We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynthia Luvlee-Austin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cynthia, what do you attribute your success to?
True success is measured by the positive impact made in the lives of those connected to you.Success is directly linked to hard work in most cases and the question I always ask myself is, “How can I improve?” The most important factors for my personal success are self-reflection and honesty. Being a social reform advocate involves creating innovative approaches to old world social problems. There is no roadmap for the work I do. Oftentimes I have to take a step back to evaluate how we are creating meaningful impact in the world. System changes require me to have a firm strategy on how to continually evolve. Being flexible and adaptive are skills that emerge through my honest self-reflection. When I am honest about what is not working I am able to adjust effectively to refocus on achieving my mission of creating meaningful impact in the lives of women around the world.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Too Many people have barriers that block opportunities to succeed at no fault of their own such as; race, poverty, sexual identity, or mental illness. Shyne San Diego is a nonprofit organization whose mission is for survivors of sexual assault and violence to have fair and equitable access to business development education, available resources and community support. I’ve learned that hard work and determination are not the only factors in someone’s success. Their access to networks of influence help provide new opportunities as a critical piece to achieving their dreams. The women Shyne San Diego supports have lived through extreme disadvantages and worked on healing themselves long enough to discover a desire to help others do the same. Although their professional expertise may vary, all of them are using their businesses to hire, support and resource other survivors along their own paths towards independence. Shyne San Diego offers online educational workshops, networking events and one-to-one business coaching to early stage businesses and nonprofit organizations owned by survivors. Shyne has grown from an idea in 2018 to a thriving survivor advised and operated 501c3 non-profit organization. We are meeting the needs of the community through engagement, leadership and innovation. We are proud to be at the forefront of the survivor entrepreneurship movement and witness the incredible accomplishments these women have achieved despite adversities. Resiliency is a trait we can all embrace through this time of global change. Providing a platform for new businesses and programs to emerge is essential to creating a world where every woman is valued and free to pursue her passions in life.
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.
This is a fun question. As a native San Diegan there are so many places our city offers for relaxation and fun. With Covid19 safety in mind I’d take my friend to relax at Float Spa San Diego, lunch at Karl Strauss Brewery, a hike at The Ranch House in Rancho Penasquitos and dinner at Vintana in Escondido. I’d have my friend stay at two of my favorite locations. The Rancho Bernardo Inn where they have live outdoor music on the golf course for happy hour at their Veranda Fireside Lounge. Also the Inn at Moonlight Beach for a fully organic, ecofriendly stay near the beach. Our days would be filled with snorkeling in La Jolla Cove, Bike Riding down Mission Bay and taking sunset walks on the beach in Coronado. For the kids we would go to the children’s tidepools in Point Loma and go to Liberty Public Market for a large variety of food and shopping. Maybe a drive north to Queen Califia’s Magical Garden where we can also get in a game of disk golf on one of the days also. San Diego has so many amazing farmers markets and places to explore.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to my husband Justin Austin, CEO of The Peace Watchers for being an Ally, Supporter and Champion of our social justice initiatives. Big Shout out toThe Goldin Institute of Chicago for providing me with all the training and support to help me grow my organization Shyne San Diego into a fully operational service program for survivors of human trafficking to receive small business and professional development. Shout out to The Team Referral Network 4S Ranch Business Boomers for all their incredible support of Shyne San Diego’s survivor business women. Finally, thank you to my mother Camille. Without her none of this would be possible.
Donna Coleman Photography