Crystal Washington
Black-Market Exchange
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Black-Market Exchange- promotes black entrepreneurship, networking and
community involvement

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.

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I met Ms. Washington recently, I love the networking ideas that she uses. For instance, she organized a speed networking network. About 16 business owners or aspiring business owners had opportunity to talk for 3 minutes about their services/products to each other, a great way to get a feeling/feedback on what you are doing. In addition, the business owners had a opportunity to give away a product or service as a drawing prize, what a great way to have customers try your product or service. Now, they can tell someone else, "Isn't word of mouth the best advertising tool?"

I have attached myself to her because she has such positive energy and that falls on me. You must have positive people around you as you build on your dreams for negative people will drain all of your dreams. Be sure and make GOD first, he will guide you all the way.

Ms. Washington has truly been a blessing to me in moving my business, she has a wealth of information and resources. I am a member of Black-Market Exchange and Black Professional Meetup Group, both organized by Ms. Washington. I urge you to join both you will truly be blessed.

I love you Crystal,
Ms. Jaque'
Crystal, would you be interested in advertising on television? I work with the Leslie Taylor Hare Show in Dallas, TX in advertising/marketing and would love to have you on the show to discuss what you do. Please send me an email and I would be happy to send you the advertising packet. Thank you and have an incredible night!



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