We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise Thompson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Denise, how does your business help the community?
Social media used to terrify me. A few years ago, you couldn’t get me to take any of it serious. I looked at social media as a pool of sharks, pretending to be fishes. When I first decided to take the path of entrepreneurship, I knew I would have to utilize social media to promote my business and I did not want to create a world I wasn’t really living. I made a conscious decision to allow the world to truly see me. I thought it would be irresponsible of me to introduce the world to the person I was pretending to be. I was absolutely afraid to even start looking at myself but I wanted a better life. I wanted a happy life. I started an online blog, Shae Chronicles, to pretty much out myself to the world. It was one of those, okay, so here’s all my skeletons. It was entirely therapeutic for me. Especially, being a person who relied on the publics verdict for my life’s decisions. It’s how I allowed myself to exist. The blog ended up building a small community of supporters that are now on the same mission to find who they truly are. I decided to expand my blog into a podcast and even published a self help book, I Am Everything I Need, to encourage looking within to find the answers you need to heal, build your confidence and trust yourself enough to be consistent. Ultimately, I begin to live the life I always desired because I started putting in the work and my community is all for it! From the success of my book sales, I gained the confidence to start my online boutique, Neck Peace, an intimate and accessory shop to help promote confidence and alignment. I’m now using my platform to collaborate with other Small Businesses’ to sale their product on my site at no cost to them, except shipping. As a Creator, I found running my business, while trying to create, difficult. Partnering with small businesses’ gives them the space to allocate all upfront cost to creating instead of a paid online subscription just to manage your business. I have the audience, let’s test some products out and see what works. This way, they are able to build a solid line of products based on the limited qty items they chose to test on my site. It’s super exciting and I’m looking forward to my first couple of collaborations.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
They say 2020 either broke you or made you. I walked away from 2020 liberated AF. Before 2020, I spent 10 years in the Cooperate world paving my way to 6 figures, working for companies in Aerospace and at Halo Top Ice Cream, as a Project Manager. I worked hard and made great money but my home life was a disaster. I was too tired or busy to pay attention to my kids, I was stuck in a unhappy marriage and I had recently lost my Mom. 2020 was the year of release for me. It was the year I decided to take my life back. I decided to leave the Corporate world and took advantage of the Stay At Home order. I needed to reconnect with my children and find myself again. I was able to build my self confidence up enough to step out on faith and start Hood Intentions. Hood Intentions, is an online t-shirt shop that allowed my business partner, Ena, and I to, “Say it with our chest”. We were two very outspoken women that were tired of being boxed in. We took our individual skills that we picked up in the Corporate world and ended up building a community of supporters. We just reached our 1 year milestone and are already expanding personally and collectively. With the success of Hood Intentions, I was able to build on that milestone. That’s when I decided to start creating more pathways to make all of my dreams come to life. But, it wasn’t easy. I’m a firm believer in being responsible with anything I put out into the world. It becomes a part of me when I create it and it reflects me once I release it. No different than the quality checks with our shirts. Anything I touched had to be reflective of me and what I stand for and changing my narrative to suite society was no longer the “go to” for me. I saw something different for my life. I decided to make the change of living intentionally to protect my new reality. Shae Chronicles Blog and Podcast is my safe space to share my journey to triumph. It allows me to handle oncoming trauma as well as past traumas, as I maneuver through entrepreneurship. The journey to change has definitely tested my faith but its a side of the journey not too many people talk about. It’s easy to showcase the victory but the story is in the process. I found being myself and being transparent with my audience has contributed to my success, thus far. I’m not out here selling a dream, I’m living in it and that’s what I’m sharing. As my audience started to grow with the podcast and blog, I decided to expand my business ventures by extending a hand. Coming from a Corporate back ground has it perks and being able to utilize those skillsets to my own advantage has been crucial for the growth of my businesses. I decided to open another side of myself to the world by starting an online boutique, Neck Peace. Neck Peace was ideally meant to boost self esteem and confidence by wearing these conversation pieces. Something I used in the corporate world as ice breakers. I knew if I had a cute cuff or earring on, it was going to strike up a conversation and I could take it from there – worked every time! But, like a true Pisces, I felt that reason alone was not enough of a connection with my audience. So, I decided to build on the idea and promote an “uplifting as we climb” presence for Neck Peace. I took my passion for writing and used it as a tool to inspire my subscribers to go out and pursue what makes them happy by sending inspiring Newsletters and not just promotional ads. I also opened up my platform to Small Business Owners who are just starting out to sell their products on my site, free of charge, to encourage them to on Creating and not selling. This is all just the beginning for me. I’m currently working on my second book. My first book, I Am Everything I Need (inspired by my journey to trusting myself again) did so well, I’m also considering re-releasing it. I can’t say enough how entrepreneurship has changed my life. I’ve never felt so present. My mind, body and soul are all open to receive and my life is no longer limited by my own doubts. I’m over here going for it!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First stop is a quick bite because I like to eat! Fresh off the plane and leaving LAX to grab some ROSCOES or DULANS. I love a good hotlink breakfast or a Jeanne Jones omelet! Then, because I’m super random, if you don’t want to go get tattoos than the next best thing for me is Six Flags! Let’s go! I’m excited right now just talking about it. I love excitement and making the best out of 24 hours. After Six Flags, I’m sure we would be beat. I’d end the night with some snacks and Netflix. One of my favorite places to indulge and soothe my snack attacks is Sweet Red Peach, in Inglewood. Here is my home to every sweet craving and they never fail me. We are definitely leaving with a whole cake of variety slices. Day two would intel a day of relaxation because in all honesty I’m still tired from six flags! I love starting my day intentionally. A walk at Cherry Beach, in Long Beach, is one of my favorite spots and it wouldn’t be a complete tour without taken in a view from my city. Once all the tranquility has been taken in we might as well jump start the day with a refreshing cocktail. My absolute favorite morning drink is a Bloody Mary, in particular, one from The Attic, on Broadway. It’s perfect for a sunny day of relaxation and pick me up. Since I’m always hungry, I’m sure the next stop would be food, let’s say early afternoon snack?! We grabbing tacos! There’s so many places to choose from but one of my favs is Teddy’s Red Tacos, on Slauson or Firestone. BOMB.COM. After a nice taco or two or three, I need to shop it off. Hopefully, the melanin market is up and poppin at the Crenshaw mall. Here, you find so many gems. We can slide in a support a few Black Owned small businesses. After doing enough walking, my feet are hollering! We must hit up CHIQUE CLAWS in Inglewood for a quick mani/pedi. She’s a young entrepreneur making a way for herself and I always show her love! If I need a full body rubdown, we are definitely swervin’ to Torrance for a full body massage from Debunne Spa, if you know about it, you know! I have a whole list of restaurants for dinner but depending on my craving I may want Isla Cuban Grill in La Palma or Bosscat Kitchen in New Port Beach.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I could shout out so many people!! It truly takes a village but I’d definitely would say my first business, Hood Intentions, with my Business Partner, Ena Coleman, was definitely what pushed me to explore my creativity and take ownership of it. It truly was the jump start to getting back to a space of trusting myself enough to execute my vision. I’m completely on “go” mode all because a friend and I decided to “go for it” and it worked! The sky is the limit and Hood Intentions was definitely the first step on my ladder and I can’t stop climbing now.
Instagram: @dlashaet, @shae.chronicles, @neck.peace
Facebook: @neckpeaceshop @shaechronicles