Phenomenal Woman

The number of hats women don every day is amazing. Sometimes they just want you to acknowledge their greatness.

April Phenomenal Woman

Okay, so I’m a little excited about this young lady. First, I’ve watched this caterpillar change into a BEAUTIFUL butterfly. I’ve known her almost all of her life and it’s an amazing feeling to just be able to look at the progress this young woman has made. I recently worked with her at a Vow renewal ceremony here in Hattiesburg. HER PICS WERE AMAZING!! I don’t know if she knows this or not but she’s already booked for my next photoshoot whenever I decide I’m ready. Introducing Casious Leggett. HEY BOO!!!

Joann Photography  Facebook: C. Joann Photography

Years in Business: 5+ in photography, but my 1st year as a business owner.

I have always been a creative person. Music and art is life to me. I can’t go a day without either music or some type of art being involved. In high school, I attended Votec where I took BCT (business computer technology). There is where I found my passion for the Arts. After junior college, I attended the Art Institute (Miami International University of Art and Design). A requirement for my major (Graphic Design) was to take digital photography. I absolutely fell in love, I guess you can say it was love at first sight. Photography came so easy to me. That “third eye” that everyone talks about began to open and reveal the world around me. I saw the beauty in EVERYTHING! Old buildings, graffiti, raw streets, the ocean, flowers, even my roommates and my friend’s funny expressions began to inspire me to take photography more seriously. I was so involved in it, that one of my advisors invited me to be her photographer for her wedding. That was my first wedding and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. The funny part about the whole thing is that I just knew what to take pictures of. Besides the usual cake pictures, bride and groom pictures, and the bridal party photos, I knew to look for facial expressions (the groom crying), the mother’s tears, the bride putting on her dress, the moment the bride laid her head on her husband’s shoulder, etc. I just knew! Again, it came easy.
At the Art Institute, I had great professors that were photographers (as a second job). I guess you can say they inspired me to be a photographer after displaying their work. I wanted to be as great if not greater, to travel the world and take photos of landscapes, architectures, different art, and different people. It was a dream that became a business once people started to realize my talent. No specific person inspired me to start my business. It started as a hunger and a hobby, and because of my passion for it, it transformed into a business.

My biggest obstacle to date, is pricing my clients and the fear of failing as a business owner. Pricing is difficult because it is determined by your professionalism. Personally, I feel that I’m not on the same level as many professional photographers YET! (You know. The ones with the $5000 cameras and lens, lighting equipment, and staffing). But I am great. I am a great photographer, I just have much more work to do. There is always room for growth, skills, and development; therefore I am always researching and learning more, even if it is self-taught. But because my work isn’t as professional as most, I have to charge by my level of professionalism. My biggest problem is that I am UNDER-charging people, therefore beating myself out of my talent. I do great work but I tend to let my emotions and my heart get in the way of appropriate pricing. Another obstacle is one that I feel everyone experiences, failure. I tend to compare myself to other photographers and second guess my capacities. I am afraid my business won’t be as successful or my clients will be disappointed in my work (Thank God I haven’t had a disappointed customer), therefore plummeting my business into the ground. Okay, maybe I’m being a little too dramatic but it’s a fear. I am slowly letting God take me where He wants me. If it’s His will to allow me to be a great photographer, I will continue to persevere and develop my talents, all while having fun.

Business Goal:
My business goal for the year is the make C. Joann Photography well known, my skills and technique perfected, and to be a successful business owner.

Since I just started my business, I have a long way to go, but I will not let that stop me. It’s not about how long it takes you to get to the finish line, but about your perseverance to finish. Goals are a necessity and as long as I continue to stay positive and trust in God, I will reach my goals shortly.

Advice to Women:
I LOVE SEEING WOMEN (BLACK WOMEN ESPECIALLY) ACHIEVE GREATNESS!!! My advice to every woman who has dreams, goals, and visions, is to trust in God and never be afraid to fail. We all have to cross some bridges, fall down several times, make mistakes, get mad, be frustrated, quit 1000 times, etc… but in the end, there is no greater feeling than knowing that you have finally achieved what you set out to accomplish.

I have two quotes. “Through Christ all things are possible.” And “Queens wake, pray, and slay.” I can be a dramatic diva at times (maybe more than most) but these simple quotes will get me pumped while I’m getting dressed and singing 90’s R&B jams in the mirror. “I be feeing myself all day”

“Never let anyone get in the way of you accomplishing success.” In a world full of negativity, competition, and pettiness, there will always be people who do not want you to be great and succeed. Surround yourself with positive vibes and people and continue to fix your crown.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the many phenomenal women (queens) that wake, prays, and slays every day. Its women like them that inspire me to continue to press for greatness. Thank you, Rece for this opportunity!

