Jamaica Gleaner / Since 2015, She’s Mercedes has been inspiring and empowering women around the world.

Last Tuesday, Jamaica became the second Caribbean island to host the motivational evening, at Silver Star Motors 51 South Camp Road showroom.

It was the perfect event for women by women. All the vendors engaged for the evening were women-outstanding in their field. From the exquisite decor by the designing sister duo of Selena and Syreeta Hammond of New Levels Decor; lighting by Lisa Spence of Starlight Production; and a delicious three course meal courtesy of Tooksie Kay catering by Alexa Von Strolley.


With a panel that included author Melanie Schwapp; business woman Audrey Hinchcliffe; engaging brand expert Flavilla Fongand from the UK; Annette Cecile Watson, former banker and serial entrepreneur, and PR professional, Tara Playfair-Scott, a space to share was created.

Each panellist shared some of the challenges they have faced, and how they had to dig deep to overcome them, and what keeps them grounded. Schwapp shared her experiences of racism as a child, while living in England, and the advice her mother gave her. “Despite adversity, it’s what you create inside. Create your soft spot and soft spaces.”

Watson, spoke of her transition from the corporate world sharing that when she did, she was not making as much money as before, but she was happy. “It’s not just the money in your bank account-you have so many other currencies,” she said.

Sacrifice and Struggles

Sacrifice was a prevailing theme throughout the night, doing what you need to, to be happy. The last of 13 children, Audrey Hinchcliffe spoke of her struggles and how she has had to compartmentalise her life. But she cautions that you cannot do it by yourself. The others concurred with Schwapp noting that it’s important to surround yourself with a group of friends who have your back.

But with all this, there will still be struggles. Playfair-Scott spoke of putting it out into the Universe, adding, “You are going to stumble and doubt yourself and sacrifice.” Fangang concurred that there will be doubts. “Our self doubt is our biggest challenge. But if you haven’t failed you haven’t tried enough.” She spoke of her struggles growing up with one pair of shows to now owning 250. But through it all as Hinchcliffe notes, “you don’t have to always be strong. When you need to be weak be weak, that’s where you build yourself strong. We have to factor the men in but as women we have to understand who we are.”


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