ST. PETERSBURG – Not everyone waits for their big break. Some go out and make the break happen. Such is the case with Tiffany Moore who decided to quit her job in the corporate world at age 38 and open up her own business, Moore Eventful, LLC.
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She has always been determined and laser-focused on any activity she sets out to do. In fact, from kindergarten to high school graduation, she only missed one day of school even when she fell pregnant her junior year.
After many nights of prayer, Moore told her manager that God gave her permission to resign.
“I told myself before I reach the age of 40, I wanted to at least try to see if I could work for myself,” she said, her face full of pride.
Right after quitting her corporate job, she used the free time to take business classes with the CATCH program and St. Petersburg Greenhouse. She learned to build her brand, created a logo and business cards, she created a website and made sure that her legal structure was put together. Her strategy worked.
Working in the corporate sector for different companies for 16 years, and the last four being in human resources, she had to arrange seminars for retirement plans and other little events for different departments.
It turned into something that she became very passionate about, and most of all enjoyed it. Once she realized that she liked doing that more than the other strenuous work, she decided to make the big jump.
She prayed and meditated over a year and a half, and then jumped.
“I never thought I would be a business owner. It was something that coming from my parents you just don’t do,” Moore said.
Moore was born and raised in St. Petersburg. Her days a little girl were difficult, she had to grow up in an all-white neighborhood and face the challenges of not being accepted by whites or blacks.
She has always sought ways to be more than what societal norms imposed on her. She grew up in a household where the mindset was—her father one of the first black firefighters in the city and mother always working management jobs in retail—getting a job, sticking with it, retire and never go into business because it was too hard.
“I was a little nervous to even tell my father that I was going to resign and start my own business because I know how he is, and I gave up everything to pursue this business venture of mine,” she said.
Women have been oppressed for so long that now that they have a voice, they fight not to be silenced. For Moore it’s simple, a woman goes after what she wants to do in life.
“Back in the day women didn’t have a say. Now we can, and we do,” she said.
According to findings published by the Census Bureau’s inaugural Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs in 2016, the majority of small businesses in the United States were run by white men. While based on the data from 16 firms on the Fortune 500 list published in 2017, they also account for 72 percent of corporate leadership.
As Tiffany puts it, African-American women have two strikes against them: race and gender.
“Some of us can have the same qualifications as others, but we have to work 10 times harder to prove ourselves. Even when we’ve come so far, people just aren’t ready for the black female to flourish,” she said. “Even trying to get a business loan, it’s hard. I haven’t tried yet, but I know from horror stories that it’s really hard.”
For African-American men, they face different challenges, albeit the same result. Moore added that it doesn’t matter how hard they try, society is going to see them in a negative way.
“I think that [for men] there’s a stigma, a mindset that no matter what I do I’m going to remain oppressed,” she said. “We [women] can teach them to go for what you know and even if it doesn’t work, at least you can say you gave it an honest effort.”
Moore said that black women are stereotyped as the “angry black woman” but what people are mixing up is someone who’s keeping it real with someone that’s just voicing their opinion. There’s a difference. She learned it in years of working in corporate America.
“If you’re a white woman, you can go mad and it’s just ‘oh, Suzy is having a bad day.’ But if Tamika has a bad day and Tamika is going off it’s ‘oh, she’s another angry black woman,’” she explained.
Being a single, teen-aged mother didn’t stop Moore from accomplishing her goals.
“I always wanted to succeed and my father was my biggest pusher because he was a little disappointed,” she said. “He thought that I was going to be a statistic and every time that I taught about giving up, I thought about that voice in my head: ‘you’re going to be a statistic”.”
She not only finished high school but also holds two degrees. Moore now teaches her children to not only be goal setters, but also goal-getters. Her hard work has paid off too, for example, her daughter is getting ready to graduate from the University of South Florida next year.
“My daughter is going to be 21, she’s not pregnant, I did something right. My son is 17, he doesn’t get anybody pregnant… It doesn’t mean the cycle has to repeat,” said Moore, as she quickly knocked on wood to ward off evils.