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Interview – Wiretap Media

Quyionah Wingfield. CEO and Co-Founder. Cool Moms Dance Too. GSU

Original Interview

 

First Job Ever? Assistant to the Communications Director of DeKalb Police Department

Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My mother was my first and most influential mentor. She shaped my worldview and taught me the importance of pursuing continuing education and empathy, which I believe are my greatest attributes personally and professionally. Her drive to help her community by providing resources and education on intellectual property nurtured my passion for social entrepreneurship. Also, Queen Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba is someone who has influenced me as well. Her relentless pursuit to maintain, uplift and fight for her country has inspired me to find a cause worthy of my relentless pursuit. She is an iconic figure to me and her story ended peacefully unlike many of those who fought for injustice and didn’t live to see their work manifest. Beyoncé’s work ethic is unparalleled, and I’ve always looked to her for inspiration and I live by her infamous words “How we’re smart enough, To make these millions, Strong enough to bare the children, Then get back to business.”

When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I’m naturally a creative and have worked in the arts community as a dancer and songwriter since I was a teenager. My mother founded a family owned publishing company so entrepreneurship was a big part of my growth. I was taught early on entrepreneurship was the path to freedom. Prior to Cool Moms Dance Too I’ve worked as an entrepreneur on other ventures. I’ve always had the passion to create but the loss of my mate in 2013 is what helped me start the journey of refocusing and refining my passion. The journey of surrendering myself to my passion was wanting to be a better mom. I knew I would not stop until I provided the world with my gift and it’s difficult to do so when you’re a multi-passionate creative and single parent. However, realizing I wasn’t doing well as a parent, juggling life and business pushed me back to my first passion… dance because it was something my two girls and I had in common. It enriched our relationships and set me on a path of peace and an honorable purpose helping my family and families worldwide find creative ways to engage, connect and grow.

Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? I would tell future entrepreneurs and change-makers to take your time and learn yourself. The best thing you can bring to an organization is a clear understanding of your strengths, weaknesses and what drives you so you can help others help you. Also, do not underestimate the importance of time spent on R&D. Your business is like being in a relationship so put into it what you want to get out of it. Most importantly as Jay-Z says “a loss ain’t a loss it’s a lesson”. If you take this approach you will learn, pivot quickly and find your way to success.

Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I check in with my team often and not solely to regard business but to see how they are doing in general. Our organization is built on family values, engagement, communication, empathy, health and this included mental health. I place a focus on balancing a regard for the business associate and the human being. They are intertwined, and many businesses fail at keeping morale high beyond a paycheck simply because the person is disregarded and the bottom-line is the main and many times the only focus. By doing this and being mission driven it inspires us all to want to do the work and remember our why.

When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that’s proven to be effective? The combination of EQ and mindfulness has been a lifesaver in situations like this. My approach to life is to be proactive instead of reactive. I use the same practices learned in mindfulness meditation and my EQ research, take a second maybe six, relax and breathe. Depending on the situation and time allotted to find a solution I regard the big picture and how my next response or action will domino affect a reaction. Thinking ahead and composing myself to think rationally and not emotionally has helped our organization navigate issues and sudden changes.

How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? To keep balance, I turn to a few key activities to remind me of my blessings. I love going on nature walks. Looking at nature and trees helps me appreciate the fact many trees have sustained storms, sunlight, darkness, all the elements of life and many are still standing tall. Also, first thing every morning as soon as I awake, I conduct a gratitude talk with the universe. I speak of all the reasons I am grateful starting with life itself. When I have an unsolvable problem or feel the need to connect, I reach out to my community, not to find the solution but to hear about their experience that day. It is most definitely a perspective shifter and helps me maintain a healthy balance.

What’s been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Being a mother has been the most gratifying role for me personally and professionally. I take my experiences I have and apply them by finding solutions to our issues at home. I get to work with my children, as my co-founders, and watch them grow as young ladies into kidpreneurs and it brings me so much joy to nurture their minds, bodies and spirits.

Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? Stop tracking time and just do the work, what is for you will be yours. It doesn’t matter what others believe it matters what you believe and what you can prove through your work. People will say it’s impossible until it’s done. If it changed your life it can change others’ lives stick to your passion.

How do you define success? I define success as impact and joy. If I’ve helped a family in any way engage more, connect while using our programming, and grow their relationship with a healthy lifestyle, I am successful and joyful.

What’s next for you? What’s next is the launch of our dance fitness programing online. We are crafting a video collection so families can workout to our dance fitness videos in the comfort of their home. We are also launching an instructor training certification online for fitness professionals and those interested in providing dance fitness classes to their community. Collaborating with communities nationally and internationally to teach and promote family integrated fitness is our goal. Maybe you’ll find us performing or conducting a class in a city near you.

Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.

Interview – Get Inspired with Zeta Joel

Original Interview

 

This interview today is for my mompreneurs, raising kids, working 9 to 5, and building an empire on the side.  I meet Quyionah a few months ago at one of my Sacred Circle meetups she shared her with us her journey of entrepreneurship. I was in awe because she had accomplished so much and yet still on the journey of achieving and accomplishing so much more.  So mothers #getinspired, don’t give up. All things are possible.

