Say Hello to These Phenomenal Women

By Staff

Detroit is filled with Phenomenal Women. It's our goal to bring the spotlight to phenomenal people doing wonderful things. So say hello these PHENOMENAL women!

Cat Golden

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Cat Golden, Nurses Inspire Nurses


Cat Golden, RN, BSN, was a tired, burnt out nurse who was sick of waiting for external circumstances to change to start feeling better.

She started doing things to uplift her coworkers and created coffee talks, a safe space outside of work for nurses to come together, have real conversations and find support.

Cat knew she wanted to support nurses in an even bigger way and created Nurse Giveback Night, an event for nurses to celebrate themselves and all the hard work they put in each day.

When she put the phrase “Nurses Inspire Nurses” on a t-shirt to sell at the very first Nurse Giveback Night, she got an overwhelming response and knew she was onto something.

Cat’s passion for helping nurses find the confidence they need to create their own schedules, take a chance on their dreams and maintain self-care sparked her movement, Nurses Inspire Nurses. She hosts monthly events and coffee talks, as well as, provides free resources to support nurses no matter their location. She has shipped Nurses Inspire Nurses merchandise to thousands of nurses across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia and built a seven figure business in under two years. Cat is based in Metro Detroit where she manages a team of eight and oversees operations at the Nurses Inspire Nurses warehouse.

Twice a year she takes nurses through her signature 90-day mentorship program, the LEAP LAND LIVE Method to help them look inside themselves and uncover what they’re truly passionate about. She believes that if nurses embrace their true BEing they will uncover their purpose and be able to live a life they’re obsessed with.

Today the Nurses Inspire Nurses community is filled with thousands of nurses who believe that if they support each other, they can make their workplaces and lives better.

If you’re a nurse looking for more purpose and presence in your job, and a community of nurses who are ready to lift you up and support you, Nurses Inspire Nurses will feel like home.

https://www.nursesinspirenurses.com/


Leslie Youngblood

temp-post-imageLeslie Youngblood, Sr. Director Creative, Brand and Communications Excelerate America


After graduating from Michigan State University with a bachelor's degree in advertising, Leslie Youngblood set out to find the perfect career. She worked as a proofreader, project manager and creative largely in the advertising agency world.

An entrepreneur without initially realizing it, she had her side hustle moves down from the beginning. No matter where she was employed, she was asked to consult with friends and family for ideas on how to help their small businesses.She freelanced for publications like Curbed Detroit, Heavy.com and at one point she even found herself backstage at New York Fashion Week reporting on beauty trends.

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That all changed though when she was approached by friends Roy Lamphier and Emily LaDrig. They asked her to join them on a new venture , Excelerate America, to help small businesses maximize their capacity and reach their true growth potential. She jumped at the chance to help shape a brand from the very beginning and joined as Senior Creative Director.

Before she knew it, she was combining her knowledge of small business needs with client feedback to help develop tools that made a real difference in their businesses and solved their challenges. Her entrepreneurial fires had been stoked.

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When COVID hit, Youngblood worked tirelessly to launch the company’s Funding Finder. The online tool helps small business owners find the grants and loans they needed NOW without spending hours doing research. Another program that leveraged Youngblood’s talents involved the ideation, strategy and implementation of a scavenger hunt for 100 Chamber of Commerce organizations across the country help drum up traffic for small businesses. She’s also instrumental in the company’s popular and powerful 30 day challenges.

These can be done at any time digitally and focus on a variety of topics from SEO and email marketing to social media.

Oh, and that side hustle we talked about? You can’t take it out of the girl. Youngblood is still hustling. Currently, she is working with a good friend from her ad days on the launch of two sustainable and eco-friendly brands.

https://www.excelerateamerica.com.


Sheryl Espinal

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Sheryl Espinal, President, Muse Cosmetics

Sheryl Espinal has always dreamt BIG. Originally from Ecorse, Michigan, it was whileliving in New York she first became exposed to the inner workings of the cosmetics and hair industry. She instantly knew there must be a better way to provide safe, healthy and ethically-sourced products for women of color. It was then that her entrepreneurial mind went into overdrive.

To turn her vision into a reality, Espinal began working full time as a licensed practical nurse, funding the company she envisioned. Little by little. Dollar by dollar. In 2011, her hard work and commitment to her vision finally paid off and Muse Cosmetics was born.

The ‘Muse’ in Muse Cosmetics pays homage to the very people, places and things that inspire us. Product categories include lip color,lipcare,lashes and hair extensions. Espinal has ensured that all Muse Cosmetics’ products are cruelty free and paraben free. The company’s lip colors and strip lashes are vegan.

Today, Muse Cosmetics employees more than 10 and is headquartered in Detroit’s entrepreneurial hub, TechTown Detroit. It also maintains a small presence in New York. The company is focused on a strong e-commerce strategy, selling product through its website at musemob.com. A select number of hair salons and small retailers around the country also offerthe Muse Cosmetic brand.

A married mother of two, Espinal is known for volunteering time to local community organizations. Her recently launched podcast, Behind the Muse , helps give the voiceless a voice. She also is dedicated to providing modeling opportunities for young local women of color and the LGBT community.


Zeina Halwani

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Zeina Halwani, Interior Designer, Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design


Zeina Halwani is an award-winning interior designer of residential, hospitality and commercial interiors all over the world. She has lived and worked in Lebanon, Paris and California.

