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There’s not much difference between Maghan Morin and Jeanine Suah’s professional and personal lives. They live for their work, and they believe in what they do. The co-founders and directors of the Doyenne identified and solved a problem – where can women business professionals come together in a stress-free work environment, to get things done and network with one another, outside of the typically male-dominated workplace? As successful businesswomen, they’d each wondered the same thing individually. Together, they dreamed up a combined professional development platform and co-working space designed specifically for women. Following its inaugural “pop-up” event in December, interest and membership in the Doyenne has been exponentially growing – which means that Morin and Suah’s idea, conceived over coffee, crullers and a pair of well-worn laptops, is quite likely to impact the way business is done in St. Petersburg in the future.

Years in Tampa Bay

Maghan: 27; Jeanine: 2

Hustle (job)

Maghan: To make a difference, whatever I do. Right now, to make a difference in St. Petersburg as a black woman entrepreneur.

Jeanine: To make people feel good, and smile, and feel loved. We’re hustling our butts off because it’s what fulfills us.

What do you do?  

Co-founders (and, at this moment, the entire staff).

Why do you do it?

Maghan: I can make a difference in my life, and in my family’s lives. My vision for what I do is bigger than St Pete – so I can make a difference within the world.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

Jeanine: Not wanting to live for anybody else’s dream but my own. There’s just something more than working for somebody who doesn’t always appreciate it. That’s not a great feeling.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Jeanine: We are out in the community more than we are in our office. Because we realize the importance of networking.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Maghan: Raising money, absolutely. Also, always thinking of new ways to be engaging – to keep women interested, and keep them coming.

Jeanine: It’s hard to have a concept and not be able to put it into effect right now. But it requires patience.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Maghan: To always keep going, no matter what. Whether it’s someone who doesn’t answer your email, or blows you off on an email, or you don’t get the client that was about to sign … keep going. Because there’s always going to be something, as long as you’re persistent.

Jeanine: My business philosophy: Always give more in value than you receive in payment. Even if you haven’t got the money. Megan and I are very much like, ‘All right, we don’t have it, but we’ll give it.’ And by the grace of God, and by the universe just being in our favor, it comes right back. And we’re like ‘Why did we even worry to begin with?

Why St. Pete?

Maghan: I don’t see many people of color who are growing large businesses and succeeding, especially in the downtown area. That’s why Jeanine and I are very adamant about having the Doyenne in downtown St. Pete. I really want to show the black children here that yes, you can be successful in St. Petersburg. And you can come back here after college, or after traveling out of the country. St. Pete is a place you can be successful, as long as you work hard towards it. Jeanine: It’s a very vibrant community which prides itself on diversity, and there are a lot of diverse groups here. But it shouldn’t be an anomaly to see people of color, or black-owned businesses, downtown. This city is too great to not have something like this downtown. I feel like this is one of my homes, even though I’ve only been here for two years. And it’s the way that the city has treated me.

More Hustle

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