LaTonya Taylor owns her own restaurant-nightclub and is the founder of a great women’s organization called She’s A Boss Network, among doing other great things in the community. She currently has a big event in Richmond later this month and EGL was fortunate to sit down to hear more about the event and her endeavors.
EGL: For those who may not know you, who is Latonya Taylor?
LT: My greatest pride is being a mother. I have two daughters and they are the most important part about me. I was raised by a single father. He taught me as a young girl, the role of a woman and the power of being a lady. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for him.
EGL: You own a restaurant called Alcove Martini Bar and are the founder of a great women’s organization called She’s A Boss Network – tell us a bit about them.
LT: Yes I do. Alcove is a very unique, quaint and an attractive space. The industry I’m in, in Richmond VA, is male dominated. I didn’t have like-minded women that I could go to or come together and support each other. She’s A Boss Network was conceived from that. I wanted to create a network of women who could come together and collaborate. I truly devote my time to helping women get their business started.
EGL: What made you leap forward to make the first step to becoming an entrepreneur?
LT: I was in Corporate America for 12 years. I went from customer service in a corporation and progressed to the regional manager and having a six figure salary. It got to a point where I was sick and tired. I wanted to do something different. I always had that entrepreneurial spirit in me, I just didn’t know what I was going to do yet. The corporate world has no security. Things are fluid and your day to leave can be tomorrow. I stepped out on faith but I also made a plan – saved enough money for 12 months and then walked away.
EGL: So after getting started as an entrepreneur, what were the setbacks?
LT: When I started my first business I thought I could do it all. I signed a lease and didn’t read it clearly. I didn’t have legal representation like I should have. The lease didn’t help me and my business, and I was stuck with so many expenses that I shouldn’t have had to incur. I was stuck with that lease for two years and not paying for legal counsel, in the beginning, cost me a lot in the end.
EGL: You also have an event coming up, “Run the City,” which will be held in Richmond, VA at your restaurant. What is the event about and what inspired you to create it?
LT: Yes! She’s A Boss Network is all about women empowerment. I partnered up with an organization called up Ladies Who Lead. I believe in collaborating and partnering with women to creating great things. We have a lot of positive things happening in the Richmond area and one of those positive things is the number of females running in the local elections. Not only as Mayor but in all types of seats. We thought this was really powerful and came up with this event. This event is a women lead initiative and we wanted to raise awareness for these female candidates running local elections in VA. We also wanted to bring awareness to other things we struggle with – like being healthy. It’s also a family event so you can bring the kids. “Run the city” also tackles our lack of voting. We need to increase our voter registration.
On site, there will be a voter’s registration table and a warm up will be conducted by fitness partner, Tamara Arnold. Both of the women running for Mayor, Michelle Mosby, and Lillie A. Estes have confirmed attendance.
EGL: How can people register and or support your event?
LT: Registration to participate is free and can be done by visiting www.runthecity.eventbrite.com. For more information on Run the City, please contact Tonya (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 804-304-7550) or Shemicia (Email: email@example.com or Phone: 804-943-5036). To join in on the conversation via Social Media, please use #RunTheCityRVA. Come to the event, spread the word, and if you can’t make it, we accept all donations. You can also purchase apparel and merchandise.
EGL: What would you like the participants to take away from this event? Why is supporting women and voting important?
LT: We don’t exercise our right to vote as we should. We don’t come out and vote in the local elections. We want to build an awareness on the local elections because they are just as important as going to the polls in November. These elections determine what happens in our neighborhoods and communities that we live in. We want people to know that this is just as important as voting for the president of the United States.
Supporting women is important because we don’t get the support we need. We want people to know that it’s ok for a man and a woman to share the same position. We’re just as capable. Women deserve the same opportunities, the same pay, and the same jobs.
EGL: What future projects do you have coming up?
LT: We have a “Win a Free Event” coming up in July. This gives the opportunity to women who need venue space for events. We also host a happy hour fun workout, June 30 – Get fit in the club. This is an event to promote healthier lifestyles. You don’t have to be a size 2 to come join in. Just come in and get healthy. For more info on more events, you can visit www.latonyataylormade.com
EGL: What is your advice to people having a fear of launching their business?
LT: Excuses should go out the window. Follow your passion. Do what you love.
EGL: Where can people find your restaurant and how can people support She’s A Boss Network?
LT: Alcove Martini Bar is located at 1112 E Main St, Richmond, VA and you can support She’s A Boss Network website to donate or to get more information visit www.shesabossnetwork.com .
Written by: Lungi Moore, Editor, Modern Domestic