In 2000, Halwani relocated to Michigan and now calls it home. She also embraced her entrepreneurial spirit, joining Gorman’s Home Furnishings and Interior Designs in 2000 as a member of its design team and then founding ZeinaDesigns LLC in 2011. She remains employed at Gorman’s to this day and continues to operate her own design company.

Her mission is to create timeless designs that reflect her clients’ personalities and suit their lifestyles. She works in collaboration with architects and builders to execute her vision and select just the right home furnishings.

Halwani is a virtual interior designer as well. She works with international clients from around the globe to help them furnish theiromes without leaving their house using today's technology. As an example, s he once furnished an entire ho me in Michigan for a client in Dubai completely virtually. She used FaceTime to show fabric and product samples, and leveraged a variety of design programs to bring the rooms to life via sketches and 3D renderings for her client.

She holds a master’s degree ininterior design and fine arts from Lebanese University and can be found most days at Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design’s showroom in Southfield, Michigan (gormans.com).


Dee Lockett

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Dee Lockett, Founder & CEO OF ADEI Media Group


From the young age of 14, Dee Lockett knew she was going to be an entrepreneur. As a creative, an innovator and someone with a huge heart for people, her company Adei Media Group provides marketing, graphic design and website development for small businesses in southeast Michigan.

Starting her career in publishing, she quickly learned how to adapt to fill in the gaps and make her books shine. With a variety of book published, she turned to marketing to help increase sales and awareness for her books and others within the publishing company – a task she enjoyed so much, she decided to make a business out of it. Currently, Adei Media Group works with a steady group of clients, and Lockett is working on expanding services to better support the needs of the small business community, including a growing digital space.

“I’m a lifelong learner and a forever student,” said Lockett. “Working in web development helps marry my creative side with my analytical brain, which is something I really enjoy as I continue to expand my offerings. I’m excited to learn something that could help change the landscape of a business.”

Lockett is a proud supporter of the small business community through her work with SCORE of Southeast Michigan, a nonprofit that provides free mentoring and educational resources for small business owners. As a mentor, she frequently helps aspiring entrepreneurs with their marketing and website development plans, along with leading the occasional workshop as a subject matter expert.

SCORE is a great resource for those looking to expand their business, and  Lockett first heard about the organization from one of her professors at Wayne State University. The organization is comprised of experienced business owners, like Lockett, looking to share lessons learned and how to navigate challenging situations.

If you’re looking to expand your business feel free to reach out to Lockett or SCORE to help move your idea or business to the next level.



Angela Mitchell

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Angela Mitchel, Founder & CEO of DNA Financial Services

Angela Mitchell is the owner and operator of DNA Financial Services, a full-scale financial services company specializing in bookkeeping and tax planning for small businesses. Starting in 2015 and growing to over 100 clients, she is reflecting on her personal and professional growth as a female entrepreneur.

With a degree in Business Administration from Oakland University, her background in finance comes from 23 years spent with Flagstar Bank in roles that shaped her in numerous ways. She progressed quickly thanks to the help of a mentor within the company.

“There weren’t a lot of women at the top, specifically African American women,” said Mitchell. While she learned a lot in her time with the company, there came a point where the passion was fleeting and it was time to move on, leading her to create her own business. And was she scared? Absolutely not. She felt liberated.

For other people considering making the leap to starting their own business, Mitchell has an important piece of advice: Plan ahead and know who you are as a person. If you’re able to handle the lifestyle, make sure you have a security blanket and prepare for the transition.

“I learned so much from my clients,” said Mitchell. “Getting to know different industries and how they handle similar challenges helped me grow my business. Additionally, seeing how larger companies worked but still had their flaws was a great problem-solving moment.”

Right now, it’s currently just Mitchell and her daughter managing the business, but there are plans for expansion.

Mitchel is also connected to SCORE of Southeast Michigan, a nonprofit that provides free mentoring and educational resources for small business owners. As a mentor, she utilizes the group for networking, as well as providing financial advice to her mentees.

If you’re solidifying your finances and taking your business to new heights, feel free to reach out to Mitchell or SCORE.




Marlo Rencher

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Dr. Marl Rencher, TechTown Detroit


Dr. Marlo Rencher is an entrepreneur and educator with two decades of experience in startup and small business development. She worked for more than seven years in Detroit tech incubators and entrepreneurial development agencies. She was also the vice president of innovation, entrepreneurship, and diversity at Cleary University. She serves as the director of technology-based programs supporting founders at TechTown in Detroit.

A Michigan State University graduate with a BA in marketing, Marlo also has an MBA from the Ross Business School at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in business anthropology from Wayne State University. She is a Certified Diversity Executive with extensive diversity, equity, and inclusion experience.

Marlo has founded or co-founded three tech companies and is working on a fourth.

She is a past Tedx and SXSW Interactive speaker. She is also a 2012 digitalundivided FOCUS Fellow and co-designed their FOCUS Fellowship program and BIG Incubator (2014-2016).

Marlo was a co-author of the groundbreaking 2016 #ProjectDiane study on funding trends for Black women tech founders. She authored a study benchmarking best practices for inclusive tech spaces called Radical Inclusion in Tech.

She is the co-author of the forthcoming book, Hard Reset: Framing Inclusion as the New Normal.

Marlo is a proud lifetime member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.