Hi Shandah, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hey there, as you stated, I’m Shandah Martin. I am a single mother of two adult children and I have recently become a full time entrepreneur. Let me tell you just how that came about. In my last position, I worked for a roofing company and all the notaries were roofers and never in the building. I asked my boss, “doesn’t it make sense for someone who is in the office everyday, all day to be a notary to sign off on the permits?” He said, “Yep, take the course and sign up and we’ll pay for it.” And so, I took the course, passed the test, turned in my paperwork and started my journey as a notary public. Once I became a notary public, I researched other ways that I could utilize my notary stamp. I found that in the state of Florida, I could perform weddings. I have been an ordained minister for five years but I never broadcasted it or really did anything with it. Once I found that out, I was soooo ecstatic. I made a Google My Business page and got a call to do a wedding. I had my first one that same weekend – two years ago today (11/11/2020). I also came across the Loan Signing System with Mark Wills. This is another course that I took and passed the test to become a Certified Loan Signing Agent/Notary Signing Agent. With this training and certification, I could notarize loan documents for people and/or companies that are buying, selling, and refinancing properties.
For the past two years, I have been performing loan signings after work, on off days, and on weekends, then in July I was furloughed. I have bills to pay and mouths to feed. I decided that day that this would go from a side hustle to my full-time career. Since July, I’ve done numerous signings. In the midst of all that, I also started and launched another business at the end of August: Empress You Are Wellness Care (www.empressyouare.com). My brand is dedicated to holistic healing, positivity, and some amazing handcrafted products (yoni steams, lingam steams, facial steams, herbal teas, loofah soaps, body scrubs, body butters, lip balm, and other products. All products are all-natural, organic, and made with love for all skin types. We do wholesale, custom, and bulk orders. There are some exciting things in the works coming in 2021 from our company, so keep a look out!!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely NOT been a smooth road. There have been countless obstacles in my path. I have been laid off three times between 2013 and 2017. Since then, we have lost homes and were homeless (stayed with a few friends), cars have been repossessed, I have battled depression and suicidal thoughts, since the age of 16. The only thing that kept me going everyday were my children, knowing that I didn’t want them growing up without a mom, feeling like I had abandoned them. The most recent obstacle in what is my life…. my children were going to get doughnuts and were hit by an old lady who didn’t stop at a stop sign. My Jeep flipped four times and my children walked away with barely any scratches/bruises. They should’ve never survived this crash let alone walked away… but they did!!! They have to go to physical therapy 3x’s a week but they are ALIVE!! Everything isn’t always sunny but I know that we are protected!!! I am blessed beyond measure, more than I deserve and I will not complain!!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Over the years, my professional life, career, and location has changed, sometimes drastically. Years ago, I started my medical career journey in Huntsville, Alabama and received a diploma as a Certified Medical Assistant. I went back to school and got an Associates in Medical Office Administration and another diploma in Medical Billing and Coding. Got married and moved to Gary, Indiana, where I was a Medical Billing and Coding Reimbursement Specialist. I was there for 2.5 years. After that time, I divorced my husband and moved back to Huntsville, Alabama. I wasn’t satisfied, so I went back to school and got a Bachelors in Business Management. After completing that degree, my advisor got promoted to President of a campus in Chattanooga, TN and asked me if I would come work on his staff. So, I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee and changed my career path to Financial Aid Advisor, after a few months I became Lead Financial Aid Advisor, which I stayed there for 3.5 years. I started taking courses to get my MBA. A recruiter found my resume online and said he had a position in Orlando, Florida that may interest me. I jumped at the chance to move to a warmer climate. I was flown there and interviewed for two days and before I got on the plane home, was offered the position, which I gladly accepted.
So, I uprooted us again and moved to be a Financial Administrators Manager at an online university in Orlando, Florida. I stayed in that position for 3.5 years until I got laid off. During that time, I completed my MBA and took one course to get my Doctorate (that wasn’t for me). There were different jobs: temp jobs, Business Office Manager/Executive Assistant, and more temp jobs. Then a random pop up at a roofing company for an administrative assistant job turned into a meeting with a VP who is never in the office and hired on the spot for a new made up position, Purchasing Agent. Which is where I was for the past three years before being furloughed. I am best known for my no nonsense, straightforward personality. I am brutally honest (people say they want the truth until you actually serve it to them, and then they no longer care for it). Although I am painfully honest, I am also extremely upbeat and love to see people happy and smiling! I am most proud of my determination! No matter what, I will continue to learn and thrive! The thing that sets me apart from others is my intense desire to always be and do better than I did yesterday… I have NO COMPETITION!! I am my own competition!
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
(Chuckling) As you can see, I am always taking risks. I believe that without risk, you will never learn or grow. You have to step out on faith sometimes and take chances to see what will happen. The only thing that will happen, is you will find another way that works or doesn’t. It is DEFINITELY a learning experience. You will either learn to adjust and modify your approach or you’ll learn what worked and modify that and expound on it. Either way, it’s a win win! You only live once, so it may as well be FUN in the process!!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Website: www.empressyouare.com
- Instagram: @empressyouare and @imprezzionzink
- Facebook: @empressyouare and @imprezzionink
- Twitter: @empressyouare