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Pop Quiz, Monday with Emelda Juanita De Coteau, Founder at Women Creatives Chat

Photo credit: Keston De Coteau (Keystone Productions) photo
The Pop Quiz Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you cannot learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

  1. Can you please tell everyone your name?

Emelda Juanita De Coteau (most affectionally call me “E” or “Mel”).

2. Tell us about your business and what you do?

I founded Women Creatives Chat, a community for women of all artistic disciplines rooted in wellness (mind, body and spirit), empowerment, and building authentic connections (friendships, collaborations, etc.) through live and online events (workshops focused on self-care, healing through art, and IG / FB Live chats). For me, it is more than a business (as we conventionally define it); this is one of my callings — cultivating affirming and healing spaces for women. And there are many super supporter sister friends who do everything from share social media posts to come out to the events and bring their friends, beautiful souls like — My Mom, Kayla T., Michelle Brown, Lois Neelam, Rochelle Soetan, Michelle L. Whitney, Joi, D. Antoinette, Valerie Keys, Tori, Stephanie Harper and Nicole Alston. This community belongs to each of us.

Photo credit: Shae McCoy

I spend lots of time listening (often on social media and in conversation): What topics interest the community most? What are their concerns? While also working to understand how to best show up for them — whether this is through planning an event (either online or in person), adding more content (resources, tips, etc.), etc.

3. Why did you want to become an entrepreneur?

After having our little girl Nai, it became increasingly clear working a traditional 9–5 would be tough, particularly since she had challenges with sleeping at night. I needed flexibility and autonomy to juggle demands of Mom life while still being fulfilled professionally. I began to explore entrepreneurship, talking in more depth with my husband, who left his job in corporate America to pursue photography and videography, eventually founding Keystone Productions. Being on this journey with your life partner is exhilarating, challenging and a tremendous source of joy. I love the feeling of producing something (an event, piece of content, writing, graphics, etc.) that I envision and seeing it fully manifested in the world.

4. What are the challenging aspects of running a business?

Whew! There are many challenges. For me, the primary difficultly is feeling overwhelmed, particularly when putting together an event. As a start up, my budget is smaller so I have to wear multiple hats, often simultaneously. I deal with it by taking self-care breaks (reading, meditating, journaling and praying) and drawing close to family.

Another challenge is giving yourself permission to slow down and prepare for the next phase of your plan — it’s easy to want to take on tasks that offer an immediate sense of accomplishment, but working on those plans which take longer are in some instances more beneficial — so it’s a constant juggling act.

5. What do you love most about your job?

Well, what I love most about my calling, is being in community with other women, showing up in deep love and service, providing a platform for all of us to share our creative voice. When I think if it deeply I could cry; it is a tremendous gift. The writer Tagore said: “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

6. How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Well, I love to change my work environment up a bit. Since I work mostly alone for the day to day stuff, this looks like writing from my fav. artsy café or visiting a park to journal ideas out.

If it’s during an event, we enjoy participating in hands on creative projects — like making vision boards, journaling or simply laughing and talking with another.

7. What would one piece of advice that you give to a new business owner?

Remember your why. What is driving you to create this biz? Understanding this helps sustain your mind, body and spirit, when you’re tempted to quit.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Women Creatives Chat (Instagram + Facebook)

https://www.instagram.com/womencreativeschat/?hl=en

https://m.facebook.com/WomenCreativesChat/

Landing Page (for email list):

https://mailchi.mp/f96db9976dc8/womencreativeschat