Podcast by InnovatorsBox®

Curious Monica: Season 3

Best Dreams Take Time. How to Pursue Them and Not Give Up with Rahama Wright

Curious Monica – a Podcast by InnovatorsBox®. Hosted by Monica H. Kang.

The Curious Monica podcast features candid conversations with innovators in thriving organizations across various industries. In each episode, host & founder of InnovatorsBox, Monica Kang interviews her friends in diverse fields about what they do and why they love what they do. If you’re curious too, you’ll gain incredible insight into the workplace patterns that can change the way you think about work, no matter what industry you’re in or who you are.

If you truly believe in something, don’t ever let go of it. Don’t let not having a playbook stop you. Rahama Wright is here to tell you to go pursue your dreams because the best paths will not have a playbook given to you.

When young Rahama first noticed a problem in the shea market, she wanted to do something about it. Volunteering in the Peace Corps and working in Mali, West Africa inspired her to create a businsss with a social mission that empowers women and children. She noticed that so many women harvesting and making shea butter were underpaid and in poverty, while global consumers were paying a high price for the goods. She realized she can be a problem solver by shaking up the system. Her business, Shea Yeleen, markets and distributes high-quality unrefined shea butter produced by women’s cooperatives in West Africa, offering U.S. consumers a natural skincare line that is fairly-traded and ethically produced.

As Rahama continues to shake up the industry and systems for equity with high-quality products, she is rethinking entrepreneurship and social impact as well. We’re excited to celebrate her journey as an innovator as we celebrate Women’s History Month. Please connect with her on LinkedIn and check out her site to learn more. 

Guest: RAHAMA WRIGHT

Founder & CEO, Shea Yeleen.

Rahama Wright is a social entrepreneur and women's advocate whose entrepreneurial journey has spanned from bootstrapping to landing deals with Whole Foods Markets and MGM Resorts International. Her company, Shea Yeleen, is also a triple bottom line social impact company rooted in the financial empowerment of women in Ghanaian villages. In addition to her business endeavors, Rahama has merged her passion for business and policy through her role on the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, created during the Obama administration. She actively assists entrepreneurs in navigating a wide range of topics, including social entrepreneurship, women in business, fundraising, manufacturing, supply chain development, and retail distribution.

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Episode Shownotes

1. Title of the Episode:
Best Dreams Take Time. How to Pursue Them and Not Give Up with Rahama Wright

2. Host:
Monica H. Kang, Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox

3. Guest:
Rahama Wright, Founder & CEO of Shea Yeleen


4. Key Topics Covered:

  • Rahama’s journey from Peace Corps volunteer to social entrepreneur.
  • The inspiration behind Shea Yeleen and its mission to empower women in Ghanaian villages.
  • Challenges faced in bridging the gap between local producers and global consumers.
  • Strategies for accessing capital and securing partnerships with major brands like Whole Foods and MGM Resorts International.
  • Overcoming obstacles and maintaining resilience in entrepreneurship.


5. Highlights:

  • Rahama’s transformative experience in Mali during her Peace Corps service.
  • The significance of shea butter in West African communities and its economic potential.
  • Insight into the systemic issues contributing to the exploitation of indigenous populations.
  • Rahama’s perseverance in navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship and achieving milestones.
  • Emphasis on self-care and building authentic relationships in business.

6. Quotes from Rahama Wright:

  • “The secret sauce to success is failure. You have to fail at things, you have to make a few mistakes, and then you’ll get to success.”
  • “Business is about people. It’s about community… spend time building true, authentic relationships.”

7. Resources Mentioned:

  • Youth Trade program for social impact businesses.
  • Whole Foods Accelerator program.

8. Some people suggested that we should learn from:


9. Contact Information for Rahama Wright:

Rahama Wright can be reached via LinkedIn, as well as other social media platforms.


10. Closing Thoughts by Monica Kang:

Monica emphasizes the importance of perseverance, self-care, and community building in entrepreneurship.

