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@work with Michelle Dalzon of
The Black-Owned Market


As part of our Style Your Success series with WeWork and LinkedIn, we’re talking to and getting inspired by a few entrepreneurs across the country. Here, Michelle Dalzon—founder and chief visionary of The Black-Owned Market and member of WeWork in NYC—tells us about empowering small businesses, her morning routine, dressing for the start-up world and what she’s “in it” for.

YOUR JOB IN THREE WORDS:
Best job ever!

A TYPICAL DAY IN THE (WORK) LIFE:
Researching, pitching, applying for funding and strategizing. Not the sexiest, but the real work of entrepreneurship rarely is.

THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR JOB:
The best thing about theBOM is my ability to expose people to black-owned brands that they may never have heard of before. I put the small businesses that work with me in positions to generate an additional source of income, gain press exposure and network with each other, which creates more of an impact for their brand and culture overall.

FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOUR ALARM GOES OFF:
As of late, I check my phone (I know, bad habit!). I’m trying to wean myself off.

YOUR MORNING ROUTINE:
After checking my phone, I start my prayer and meditation. It helps me center myself and set my intention of focus for the day. 
Michelle in our wrap top in striped stretch cotton, wide-leg cropped pant, circle chandelier earrings and metallic
Olivia mules.


WHAT YOU'RE "IN IT" FOR:
I’m in it to create an entrepreneurial community amongst black people that doesn’t exist on a large scale. Given our level of impact and influence on the community, I believe black-owned businesses need a space to call their own—and this is why theBOM exists.
COFFEE ORDER:
I'm more of a tea drinker. If I need calm, I'll reach for chamomile or peppermint. If I need energy, give me that green or black tea. And if I’m just looking for sweetness, then hot cocoa (even in the summer!) or hot cider during the holiday season. I'm all over the place!

AFTERNOON SNACK OF CHOICE:
Rice crispy treats, oatmeal cookies, salt and vinegar chips, candy... This is making me realize how unhealthy I am, so thanks for asking!

ULTIMATE WORK JAM:
R&B feel-good music. Currently listening to Miguel's latest album.

OFFICE PET PEEVE:
Loud talkers.

YOU SPEND YOUR COMMUTE:
Listening to a podcast or music or reading.

COMMUTING STYLE HACK:
Wear comfortable shoes and keep your heels in your bag. I walk fast and heels slow me down.

YOUR MONDAY–FRIDAY STYLE STAPLES:
Mom jeans, sweaters and a denim or leather jacket. 

FOR A BIG CLIENT MEETING, YOU'D WEAR:
Usually a statement piece as a conversation starter—like my favorite gold square heels with a simple dress or a shirt-and-pant combo.
YOUR FIRST JOB:
A cashier at Chuck E. Cheese—and, yes, I wore the rat costume. Let's just say I've come a LONG way.

WHEN YOU WERE A KID, YOU WANTED TO BE:
A journalist or news reporter.

ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF:
SAVE YOUR MONEY! It's not like my parents didn't tell me every day, but the struggle of bootstrapping as a new entrepreneur is so REAL and I wish I would have prepared more for it. But I also believe there isn't much I could have prepared for since things happen so suddenly and unexpectedly.

CAREER ROLE MODEL:
Myleik Teele, the founder of curlBOX. Her start-up story is very similar to mine, and she's been my mentor, in my mind, for the longest time!

THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS:
My spirituality and faith. This journey can be such an uphill battle at times, but the reward is so much richer because I know every obstacle in front of me is there to make me stronger.

THE BEST THING ABOUT THE WEWORK COMMUNITY:
My favorite aspect of the WeWork community is just that—the COMMUNITY. I am surrounded by entrepreneurs who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world. The entrepreneurship life can get very lonely, and sometimes you feel as though you're the only one going through these challenges, but this space reminds you that we're all in it together. We are community builders, creatives and game changers putting it all on the line for something we believe in.

Photograph by Bryan Derballa.

Meet more of our friends from WeWork here.
Learn more about LinkedIn’s “In It Together” campaign here.

Shop all of our @work stories here.


TAGS: womens, style, at work, wework, linkedin
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