We had the good fortune of connecting with Tunisia Offray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tunisia, what makes you happy? Why?
I believe happiness is a choice. We chose happiness. Happiness isn’t defined by perfection, or circumstance but we deliberately choose happiness and making happiness the foundation of our wellbeing . For me it was a journey to find my happy.
In 2007 I lost my job due to the economic downturn. From there I lost my home, my car, had to move back home to my parents with three school age children. We had NOTHING. I was the most unhappy I have been in a long time. All the things that defined my happiness in that moment in life were non existent. I tried securing a new job and no doors were opening for me, I was at a complete stand still in life. I fell into a depression. My mother watched how broken down I had become and said to me one day in a conversation “pray and ask God to revel to you your next steps”. So I began to pray seeking guidance and clarity. While I was meditating and seeking guidance I heard a voice say focus on what makes you happy. This was strange to me because what defined my happiness was gone. I began focusing on how I felt, and tried to seek what makes me happy. I threw myself into my children making breakfast in the morning, walking each of them to class, volunteering at their schools and one day I realized being with children in a way I had never experienced before was making me happy. Seeing them happy was bringing me me happiness and joy. In that moment I realized we were the happiest we had ever been even though we were on the lowest moment of our lives. My children were happy to just have me and I was happy to have them.
I began trying to figure out how I can make this happiness our reality. How can I be a at home full time mom? This thought seemed CRAZY to me but being a full time present parent is what made us all happy. That is when I came up with the great idea to start my own business. Well it wasn’t that easy. I was a single mother, with NO money, No car, No home, I had NOTHING.
One day I received a call to work a one day temporary assignment. My assignment was to work the registration table at a business conference. I had no clue what the conference was for that information wasn’t disclosed to me nor did I care I was just exited to be working even if it was for one day. While I was at the registration table putting together name badges the woman hosting the conference started small talk and asked me “Tunisia what are your future employment plans?” “I know your working with me today but what is it that you really want to do?” Now this question scared me because I NEVER told ANYONE about my dreams of being an entrepreneur so I can be a at home mother, in my mind my dreams sound impossible. I had no plan, no money, no website, no business cards NOTHING. I began debating with myself on if I should tell her I wanted to start a bookkeeping business for small businesses so I can work from home and be a full time mother to my kids. So I decided to say it! I said “I’m going to start my own bookkeeping business for small businesses”. Right after I spoke my dreams out loud guest began to arrive. At the start of the conference the host introduced herself and then introduced me, and in her induction she stated “Tunisia is assisting me today and she has a bookkeeping business for small businesses and if you need any bookkeeping assistance please stop by the back table”. A line of people began to form with people looking to receive my services. I did not have a business card so I wrote numbers down on pieces of paper and that began my start as an entrepreneur. I tell this story often to share with people that you don’t have to have it all figure out. All you need is an intention and a belief in order to cultivate your dreams. I have been a successful entrepreneur now for over 15 years.
Everyday isn’t perfect life will always bring challenges, we have good days, we have bad days, we are human right? But what’s so beautiful about this thing we call life is we have the power of choice. When we choose to give our attention to the things that bring us happiness those are the things that will lead us to our purpose.
Everyday of my life I get to live out my life purpose. I am a full time mommy my kids they get my undivided love, and attention because I control the dynamics of my life. I have built three successful businesses and they all align with my purpose.
I am the owner of Prestige Insurance and Financial Services located in Pasadena Ca. My agency was just named one of the top 7 insurance agencies out of over 2600 agencies in the City of Pasadena. I am the Co-Founder and President of Shepherd’s Door Domestic Violence Resource and Educational Center. I am 40 hour trained Domestic Violence Counselor. I facilitate 52 week batter classes for women who were incarcerated for domestic abuse. I also teach social support and empowerment classes to victims of domestic violence. Shepherd’s Door is my passion. I am a survivor of domestic violence and being able to use my life experiences to motivate, and educate others brings me so much joy. I have also started a platform for women entrepreneurs called Women, Wealth, Warriors. Women, Wealth, Warriors was created 13 years ago to inspire women to use their gifts and talents to create their own destiny.
Life is ever changing, but I have learned that if you stay focused on your own happiness you will alway end up where you are supposed to be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In life we will always have challenges. I have learned you don’t always have to have all the answers all at once. Everyday you wake up, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. Life is a precious gift and so is time. We can never get our life back once it’s gone and time waits for no one. Just keep moving in the direction that you want to go and you will end up exactly where you are meant to be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a complete foodie. My favorite thing to do is enjoy a nice meal, with good vibes, great food, and a good drink! My favorite drink is a Lemon Drop Martini, at my favorite Italian restaurant Via Alloro in Beverly Hills on a nice Saturday afternoon.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shot out to my four beautiful kids, Kylin Offray, Jordyn, Davis, Kennedy Gaines and Koree Saffold. They are my daily motivation for being the best me I can be. My mother Linda Offray for always supporting and encouraging me. She taught me how to turn pain into power, she is the founder of Shepherd’s Door Domestic Violence Resource and Educational Center she is a leader in our community and I am grateful I get to work beside her daily to change lives and be of service to others.