Meet Genavieve! A Sseko Fellow that’s been around since the beginning, Genavieve mentors a team of nearly 30 Sseko Fellows located all across the US. She’s a total BOSS BABE and we love having her as one of our founding Fellows! Get to know her!
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A SENIOR MENTOR?
Being a Senior Mentor to me is about more than the title. With being a part of the Sseko Fellows Program since the start, my primary drive has continually been helping Liz & Ben insure our culture & mission is continued in the ethos of the women who join us as Sseko Fellows. I believe, like they believe, that women can be empowered & educated through fashion. When we take the time to help them discover their purpose & how to infuse it into their business as a Sseko Fellow, it will transform their lives. Becoming a Senior Mentor, for me was another piece in that puzzle for women here in the US, so that they can feel confident in the community they are accepted into will help them also pursue their dreams like we do our women in East Africa.
SINCE BECOMING A MENTOR, WHAT’S CHANGED FOR YOU? HOW HAVE YOU GROWN?
I’ve been a Mentor now for almost 2 years, so I’d say what’s changed is my knowledge & understanding on how to be a leader. I’d say that’s where I’ve grown as well. Coming from a corporate sales background, leadership was considered more like management. Granted the two are needed, but as a Mentor, I feel leadership is more weighted than the management piece of my relationship with my team (the Union of Bravery!). I’ve grown through the connections I’ve made with my team members. Each of them individually having their own unique gifts & talents, that are not my own. I’ve grown from leaning from them, as I hope they do from me. Being a Mentor for me, from day one, has always meant supporting the women who join me within their season of life. No two Fellows have the same circumstances or reasoning for becoming a Fellow. What’s truly changed in my life, is I’ve been able to make over 25 close friendships with women, who are now my sisters, who I get the privilege to support & share life with– who have also helped me grow in more ways than they know over the past two years.
WHAT DRIVES YOU & KEEPS YOU GOING WHEN CHALLENGES ARISE?
Wow, this is so many things. I think the most important one, who is truly the unsung hero of any success I have, is my husband, DJ. Being an entrepreneur & sales person is a roller coaster of emotions. Even with years of experience, it doesn’t get any easier physically, emotionally or mentally. Without DJ’s support of everything regarding my business – investments in technology, travel, midnight tears; I’ll be honest I’d have quit this line of work a long time ago without him. He is a true #heforshe, and I hope every Fellow who joins us will see the sacrifices & importance of their partners role in their business. He takes the time to pause & have me remember that I already have all the know-how needed to be successful. He is continually taking the wheel without complaining when I loose faith or don’t believe it myself. His engagement & understanding into how Sseko is allowing me to live out my dreams is without a doubt, part of the magic that comes from being a part of this journey. He has always sacrificed for us, but his determination to help me see the value I bring & to help me support other women on our team is beyond what I thought I received when I married my best friend.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT GOALS AS A SSEKO FELLOW?
February will be my two year anniversary as a Sseko Fellow, and I will be honest; I have never had so many goals in my life as what I have had in these past two years! It’s definitely a good thing, and it makes all I do as a wife, mom & business woman more exciting. My goals for 2017 are to see the women on my team who are dreaming of the same type of excitement from a career to help them make that happen. The opportunity that all of us have been working to create for the Fellows Program, from the beginning, is without a doubt at the greatest time to make a go for it. I want those women who are willing to strive for it; to begin to thrive in it. My grandfather always said “Opportunity takes work.”, and being Fellow is no different, but he also would say, “Work creates opportunities.”. I’m focus on helping them in doing the work today, so that they can transform their tomorrows. These women have become my sisters, and in turn their families have become part of my family. I don’t want to see their dreams come true just for what it will do for them, but for what I know it will do for the people who matter the most to them.
As a personal goal, it’s in continuing to model what it looks like to have dignity & dedication as a sales person. Too often we quit, right before we’ve seen the difference we have created. My goal is to continue to reach high, to work hard, and to inspire others to do the same for the areas that matter the most to them. Mine has always been loyalty, friendship, marriage, and education. To often we forget the intentions of the sale are more important than the sale. My goal is to transform peoples view of the words “sales person”, to one that is build on trust, true intentions, and dignity so that Sseko Fellows won’t just been know for transforming lives in East Africa, we’ll be know for transforming lives here in the US as well.
Oh, one last dream! I hope to someday make my 1965 Mustang, I purchased this year as beautiful as the one I am standing in front of in the picture. At this point, mine drives but still needs a lot of work. That’s another thing that’s awesome about marrying a mechanic! I’m dignified enough to say the free labor was definitely part of the Sayin’ Yes to that of the Adventure of Marriage! Thankfully he’s up for the job.
Ready to build a career with Sseko? Join the Sseko Fellows tribe!