When there is a will there is a way…

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I come from a creative family out of Northern NJ. My mother owned a publishing house since I was about 8-years-old and I grew up learning about book and music publishing, the music business and metaphysics. My first job was with DeKalb County Police Department in the communications department. I’ve always had a knack for expression and translating ideas into something fun and entertaining. Thereafter, I worked for a promotions company responsible for radio and street promotions for Interscope, Geffen, A&M and 1720 records. In college, I studied psychology and overtime grew a deep passion for understanding human behavior and connection. In 2015, I discovered emotional intelligence around the same time I was grieving a great loss. Now, I run a company with my daughters named Cool Moms Dance Too a mommy and me dance fitness company which provides resources for families to enhance overall health and wellness including emotional intelligence worksheets to help build, repair and enhance communication and engagement within families.

How was Cool Moms Dance founded?

Cool Moms Dance Too was founded in the Spring of 2016 by my daughters Serenity Marie, Jaira Jazzelle and I. The idea was formed in our home while dancing together. I realized we could address many issues via dance including communication, engagement, weight loss, stress release, and connectivity. I lost my mate in 2013 and it was really difficult for us to transition together after our loss. Losing a parent has been a difficult process for my girls and mental wellness was not something I was raised to focused on. However, I realized mental and emotional health are some of the most important aspects of healthy living and helped move my family in the right direction toward a healthy and whole lifestyle.

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What inspired you to start Cool Moms Dance?

I was inspired by the connection it provided my girls and I. My daughter Jaira Jazzelle was dealing with a bully in school and didn’t tell me about it. However, after spending an evening dancing together she decided to open up to me. I was in shock but realized the benefits of having something in common, not to mention we were sweating and our heart rates were up due to the impromptu cardio dance workout we’d done. I realized other parents could benefit from a program in which mothers and children can meet their fitness needs and engage in connection building activity via dance fitness, meditation and emotional intelligence content in the comfort of their own home.

What is your mission/purpose for this company?

The mission of Cool Moms Dance Toois a mommy and me dance fitness company which emphasizes family-focused healthy lifestyle through convenient and engaging programs.

What challenges have you faced while building your business?

Our biggest challenge building Cool Moms Dance Too has been funding our business. We have been able to connect with many organizations and participate in pitch competitions, however, we have not been successful securing funding. This can become a frustrating issue because funding can help an organization with operating expenses which is essential in a business being successful. The amazing thing about mompreneurs like myself is we often have to make do with many aspects of life and turn lemons into lemonade. This has been my motto from the very start and helped me focus on what I could make happen without the financial backing. My focus is to do all that can be done with the resources available. With this perspective shifting mindset, my organization has been able to create a promo video, perform and vend at the GA PTA Association’s annual conference and create an instructor training model.

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I know that your kids love being involved while mom works her business. What do they love most about Cool Moms Dance?

My girls love the dancing first and foremost because dance is a big part of their life and they really enjoy doing it with me. They also enjoy the live events, once they are present they become business owners talking about our program and giving their all on stage. I enjoy them as well. I am proud they understand not only are we building connection and having fun with one another they are gaining skills as kid entrepreneurs to use in their future.
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Being a mompreneur how do you manage work, building your company and being a mom?

Being a mompreneur has been quite a challenge. To maintain my current lifestyle and pour into my business I work as an accountant/bookkeeper for CBS Radio and a bookkeeping firm. I know many successful entrepreneurs talk about the leap of faith into full-time entrepreneurship, however, I believe each individual knows when it is time to put down the 9 to 5 and pursue your business full-time. I create a schedule to manage my time and life and include mental health activities to address my needs of balance. My children are awesome, they support me 100% and we talk through everything to make sure we are all considered and looking out for one another in our own way. They are my business partners and children so I have to consider not overwhelming them with so much activity they don’t enjoy the program.

How can business owners support you?

Businesses can support us by sharing information about our organization with others, attending events and giving suggestions. We are a community engaged company and need our community to hold us accountable and give us feedback to meet their needs. So much has come from our life experience. Sign-up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the progress of our at-home dance fitness streaming on our website www.coolmomsdancetoo.com and upcoming classes near you.

What upcoming projects are you working on?

We’re currently working on collaborating with dance fitness instructors to connect them with facilities to provide Cool Moms Dance Too classes in their area as well as providing corporations with programming for their wellness packages via dance fitness classes.

The Bully Police

Additionally, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon to produce the first collection of our at-home streaming videos and we will need community support to do so.  Additionally, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon to produce the first collection of our at-home streaming videos and we will need community support to do so.

A really cool book we are releasing in October is a Book created by Serenity Marie and Jaira Jazzelle named The Bully Police. It’s a book about bullying encouraging families to engage with the issues that lead to bullying. This book can be found for pre-order www.jazzellepublishing.com

I’m sure after reading your interview moms and small businesses would like to get involved. How can they connect with you?

We can be found on IG and FB@coolmomsdancetoo and @coolmaqui we can also be reached via email at Quyionah@coolmomsdancetoo.com and our website www.coolmomsdancetoo.com

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Zeta J., Author, Speaker, Business Woman. Founder of Get INSPIRED Blog and Meet the Authors

National Day of Dance – 2017

 

Happy #nationaldanceday and thank you to WEI for the support – Its #NationalDanceDay, designated to encourage fun, healthy activity! This Saturday we’re getting active with Quyionah and her daughters, Jaira and Serenity, founders of Cool Moms Dance Too, an online dance fitness created to facilitate a mix of bonding, fun and exercise through a lively dance session for mothers and their children. This instruction based dance fitness is designed with a blend of modern dance and exercise techniques to keep the party going. Click the link in our bio to learn more about Cool Moms Dance Too! #SmallbizSaturday | #womeninbusiness | #thrifting | #shoplocalatl | #womenentrepreneurs | #smallbusiness | #entrepreneur | #ATL | #shoplocal #weiatlanta