change agent, entrepreneur, investor & career woman
“we need each other more than we realize”
Shalaya Shipman doesn’t just believe in her own professional capabilities — “i do dope sh*t” — she believes in yours, too. “it's important that everyone is invited to the table,” she says, “including communities who bear brilliant ideas, but do not have the same access to resources.” and so she spends her days — in a role she created for herself (!) at Salesforce — connecting Black and Brown entrepreneurs with technology that supports growth of their businesses. and when she’s off duty? even more dope (and super inspiring) sh*t, from running a boutique real estate firm to prioritizing self-care and wellness. here’s how she does it.
what do you do — professionally, personally, passionately?
"i lead Strategic Business Development for Small Business at Salesforce where my work is concentrated on connecting Black and Brown entrepreneurs with technology to support the continued growth of their businesses.
most recently, our team led initiatives to partner with Sean Combs and Daymond John, two wildly successful Black entrepreneurs who are committed to advancing Black wealth. i created my current role in response to a personal commitment to drive impact and transform the way WE do business within the tech industry. innovation is applied in dynamic ways to inspire change, and, in most cases, change reaps wealth.
in connecting these dots, it's important that everyone is invited to the table, including disenfranchised communities who bear equally brilliant ideas, ambitions, and desires, but do not have the same access to capital or resources. my passion for this work stems from early life lessons shared by my mom who taught me my identity as a Black woman, and encouraged me to always do the right thing, speak up when something isn't right and God will take care of the rest.
i apply these principles to my personal life as a change agent, entrepreneur, investor, and career woman.
i also own and operate a small real estate boutique firm. when i'm not in work mode, i love tapping into wellness — athletics, meditation, and healthy cooking and eating. i enjoy being outdoors, particularly with my pup, Chloe, exploring new walking trails and adventures.”
what path led you here?
"my mom. i have always been fiercely independent and ambitious, two qualities that i learned from my first role model, my mom. watching her navigate the professional world set the tone for me at an early age, which inspired my curiosity and desire to do 'good work, well'. in my personal journey, i have found that i do my very best work when i align my purpose with my passion. i'd like to think that i'm doing that very thing now."
what inspires you?
"my Tribe. i am incredibly fortunate to know some of the coolest people on the planet. from educators to attorneys, community leaders, founders, creatives and executives — i learn so much from the people around me. these relationships not only inspire but constantly challenge me in ways that encourage healthy conversation, perspective and growth. it's because of my tribe that i am forever inspired to do more, be better and make an impact on the people and community around me."
We are living in crazy times. What is life like right now for you?
“i am embracing the idea of taking each day, one day at a time. we hear this concept a lot, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. initially, it felt impossible to do but i’m finding that when i take my time, i can slow down my thoughts, extend myself more grace. and, as a result, i find myself to be more present. journaling, meditation, and self-care have been critical to my survival and sanity. but trust me, i don't have any of this fully figured out. i'm trying new things and hoping to find (and learn) balance in the process.”
your upcoming plans, summed up in three words?
"enjoy more life."
the takeaway from the past year that you will keep with you?
"i've learned three things that I keep top of mind.
1. life is precious and should never be taken for granted.
2. we all deserve (and need) community (and each other) more than we realize.
3. it can't all be about 'work'. finding, keeping, and cherishing the joy in life is critical to our wellbeing."
2021 is flying by. what’s the single best thing you’ve done so far?
"i got engaged (and in an iconic, fairytale way)! it feels some kind of wonderful to have a partner who gets you."
clothing on current rotation?
“i’m LOVING the edit shirt. its carefree sophisticated silhouette makes me feel effortlessly sexy."
random things you can’t live without?
“Chloe, a good pillow and my Molekule! ha! gotta have clean, healthy air in these COVID times.”
all-around life hack you swear by?
“never accept "no" for an answer.”
“i do dope sh*t.”