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Black-Market Exchange- promotes black entrepreneurship, networking and
Crystal Washington's Bio:
When most people think of becoming entrepreneurs, very few imagine a light bulb going off one day and then making the immediate decision to leave corporate America. However, this is precisely how Crystal got started and she has been breaking down barriers ever since. Crystal is the owner of Black-Market Exchange, an online community dedicated to encouraging individual and community growth through supporting black entrepreneurship and networking. Black-Market Exchange also provides advertising opportunities as well as graphic design and printing services. Crystal also organizes a group of over 500 local black professionals.
Crystal is a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston and enjoys speaking to students about entrepreneurship. Crystal often states,
"I feel that God has blessed me with freedom and I want to use my light to set others free".
Successful Sista Survey
Success Stories and experiences of Business Women that we all can relate to and learn from.
Did you always want to be a Business Woman?
Yes. I did not always believe that I would be an entrepreneur, but I knew that I always wanted to be a business professional.
How would you describe your experience as a Black Entrepreneur?
I love being a black entrepreneur. Being that my business is totally about our people, I am able to meet new and amazing African American business owners daily. Owning my own business is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done in my life.
Looking back on your business decisions, is there anything that you would have done differently?
No. I do not believe in regrets because mistakes are the most powerful teachers we have. Every misstep has led me to where I am right now.
Did you have any formal business training? Do you think this is important to be successful?
I have a degree in Hospitality Management which is basically a business degree with an emphasis on "people skills". Formal training is a wonderful tool, but is not the most important component to business success. One's state-of-mind is probably the determining factor in a business' success.
What funding sources have worked for you?
I refused to take out any loan or have investors. I have learned to be creative and use the talents that I have to fund my business.
How has family/friend support financially or otherwise affected your business efforts?
I am very blessed to have an extremely supportive fiancé (who himself is an entrepreneur) and a family that believes in me.
How do you work on making your business grow?
One connection at a time. I build my network person by person. I put myself in the shoes of my target audience and give them what they would want.
What words of wisdom can you share with other business women?
Be focused. If you do not have a clear vision of where you are going, you can never reach your desired destination. Stop and take a moment daily to concentrate on your dreams and ask yourself what you are doing now to get closer to each one.