Meet Tawana Bain, 2020 Most Admired Woman — Beauty/Fashion
2020 MOST ADMIRED WOMAN — BEAUTY/FASHION
Founder/owner, AFM Threads
Family: Sons Tyshawn, 24, Jeffrey, 18
Neighborhood: Downtown Louisville
As a small business owner, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Tawana Bain to temporarily close both physical locations of AFM Threads, her fashion-forward boutiques at Oxmoor Center and Mall St. Matthews. Although she is selling the clothes online, people are prioritizing things other than fashion right now, she says. She has had to make many hard financial and staffing decisions. She filed for SBA loan assistance and was hopeful for funding during the second round.
HOW HAS THIS PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU?
I am a positive person, but this has been a challenge to my ability to be as optimistic as I had been before the pandemic. Businesses as well as people are dying. There is a lot of mourning going on.
WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR YOUR BUSINESS MOVING FORWARD?
I have a lot of money tied up in inventory, and I could liquidate and lose so much money on the dollar and do something else. It’s really not knowing if online sales will catch on.
SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I was a single teen mom. I was working and putting myself through school and being a mom. I don’t say this to encourage anyone to follow that path, but just to show that you can defy the odds, too.
WHAT WORD WOULD DESCRIBE YOU?
PHRASE OR WORD YOU OVERUSE?
Obtuse. As in ‘What? That is so obtuse.’
I do because I did defy the odds. I now enjoy demonstrating how capable I am without being born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I’ve often been told how inspiring I am to others. I take that seriously, and I understand how actions can devastate or motivate an entire community.
I was five months pregnant and worked in a call center. We made calls for different types of businesses. We sat about 6 inches apart in a room. The hardest part was that after one phone call, the next number was dialed automatically so you really couldn’t even take a breath in between. I lasted three days.
SECRET SNACK STASH?
I’m a glutton for Gummy Bears.
I would give Big America a piece of my mind on how they are treating Small America during this pandemic. I would tell it on the news and tell it loudly.
CAN’T GET THE KNACK OF?
The whole eyebrow thing. How are you doing that? I have my own technique, but it is not the industry-standard.
WHAT PUZZLES YOU?
Why people make a decision to not like a person based on someone else’s opinion. You may have missed out on knowing a really cool person.
Spending time with loved ones. I like a cocktail night out with the girlfriends talking till 1 or 2 in the morning.
I HAVE TOO MANY…
Dreams I still want to pursue. I’d like to publish my book Just Boss Up, which is a collection of thoughts and quotes to motivate people who have the entrepreneurial bug.
P.S. Read about the other 2020 Most Admired Woman winners.