Shantarra Houston – An Entrepreneur and An Advocate for Girls

Our feature story this week is on Shantarra Houston of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Afro Puffs and PonytailsShantarra, please tell us a little about yourself

Shantarra Houston –  God has blessed me to have a wonderful and supportive husband and two handsome sons. Presently, I own Shantarra Houston Consulting Services, which specializes in personal and professional image, education, and professional speaking. I am also the founder and president of WE R G.E.M.S (Girls Educated Motivated & Sophisticated), Inc.; a non profit corporation that offers programs that empower girls ages 9 to 18 to make more positive decisions. Whenever I am not working, I enjoy spending valuable time with my family and friends, traveling, shopping, reading, relaxing at the beach, and listening to various genres of music.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails –  How and why did you decide to become an Entrepreneur?

Shantarra Houston  Entrepreneurship has always been a dream of mine, but growing up I was not exposed to a lot of African American women entrepreneurs. During my younger years, this was a trend. Now the trend is shifting and it is my hope that more African American girls and women will aspire to become entrepreneurs. Over the years, I have identified and implemented the tools needed to be a successful African American woman entrepreneur. After completing several college degrees, seminars, and professional work experience, I established WE R G.E.M.S, Inc. and the next month Shantarra Houston Consulting Services.

I really enjoyed my professional experience in the public school sector, but the dream of just educating and assisting girls and women with successful life skill techniques was not being accomplished. It is my belief that God was requiring me to do more, especially with all that he had blessed me with. Since opening both businesses, I have really enjoyed assisting more girls and women improve their lives through my speaking engagements and seminars. I’m looking forward to many years of being an entrepreneur and positive role model for girls.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails –  What do you like about having your own business?

Shantarra Houston –  There are many joys of being an entrepreneur. Initially, the flexibility to control your time. I love being able to establish my client appointments on certain days and at particular times. Next, I enjoy having more time to spend with my husband and boys. Then, being able to establish the policies and procedures for the company based on how I want the company to operate. Lastly, establishing a compensation schedule that is comfortable to me and my clients.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails – What are some of the challenges you face as an Entrepreneur?

Shantarra Houston –  Yes, there are many challenges to being an entrepreneur, but I would have to say that the largest one is fear. When I decided to take this venture, I questioned my abilities due to fear. My norm was working a standard 8 to 4 job and receiving a paycheck every two weeks. Being an entrepreneur, your hours are not standard and you must go out and establish relationships that turn into a clientele base for your paycheck. I didn’t know if I could do this. Eventually, I learned.

Afro Puffs and Ponytails – What advice do you have for young black girls?

Shantarra Houston – I would advise young African American girls to dream it, pursue it, and achieve it. Entrepreneurship is worth it!

Afro Puffs and Ponytails, Inc. – Shantarra is also a member of our Professional Leaders of Women and Girls Network.  For more information, please visit her websites!

We R G.E.M.S, Inc.

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1 Comment

  1. Regina Coley, 10 years ago

    I wish you many blessings in your organization. Your background sounds very similar to mine as far as being a school teacher and not feeling as though a void was being filled. You feel more connected to the community when you start working with the girls who live there. It’s one of the best feelings in the world and they are going to remember those experiences for the rest of their lfe! You are doing wonderful things and I commend you for it!

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