“Vanessa and Lydia” “Today’s Successful Businesswoman”

Vanessa has an admired Biblical predecessor: Lydia, trader and seller of the expensive exotic dye. She had an international trade product…just as Vanessa has today. They have similar desires and accomplishments. Not by coincidence, I paired her with Lydia in the Bible [Act 16:14-15] Paul took special notice of the women who met by the riverside, praying and discussing the faith they were seeking. Lydia was a clothier, an entrepreneurial personality, a business woman; a seller of purple, a renowned product in the Roman world for wealth and royalty.” She traded and sold cloth using this exotic dye and hosted a church in her home.(WordInLifeStudyBible)  Ms. Vanessa Punche’ is a persevering entrepreneur minded woman. Her heart is in her business and her mind is pointed to “success.” Her “never give up” attitude will prevail through all challenges she has met and will meet. That’s what it takes in life. If you give up, you know what will happen. Right? Nothing. Everything stops when you allow distractions and interferences to take charge…..

That’s not Vanessa Punche’ story. 

Q. Vanessa, what has been the centrifugal influence in your life to propel you to success?

A. Describing herself she writes: “At a young age, I watched my mother run her own successful businesses. That’s right, she (my mother) had more than one. But the one I most remember is her being the owner of Thomas Key Punch Service. For those who don’t know what key-punch is, it’s a machine used for transferring data by means of punching holes or notches on a series of cards or paper tape. My mother taught my twin sister and me, at a very young age how to answer her business line and load the key punch machines. I know this impact has been the centrifugal influence throughout my childhood, adulthood, work life and now, my successful entrepreneurial career. Vanessa attests to what we can learn and our young people can learn; that is watching their parents, other relatives and friends. All these people are “teachers.” Parents are first teachers. 

Q. What motivates you? 

A. Parents and friends. With this background, Vanessa  demonstrates a lifestyle of obedience to her parents, which is the milestone to getting off to the right start and not running away from parents because, “I didn’t want to do what my mother said!” No! Absolutely not. She built the foundation from her youth up learning to follow instructions and learning to listen to the adults who were assigned for her care and rearing. Family, friends, children.  This is a ready lesson to young people during this age.  A pivotal point in her life: Again, describing her motivation in her business journey, “Throughout the inception of my entrepreneurial career, now over 2 years, my biggest motivator and the catalyst that changed my life from corporate to self-employment would be the event that took place nearly 3 years ago…where 2 African American men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia while simply waiting on a colleague. This was a pivotal event in my life, a turning point. I vowed to start my own coffee brand and I made it a priority. Both family and friends, specifically, my siblings, children, and my good friend have been super supportive with their time, money and priceless advice. As ALL of my immediate family and friends are self-employed, they have been my biggest cheerleaders! And they have not just been cheering from the benches. They have been actively involved.”

Q. How have you shared your success with others to help others along?

A. I’ve been able to share my success by hiring my family and hiring within my community of South-Central Los Angeles and to encourage and inspire people who look like me to start their own and to invest in themselves.

Q’s. I asked her a series of questions: Do you have children? Are they successful too? What did you and their mother or father do to bring such success to your own children and the rest of the family?

A. I have 3 children whom all have worked with me in some capacity of the business or another. It’s very important for me to leave the blue print and start the legacy for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren for generations to come.

Q. Did you get spankings (whippings) when you were growing up? 

A. LOL! Yes, I got spankings. But not many. It only took me once, maybe twice. I didn’t want to have to deal with my mother in that way. It was easier to do what was right.

Q. What method of discipline did you use with your children? I am curious about these things because of the success you and your family have experienced.

A. Yes. My children got spankings. There were a lot of times too. However, we talked to them first to let them know about actions, reactions, and consequences. We all must choose our own path, but we instilled hard work, kindness and honesty.

Q. How did you become a businesswoman…an entrepreneur, a self starter? 

A. I became a businesswoman from my own work experiences and from being able to manage a household as a single mother. I became an entrepreneur when the unfortunate incident that took place at Starbucks in 2018. I often say. I didn’t choose this business. This business chose me…and so proud it did!

Q. Did you want to be an entrepreneur from your youth? 

A. Growing up I did not want to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be a nurse. I loved working with people, especially sick people. It is comforting to know that you can help someone when they do not feel their best. It is about giving of yourself and not expecting anything in return.

Q. Tell us something about your business. What kind is it? 

A. My business is a black woman owned mobile coffee brand. I have THEE BEST COFFEE in LA! I have the first black woman owned coffee truck! My products include coffee sourced from Cameroon, Africa, a proprietary blend of hot cocoa, and out of this world teas!

Q. What is the name of your business? What is the address?

A. My business is L.A. Grind Coffee & Tea Bar LLC – Your Coffeehouse on Wheels. Since I am mobile there’s no physical address. I also currently have a great online presence, www.lagrindcoffeeandteabar.com  Visit us here for all your coffee and beverage needs.  We’re looking forward to the future with the next phase of my business.

Q. What has been your experience; negative or positive that you can speak of during this pandemic?

A. 2020 has left a lasting impression on me. Some good, some not so good. And through it all, we continue to trust GOD. When I think of the lost revenue and where I projected my business to be by now, it’s not where it should be, but I have so much more out of it. I’ve tapped into my very creative side to keep us going during this time. We have so many more goals to accomplish in the upcoming months. 

Q. Could you talk a little more about God and His role in your life through your children, family and business?

A. We grew up in the church: Second Baptist church at 24th  and Griffith under Pastor Kilgore. I left going to  church, but kept believing. That’s a relationship that you don’t leave. Also, under Michael S. Martin was also my Pastor at  Learning to Live Fellowship  Christian church (non denominational. Jesus Christ is still in my heart. 

Q. Where do your ideas come from? Do you think it was by accident or design that you heard about Starbucks incident?

A. It was by design and kept in my spirit that we need our own businesses. Everything fell into place. It was divine influence. I was happy on my job, in management; but when things started taking off after almost a year. I knew I had to go and invest in myself. It is the best decision I made to be self-employed. 

Q. What can we all do to keep the faith and with an upward “trajectory” attitude?

A. Keeping us busy with online sales is a great way to see us continue to thrive. We want to remain in business for generations. Small businesses like mine need all the support we can get. 

Jeanette Grattan Parker Ph. D-Founder-Superintendent Todays Fresh Start Charter School www.todaysfreshstart.org (323)293-9826 4514 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, California 90043: info@todaysfreshstart.org Weekly Columnist for LA Sentinel News & LA South Chamber of Commerce askdrjeanette.successontheway@gmail.com articles copyright March 04, 2021 all rights reserved©” Inquiring Minds Want To Know” ©website askdrjeanetteparker.com “©The Father Famine” “Ask Dr. Jeanette”™

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