We had the good fortune of connecting with Shala Waines and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shala, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The selfless road I was prepared to take to see us all win as a whole.

Being entrepreneurs, you usually think of that as someone that works for themselves, but I wanted to create an avenue for black entrepreneurs to generate income by way of using their own passions.

Actually stepping out there to become their own bosses. Be the face of their own creations and products.

So I am an entrepreneur . I took on the risks to be able to manage and operate this platform.

If I had to do it again, I would!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started working when I was 16 years old. I was a cashier at Taco Bell in Hemet California. Once I moved to Roanoke Virginia at the age of 17 after my mom unexpectedly passed away, I began working at ladies footlocker! I had a fetish for tennis shoes so the majority of my money went to those.

After I moved out on my own at the age of 18, I started working for different companies and organizations. Never really knowing what my niche was.

I’d say when I was in my mid-20s I started working in the healthcare industry. And that’s where I found my passion to provide a supportive foundation. I loved assisting the elderly with their questions about their medication‘s, whatever their payments would be to have services rendered at the doctors office and emergencies rooms.

And once I saw how the elderly would be taken advantage of I decided I wanted to become a licensed insurance agent. Someone with integrity and put people before commissions. I didn’t accomplish that goal until 2018, but I have always enjoyed helping others.

The road to having different jobs has always been challenging because I always felt like I was just a number and not an asset.

Once you realize you are a huge asset, your mind starts thinking of ways that you can get out of working for corporate America.

I always said when I start my own business I wanted my employees to feel like family and know that their dreams and goals were just as important to me as they are to them.

I never want anyone to feel like they are doing jobs in positions that they don’t have a passion in. Anyone that works at the Soul Swapmeet is in a position that they feel they are good at.

I believe hands on training and life experiences led me to to be the business woman I am today.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start by taking them to the beach. Most likely Belmont Park.

Take them to the Casino because most of my friends live in places where they have to travel a distance to get to one.

I don’t really eat out a lot so I would have to ask around for the best Black Owned restaurants out here.

And of course they would visit on a weekend where the Soul Swapmeet would be taking place so they can see their girl in action and they can shop and support.

Might even head to LA so they can experience that LA life also.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely want to thank Barry Pollard for allowing my vision to unfold at his space which was the Urban Collaborative Project off of 50th St. in south eastern San Diego. That is when I first started back in 2018. I had the vision and he believed what I was doing and allowed us to utilize the space. Our first Soul Swapmeet we had probably 20 vendors. We had maybe 100 attendees. But without those trials and a little bit of failure from first stepping out there I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I do thank him for allowing the vision to unfold at his venue space.

I also wanna thank my JoeNathan Segura for being my backbone when I first had the idea back in 2018, but then also definitely stepping it up when we started back in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. It was just him and I when we first started in 2020 and it was very challenging. But knowing that he was there to support, it kind of made everything a little easier. When we started in 2018 I had 2 other individuals on the team, but unfortunately, it wasn’t a good fit, so I decided to part ways and put a hold on the Soul Swapmeet until I revamped.

I also want to thank my business partner who is also my marketing guru. Richard illustrated. We started off with a marketing relationship and once I saw his passion in his own business and the knowledge he had, I decided that he would be the best fit to be my business partner. We have come along way since we started back in December 2020! He’s always there to listen to my frustration, provide solutions and also motivate me to do more! He gives me a lot of inspiration.

I also want to thank my children for rooting for the success of the business! My son he lives in Virginia, but when he comes to visit he helps at the event. He’ll help with the set up and assist with the entry. My daughter she is always there too. She helps with the backend work sometimes, she’s also our cashier and she makes sure our attendees are greeted with a smile and make sure they feel welcomed!

I have an assistant Jasala now that takes on a lot of the task thatI initially started with and without her, I don’t know where I would be. My social media manager Yvette Brooks, without her the world would not know about the Soul swap meet! She is continuously updating our website with events that we have to add even if it’s outside of the Soul swap meet. She is always hands on, always available and I appreciate her more than she knows!

Big Shout out to our day one Vendors and those that stepped out to find their passions also!

Website: www.sdsoulswapmeet.com

Instagram: soulswapmeet & creativevibes

Facebook: soulswapmeet and creativevibes619

Other: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=soul+swapmeet+yutube&qpvt=soul+swapmeet+yutube&view=detail&mid=82AD91503BCC77CED7F082AD91503BCC77CED7F0&&FORM=VRDGAR https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=soul+swapmeet+yutube&docid=608014013215679466&mid=344899DB9CB5AF87EBD7344899DB9CB5AF87EBD7&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

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