11. Episode Length and Release Date:
Episode Length: Approximately 36 minutes
Release Date: March 26, 2024


00:00

Monica H. Kang
What do you do if you see a gap, a problem? Do you tend to step up and want to solve it, or feel frustrated and just let it be? Well, today’s guest was definitely somebody who wanted to fill the gap and realize, you know what? Why don’t I try to help make a difference? 


00:21

Monica H. Kang
Meet Rahama Wright, fFounder and CEO of Shea Yeleen. She is a social entrepreneur and women’s advocate, and her entrepreneurial journey spans from bootstrapping to landing deals with Whole Foods Market and MGM Resorts International. Her company, Shea Yeleen, is also a triple bottom line social impact company that is rooted in the financial empowerment of women in ghanaian villages. 


00:47

Monica H. Kang
Additionally, she merged her passion for business and policy with her role as the President’s Advocacy Council on doing Business in Africa, which was created during the Obama administration. Given that she has also started her business from scratch from very little background, she is passionate about making entrepreneurship more accessible, and you’ll often see her speaking or doing workshops on topics such as social entrepreneurship, women in business, fundraising, manufacturing, supply chain development, and retail distribution. And I’m very excited to have her today at Curious Monica as we continue to celebrate female leaders and innovators in honor of International Women History Month, you see, one thing that you might have noticed is that she is a local DC innovator. I first met her many years ago at one of our DC tech communities and was instantly impressed, inspired and empowered by her pure passion and dedication. 


01:57

Monica H. Kang
She has a lot of new, exciting updates on where the company has evolved since then. So you definitely want to follow her on her social media platforms and her company. But I want to take a moment in our time today to dive a little bit more on her origin story and how she got to be where she is today and what helped her. Maybe even asking what was even her original dream and what she wanted to do. One of the things you’ll notice is that how her time at Peace Corps service in 2005 helped play a role. 


02:30

Monica H. Kang
You see, she was in her early 20s with very little business knowledge, yet was inspired by the hardworking women who were the backbone of the global shea butter supply chain. And when she realized they were also the very people who were underpaid and living in poverty, when so many others were paying so much to access good shea butter products, she said, you know what? We have to fix this today. As the CEO of Shayleen, she actively contributes to promote financial empowerment for women in rural villages by delivering, training to produce, market, and sell high quality shea butter. Which of course means as a consumer, you also get high quality shea butter products that were fairly paid by the makers. 


03:14

Monica H. Kang
Indess has led her to gain deep insights and expertise on operational strategies, building strategic partnership, and many more key roles I mentioned about speaking. She has hence spoken at 150 plus events globally, including the United Nations World bank global entrepreneurship summit and many more. And one of the things that you continue to see is how she has continued to evolve and never stop growing. So today we’re going to take a little sneak peek into her world and ask how did she get to where she is and learn what we can do to fulfill our dreams. Meet Rahama. 


03:58

Monica H. Kang
So very excited to have my friend Rahama here. Thank you so much for joining us. Happy International Women History Month. What a time to continue celebrating female innovators. So much to dive in. Congratulations on so many milestones you recently have. We’re going to dive all into it. But first, before we dive into the big pictures, I thought it’d be always great to revisit the humble beginnings, bring us back to young childhood time. Who did you want it to be? Why was that important and what were the dreams that you had when you were a child? 


04:37

Rahama Wright
Wow, we’re really going deep right from the beginning. Hi, Monica. Thanks for having me. And Happy International Women’s History Month for you as well. Thank you so much for having me on your show. Okay, so as a child, I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a lawyer and I wanted to fight for children’s rights. And that was when I was really little. I just thought it was so cool to be an advocate for young people and be an advocate for people who need help. So that was one of the things I wanted to do when I grew up. 


05:22

Monica H. Kang
What changed? 


05:26

Rahama Wright
Well, I started when I would say, probably middle school, high school, I started getting interested in the Peace Corps and wanting to do the Peace Corps. And so after college, I did join the Peace Corps. And during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa, I started seeing a lot of things that inspired me to start a social impact business. So I would say that know slightly shifted after I started growing up and experiencing things on my own. But women’s issues, children’s issues, is something that’s still very important to me. 


