Southern Journeys Mother's Day Tribute: Willie

Southern Journeys, along with fellow creative black women entrepreneurs who support our mission, will be paying tribute to our mothers all May in gratitude for the impact they have made in our lives. Do you enjoy these stories? Join our community on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Southern Journeys worker-owner Sonya helped us get this Mother's Day series off to a strong start yesterday. Now Willie, another Southern Journeys' worker-owner hailing from Mississippi, is keeping the motherly love going with a tribute to her mother:

 Southern Journeys worker-owner Willie of Misssissippi

Southern Journeys worker-owner Willie of Misssissippi

Which values have been key to your success in life and business and how did your mother embody or instill these values in you?

My mother didn't just talk, she always had me to watch what she was doing.  I learned a lot by watching.  She taught me to have good work ethics and to always work hard.   Fear God, treat people right, have compassion, help the less fortunate, be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to anger, do the best I can and don't worry about the rest.

My mother taught me to never stop learning.
— Willie

What role did your mother play in your journey as an entrepreneur?

My mother taught me to never stop learning. She taught me to learn more than one trade because you never know what situation you might come up and you need to have more than one skill. She taught me to be humble and speak up and to the point when needed.

What is the most important lesson she taught you that you would like to share?

Always put God in front and everything will be alright.  Be careful who you call your friend.  Always treat people the way you want to be treated.

 Willie's daughters

Willie's daughters

Has being a mother influenced your journey as an entrepreneur? How do you teach your children the importance of being entrepreneurial?

Being a mother made me become an entrepreneur because working on a 8-5 job only paid the bills and nothing else. I try to instill in my grandchildren and children to be self-sufficient with a business of their own and not depend solely on working for someone else. I also reminded them of the various businesses I have been involved that help support them through school and even now. I do my best to teach them to learn to do for themselves. I thank God because one has her own business and another one is working on one.

Anything else that you'd like to share for this feature?

My mother was a very humble person, did a lot of sewing during her lifetime. My mother never used a pattern to sew our cloth, she just looked in the Sears catalog and said what dress do you like and she made it to fix perfectly. She sewed quilts and for other people. She sewed by hand with stitches almost as small as a sewing machine. 


Thank you for sharing your story, Willie. Your mother's teachings are a great guide for happiness. Your SJ family wishes you a lovely Mother's Day with your daughters.

Willie is one of many Southern Journeys worker-owners working hard to create the perfect gifts for your loved ones this Mother's Day. Give the gift of a quality product made by southern rural Black women trying to change conditions in economically depressed communities across the South. Visit our store today - everything 15% off through May 12!

- SJ