DCF: Who Are You?
My name is Sanura Williams and I am the owner and founder of My Lit Box, a monthly book subscription box committed to highlighting writers of color. (DCF: Which I subscribe to and love getting every month so join us!!)
DCF: Why do you love what you do? What makes you funemployment?
SW: I love what I do because I’m a lifelong, avid reader (DCF: Me too, reading is life) and when I’m working on My Lit Box I feel extremely grateful to be able to focus my efforts and energy towards something I’m extremely passionate about.
DCF: Who was your first mentor and how did you find them?
SW: I’ve been fortunate enough to have met amazing women in my lifetime who may not have been mentors but impacted me in ways beyond measure and most of them were teachers and professors I encountered during my academic career. But today my biggest supporters have been my sister and best friends who have been sounding boards and constant encouragement in those moments of self-doubt. (DCF: So important to have trusted advisers that can help you navigate!)
DCF: What’s your happy place?
SW: My happy place is anywhere that’s quiet with a good book (DCF: because a good book can take you anywhere in the universe!) and Paris, France which is my favorite city. When I find myself in a quiet place with a good book IN Paris, that is heaven on earth!
DCF: Where do you get your energy?
SW: I get my energy from (1) taking the time to myself and recharging. I am a big advocate of self-care and I always make time for it and (2) from witnessing the successes of other Black women. Owning a business can be challenging. You’ll face obstacles that will have you question if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. But then I see a woman just like me making it happen and I clear those obstacles out the way and get back to work. (DCF: You sounds like my soul sister!! I really believe in both of those things as well. We cannot help others if we do not care for ourselves first and I LOVE seeing other black women win, it reinforces my belief that we can all win!!)
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find it?
SW: Balance to me is the ability to address everything that requires my attention without shortchanging anyone or anything and this is something I’m still working on. But something I’ve found to be key in finding balance is establishing boundaries and not only sticking to them myself but making sure others adhere to them as well. (DCF: Boundaries are so important and I wish we did better about teaching people about creating and respecting them, it would help us ALL.)
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
SW: The biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make is giving up the things that I want to do for the things that I have to do. Passing on an invitation to Sunday brunch in order to design and schedule an email. Skipping an after work happy hour to come home and schedule social media content for the next day. Until I get to the point there I can expand my team, these are responsibilities that fall in my plate that I must tend to and because I believe in my business I will tend to them without a second thought. (DCF: Been there and it’s tough but it also makes you appreciate the simple things and those times with friends when you do get them).
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
SW: From my experiences so far, I can’t place my finger on any particular struggle I’ve faced within my industry that I would attribute to being a woman.
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
SW: I wish I had taken seriously the importance of a network. I’m an introvert so I shied away from a lot of social interaction well into early adulthood and felt as if I would be okay without fostering relationships with others. As I stepped into the world entrepreneurship I began to realize that I missed out on golden opportunities and in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t used being an introvert as a crutch or an excuse for not establishing meaningful connections with others.
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
SW: This is a tough question to answer as I feel that I have yet to “fail” at something. (DCF: I like to believe the real failures are never trying not the occasional set backs that we all face in life.)
DCF: What was your proudest moment to date?
SW: In all honestly, simply starting my business. It’s not a dollar figure or anything like that. It’s simply doing something I never saw myself doing in a million years. I never thought I’d be Sanura, the entrepreneur so I am very proud of that.
DCF: What are you Currently Conquering?
SW: As My Lit Box is approaching its one-year anniversary this April, I am very proud of the community we’ve managed to build and I want to keep growing. On the 1st of every month, a new theme is announced and everyone is welcome to join. If you love books, look a surprise in the mail every month, and you have a desire to support writers of color, then My Lit Box is for you!