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Side Hustle Spotlight

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Side Hustle Spotlight
From the Streets to Satin
Doreen Motton, President & CEO
Creator of the Satin Slumber Collection
Neero  & Ana (neero-ana.com )

Doreen Motton has the ultimate motivator: “Every time I want to get down on myself, I remember living in my car, living in a bottle, and losing my son to the system. God didn’t bring me all this way for me to give up now,” she says.

 

doreen_mottenlg.jpgSide Hustle Spotlight
From the Streets to Satin
Creator of the Satin Slumber Collection
Neero  & Ana (neero-ana.com )

Doreen Motton
President & CEO


Doreen Motton has the ultimate motivator: “Every time I want to get
down on myself, I remember living in my car, living in a bottle, and
losing my son to the system. God didn’t bring me all this way for me to
give up now,” she says.

Doreen’s journey up the ranks to Citigroup vice president and then taking the entrepreneur plunge at age fifty included one major obstacle: Herself. “I was always told I was never going to be anything, but deep down I knew I was destined to be something else. I always wanted to be bigger than I was. And I knew I had something to offer. But in the back of my head I was struggling with who I was and who I wanted to be,” she says. What she did know is that whatever insecurities she had disappeared when she had a drink in her hand. 

A “functional addict” for years, Doreen always had a job, and even a few side hustles. After graduating from Northeastern, she worked for Dun and Bradstreet, a financial research firm for several years. During that time, her boyfriend’s father was a distributor for Seagrams and her side hustle was to try to get patrons to try it and get stores and bars to buy more the product. “It was a promotion business called Liquid Assets and I hired some people who would organize and sponsor happy hours. But I was always too wasted to hold a meeting or get the staff together, so it fell apart within a year. I had lost my credibility and people didn’t trust me. But, you know what, I had my own demons and they were my friends.” 

Doreen transformed her life struggles into a formula for perseverance and success in her business. She shares these hard-earned lessons with you:

Face the truth about your life
For 10 years I was on a downhill descent into the devil’s lounge.  There was a time when I lived in my car and looked for love in all the wrong places. I was wasting my life with something either up my nose or in my hand.  I’m not proud of that but I always knew there was an angel with me. I survived what others didn’t.

If there are any women reading this that are struggling within themselves, I’m here to tell you that there’s a way out of the way you think and how you live. I made a conscious decision to do something about my life and how I viewed myself. And then everyday I lived it! One day at a time.

Recognize your gifts
I knew I was on a quest to find myself and use the talents God gave me but I had been suppressing it. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always had a fondness for people and building friendships. I liked sales and marketing. There was something about the power of persuasion that I thought I did well.

When life is trying to tell you something…listen 
There were a series of events over time that changed my life.  I always had the same hairdresser for fifteen years. I loved what she did with my hair and when I would ask how to keep this look so fabulous, she always asked, “Did you get your satin pillowcase? Your ends are busted, your hair is dry…” When I finally found one it would fade after a few months of washing. Then it hit me, I could do my own. So I did.

A little while later I was unemployed. I made a few of my satin pillowcases, monogrammed them, and gave them away as Christmas gifts. Everyone loved them. Then, one day I was on my way home from the salon and the idea about the satin pillow cases as an actual business came to me in a voice. I knew they worked for me, I knew others liked them and I could use my experience and talents. I was open and receptive to the message.

When my 50th birthday came, it was a real epiphany for me. I realized that I had more years behind me than ahead of me, so whatever I was going to do I needed to do it now.

Get your tools of the trade
I went to Staples and got the business card kit and I made the cards myself. I knew that would be an affirmation. As a smoker, if I had matches, I knew I could stop smoking, but if I had a lighter I was definitely a smoker—that is the tool for smoking.  I wanted to have a card and give that out and validate who I was. I wanted the tools for being in business.

Give it your all
Every waking and sleeping moment I thought about these satin pillow cases: How will I make them? What kind of fabric? How will I package it? I did all the research myself. I attended fabric shows to find the right satin. Then I went from a plain pillowcase to adding branding and embellishments.

Research relentlessly 
Take advantage of all the free resources to research, research, and research. When you have the passion, the exploration comes easy.

Start small
In 2004 I saw a sign for a sewing machine sale and I went there and bought a sewing machine. At night when I came home from Citibank, I would sew. I could only make one an hour. Then, I hired others to sew for me, but relying on people to deliver and with the same quality that I wanted didn’t really work. I started researching manufacturers.

Then I started small, selling within organizations, to friends and family, and going to local Black expos and other vending events.



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