06:09

Monica H. Kang
And we do get to see how you’re bridging that in your chapters and the work that you do today. But before we get there, I want to talk a little bit more about Peace Corps because I know, as you have implied, it was a very important part of your chapters and your journey and want to tackle a little bit more because there’s some listeners out there who might be like, I’ve heard about it, but I don’t really know what it is. What’s one one? What is Peace Corps? Why was that experience so special for you? 


06:36

Rahama Wright
Peace Corps is a federal agency, and it is a federal agency that was set up during Kennedy’s administration with the goal of introducing Americans to other cultures and introducing other cultures to Americans. And so the vision behind it was to really broaden american experiences and create friendships and connections between Americans and other people of the world. And I joined right after college. And essentially, when you join, you’re a volunteer and you are assigned to both a country and a sector. So I was assigned to Mali as a country, and then the sector was the health sector. So I worked at a community health center, and I was assigned to a small village. You can be signed to villages and or cities or large towns. I ended up in a small village. 


07:36

Rahama Wright
And the program is a program that the Peace Corps has to be invited into a country before they can set up. So it’s a very close connection between the US and the country that invites the US to come set up a peace corps program. And so during my experience, I was assigned to work at a community health center. And frequently women would come to the health center, either with them, they were dealing with something, or their kids were dealing with something. And I often saw that they didn’t have enough money to buy medicine or pay for health services. And so that kind of made me start thinking about, well, how do women make money in my community? What are some of the opportunities that they can benefit from? And that’s when I started learning about shea butter. I had used Shea butter before. 


08:29

Rahama Wright
Never knew it came from Africa. I’m West African, on my mom’s side, Ghanaian. Never knew that shea butter came from Africa. But seeing and living in the small, rural village and seeing how these women make shea butter and the connection between the lives of women and this natural resource is what paved the way for me to start my social impact business. 


08:51

Monica H. Kang
This is really a powerful insight, as you have pointed out, which is we are perhaps surrounded by opportunities and insights, but we don’t realize until we’re in a different setting of how much meaning that could bring. Speaking of shea butter, educate us a little bit more. What does Shea butter actually mean and what is different about it? 


09:11

Rahama Wright
So shea butter comes from the fruit of the shea tree, and it is an oil that solidifies a room temperature. So this tree bears a fruit. And depending on countries, there are about 21 countries across east and West Africa that have shay trees. The east african shea is a different variation than the west african shea, and it’s typically grown in the Sahel belt, which is essentially a very dry temperature. And women are the harvesters. They’re the ones who go out, collect the fruit, bring the fruit to their communities. The fruit is edible, but then inside this fruit is this nut, and in the nut is a seed, and in that seed is this oil that you can use for almost anything. 


09:58

Rahama Wright
And in the local community, they actually use it as a cooking oil, kind of like coconut oil, but it can also be used for hair care, facial care, body care. When a baby is born, the first thing they put on a baby after the baby’s first bath is shea butter. And so it has this huge connection to the life of women. But traditionally, it’s interwoven into so many different aspects of day to day life in the countries that have shea. But what has happened over the decades is that there’s a disconnect between the local populations and the women that harvest this natural resource and consumers in global markets. 


10:40

Rahama Wright
And so it’s that disconnect that I was trying to create a stronger connection between shay producers and consumers so that women could increase the income for work and labor that they’ve been doing for hundreds of years. Right. And also benefit financially from a natural resource that grows right in their back foot, like right next to their communities. And so that kind of seeing that opportunity of these women have this resource that they’ve been using, and it’s so intertwined in their day to day and their culture, why not figure out a way for them to benefit from it financially? 


11:24

Monica H. Kang
I want to piggyback on that, because there’s probably audience in the room who’s like, yes, Monica Roma, we’ve heard about that, but we actually don’t understand why is that gap still happening? Could you bring us to reality? Why is this gap happening? Because from common sense size, it feels like, wait, why are the people who’s harvesting not being paid? What’s going on? Tell us a little bit more. 