March Phenomenal Woman

The March Phenomenal woman is a young woman I went to high school with on the Southside of Chicago. She was one of the popular chicks and I was, of course, a nobody. She was a dancer and I was a back of the classroom nerd. We’ve kept in contact through the social media, mainly Facebook. I was mostly nosey. We’ve lived in the same city and didn’t even know it. I chose her as the Phenomenal Woman for March because she is just that. I’ve watched (through Facebook) her struggles. I’ve watched her frustrations, her laughs, and her smiles.

Businesswomen are abundant but supporting Black businesswomen is crucial and critical to our positions in life. Shakera Rickman is an amazing entrepreneur. This is her first business and, if my opinion counts for anything, I think she’s doing an amazing job.

Here’s Shakera’s interview:

  1. Shakera Rickman
  2. Charlies’ Angels Transportation, LLC
  1. I have been in business for 5 Months (since September 2017)
  2. I was inspired to start my own business because I am a single mother who needed transportation services for my daughter. I always had a vision and dreamed of starting my own transportation services; however, my well paying job at the time had always interfered with me following my goals and dreams. In August 2017, I was laid off from my job from Rush University Medical Center due to the budget. Rush University Medical Center called me a month later and asked if I wanted to come back to work and I politely turned down the job offer. I had already started working on my business and what I wanted to do in life. I turned my heartbreaking negative into a positive and never looked back. At first, I was worried about how I was going to survive and provide for my daughter with just a wish and hope. I have a GOD who led me every step of the way. I never lost faith and I never will. I had friends and family members who felt the same way I felt in regards to who they can find to take their child to school and pick their child up from school safely because their work schedule conflicts with the school schedule. I started my business in my own personal car with 3 children in September 2017 and now February 2018, I have 13 children “I like to call them Angels” and I am currently using my car as well as a van. I was able to purchase my van money from my saving that I saved from previous jobs.
  3. My biggest obstacle in owning a business is time, customer service, managing & maintaining as well as trying to expand daily. This is a part of my work/life balance.
  4. My business goal is to expand my company this upcoming school year 2018/2019. I would love to have doubled the children from 13 to 26. I would love to provide jobs in the community especially aiming towards felons who cannot apply for certain jobs due to their past. I am someone who believes in second chances. I am one who believes that people do change for the better. I am one who believes from experience, not hearsay. I will provide the proper training, a drug screening, request for referral letter and they must have a valid driver’s license to become an employee of Charlies’ Angels Transportation, LLC.
  5. I feel that I am very close to achieving my goal for the year; however, this goal is ongoing. I am here to assist parents who need my services as well as provide jobs to the community better yet to the city of Chicago.
  6. My best advice to another woman who would like to begin a business is to “never lose focus.”  “If you have a vision and a plan, go for it. Do not worry about if anyone else sees your vision or believe because later in life they will. The only thing that matters at this point is your vision with focus.”
  7. It takes a village to raise a child is an old adage. My quote is: “Let me be a part of your village.”- Shakera Rickman
  • If you can dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney
  • “Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.” –unknown
  1. Some good advice I have received is always work hard, “never give up.” Also, “It’s nothing wrong with being tired for something you believe in. Invest in yourself.”
  2. Comments: I care for all of my “Angels” from personal experience firsthand. I feel their struggle and worry.

Shakera Rickman, CEO

Charlies’ Angels Transportation, LLC


February Phenomenal Woman

Sometimes we meet people in that inspire us to be better than we were. I’ve always known that I am someone who likes to help other people. The woman I chose to be Phenomenal Woman of this month is someone I’ve known almost all my life. She’s like a little sister to me. I’ve watched her laugh and heard her cry and recently I listened to her struggles as a young entrepreneur trying to make a living for herself doing what makes her happy. She’s actually the reason I am starting The Kindred Foundation.

Each month the Phenomenal Woman will be a different person showcasing their business or talents. Creativity autonomy is something I love more than anything so each month, every woman will be allowed to profile and feature themselves in ways that make them most comfortable. Zyesha Jones AKA Glam Mama has decided to put some of her new equipment and technology to use and grace us with a YouTube Video. Please click HERE! Also, check her out on her other social media pages:

FB:ZyEsha Jones
FB Business Page : Veryglammother-MakeUp Artistry

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