We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Wingard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I decided it was time to create my own opportunities instead of hoping one day they would magically appear if I worked hard enough for someone else. The moment I stopped equating my job title with success and started to define that for myself, my life changed–in an amazing way. I entered entrepreneurship with a level of enthusiasm that developed from a constant desire to do impactful work, collaborate with other women in business, and, win.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Five years ago, while working full-time, I decided to try my hand at helping other people and even a few small businesses better utilize what I like to call, “digital tools for success”. As my list of side-hustle clients and projects started to grow and more importantly, when the data showed that my efforts were having a positive impact on client clicks, views, sales, conversions, engagement, and impressions (Yes, they all matter.) It turned out, that I just might be good at this.
In 2017, my passion for digital media led me to establish my first company, SAVVY Consulting & Communications, LLC, a black-woman-owned and operated firm. Our mission? To help amplify the voices and digital footprint of mission-driven Black women in civic technology, communications, higher education, government, and public service.
Social media and my company are the result of being a millennial living in Cleveland with little to no job prospects. One day, I packed up my car and left (for Chicago) and did not look back. (The original plan was to land a job behind the scenes as a writer/producer at National Public Radio in DC. Long story…) Even though I never made it to NPR, my passion is still to continue using media as a catalyst for change.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am still fairly new to the DMV. But before I moved here and even now, I still love the Wharf in DC, downtown Silver Spring and the National Harbor in Maryland. I’m really big on allowing people to rest in between all of the sightseeing and excitement. So we would definitely have to make time for that first. If the friend is staying for an entire week, that means we are really good friends who also enjoy curling up on the couch with snacks, my space heater, and a list of good movies to watch–even if we have both seen the movie 1,000 times.
After working in a good amount of time watching the ID Channel, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, we would make a checklist of at least one landmark (minimum) to see each day–including NMAAHC. After the list is complete, we would start the following day with yoga at the Wharf, breakfast at Della J’s Delectables, shopping at Tanger Outlets, lunch at Dama Cafe, and dinner at FYVE.
Then back to the couch, space heater, and snacks.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
G-O-D. My faith and relationship with God have been the number one drivers of every single thing I do and have yet to accomplish. Rebecca Thompson! Rebecca is the founder of Live in Your Light Bootcamp (LIYL). My LIYL family has been an integral part of my commitment to not shrink but shine, unapologetically. I also have to give a shoutout to Nedra Glover Tawwab, the author of “Set Boundaries, Find Peace.” This book continues to bring clarity and the much-needed reminders I need along the way. My Chicago and NABJ family–Aisha, Lee, Will, Kathy, Maple, and more have been a bright light on my journey, without fail. My brother has been my biggest cheerleader for as long as I can remember and I thank God for him. Finally, my parents. They have demonstrated the value of hard work and sacrifice. Without them and the prayers of my grandparents, I would absolutely not continue to persevere.