I am loving this series. Round 2 of the Successful Single Mom is here and mamas, get ready to be inspired! Single parenting is not easy by any means, but millions have done it, do it, and are thriving. This series is here to show you that women just like you found themselves single AND parenting, got up and chased their dreams. Sis, you can, too!

The Background

I first met our Mom of the Week, Marie Smith at a mastermind held by Paul C. Brunson and Ella Rucker in D.C Fall 2014. That 1 day experience  changed my life, and Marie and I became  fast friends. In fact, everyone in that mastermind is still connected to this day.

Marie was in the hot seat at the mastermind the longest. And for good reason! She had a business. Many of us had ideas, concepts, and dreams. Marie had the real deal. Many of us walked away with strategy, plans, new friends, less of a headache (raises hand), accountability and the start of our amazing  brands. But, I learned so much from her then and now, and am proud to call her “girlfriend.”

What follows is how Marie found the courage to chase her dreams and how the desire to change the face of beauty for women of color is at the forefront of her endeavors. Read on and be inspired!

The Interview

So, Marie tell us about a day in the life of a CEO beauty brand owner. What are some challenges you have faced and how do you manage it all?

Being the CEO of my own company means many things. It’s a wonderful experience to acknowledge your gifts and talents. It’s both rewarding and fulfilling and at the same time can be demanding. But that’s what success is all about. You must be open to accept everything that comes with it. The challenges make you stronger. It pushes you to the limit, and that’s when you are able to see the rewards.

The beauty industry is a highly and fiercely competitive industry, and so we have to ensure that our brand stands out. Our mission is to strictly provide products for women of color, and to educate women about products that are developed specifically for their natural skin tone, which of course it’s ours (smiling). So not only are we providing products, but we are also educating women at the same time.

When you love what you do, it infuses you, it pushes you. It’s the most rewarding feeling when you know that you are making a difference in the lives of others.

2. What has made the biggest difference in your success in business and in life? 

To realize that anything is possible and that I had to believe in myself and what I wanted to do. That if I didn’t go after what I wanted to do, it wouldn’t come after me.

I love to see women looking beautiful on the inside and out, and if I am able to contribute to their lives by providing products that can assist them in doing so, that’s satisfying. I love to challenge myself and an always looking for ways to make things easier for others.

3. If you could change one thing about your business journey, what would it be?

Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change one thing.

I truly believe that the challenges that we face are life’s blessings in disguise. Challenges pave the way for others, and  prepare us for greatness. So therefore, I wouldn’t change one thing.

4. Well, congratulations are in order. I hear you’ve just been named 2016 Business Woman of the Year by Woman on Fire. That must feel amazing! Tell us, what this award means to you.

Being the winner of the 2106 Prestigious Business Woman of The Year Award means so much to me. To be recognized by others is truly a blessing. It speaks of my integrity and how others around me see me. When hard work and dedication are recognized, it speaks volumes about who you are. I am especially thankful to the Woman on Fire CEO, Allison Harvey, for presenting me with this prestigious Award, which is named after her late aunt, Merlene Samuel-Cephas.

I am deeply honored, and it is a privilege to be recognized in the category of such an amazing woman like Merlene Samuel-Cephas.

Kaywanda: Awesome!!!! I love it!

5. To whom do you attribute your success? How were you able to push through the early stages of business development to product design and production? Any tips for our budding mompreneurs?

I attribute my success to faith and believing in myself. My children are also a huge part of my success. They believed in me and therefore I couldn’t fail them. Whenever I felt like giving up, I am reminded by the words of my oldest son Andre.

I recall walking into his room one early morning, to tell him about my new-found bright idea, which was my first product, The Incredible Corn Concealer. I still remember the look on his face and the words he spoke with his eyes half-opened.

He said, “Mom, I always knew, I just didn’t know when.”

Those words played in my head over and over again. So, whenever I would question myself, I was always reminded of my “why” and that was my motivation to push forward.

My advice to budding mompreneurs is to believe in yourself. 

Be reminded at all times of your “Why” I cannot tell you it will be easy, but I can guarantee you that in the end it will be all worth it. Stay positive, stay strong, stay focus on YOU.

Well! Didn’t I say this one would have you on fire! I loves it all. You can find Marie keeping women beautiful at tajjcosmetics.com She’s also on Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope.

If you follow the blog, you know I’m passionate about parenting, dream chasing, business, entrepreneurship and how as single moms we can learn to win and take our families to the next level. So, I want to show you women weekly who are doing just that!

I pray you have been inspired to put your dream into action. You never know what will happen. No fear mama! Rise up!

Do It Anyway!

Marie is a family girl. She wishes her lovely mother and friend an amazing Mother’s Day!


Are you in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area? Come out for the Single Moms Who Brunch event on August 6th. Meet moms like you who are fabulous, hidden away working and providing, and are looking for the perfect event to connect, chat, dine, and grow. I’ll be hosting the brunch of the year for us which means great swag, the book, and mini lunch and learn topics throughout. Not your boring brunch honey. Fun times will be had. You’ve got to be at this brunch if you’re serious about parenting alone on the next level (until Boaz comes of course). Get the details here. Seating is limited. See you soon!

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