thereby pointing the way to areas where policy and programmatic support can help even more women-owned firms reach their full potential.
Not much seems unusual about Judian and Kadeian Brown’s storefront in a tidy plaza off Church Avenue in Flatbush, Brooklyn, a neighborhood where every block seems to have its own African hair-braiding salon.
Posters of African-American women with long, sleek hair fill the window. Round jars of shea butter belly up to slender boxes of hair dye on the shelves. Wigs perch on mannequin heads.
What makes Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply and Salon’s visitors do a double-take is the skin color of the proprietors. “I go, ‘Look at all the faces on the boxes,’ ” said Judian Brown, recalling other shopkeepers’ and customers’ surprise when they realize she is not an employee, but the owner. “Who should be owning these stores?”
The Brown sisters’ is one small shop in a multibillion-dollar industry, centered on something that is both a point of pride and a political flash point for black women: their hair. But the Browns are among only a few hundred black owners of the roughly 10,000 stores that sell hair products like relaxers, curl creams, wigs and hair weaves to black women, not just in New York but across the country. The vast majority have Korean-American owners, a phenomenon dating back to the 1970’s that has stoked tensions between black consumers and Korean business people over what some black people see as one ethnic group profiting from, yet shutting out, another.
A growing awareness of this imbalance has spurred more black people to hang out their own shingles. The people producing the products have changed, too: As “going natural” — abandoning artificially smoothed hair in favor of naturally textured curls and braids — has become more popular and the Internet has expanded, black entrepreneurs, most of them women, are claiming a bigger share of the shelves in women’s medicine cabinets. Continue reading →