Her ‘Why,’ Her Take on Fear and Her Desire to Build a Sisterhood
When Tawana Bain relocated from Miami to Louisville for her job in telecommunications in 2004, she had no intention of staying. A native of Rochester, New York, Tawana describes herself as someone who has always been drawn to the frenetic pace of big cities. But the turning point for Tawana happened during Derby week.
“I understood the richness of the community with that week of the Kentucky Derby in 2005, and I made the decision that I would stay and learn the lay of the land.” Since then, Tawana has become a successful entrepreneur who owns AFM Threads — a clothing boutique — NAC, which is a project management firm, and the Black Jockeys Lounge in downtown Louisville. She is also the founder and board chair of GEDDI, the 501c3 organization responsible for several accelerator programs including the Black Fashion Exchange.
What attracted you to Today’s Woman?
I’ve always had a high level of respect for Cathy Zion. I love everything related to empowerment by women. Within this last year, I have recognized the strength of women who address a lot of the issues that have plagued this country.
What is your vision for the magazine?
The mission that has been established by the magazine is very important to me, but I am also very cognizant that I have a unique opportunity to help women who want true authentic sisterhood with other women from all backgrounds to make those connections in a very authentic way.
As a business owner, what do you think other aspiring female entrepreneurs need in order to become successful?
They need women whose shoulders they can stand on. They need men to believe in them, invest in them, and give them a seat at the table. They need representation, they need women who have paved the way to reach back, they need to have a voice, they need to be able to be themselves.
What challenges do women face in our country right now?
For women of all backgrounds — women of color, white women, black women — there is a reality check that we have all experienced about who is and is not represented within our circle. Who is and is not seated at our dinner tables, our social tables, our work tables, and this has mobilized women of all backgrounds of all ages of all races to recognize that we can do better as women for each other.
It is definitely an opportunity for sisterhood. I am passionate about it. I care about it. I have always been fortunate. I have friends from every background: Asian, White, Hispanic, Muslim, Arab, and African. I hope to be a catalyst for more women to say, ‘I want that. I want a diverse circle of friends who I know and love and I think of them as sisters.’
Tell me something that isn’t on your resume — something more personal.
I stash $100 bills, and when I get to a certain amount I buy something nice for myself. The last thing I splurged on was a pair of Gucci boots.