Being an entrepreneur is hard, but being an entrepreneur as a black woman could be even more difficult. The entertainment industry and travel business can be pressing, but as a woman you have to prove yourself and show the whole world that you are worth taking a second look at and taken seriously at that. Laree has done very well with accomplishing that and can be taken seriously without a doubt. As a woman entrepreneur of New York City, Laree has been featured on FYI Television show #Blacklove. She has a proven record of success and multiple steams of income. Laree, has her own travel business and has flourished in her endeavors in the entertainment industry. One West Magazine has recently caught up with Laree about what she is doing next with her career.
One West Magazine: What does Laree Thomas represent as a black woman?
Laree Thomas: As a black woman I represent women who unapologetically love who they are and women who celebrate their failures as well as their accomplishments. We can look at our flaws, but won’t allow the flaws to define us. I’m a representation of the woman who enjoys living an edgier, colorful, and passionate life. I’m a globetrotter lover and a woman who enjoys bringing a positive representation of black women on reality television.
One West Magazine: How did you get your start in the entrepreneur world?
Laree Thomas: I started in the entrepreneur world several years ago by planning trips for my friends. We were constantly traveling and I figured if I’m going to be doing all this work, why not get paid for it. Which later transpired into me owning my own boutique luxury travel agency.
One West Magazine: What were some of your inspirations behind your passions of success?
Laree Thomas: Some of my inspirations behind my passions of success were constantly networking and meeting new people with the same or similar passion as myself. I would put my own money into going to conventions, trade shows, networking events to gain more knowledge into the industry. Whenever I left one of these events I left with more than a handful of knowledge and truly inspired to keep going. Aliening myself with other travel professionals was the best move I could have made.
One West Magazine: Why do you feel it is harder for an independent black woman to find love in New York?
Laree Thomas: It is harder for an independent black woman to find love in New York because of several reasons: 1. Men have an abundance of options, which takes them much longer to want to commit in New York. The amounts of temptations here seem to be on another level and I must say the Internet doesn’t help either. 2. The grind folks have here; having two or three jobs…that hustle and bustle can be challenging when trying to balance love. When you’re on your grind, finding someone on the same wavelength is like finding gold. But once you find that gold you cant be too busy to keep or maintain it.
One West Magazine: What did the Television show #BlackLove teach you about finding love?
Laree Thomas: The show #Blacklove taught me the importance of looking within to attract the love. It challenged me to look at my flaw of being closed off to understand the negative impact of things that happened in my past that are affecting my present relationships. Having this look in the mirror along with the tips from the experts was enlightening and necessary in assisting me to finding the love that I want.
One West Magazine: As an entrepreneur what have you found most difficult in becoming successful?
Laree Thomas: As an entrepreneur I found it most difficult to find balance between the pursuit of success and maintaining loving relationships. It can be a challenge to maneuver between the two but the key is figuring out how to have both without burning yourself out. You have to want them both equally and commit to putting in the work to have them both if that is what you truly want.
One West Magazine: Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs that want to follow in your footsteps?
Laree Thomas: The advice I have for entrepreneurs trying to follow in my foot steps is to figure out what is more valuable to you in the areas of your identity, career, family, and spirituality to keep you centered when things are not going your way. As I look back at the opportunities in the past that didn’t open up for me, I’m grateful they didn’t because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know that then but I’m very clear now. Knowing where you stand in these areas in life helps you for those major decisions on the road to achieving your goals.
One West Magazine: What is next for your career?
Laree Thomas: I have been approach for a few speaking engagements as well as few T.V hosting opportunities and I’m looking forward to seeing what transcends from the two.
One West Magazine: How can people find you online and stay updated with what you are doing in your career?
Laree Thomas: You can find me at “Laree La Thomas” on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or on my website www.lareethomas.com