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This week on People Profile: Danielle Skeen (Young Entrepreneur)

 

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Danielle Skeen, Founder & Executive Director of The Star Boutique, Inc. Base Of Operations: New York, N.Y.

Why is she a Community Hero:  Danielle Skeen and The Star Boutique empowers underprivileged teenage girls by providing them with fashion and life makeovers, providing life skills workshops and clothes in a bid to boost the self-esteem of young ladies.

For many underprivileged teenage girls in large cities, trying to find one’s identity when the odds are seemingly against you can be tough to navigate. With the added impact of self-esteem issues and other factors, some of these young ladies may feel that there isn’t anyone pulling for their success. Thanks to efforts of Ms. Danielle Skeen, girls in New York undergoing such hard times are getting help in areas where it matters most.

Ms. Skeen is the founder and Executive Director of The Star Boutique, Inc., an initiative she began to provide young girls with important life tools along with giving them a full fashion and lifestyle makeover. While the draw is certainly the prospect of getting a brand new look, the boutique aims to empower the girls on the inside as well.

Ms. Skeen also shared that The Star Boutique’s efforts are aided fully by volunteers, which includes the hair stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians, life coaches and consultants that greet the girls during the workshops and shopping event. Although the volunteers are made up of professionals in their respective fields, they work for free in an effort to give back to the community.

Ms. Skeen, a graduate of Florida State University, runs The Star Boutique with Tanesha Ingram, the Director of Community Engagement, and Carol Gil, who serves as the Director of External Affairs and sponsorships.

It is with pleasure that People Profile was given the opportunity to speak with this young entrepreneur on the magnitude of her success and how best she can inspire others

Dr. C

Welcome to People Profile Danielle, thanks for your time. I know you are a busy woman, could you please tell us a bit about you and how you started this successful venture?

Danielle Skeen

Thanks for having me Dr.C. I actually stumbled into this. The Star Boutique was supposed to be a one-time thing. I wanted to do something nice for teenage girls in need who were living in New York City. I thought that it would be a cool and unique way to give these girls the items that they needed without having them feel like they were just charity cases receiving hand-me-downs. I also wanted to transform their minds as well, so I implemented the motivational talk and activity to the session. To my surprise, both the girls and the volunteers were asking me about the “next one.” That’s when I knew that there was a need for a program like this. Here we are 3 years later, a fully recognized 501c3 organization!

Dr. C

And might I add, that I am extremely proud of your accomplishment. I know this was not a bed of roses Danielle, what were the main challenges you faced early on in your ventures? And do you still encounter them to this day?

Danielle Skeen

Yes Sir, starting out some of the main challenges included me not knowing anything about registering a nonprofit. This process was long and tedious, but thankfully I received support from a local Law School FREE OF CHARGE!. Another challenge was securing funding and donated spaces. Because no one know who we were, it was hard to get financial donations for our programming. While two companies were able to partner with us to host boutique sessions, we had (and still do) have difficulties getting donated space.

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Dr. C

No one said this was easy! lol….Charity is hard work. What Do You Want Out of This Experience?

Danielle Skeen

There are quite a few things, but most importantly I wanted to be an active participant in making these girls’ lives better. I want this work to help me truly discover what my purpose is. I want to leave behind a legacy of amazing women who took control of their lives after being exposed to The Star Boutique.

Dr. C

Wow wow and more wow! Very profound Danielle. If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, other than not agreeing to this interview,lol, what would you do differently?

Danielle Skeen

I wouldn’t freak out so much! Lawd! I was a mess. I would definitely be calmer and more strategic. I would also trust myself more.

Dr. C

What is Your Ambition?

Danielle Skeen

My ambition is to live out my full potential. I want to put to use as many of my gifts during my time on earth. I love helping others to succeed as well.

 

Dr. C

Yes, we should all strive to be the best that we can be. Please tell us how Can You Make the Company Better?

Danielle Skeen

I can make The Star Boutique better by increasing our programming. We are already in the process of doing so. We have added a youth development/mentorship component. We are aiming to really be a transformative space for out girls both emotionally and physically. Other improvements will be to expand beyond New York City.

Dr.C

Which Three Adjectives Describe Your Strengths?

Danielle Skeen

I would say, Passionate, Adaptable, Driven

Dr. C

Hummm, I wonder what your resume will be. What Do You Want on Your Resume in Two Years?

Danielle Skeen

Hmm, good one… I’d say Motivation Speaker and Author! wink emoticon

Dr. C

Very good! What Are Your Expectations for this company? Once main expectation is definitely

Danielle Skeen

One of my main expectation is definitely expansion. We want to branch out to other cities, increase the number of girls that we serve and creative innovation programming for this niche population.

Dr. C

What advice do you have to offer other young entrepreneurs like yourself.

Danielle Skeen

Don’t worry about the HOW and focus on your WHAT and WHY. When you are clear on what you want to do and why you want to do it, start making moves and everything else will fall into place. When you trust yourself, others will in turn trust you too and help you build out your dreams/ideas.

Dr. C

Absolutely great response Danielle, i love it! Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?

Danielle Skeen

While there may be classes now, you cannot learn this stuff!! It’s definitely something that needs to be in your blood. The mindset and passion that’s needed as an entrepreneur isn’t something that any chapter of any book can make you feel.

Dr. C

Danielle, if all of your money, websites, contacts and products were wiped off the face of the earth tomorrow, what would you do if you had to start from scratch?

Danielle Skeen

CRY! And then get a pen and paper and figure out the smartest way to bounce-back. Ha!

Dr.C

What Would You Do With Unlimited Resources?

Danielle Skeen

EVERYTHING! No, in all honesty, I would put more time in running The Star Boutique on a more consistent basis. With unlimited resources, every time I get an urge to help someone or develop a new program or business venture, I’d just go ahead and do it without a second thought! Unlimited Resources = Unlimited Possibilities.

Dr.C

What are your plans for the future?

Danielle Skeen

My future plans include starting another business, building my personal brand and making a global impact. .. oh, and also get married and have some babies. A boy and a girl. Hehe!

Dr. C

Where Do You Go on a Night Out?

Danielle Skeen

The beauty of living in New York City is that no night out is the same. I typically go out to eat, a Broadway show or listening to live music at a lounge.

Dr. C

Dating?

Danielle D Skeen

What’s that?

Dr. C

Dating? Lol are you going out with a special person etc…

Danielle Skeen

I’m not dating at all. That’s why I don’t even know what it is..Lol

The struggle is real

Dr. C

not good ..lol

Danielle Skeen

I knowwww I blame it on New York City!

Dr. C

lol Danielle D Skeen, People Profile thank you for your time and participation. We are certainly looking forward to seeing you at the 2016 People Profile Awards in Sunrise Florida, take care.

Danielle Skeen

Thanks Dr. C it was my pleasure and i am sooo looking forward to the Awards myself.

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