As #Black Southern Belles we are taught to be strong, sweet, stylish, organized and easy going. This is not always possible at the same time and often times we need support. Monica Jackson is a #Black Southern Belle looking to provide that help. She recently launche iWin Counseling to provide mental support and counseling for those in need. This Texas based counselor and Dillard University Alum is aiming to help the South through providing the emotional support and counseling they need. Learn more about how she turned her passion into a business and her love of the South!
Monica E. Jackson, MS, LPC, CRC
Dillard University (Undergrad) and Southern University of Baton Rouge (Graduate School)
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
What services do you provide?
I am Licensed Professional counselor that provides individual and group therapy in a partial private practice setting.
Why did you decide to start a business?
My desire to help others who are going through life challenges is the reason why I decided to start this journey.
Before you owned a business, what did you do?
I work for the State of Texas as a Rehabilitation Counselor and Full time Doctoral Student. I also have turned my passion of sewing into a small business that continues to grow, Always Accessories.
What is your favorite client story?
Due to the nature of my business and confidential information, I will just say every client that has the courage to walk into my office and declare that they need help is my favorite story. It makes my heart smile, to see people who have the ability to recognize their issues and take the steps to work towards independence and emotional wellness.
What is the most interesting client request you have had?
I have so many stories! If I could share, I would. But after being in the counseling field for 8 years, know that there is NOTHING that anyone says that shocks me anymore!
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business?
Continuing my education is the most important thing that I have done. Having a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, you will quickly learn that your educational pursuit is not over! At 33, I am still in school. Without my education, I wouldn’t be able to effectively assist my clients. My education has afforded me to have 8 years of experience within the field of counseling.
Who are some of your business idols?
I don’t have any business idols, however, I have some of my sheroes in this field of counseling, social work, and social services. They are Dr. Shanda Crowder and Tonya Barkum. Dr. Crowder is a long- time friend and big sister who has encouraged me, mentored, and motivated me on this journey. Tonya Barkum is my cousin, fellow Dillard University Alum, and fellow counselor. What I love the most about my cousin is that she is so cool and down to earth you would never know how educated she really is. I strive to be like her daily.
Do you have any mentors?
Yes, my village! My Mother (Frances M. Jackson), she is my #1 supporter, my backbone, and my bodyguard. My grandparents (Edward and Minnie Jackson), my father (Anthony W. Lloyd, Sr.), my aunt (Kimberly Jackson) and uncle (Melvin Jackson). All of them have deposited a wealth of wisdom in me, helped raise me to be who I am today, and show me unconditional love. I also have two non- traditional mentors that are much younger than me, Mia and Madison Jackson. They are my little cousins and every day they are my reasons to continue my journey. When I think about giving up, they are in the back of my mind because I have to show them they can be anything they put their minds too. At 8 years old, Madison gives me a lot of advice like, “All you do is work, when do you have fun?” and when I see Mia’s (16 years old) Christmas List of what she wants from me, I am reminded that I have to keep working.
What is your favorite thing about being southern?
I have always said, that I am a Northern Girl, with a Southern soul. I spent majority of my days with my granny who was raised in Brookhaven, Mississippi. Her southern charm and upbringing is responsible for who I am today. Though some people may not consider me to be a Southern Girl, I have lived in the South for 15 years. What I love about the south is the traditions, the culture, the dialect, the food, and the way we just speak to EVERYONE! Southerners are just PEOPLE Persons and I have assimilated.
What is your favorite southern entrees or sides?
Macaroni and Cheese (the old fashion way with the PET MILK and different Kinds of CHEESE!). I have so many memories of spending time in the kitchen with my granny making her infamous macaroni and cheese.
What do you love about helping people?
Helping people is not just a love, but it is a calling. My favorite part about helping people is seeing the transformation whether it is big or small, knowing that you are a stepping stone in someone’s journey is rewarding.
What do you love about your hometown?
Detroit is just a city that won’t Stop! Detroiters have a true passion for their city, whether they have moved a way, you will ALWAYS hear someone say PROUDLY, “I am a From Detroit!” No matter what others have to say about our city, We LOVE Detroit!
What advice do you have for a women starting a business in the South?
Stay focused on your dreams! When God shows you your destiny, he does not tell you what will happen between now and when you reach your goal. If He did, it may discourage you from beginning. So when you reach obstacles in your journey, remember what the end result will be. That will give you the courage to keep working.
What are some ways women in the South can make sure they are taking care of their mental health on a day to day basis?
I believe that Self- care is the most vital aspect of taking care of your mental health. Women are making a difference in this world and are spending majority of their time working, going to school, and catering to their families. It is imperative that as Super Women, we take time and undo our cape and engage in activities that are peaceful, relaxing, and rejuvenating. These activities can be as simple as a walk in the park , to gardening, pampering ourselves, and even your favorite hobby. I step away from my daily life activities every time I sit in front of my sewing machine, I encourage everyone to find them a self- care activity.
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business?
I love wearing dresses and skirts. I believe they are lady like and appropriate for all occasions.