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WHITNEY M. WESLEY: Cafe Mocha Creations

Whitney Michele Wesley is a grinder. This mother of two manages to handle the rigors of family, running and growing her online business -- Cafe Mocha Creations, writing and maintaining a blog, and, most importantly of all, being a role model to two beautiful young daughters. Whitney started an online business selling original, crocheted apparel, jewelry and accessories. She is now on a roll and things are all looking very positive. Michele started her business almost inadvertently. "I was at the mall with my daughters and they saw knitted hats that they LOVED and wanted. I told them that I could make those hats myself." She then created the hats in no time at all. After posting photos of the hats on Facebook, a buzz started immediately. Out of the requests for items that started to come in from friends, Cafe Mocha Creations was born. Michele has launched several online businesses in the past but Cafe Mocha Creations feels just right. Michele admits that, though she had been crocheting since she was 10 yrs. old, she'd never took it too seriously. She's always enjoyed it but never entertained the idea of an apparel company. Michele is clearly in her element here. "It's a sacrifice to step away from corporate America and let go of the dependable, predictable paychecks and benefits. In a two income household, maintaining a constant income stream while self-employed can be a challenge." Whitney is lucky to have the full support of her family, and her husband is right by her side. Michele keeps to her schedule as if she reports to an office daily. A typical day starts with seeing the girls off to school and hubby off to work. She then dedicates her time to creating items to fill orders, updating the CMC online store and online research for the business. At day's end, she segues back to Mommy mode and back to family responsibilities. Her goal is to keep her transition to self-employment transparent from the family's vantage point. In Michele's realm, being internet savvy is a major asset. Posting photos of new items to Facebook and Instagram has become a great strategy as friends (and strangers) LIKE and share the pics. The good word tends to spread and helps to keep the orders coming. The web has proved to be a great resource for marketing or product ideas, participating in online business or entrepreneurial communities, or even watching technique tutorials on YouTube. Whitney acknowledges the importance of being open to repackaging her skills to find other sources of income. She is looking into teaching a crocheting or jewelry class online and at community and senior centers. She is looking to expand her business by getting more active with promoting through business centers and expos or teaming with other entrepreneurs to cross promote products and services. She also has her sights set to lend support in her community . "I want to start a charity that creates hats and scarves for kids in need during the winter months or for Back To School, and hats or headbands for cancer patients. I'd love to create an outreach system to deliver these items and let these kids know that they are not in their situations alone." It's a pleasure to present Whitney as a fine representative of a strong, focused black woman who is going her own route. Successfully. Great stuff. And great job Whitney Michele Wesley!!

ONLINE STORE: Vernon R. Heard #blackpositive!

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