IMAGE CREDIT: Scott Ehler / Sporteluxe.com
Very honored to be named as the winner of the Sporteluxe #WomenOfInfluenceAwards, in the Entrepreneur category. When I started out in business 16 years ago (Well, actually 24 years ago, when 11 year old me would make bracelets in Chicago Bulls colours, & sell them in the school playground during recess #YoungHustler), social media was not even invented.⠀
It is something that has come along, with no users manual, or no history to review & look at key takeaways on how to best navigate the space. But here we all are, on these platforms.
Social media is powerful, and anything that is powerful has two extremes. I don’t much care for the word ‘Influencer’ - it suggests that it is an exclusive title, held by those with a certain number of Instagram followers. To be an ‘Influencer', simply means you have influence. ⠀
When I launched the SAMANTHA WILLS brand in 2004, it was a time when you would wait for publishers (media) to present you information. They solely held the influence; and influence is powerful. It was a vertical landscape. A one way conversation. While traditional publishers still play a huge part in today’s society of information sharing, the landscape is now horizontal. ⠀
If you have an Instagram account; YOU are a publisher. One follower, or one million. YOU have influence.⠀
I am incredibly humbled by this award, & more so to even be included in such an incredible group of nominees. We will be using this recognition to further the work of the SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION – A community I am proud to be a part of, & am inspired by daily.⠀
Thank you Sporteluxe, for this opportunity…. And most of all – Thank YOU guys, for talking with me on social media everyday.⠀
Our interactions on here, teach me, they make me think differently about things, they make me laugh. The vulnerabilities you generously share with me, have at times moved me to tears.⠀
You inspire me.
YOU have influence. - SWx