11:47

Rahama Wright
Yeah, I mean, it’s the same question I had living in the community. Right. It was astonishing. These women couldn’t afford anything that cost a dollar. Yet you can buy shea butter products for $20.30. And shea butter is also a cocoa butter substitute. So you actually see shea butter in a lot of chocolate manufacturing in Europe, and so we don’t see it on the label, but many bars of chocolate include shea butter in their and so, you know, the confectionery industry, the chocolate industry, as well as the beauty and personal care industry, these are multibillion dollar industries. So why are women, african women, I should say, still being excluded and unable to financially benefit from a resource? That they are the ones who discovered shea, they’re the ones that made shea butter. 


12:41

Rahama Wright
And honestly, it ties back to systemic issues related to colonization and the fact that many of Africa’s natural resources do not benefit the local population because of the way supply chains and value chains are structured that for many years have been structured by excluding them, right. By not including these populations and their needs and their knowledge and their labor into the business models that benefit financially from them. And so I think that we live in an age where the world is getting much smaller, where it’s easier to connect, right? And through that, being able to build a business that centers the role and the work of these women and including them throughout the process is our mission and our mandate. And just because we see products that are originating from these communities doesn’t necessarily mean they benefit from them. 


13:55

Rahama Wright
We have to be very intentional about building new systems, building new business relationships, trade relationships that actually prioritize and include those who have historically been excluded. 


14:12

Monica H. Kang
And so you’re sharing that it’s despite consumers interest in wanting to support, unless you’re seeing behind the scene how the system is set up, the actual people who are making it are not being paid, which feels crazy to think about. But speaking of which, I know it’s been twelve plus years you’ve been building your business to address this and many other questions. Tell me a little bit more still at the very beginning, because as you’re thinking about this, and first, congratulations. What a decade plus journey you’ve had. And I think folks can hear your passion already as you’ve been sharing your insights and reflections. But it’s a whole other thing to say, hey, I want to build a business and address this. I think this is a problem. Let me be interested. 


15:00

Monica H. Kang
There’s a big jump still happening there, so I don’t want to miss that. Tell me a little bit more. Bring us back to that very beginning. How did you know and what helped you have the confidence to know that maybe I’m the person and I can do something called a business to solve this problem in a unique way that others have not? 


15:17

Rahama Wright
Honestly, I think it was being young and not really knowing. I didn’t question my capabilities of whether or not I could do it. I just dove right in because I saw something that I felt was wrong. I saw something that I felt was a justice issue. And it wasn’t a question of whether or not I could do it was a question of how to do it. And I think, yeah, I was in my early twenty s, and I think I had the confidence because I really didn’t know what I was signing up for. Maybe, if you ask me today, I may have a different response in terms of if I would do it all over again. But back then, I was very upset. I was angry that these women were not being included and that their labor was being taken advantage of. 


16:14

Rahama Wright
And I wish I could say it only happens in these communities, but it happens everywhere, globally, anywhere you see indigenous populations, rarely do you see them benefiting from their knowledge, from their labor, from their resources. And I think we as consumers, need to really challenge businesses to do business better and do it right. It was very disheartening to see that us judge throughout the case against the tech companies using cobalt and using minerals from Congo and saying that there wasn’t enough evidence that these companies were intentionally employing child labor and creating unsafe working conditions. But we can see it, right? We can hear the testimonies of the people who have not benefited and who are being taken advantage of, yet there is no recourse for them. No one’s standing up for them. No one’s saying, you’re right. 


17:15

Rahama Wright
We need to do better as a global community. We need to do better as a business community. And I think a lot of it has to come from consumers demanding and asking better of companies. And then, of course, companies like mine that are intentionally and thoughtfully building better businesses. We need consumers to support our business models. And so if you asked, why did I think I could do it? Well, I didn’t think I couldn’t do it. And I think that’s why I pushed forward, because I saw something that I felt was deeply wrong. 


17:54

Monica H. Kang
No, thank you so much for sharing that. I think it will be so empowering for folks who are tuning in to realize, yes, don’t let anything stop you. Let that curiosity and passion lead the way. And I’m curious, actually, how did you think of the name for your company? What does it mean? And, yeah, what’s the origin story for Yeleen? 


18:18

Rahama Wright
Well, Shea is the name of the tree, right? The shea tree. Shea fruit. Yeleen is bombara, and it means light and hope. And when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Maldi, I learned Bombara. It’s a little shaky because I haven’t spoken in a while, but it means light and hope and so we’re bringing light to the issue that these women are dealing with and then hope by creating living wage jobs through our supply chain. 


18:45

Monica H. Kang
That’s so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I want to dive a little bit more in the nitty gritty of the day to day because as you share, the drive helps. But let’s be realistic. Entrepreneurship definitely has many ups and downs. What helps you navigate those difficult moments and what’s kind of been your, I guess, secret sauce for addressing failures, negativity, or challenges that you face, because there’s folks out there who’s tuning in. I was like, you two, that’s great. But what do I do when I want to give up? Things are getting tough. What do you do? 


19:23

Rahama Wright
Yes. No. So I have a spiritual practice that helps to keep me grounded. I practice Christianity and I go to prayer often, especially when things feel like they’re completely falling apart. And I think being an entrepreneur for me personally, has really built my faith, because when I read things, that faith is believing in something that you can’t see and just realizing that many of the things that have been fought for and people who have been fighters before and fought for rights and fought for things that allow me to live the life that I live, they believed in something bigger and greater, and they were willing to put their lives on the line. 


20:11

Rahama Wright
For know, I think about like, Harriet Tubman and people like her who just completely made so many huge risks because they believed in something greater and they had the faith that things could get better and they themselves couldn’t enjoy the freedoms that I currently have today. Right. And so that spiritual practice and thinking back to historical figures who have, against all odds, made it, is some of the things that encourage me to move forward. And then, of course, I think having the right community around you, whether it’s great friends, family members, other church community, et cetera, for me specifically, because I think sometimes we can get caught up in our own minds and our own thoughts, and sometimes those thoughts aren’t very positive and someone else can give you some perspective. 


21:04

Rahama Wright
And the other thing, too, is really understanding that failure is part of the process. The secret sauce to success is failure. You have to fail at things, you have to make a few mistakes, and then you’ll get to success. And I think so often people don’t talk about that. You think that success means you did everything perfect, that you didn’t fail, that you were just so great. But honestly, even if you look at different sectors of life, whether it’s athletes and how many times an athlete might have to practice and fail at something before they become an Olympian or before they win that trophy. And I think oftentimes people, we forget that it’s not easy to do the work, the hard work, but if you believe in something, you just got to do it. 


21:59

Rahama Wright
And taking kind of the approach and the mindset of the work that you’re doing, you’re essentially planting a seed. And eventually that seed is going to grow and blossom and bear fruit, but it doesn’t happen overnight. And I think that approach of initially, I was like, oh, I’m going to achieve all these goals in three years or four years. And then year five comes along and I haven’t achieved 10% of my goals in year six and year seven. But then eventually, Monica, what happens is that things turn and you hit year ten or year eleven and things just start falling in place. And I think it’s that commitment and just weathering the storms and keep going. You learn, you adjust, you take the data and you use that to make better decisions. And that has been a huge part of my journey. 


22:53

Rahama Wright
And just understanding that right now might be my season of success and everything is working. But around the corner, I might have a couple of challenges coming my way. And it’s that cadence and that rhythm. And honestly, it’s life. It really is just life. It’s just how life is. And I think that perspective has helped me kind of weather those storms and continue despite having challenges and facing a lot of issues. 


23:26

Monica H. Kang
I love these insights. I know we’ll probably want to rewatch and re listen to these golden nuggets. Want to piggyback on your last comment in particular about the different seasons. And I feel like even for me, as I enter my 9th year for innovators box, I’m like, I can’t believe it’s like getting to that point. And as you said, there’s things that we feel like we’re going to accomplish that by this time and we get disappointed when it don’t, but we will eventually. It’s just the wrong timeline. I’m curious for your context now that it’s been twelve plus years. When you look back, I’m like, here’s an example. When I thought it was going to take two to three years, it actually took ten years. Could you share some examples? 


24:10

Monica H. Kang
Because I’m like learning in real time now and I think having that context was now so much more humbling. So I’m curious for you, what are some examples? 


24:19

Rahama Wright
Yeah, one great example is funding access to capital. I mean, being a woman, being a founder of color access to capital is very challenging and very difficult. I did not know that when I was trying to get access to capital and raise money. And it wasn’t until my year seven that I was able to get my first seed round of capital. And so I’m thinking, my first year, my second year, oh, yeah, I’ll be able to do this, I’ll be able to do that. And it took many years. And I think part of it is lack of the right networks, having access to the right networks. But also, too, in the beginning, especially when I started in my early twenty s, I really didn’t know what I was doing. 


25:01

Rahama Wright
I had a vision and I had a sense of what I was trying to build. But in terms of the nitty gritty operations, a business plan, marketing plan, I didn’t even know what a financial model was until I started raising capital or a cap table or things like when will I break even? Or when do I hit profitability? I didn’t know any of that. And so there’s a learning curve that needed to happen. And I think sometimes we ourselves underestimate where we are even, meaning that we need to learn a few things before we are properly prepared for something like getting capital or something like getting into our first retailer. And so I give myself grace because I’m an entrepreneur. That’s learning as I’m doing, as I’m going through the process. No one has given me a playbook or your next step is this. 


25:59

Rahama Wright
After that step, do this right. And so there is a little bit of grace when it comes to things not happening as quickly as you think they will. 


26:10

Monica H. Kang
And with bootstrapping at the beginning, you have still successfully landed key opportunities like whole Foods, MGM Resort International. Those are huge brands and partners. Tell me a little bit more how you were able to secure those and what advice you want to share with folks who’s trying to get into those spaces. 


26:29

Rahama Wright
Yeah, well, when I first got into whole foods, they were not purchased by Amazon yet, so I think the process is a bit different. But I do know they have an accelerator program, and the name of it is escaping me. I think it’s like local market access or something like that. People can google that. Doing programs like that are really helpful to getting your foot in the door. Right. I did a program called Youth Trade that was launching in the North Atlantic region for brands run by founders who were less than 35 years of age, who had a social impact to their business model. So that’s how I was able to get in. 


27:11

Rahama Wright
And by pitching and getting into that program, were able to grow through the North Atlantic region, then the mid Atlantic, then northeast, and then with MGM National harbor, we got in because were certified as a minority owned business, and I was able to connect with their supplier diversity office, and through their supplier diversity, I was able to pitch to their spa. So, but I will say this, it took about nine months to get there, from the first point of contact to navigating the entire system to actually getting a meeting, and then from there, being able to get onboarded and get a purchase order from them. 


27:54

Rahama Wright
And I say all of this to say, it does not happen fast or quickly, but if you build the right relationships, if you get your certifications, have your products properly packaged, if you meet the right people and keep following up with them and keep reminding them, eventually you’ll be able to get into that retailer that you’re looking to get into. And the other thing is, just because a retail strategy might work for some brand doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. So I think it’s important. I do know that people want to get into the big name, big boxes, et cetera. But maybe building and investing in a strong digital ecommerce business might better for your business. So make decisions around your business based on what’s good for your business, not based on what you see other people doing for their businesses. 


28:53

Rahama Wright
And I think that’s really important, because sometimes people have goals that are not right for their business, but because it’s seen as a marker of success, they try to pursue those goals. The question you have to ask yourself is this strategy the best way for me to grow, for me to be profitable, and for me to get my product to the right customer, I. 


29:15

Monica H. Kang
Want to play quick devil’s advocate. How do we know when to give up? Because going back to your comment, when certain things take nine months, years, sometimes we have to let go if something’s not working. How do you know? 


29:28

Rahama Wright
Oh, I’m the wrong person to answer that question. I hold on till the bare end. My fingernails are on the edge of the cliff, and I’m still holding on. I don’t necessarily know if it’s giving up or if it’s restrategizing is the answer. Ultimately, in pursuing your goal or objective, that may not change, but the way you pursue it might change. So, for example, why pursue something for nine months if the person’s ignoring you or you’re not finding the right point of contact, et cetera? Well, if you really truly believe that this could help grow or help you achieve your goal. Nine months is nothing if it allows you to have a partnership that lasts for five years, ten years, et cetera. Right. 


