We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyson Rae Lawson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyson Rae, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I worked my way up in government administration, and I absolutely loved it. I was finding my specialty and what I really wanted to focus on within the administration. I settled on accounting, earning my MBA and Master of Accounting while doing so. I thought that it would be a change for me if I went into the private sector with the knowledge that I gained. I received a great job in corporate America; however, I did not feel respected and something about it did not fit right with my soul. One day at work, I decided to look up franchising and just see where it would take me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a 32 year old African American female who owns and operates two 7-Eleven convenient stores with gas. There is nothing more unique and different than that! And I am most proud of that! I worked my way up in corporate American and felt undervalued and longing for more. So I decided to check into Franchising. It wasn’t easy, but it is definitely less difficult than starting a business from the ground up. It had its challenges, but I had no plan B so I was forced to work through them. My biggest lesson that I have learned so far is to BE YOU! It is 2020 and with social media, the sky is the limit to market yourself. I did not get to where I am today by being what other people wanted me to be. I got here by being 100% unapologetically me!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a Dallas girl born and raised. My normal spots are hole in the wall, hometown places. However, if they were going To come into town for a week, I would start off at my 7-Elevens! But, I really do love Trinity Grove and Texas Live in Arlington…pre covid!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my parents for showing me what true entrepreneurship is. They were great examples for me growing up and I cherish that. I also want to thank the community that raised me. People like Dr Harry Robinson of the African American Museum for giving me my first job as a junior docent. Or Leonard Jones who taught minority children the game of golf at no expense to us. I received a full golf scholarship to college because of it. People like this have made me into who I am today..
Professional photo: Justin Taylor Other photos: store employees