On July 30th from 1-4pm, Chicago entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their business in a positive light. The Movement is an expo & networking event that will encourage and motivate individuals to explore their entrepreneurial spirit and aspire to become astute and successful business people. In addition to providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to foster new relationships through networking, the goal of The Movement is to bring attention and awareness to local businesses and the entrepreneur community within the city of Chicago.
Three Empowered Ladies, comprised of Trenity Dobbey, Chenise Offord, and Nicole Simmons, are a group of friends and businesswomen that are passionate and insistent on creating and producing platforms that allow entrepreneurs to be showcased. Together, they set out to create a new experience to bring their mission to light.
The three comrades all follow different professional paths. Trenity Dobbey is a social worker and life coach who recently launched her business T3 Life Coaching in early 2016. There, she offers empowerment, motivation and image coaching to predominately female youth and adult women. Chenise Offord, paralegal and real estate broker, strives to help first-time home buyers and investors build and maintain wealth. Nicole Simmons recently left her job Corporate America to pursue her passion. She is now a licensed hair stylist who hopes to continue to perfect her craft.
EmpireLifeMag.Com got a chance to chop it up with these Three Empowered Ladies to discuss The Movement, their mission and the change they wish to see in Chicago.
EmpireLifeMag.Com: Being that you three have vastly different backgrounds and professions, how did you come together to form your organization and create an event like this?
Trenity Dobbey: I had the idea for The Movement for almost a year. I knew they I couldn’t accomplish it alone; I wanted to bring in two ladies who were entrepreneurs as well because I knew they would know where I was coming from as far as providing a platform for people like us. I’ve known both Chenise and Nicole since my early 20s and I’ve seen them go from Corporate America to full-blown entrepreneurship and it was inspiring for me. When we decided to move forward with the event, the only two people I saw in my vision were Chenise and Nicole. It was a no-brainer to contact them and tell them my vision. I was lucky enough that they accepted it. Now together, we’re the Three Empowered Ladies, a name Chenise actually came up with. I just had the vision and idea, but I didn’t have a name. Chenise fills in where I lack on a lot of things and offered to come up with a name. It was a name that stuck and was received very well.
Chenise Offord: For me, the vision behind the name Three Empowered Ladies is of course we are three women who have known each other since about 2007. That’s a very, very long time, almost ten years. In that time, we’ve seen each other grow and flourish in both Corporate America and in our entrepreneurial journeys. We are three ladies who are empowered, inspired and motivated to support one another and other entrepreneurs. I believed it was a very fitting name for this group.
EL: As entrepreneurs, we experience a lot of competition in the marketplace. How were you all able to keep the spirit of collaboration instead of competition alive? What advice do you have for entrepreneurs as far as collaboration goes?
TD: What I’ve noticed with the three of us is that we all know our strengths; we allow each other to be confident within those strengths and take the lead with certain things. We also encourage each other when we identify our weaknesses too. For example, I’m more driven when it comes to getting XYZ done where Chenise is way better when it comes to contracts and legal verbiage. There are other things that she may not feel as confident in that she’ll reach out to Nicole for.
That is what happens when everyone acknowledges our strengths but at the same time working together to help build up our weaknesses too but not necessarily using them against one another.
CO: In addition to that, we also have a strong foundation of friendship. Within that friendship, we really support each other in our endeavors. With that being said, there’s not competition whatsoever between us. We push each other to be the best that we can be as friends and as women too.
There is a lot of competition that is out there as a business person but with that being said, you have to be careful with how you present yourself. The same people you step on going up, you can meet them on your way going down.
It is about the way you treat people and the way you correspond with them. We do have a great friendship but that also ties in to how we interact with each other as businesswomen as well.
TD: We have no problem giving each other a high five or a kudos but we also feel comfortable enough to call each other out when we’re not performing to our highest level or doing what we’re supposed to be doing. Because we do have that solid friendship foundation, we don’t take anything personal. We want to see each other succeed personally and professionally. When we do call each other out, we know it’s coming from a place of love. I’ve seen a lot of people merge and do things together but they’re so headstrong that they overlook everything and think they’re the best at everything, so much that they can’t take constructive criticism. If you can’t take constructive criticism from a friend, you definitely can’t take it from someone in business.
Nicole Simmons: I agree with everything that they said. I know that Trenity and Chenise have ventured out and done business in the past. This is my first experience doing something like this and I’m just honored. I’m honored to have been asked to take a part in organizing it and I hope to continue to grow from it. I’m looking forward to future endeavors together!
EL: Tell us more about The Movement itself. What made you want to create an event with this type of format?
CD: I’ve come across so many entrepreneurs and new business owners at various events throughout 2015 and thought, there’s so many people with great businesses, great ideas, great plans and great products but… no one knows. I went to the Black Women’s Expo earlier this year and I actually got to meet the Expo’s founder who was a wonderful soul. The Black Women’s Expo was just something she had started in her home and now it’s a national tour. I said, you know what? I want to do that on a more organic and local level and do something for the entrepreneurs in Chicago. I told Chenise and Nicole my idea and they were so excited about it. Collectively, we were able to help bring this to life. We wanted to create this for those entrepreneurs who may not be as visible and it’s not because their business or idea isn’t good but just because they don’t have the right platform. This is it.
CO: The fact that there is so many Black women and men who just may be tired of the rat race and tired of their 9-5 that they really want to pursue their passions and what makes them happy. The Movement is a shift. A shift of energy, a shift in mind frame and shift of thinking in regards of how we want to live our lives. The Movement is taking the first step towards what it means to be successful business people. The Movement is literally taking the steps toward your destiny and goals in life.
Make sure you support Three Empowered Ladies and The Movement on July 30! Purchase your tickets here and support Chicago and women entrepreneurship at the same time!