30:21

Rahama Wright
So I think it’s less of, oh, I’m going to give up on this goal and more of strategically, do I need to look at it from another vantage point? Do I need to achieve this goal doing something else versus giving up on it altogether? 


30:38

Monica H. Kang
Hearing the golden reminder of getting clarity about where you are to understanding your self awareness. You shared so many different wisdom and insights. What’s a final words of wisdom you want to share with our innovators? No matter where they are in their. 


30:51

Rahama Wright
Journey, no matter where you are in your journey, I would say two things. Take care of yourself so physically, emotionally, mentally, really take care of yourself. That’s so important. If you are frazzled, too tired, stressed out, you’re not going to make the right decisions. And I can look at the times in my entrepreneurial journey when I was all of those things, and it also coincided with things never working out. And so there is something to be said about really taking care of yourself and holistically. Right. What are you eating? How much sleep are you getting? How much water are you drinking? Do you have a practice that reduces anxiety? Do you go to a therapist, like, whatever it may be for you, really take care of yourself. And then the second thing is business is about people. It’s about community. 


31:46

Rahama Wright
It’s about how, for me, I define business as utilizing a trade to make positive social impact, to change lives of people in a positive way. And so with that, you need to make sure you have the right people around you. You need to make sure you have people who are not necessarily naysayers, but who will help challenge you, who will help you think about what you’re doing and help put you on the right path, help open doors, say your name in rooms that you’re not in yet, help you get into rooms that you may not be able to get into yourself. And so that people, part of business is really important. So spend time building true, authentic relationships that will serve you more than raising a million dollars or getting your products in 1000 stores. Why? 


32:38

Rahama Wright
Because at the end of the day, if you don’t have the right people around you, all of those achievements will not last for long. 


32:46

Monica H. Kang
So important as we wrap up, so what’s the best way we can stay in touch with you? 


32:53

Rahama Wright
So you can stay in touch with me by connecting to social media through Shaylene’s platforms. We’re active on TikTok and Instagram, and you can also connect with me on LinkedIn. 


33:06

Monica H. Kang
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Congratulations on all your big milestones. Super excited for your new studio and also your motherhood and chapters and all of that jazz. I know folks will come over and continue to ask questions, but we’ll follow up more. Thank you again for being here. 


33:25

Rahama Wright
Thank you so much Monica. Have a great weekend. 


33:30

Monica H. Kang
Thank you so much Rahama for sharing your story and being here with us. 


33:35

Monica H. Kang
We so appreciate it. 


33:37

Monica H. Kang
And thank you listeners for tuning in to our conversation. I hope this month introducing you to these wonderful four innovators who happen to be a female inspired you to realize how there are so many innovators and leaders who are female around us every single day. Please continue to advocate, search and empower one another. Just because this month is wrapping up doesn’t mean that we are gone. So find people to inspire, empower and together we’ll make a difference. Speaking of which, what’s coming up next month? Well, hey, April is the time where we celebrate Earth Day. So as you have noticed in each month season, we are going to now interview next leaders who are making a difference in sustainability and how to make a better place for earth and for people. 


34:33

Monica H. Kang
I have four unique innovators who’s going to share their story and their journey into how they got passionate about sustainability and climate change. So make sure you subscribe, share this episode with somebody else and I will see you next week. Have a wonderful day. This is Monica King, founder and CEO of Innovators Box and your host at curious Monica. See you soon. 


35:03

Monica H. Kang
Thanks so much for tuning into today’s episode. Your support means the world to us. So we’re so glad you’re here. Thank you to everyone at InnovatorsBoxStudios. Audio engineering and production is done by Sam Lehmart, Audio Engineering Assistance by Ravi Lad, Website and Marketing support by Kree Pandey, Graphic Support by Leah Orsini, Christine Eribal, Original music by InnovatorsBox Studios and Executive Producing Directing, Writing, Researching and Hosting by me, Monica Kang, Founder and CEO of InnovatorsBox. Thank you for continuing on the journey of how to build a better workplace and thrive with creativity. Visit [email protected] and get some free [email protected] free we look forward to seeing you at the next episode. Thank you and have a wonderful day. 

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