First Name: Sonya
Last Name: Norwood
Company: Glamour Girls Fashions LLC
Sonya Norwood is an Entrepreneur, Fashion Designer, Motivational speaker, and Spiritual Advisor. Sonya Norwood was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Known for her strong desire to succeed as a business entrepreneur and a heart for God’s people. She holds a Business Degree in Administration and An Associate Pastoral Degree in Ministry. She sets her heart on making a difference in the world around her and the community that she lives in. Sonya admits at times she can be quiet and conservative though. She is far from quiet. She is extremely passionate about the well-being of the women around her and the culture that she lives in. Sonya is making a bold statement with her hand-painted colorful African Contour collection and her Fuchsia sneakers for women all over the globe.
Sonya grew up watching her parents work, who were business-driven hard-working entrepreneurs. She grew an eye for creativity from her Father. He had served as the Maître d’ for the Holiday Inn for many years. She would see him overseeing the decor in the banquet halls. Sonya attribute watching him decorate and cut the wedding cakes at extravagant weddings for high profile clients as her inspiration to fashion. She would get a rush of excitement seeing the ambiance of it all and how it made people feel once it all came together. Seeing my mother of 14 children work as an entrepreneur running her own transportation company for many years with a keen spirit while taking care of her family is what gave me the spirit of servitude. Sonya loves making those around her happy.
Sonya knew that she wanted to become a business entrepreneur after watching her parents. She remembers growing up as a child watching Fashion Supermodels like Beverly Johnson grace the covers of different Afrocentric magazines. After, seeing Diana Ross in Mahogany. She was blown away by the beauty of gowns and the fabrics. The different colors and the contoured designs in the fabric brought a new level of excitement in her spirit. Sonya knew from that point on that she was in love with using different colors and fabric to paint a picture to tell a story.
Sonya enrolled in Elise Beauty and Modeling school as a teenager. She decided to work behind the scenes at First Stage children's theater in the costume department and at local department stores. In order, to gain firsthand experience and to familiarize herself with women’s clothing. She would design Tee shirts and different garments for family members and friends in high school.
Throughout her career, Sonya always felt that there was a greater calling in her life. She returned back to school and obtained her Business Degree and Ministerial License.
After, she had a near brush with death and not being able to walk for a year and also, surviving an abusive marriage. Sonya fought hard to overcome every obstacle that life threw her way. She then realized that "she would let nothing keep her from following her first dreams of Fashion designing and reaching her goal. Sonya launched her own shoe line called “Bay Amour” shoe collection and her own online bouquet known as “Glamour Girls Fashions.
She grew hungry to mentor young women who might be struggling over obstacles, abusive relationships. Out of that, she created the Glamour Girls closet, which is the opposite of ugly. Everybody that steps in walks out beautiful. She is in the process of writing a book titled “I’ve decided to be me”. She hopes to one day see her face grace the cover of Afrocentric magazines in order to tell her story. She spends most of her time mentoring young women of all ages on how to follow their dreams and how to start their own business, motivational speaking on FB Live, and helping the seniors in her community.
Sonya believes that her unwavering faith and her desire to succeed as an African American businesswoman in today’s culture serve as a momentum that keeps her going. Sonya always stated, “when life knocks you down, you cannot stop. You must get back up and fight for what you believe in!”
Tell Us Why You Got Started: Each year I would throw a banquet for Breast Cancer survivors, those recently were diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families member, in order to bring them together as support for one another. One night I had a dream and the Lord showed me Fuchsia sneakers with a cougar in the tongue to stand for strength. He said to name them “Bay Amour shoe collection signifying “Love for all!” He also said to me “To start a clothing line called “Glamour Girls Fashions. It would feature trendy, affordable, fashion clothing in all shapes and sizes to represent the story behind all women.
Seeing the need grow even greater during the Pandemic and Black lives matter and the death of Be Ann Taylor. I jumped on Facebook and started doing Facebook lives daily at noon. I started speaking words of hope and encouragement, in order to help strengthen the community around me. I went from seeing 1-10 viewers to 100 a hundred viewers. In return, I started receiving DM messaging from them telling me that my messages are so encouraging and needed at a time like this. Out of that birth, my new tee-shirts line.
I also realized a new voice was being created called “Glamour Girls Closet, a ministry for Women. I mentor and focus on the well-being of women of all ages. My concept is plain and simple. Just like the regular clothing store. After, you walk into Glamour Girl Closet my spiritual clothing store you will walk out a changed woman.
How Has 2020 Changed Your Business? 2020 has significantly changed the marketing landscape of my business. When the Pandemic hit, I had to review the business and rethink our brand offering and strategies in order to sustain the growth of my business.
The budget became frozen, so our funding was limited.
I had to then become creative and rethink ways to sell our products. I went digital-first in order to advertise and attract my customers at a cheaper overhead expense. We added a new Tee-shirt line with slogans that matched the different movements that were going on in order, to drive the sales and to show that we are passionate about our community.
2020 has allowed my business to get more exposure during the pandemic. 2020 has also changed the way we do business. We had to rethink our customer's acquisition and retention strategies in order to become competitive with our competitors. With things uncertain in the market I would wake earlier than what I normally woke in order to plan ahead and get our products. 2020 changed the way I do business because it taught me to step out and take the risk.
Being an entrepreneur is ... In being an entrepreneur, I had to develop a thick skin and be not afraid to step in to take risks that are needed to meet the needs of the community. