Lissa Marie: What is the business that you own and what goods are services do you supply?
Sincerely Syreeta: I guess it is becoming a business at this point. I am the creator of SincerelySyreeta.com, a website that was originally created as an online portfolio and personal blog. It has since become a media publication with special focus on Philly and the beautiful, hard working people who live and thrive here.
LM: What was the initial idea behind your business?
SS: The initial idea was to get my work out there and to also have some therapeutic outlet. I was journalism major at Temple Univ. when I started the site two years ago. I was a single, struggling mother with virtually no support system here in Philly [I’m from Pittsburgh]. My professors preached that we needed an online portfolio for our work, so for me, I fed two birds with one seed. I got my work out there but I also got my poetry, thoughts and ever-evolving perspective on my life experiences out there as well. My hope through it all was to inspire and empower others.
LM: What are some of the struggles you’ve endured as new business owner/entrepreneur? SS: My biggest struggle was trying to figure out where I fit in at on the Philly scene. And then it finally hit me…I don’t. That’s what’s in part, unique about the SS brand. By all accounts, I’m an outsider—I hail from Pittsburgh and I came to Philly by way of Delaware. All of those experiences over the years, coupled with my personality, make the site everything that it is.
LM: What is the happiest moment you’ve experienced thus far being a new business owner/ entrepreneur?
SS: Watching my site evolve—which is a constant moment. The site is a direct reflection of my own evolution. It went from being all about me—with some light shed on my personal endeavors—to being all about others and the wonderful things that they’re doing.
LM: Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
SS: Wherever it is, my presence will be felt. Five months ago I didn’t see myself here but I made an investment and commitment in seeing where SS can go. I have plenty of plans—which I’m not speaking on for the purpose of further developing and solidifying them—but all that matters is that wherever I am, I will be successful and I will be a cornerstone in my community. Everything that I get will be paid forward as it always has. That’s in part what the SS brand is all about.
LM: What do you believe is the best way to achieve long-term success?
SS: Trust in yourself and whatever God you do [or don’t] serve. Plan as much as possible but don’t become a slave to it. You’ve got to be open to success coming in different forms which means defining it for yourself. The world will spew a bunch of materialistic crap at you and that’s fine—but if you pit all of your success on the material, then you set yourself up for failure.
LM: Where does your creative inspiration come from? (music, television, art, etc)
SS:My life. The life of others. I don’t get to watch TV a lot and most of the music that I get is from my right hand, DJ G33k. For me, I need to be in touch with what I can readily see and experience—the daily reality that we all live in. That’s what inspires me.
LM: What motivates you?
SS: I’m self-motivated but I will say that living in poverty for a sustained amount of time motivates the hell out of me. God willing—and for damn sure if I have any say in it—my children and I will never return to this state of living again. If it should so happen though, then by all means, I’ll grind my way out again. I’m so thankful for the experience, but I pray I never have to come back to it. I’m also motivated by the life experiences of others. The SS interviews that I do give me life…the things people have overcome is mind-blowing.
LM: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
SS: My greatest fear…not being the woman that exhibits the traits that I’d like to see exist in my daughters when they become women. And that’s not happening.
LM: What is some advice that you’d give a young woman who wants to start her own business but doesn’t feel they have what it takes to succeed?
SS: Whatever this world won’t give you [as far as your dreams], then you must create. If you want it, get off of your ass and work to go get it. Your dreams mean nothing if you’re not willing to work for them—and don’t expect one person in this world to hand them to you. Not to say that others won’t help you and give you a chance…but who wants to help a person who isn’t or doesn’t appear to be willing to take a chance on themselves?
Be sure to follow Syreeta Socially and visit her site: http://SincerelySyreeta.com/