int(123) Inspiration Archives - Charell Star
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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Zenni Optical, but all opinions and statements are my own:).

It took a lot for me to become the person I am today. I’ve written and publically spoken a lot about my difficult childhood, surviving years in foster care, working my way through college and taking a leap of faith to follow my passion, start my own business and grow my own brand. Even though I’ve walked a long hard road, I’ve still been blessed to have strong women in my orbit that I knew I wanted to emulate as I got older. These were the women who never gave up. The ones who figured out a way to make the time count and make a way out of no way. The women who made it clear that if they could make their lives count, so could I.

The fam

So, when Zenni Optical reached out to me to recognize the women leaders in my life who could always see the big picture for success – for themselves or others and have the courage to get the job done – I knew I had to be a part of this celebration. And, I knew exactly which strong, beautiful woman leader, I wanted to honor most – my mom.

Me and mom 2

To say my mom has walked through hell and back wouldn’t even come close to describing her struggle and the demons she defeated to take control of her life and her story.  But she did and in the process laid the foundation for the type of woman I wanted to be. One who, no matter how far I might fall, could find the strength to get back up.

Mom 2

My mom isn’t perfect, the best leaders never are, but her resolve to do better, be better and create more for her kids and herself, is near perfect.


She leads with a quiet grace, never boastful of her own accomplishments and has taught me so much over the years through her actions that I can only hope to impart as much wisdom on my own children one day.

Me and Mom

Some of the best lessons I’ve learned from my mom were:

  • That life isn’t always fair, but you get to choose who you’re going be while living it.
  • If you really, really want something, you’ve got to work hard until you get it.
  • No mistake is ever worth giving up on yourself.
  • Not to waste time on people who won’t have your back when it counts.
  • And, you don’t need anyone’s permission to stand up for yourself and the people you care about.

Most importantly, my mom has taught me that any setback – no matter how large – is just the precursor to a big come back. And, my mom’s big comeback continues to inspire me every single day.

Mom renee and me
My Aunt and Mom back in the day. Guess who is in that belly:).

I just want to thank Zenni Optical for recognizing the inspiring women who make a huge impact on our lives with its #ZenniStyle campaign. And, the online fashion frames pioneer wants to keep the celebration going!

Visit my Instagram page to enter to win a free pair of glasses up to $150 from Zenni Optical.  To be eligible to win, follow my page and share a comment about the women who inspire you most and/or your favorite pair of Zenni frames.

A winner will be selected at random on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 5 PM EST. I wish you all luck, but know the real prize is the chance to honor and celebrate those who’ve made an impact on the lives around them:).

-Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

We all know it’s never too late to step out on your own and start a business, but these days teenprenuers or teen entrepreneurs are proving that there is no such thing as being too early either. I am in awe of the younger generation of entrepreneurs launching innovative companies to help their communities. Not only are they disrupting longstanding industries for the better by bring fresh and groundbreaking ideas, but they are creating successful businesses in the process.

Here are three female teenage entrepreneurs to watch who are have launched creative and profitable companies and are making positive differences along the way.

Madison Robinson

Madison FishflopsMost people wouldn’t put the word “flop” in the title of their company, but entrepreneurs like Madison Robinson aren’t like most people. The 16 year old is the creator of FishFlops®, a line of flip flops for kids. Growing up on the Galveston beaches in Texas, she came up with the design for a variety of cute sea characters which she drew in an outline of a flipflop on a piece of paper. She showed the design to her father who thought the name was catchy and bought the domain name. Madison went on to do various trade shows, eventually writing a letter to a Nordstrom buyer. The flipflops ended up in 64 Nordstrom retail stores, and the rest is history. As giving back to the community is one of her messages, she has given a number of charities over 20,000 pairs of FishFlops®.

Leanna Archer

LeannaAt age 9, Leanna Archer created a line of all-natural hair care products using her Haitian great-grandmother’s for pomade. Using that recipe as a base, Archer, now 17, created a line of oils, conditioners, and finishers. Originally, she shared small amounts that her grandmother sent her with friends and neighbors, but seeing the demand she decided to create a company that now bringing in six figure revenues every year (you go girl). Archer’s company is an international hit, with most of her customers coming from Singapore. The products are all-natural and good for a variety of hair-types. Using some of the revenues from her products she developed the Leanna Archer Education Foundation, which provides about 200 children in Haiti with education, food, and shelter.

