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Supporting Detroit's "Pink Light District"
By Valerie D. Lockhart
SUN EXECUTIVE EDITOR
"Pink isn't just a color. It's an attitude too."
An attitude of empowerment and collaboration dominates the corridor along the Jefferson and Chalmers, prompting female entrepreneurs in the area to affectionately dub it the “pink light district”.
Several women operate a variety of businesses in the area. An office complex at 14405 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48215 is home to three such owners: Pink Poodle Dress Lounge, Sugah Please Coffee House and Busted Bra.
The three women have defied myths that say ladies can’t work together without experiencing conflict. Instead, they’ve formed a “new girls” club that lives up to the motto, “Women Helping and Supporting Other Women”.
“I vision of building a legacy that requires me to collaborate with women that carries the same mindset,” Raehawn Bumphers, owner of the Pink Poodle, that specializes in offers bridal gowns and accessories for the entire bridal party and custom tailored suits for grooms and groomsmen, said. “I had collaborated with many to learn who I can continue the engagement. Moving into our new location at Jefferson and Chalmers, I am fortunate to be in the middle of two extraordinary women business owners with the same mindset. I look forward to continue building a network with these ladies in an effort to bring more attention to Jefferson and Chalmers.”
Like men, women face challenges in running a business but collaboration is key to overcoming them.
“Business lending and financing has been my biggest challenge to date. I have benefited from programming and funding that has been earmarked to support women,” Wendy Ringo, owner of Sugah Please, said. “With the support of entities such as Michigan Women Forward, I have been able to successfully secure the much needed funding to start my business. Also, the Motor City Match program awarded me a grant, which further assisted me in reaching my fiscal operational goals.”
Bumphers is optimistic about the future of female entrepreneurs.
“I do not believe it's hard for women to own and operate a business. We have been hidden in the background of Fortune 500 Corporations and large organizations for years. A lot of us learned that we can start our own businesses as we been successfully running others,” she said.
Although each vie for patrons entering their building, they understand the importance of engaging in healthy competition.
“Within the Pink Light District we discuss individual and collective goals to support the businesses within our region and enhance the greater community that we are a part of. We don’t compete we collaborate and celebrate,” Ringo said. “We have no time for trivial gossip and pointless conjecture. We have work to do. We champion collaborative efforts and applaud all victories! A win for one, is a win for all!”
While March is Women’s History Month, the public is encouraged to patronize women-owned businesses year round.
“Women wear multiple hats being wives, mothers, caregivers, corporate professionals, community leaders, all in addition to being entrepreneurs. As such, it is worth noting that female entrepreneurs work extremely hard to bring their customers the very best that they have to offer. With that being said, the public should strongly consider supporting the time, dedication and commitment that all female entrepreneurs have elect to put forth and share with their communities,” Ringo added.
Bumpers agreed and added, “The public should support female entrepreneurs to change the mind-set of society and financial lenders. Our young girls need to see that they can pursue their passion and apply their talent building a legacy of their own.”
And, for women afraid or reluctant to pursue their dream of entrepreneurship, Bumpers offers words of encouragement.
“I advise an aspiring female entrepreneur to never give up on her vision and goals. It may not happen when you want it to happen, but it will. There is no progress without struggle. Continue working on your goal everyday as you have been working the 9-5 job. You have greatness within you along with education and experience to make magic happen.”
Tips for avoiding credit card debt
(StatePoint) Americans’ credit card debt totaled $930 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019, a $46 billion increase over the third quarter, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At the same time, the proportion of borrowers whose credit card payments were 90 days late or later increased to the highest percentage recorded in almost eight years.
Here are eight tips for staying out of credit card trouble:
1. Create and stick to a budget. This will help ensure you are not spending more money on your credit cards than you can pay off at the end of every month.
2. Remember that your credit limit is not money in the bank. When you pay with a card, you must have money available elsewhere to pay for the purchase.
3. Sign up to receive text alerts whenever your credit card is swiped. These alerts will help you monitor how frequently you use your card and remind you that, while not immediate, money is being spent.
4. Keep your credit card bills organized, be aware of payment due dates and maintain regular payment schedules to avoid ballooning debt, and protect or even improve your credit score.
5. Set up automatic credit card payments from your bank account so you’ll never be late. If you’re not sure you’ll always have enough to pay in full, set an automatic payment for the minimum amount due, which will also remind you to pay the bill in total. You might even consider paying your bill every two weeks to keep closer tabs on your spending.
6. If you need help minimizing your credit card use, consider contacting a credit bureau to freeze your credit. You can even freeze your credit via smartphone apps. You can always deactivate the freeze when you truly need to use credit for a big purchase or in an emergency.
7. Delete your saved credit card information from accounts with merchants such as iTunes or Amazon. Taking the time to enter payment information manually means more time to consider a purchase before completing your order.
8. Consider keeping your credit cards in a secure location that is not your wallet. If you do not carry your credit cards around with you, you are less likely to use them.
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional can help you manage your spending without accumulating credit card debt. To find a CFP professional near you, visit www.letsmakeaplan.org.
By sticking with a budget and staying on top of bill payments, you can avoid the stress and financial consequences of credit card debt.
Wendy Ringo (left) and Raeshawn Bumphers, are two of several female entrepreneurs in the Pink District - East Jefferson/Chalmers district. - Photo by Michelle