Joyce Dawkins – Founder of She ROCKS It
Joyce Dawkins is a woman on a mission to share who SHE is with the world! In 2016, she founded She ROCKS It, an organization that hosts events designed to Honor and Empower women all over the globe. The She ROCKS It mission is simple- to provide a platform where women can celebrate each other, network, and be encouraged to share who SHE is. On September 21, She ROCKS It will host a film screening of Renae Bluitt’s ‘She DID That’. She DID That explores the passionate pursuits of Black women in their entrepreneurial journey and seeks to answer the question: What drives Black women to turn their obstacles into opportunities and passions into profit?
We recently spoke to Dawkins about She ROCKS It, her upcoming events and the passion that drove her to create the organization.
In what ways would you say that your personal journey and experience played a role in you deciding to build She ROCKS It?
I was managing so many different parts of my life from motherhood, to being a spouse, to going back to school as an adult, to working full time, and really just balancing work and life; in doing so, I also found a time to do the things I was passionate about. When I saw that I was doing those things, I knew that there were other women out who shared that experience. I used my platform to shed light on those women who are working 9-5, but from 5-9 they’re in the community giving back, they are building their own brands, they are entrepreneurs, corporate-preneurs, (my name for working in corporate America, but pursuing your passions on the side). Seeing myself as an example of the woman I wanted to celebrate is what led me to start She ROCKS It.
Women’s empowerment is something that has notably gained momentum in the past few years, and other businesses and brands have caught on. What separates She ROCKS It in terms of empowerment?
What I think separates/set us apart is that we craft our experience on purpose. Our goal is to make sure our events have a message, a meaning and provide tools that they can walk away with and use in their lives after attending our events. We tell them no permission needed to be happy and live your best life, we tell them they have the authority over their journey. To empower is simple providing them with something that will inspire them to want to change directions and follow their dreams. I want women to walk away feeling like “Wow, I’ve never experienced that before; now I feel empowered or led to share this with others.” Simply put, empowerment is a gift I want to give that pays it forward for the next woman to give.
She ROCKS It has allowed you to work and network with inspiring women from all over the country. What have been some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned from meeting and networking with them?
One of the things that I’ve learned from meeting and networking with women from all across the country is to be ready at all times. Be ready to share who you are. I attend networking events for the purpose of really getting to know who women are, making myself available to talk to them, making myself available to ask them the questions that could possibly help me. Questions like, “How did you get started?” “What are some of the obstacles that you overcame?,” “How do you brand yourself?” I’ve learned to really ask a lot of questions. I learn things about marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, it’s all about the lessons they give and the gems and jewels that they drop when I’m in their presence.
You are an example of someone who decided to turn their vision and dream into their own reality. What advice would you give to other women looking to do the same?
The advice I would give to other women looking to turn their vision and dream into reality is to start now, don’t wait another minute! Some people are often stuck in pursuing their passion because they procrastinate. I say procrastination keeps you paralyzed from progressing toward your purpose. I would also say don’t share it until you’ve developed it. What I mean by that is sometimes we can be so excited about something, we share it and then when it doesn’t turn out the way we want that could be discouraging. Other times, you share your vision and you’re slow to act on it, then someone else picks up that idea. I would say search your heart, and the thing that you think about the most is probably the thing you’re most passionate about. Often we people say, “I don’t know my purpose,” it’s that thing that’s constantly in the forefront of your thoughts. I think about She ROCKS It daily. When I say daily, there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t write something down about She ROCKS It.
I often share that when I started She Rocks It in 2016, the first event that I had, there were only 87 followers on my Facebook page but 220 plus women showed up. So you have to do it even when it looks like it’s not going to be successful.
The screening for Renae Bluitt’s film “She DID That” is a highly anticipated event for your platform. How did that partnership come about?
Earlier this year I created another event platform for She ROCKS It, The SHE Lounge Experience. I wanted to create events that gave attendees somewhat of a talk show feel. My goal was to create a space where she can share who she is and how she got there with the women in the room and allow the women to ask question and engage in empowering dialogue. I begin looking for ways to give a different type of experience to the woman and one day while looking online I saw someone write about this film they had just seen in New York, and how it focused on the African American Women Entrepreneurs and their journeys to becoming successful. I immediately thought this would be awesome if I could get in contact with the filmmaker and collaborate. Well I put in the work; I did some planning and next thing you know I am discussing a screening event here in the Chicagoland area which will take place on September 21, 2019.
In what ways does the film ‘ She DID That’ connect with the mission of She ROCKS It?
The mission of She ROCKS It is to provide a platform where women can come together, celebrate each other, Network, Be Inspired, Be Empowered, Be Motivated and Be Encouraged to share who SHE is all in a positive, fun, and supportive environment. The film ‘She DID That’ is a film that will bring women together, to network, be inspired, be empowered and be motivated to follow their dreams. The stories that are in the film will make the viewers think, “Oh my God, that is me.” Both She ROCKS it and the film create a platform where they recognize women who are doing the things they are passionate about. The film and She ROCKS It are empowering women all across the world.