She Got Her Own: Shameeka Ayers, CEO, The Broke Socialite & Sugar Coma Events
1 year ago
Passion for fashion transformed into a lifestyle empire
In this series, we're profiling women who have left their corporate jobs behind and launched their own businesses in the recession. They are balancing children, careers and relationships and manage to make being their own boss look good.
Shameeka Ayers's husband has always had a sweet tooth. More like sweet teeth. So she brainstormed and started Sugar Coma Events, dessert extravaganzas where attendees can sample the best pastries, cakes and cookies their city has to offer. She's taking her tours to London and Paris in the fall, gearing up for the release of her first book, and continuing to run lavish! a conference for lifestyle bloggers. In the midst of everything, we asked how she does it.
Loop 21: Tell me a little bit about your career prior to striking out on your own.
Ayers: I "retired" from corporate America in April 2010 when I was with Oracle. A lot of my responsibilities were technical, technical writing and things of that sort. And it didn't work with the creative side of me. That is really why I started the blog, The Broke Socialite, in 2006.
I didn't know much about the different platforms and the rationale for even having a blog. I was goaded into it by my girlfriends. I've always been the type to go to Marshalls and find a Gucci bag for $200. I know how to make it work. So it was cathartic to have an outlet, that brief escape. That's how the Broke Socialite was born.
Loop 21: So why did you take the leap from your comfortable, six-figure salary to being out on your own?
Ayers: In the fall of 2009, I had this idea. We live in Atlanta and while it's a great place to live, we kind of got bored. My husband has this nagging sweet tooth and we thought, "What if there was a dessert crawl (kind of like a pub crawl) for a date night?"
So we created what is now Sugar Coma Events. We had our first tour in January 2010. And then I organized another one in February. Both tours had sold out. It did not take me very long, based on the response, to realize I was on to something. I realized this might be my window of opportunity to exit stage left from corporate America.