Entertainment is a tough business to break into. You have to be great at what you do and continue to “bring it” throughout your career...or you won’t have one. Cherry Washington of CEM&M Entertainment LLC, learned that very early into her career in the entertainment business.
Washington was introduced to entertainment while working at the Michigan State Fair. She was working to raise money to go to college. Being the first in her family to go to college, and the racial protests happening at the school of her choice caused her mother to fear this transition. But nothing was going to stop her. At the fair Washington was attempting to be security, but due to her size, management moved her to the production department and where she was put in charge of the dressing rooms.
While working with the acts and managing their dressing rooms she started to learn how to manage the entertainment on a deeper level. Year after year the fair requested her return. Over the years working the State Fair Washington met a number of celebrities and began building a name for herself. Years later without knowing it she landed a job with MGM Grand in Detroit before they ever opened their doors. Upon opening, they announced who they were to the staff and cut the staff from 200 to 15. Needless to say Cherry Washington was one of the selected 15. After working for MGM for years and watching the crazy turnover rate of the entertainment business and being picked over for the well deserved promotion due to not gaining the degree needed, Cherry hung in there until they decided to remove the entertainment department, then she started on her own.
Everything went great for a while. Then Cherry slowed down a bit to be her ailing mother’s caregiver. Although doctors gave her mother 6 months she lived for 2 more years. During that 2 years Cherry was still running her business, but worked more remotely. Less than a year later Cherry lost her husband suddenly after he helped their son in subzero temperatures and froze from the inside out. Losing her best friend and biggest supporter was one of the hardest things Cherry ever had to face.
Thanks to her children and clients she grieved the way that she needed to and was pulled back up on her feet. Prior to her husband’s passing she had planned to move from Michigan to California. It was time to move forward and continuing chasing her dreams. There had been a lot for Cherry to adjust to, but her family, loyal clients, and friends were there to help her along the way.
After a 7 year run and a short break to grieve Cherry brought CEM&M Entertainment LLC back! Taking the business from the Midwest to the west coast. Today she represents a variety of clients, from musicians to athletes. Cherry picks her clients very carefully, looking at character just as much as talent/skill. The most rewarding part of being in the entertainment business, for Cherry is seeing her clients support a good cause and give back to others while reaching their own goals.
Like the boxers she represents Cherry got knocked down HARD but she got right back up and kept fighting. Thanks to an amazing team of supporters and a vision to help whatever community she’s in, Cherry looked at her situation and decided she is bigger than what’s happened to her and she can make a difference whatever the CAIS may be.
Connect with Cherry and CEM&M Online
Website | Instagram
Meet Guillermo Figueredo, owner of Awesome Web Designs, a Toronto web design company. After studying advertising and discovering the world of digital marketing it was evident to Figueredo that web design was home to his passion. With a mission to provide an online presence to businesses that previously didn’t have one he’s able to focus both his passion and creativity. However, like all Whatever The CAIS stories this journey wasn’t paved and clear.
Have you ever moved and found it hard to make new friends? Imagine leaving moving from Spain to Canada leaving everything behind! Immigration comes with its own unique challenges but Figueredo used this as an advantage. He understands that the world changes all the time and so should a business and therefore individuals. Adaptation is key.
Already out of his comfort zone in a new country Figueredo started a new position and began making connections and gaining experience. Those connections coupled with his education and new found passions led him to quit his job and start Awesome Web Designs.
What is a birthday party or wedding or any party without cake?! Well it’s no party. We have become accustomed to sweet treats making our events, well...sweeter. If you’re no good at baking or like me horrible when it comes to decorating, then you’ve probably gone to a bakery for your big event’s dessert. But what about a Pastry Boutique! Well that’s what this week’s entrepreneur, self taught pâtissier, Jazmin Johnson owner of PritzyPastriesByJoseOna is aiming for. Specializing in gourmet sweet treats for all occasions this goal is fitting. As sweet as her treats are, there have been some learning curves and sour moments.
Jazmin was forced into baking by an old boss and found out she not only loved it, but was really good at. Talk about being a natural! Today she bakes for her 3 boys, ages 7, 3 and 1, to continue creativity and leave a legacy. Although young they already find joy in helping mom in the kitchen.
Starting out getting the right equipment was a struggle, causing Jazmin to do much of the mixing using a hand mixer. As any mompreneur knows juggling children and a business can be tough. Especially when they are young. If that weren’t enough, Jazmin does this as a single mother while working as a dental assistant. Some would wonder how she has enough time in the day, but she’s passionate about providing the best pastries to her customers. Giving her customers one less thing to be concerned about for their event/party. This means producing orders efficiently, answering calls and texts all day long and working almost 24/7. Just to do it all over again when one of her boys sneaks a treat from a client’s order!
Being a small business owner isn’t always as glamorous as we sometimes make it out to be. Sure there’s a ton of freedom, which can be great but can also be a downfall for some. There are limitless possibilities out there when you go for them yourself. However the struggle can get real, and that’s when we make that hard decision to see it through Whatever The CAIS or pack it up and live a normal life. This blog is all about those tough times and how we overcome them to reach our goals. If you’re going through a tough time in your business or on your path to reaching any goals let these stories inspire you to keep at it.
My story is what inspired me to create #WhateverTheCAIS and the term itself. This story begins before I even knew CAIS was something I wanted to create. I’ll take you back to 2016….
December 2016 was the worst month of my life...at that time. I was 4 months into my new job as a property manager which at the time I thought was everything I wanted. On December 6, 2016, I’ll never forget that date, my regional manager walked in unannounced. First I was excited to see her as I thought she was coming for more of my training; which I desperately needed from her. I was wrong, she was there to fire me. I was devastated, 5 months pregnant with very little saved up.
I was sure, in my mind that my career was over. I had never been fired before, and had no idea how to deal with it. Eventually, after having my daughter and healing I began to look for work again. By June 2017 I had secured a commercial property management position as an independent contractor. All of the clients were local and small businesses. I found myself giving them advice and helping them build beyond just leasing an office in the building. When the building started to run out of space for small businesses, about 3 months into my working there, the light bulb turned on and I created a space for small businesses within the building. The following January CAIS was born!