Megan Grassell

MeghanSeeing a need in the industry while out shopping with her younger sister, Megan Grassell, just 17 years old, decided to create a line of well fitted, simple, and adorable bras made for young girls. Many stores only carry uncomfortable padded and push up bras, all of which are just smaller versions of women-sized bras. These are not ideal for a young girl who has not fully grown yet and has her own ideas of comfort and style. Grassell took this knowledge and created the Yellowberry Bra Company. Her company features bright colors young girls enjoy with lining and no padding, perfect for a growing girl who wants to feel comfortable and confident. Grassell has also decided to create a line of underwear for young girls, to help them feel comfortable and confident in themselves.

These ladies are inspirations not only their communities, but to budding future entrepreneurs everywhere. I’m excited to see what they do next.

à bientôt

If you haven’t guessed by now, I am optimistic about most things in life. My approach when it comes to business in no different. Success in business requires a great deal of hard work, and there are times when your motivation can lag.  Memorize these quotes to keep yourself driven and push through the tough times to the other side.

“Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.” – Debbi Fields, cookie guru

“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines, Virgin Mobile, etc.

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right!” –Henry Ford, the car maker


“There is only one boss. The customer.  And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton of Walmart

“It’s easy to make a buck.  It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw, respected news anchor

These people were outrageously successful in their respective fields.  It’s likely that they spoke these encouraging words to themselves often.  It’s easy to imagine Debbie Fields meeting with rejection of her cookie idea and Tom Brokaw making hard decisions about what to report.  Richard Branson, Henry Ford and Sam Walton revolutionized business, each in his own way.  Their words give you a glimpse into the world view that helped them flourish.


What words of wisdom help you stay motivated?

You’re completely prepared for this interview.  You’re wearing the perfect outfit, done your research and have pens, paper and your resume packed and set to go.  You’ve done a mock interview and are ready to show them how you can help them meet their goals. You have plenty of time to get to the office, and there’s just one thing left to do:  shake off the nerves and get psyched about this opportunity.  Rock out to a high energy song that puts you in the zone.


Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

The Rocky song!  You have to love the syncopated beat of this song, which makes for fun, jerky dancing.  Play this one and ‘rise up to the challenge of our rival’.

Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk3

Why is your future so bright?  Because you’re going to ace this interview!

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves

Katrina & The Waves sing a lot of fun ‘wooah’s and ‘hey yeh’s that warm up your voice if you sing along, so it’s nice and clear when you greet the interviewer.


Lose Yourself by Eminem

Eminem’s lyrics tell the story of a nervous guy who conquers all.  It’s the perfect story to hear before an interview.

Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti

The other Rocky song, and just as good.  This one has no lyrics but it’s so iconic and inspiring that you’ll practically fly into the interview room.

Imagine this music as the soundtrack to the movie of your life.  Now go out there and write a happy ending.

Which songs get you pumped up?

motivational business quotes

You can’t do it alone. Entrepreneurs thrive when they combine their wisdom with that of others.  Here are more 3 pieces of advice from established business professionals who were interviewed for Use them on a daily basis to build and cultivate your business and your life.

Befriend Fear, Reject Perfection

“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you make your first step. Dive in and learn as you go!” – Chris Beatty, marketing guru and head of Local Profit Academy

Help Others
“Help people. Help when you’re happy. Help when you’re tired, and even help without attachment to getting anything in return. Keep on helping people towards a better life, straight through to your marketing. If you do this…you’ll have a business that’s never short on customers.” – Forest Linden, of, where he provides tech training for online businesses

Sell Your Wares
“Stop doing anything else until you can say you’ve mastered the ability to sell what you offer. Everything is easier when you develop the ability to find a need; fill it and then be paid well to do so.” – Ken Foody, business strategist and president of Domain Mastery in Utah

Do you use these techniques in your business?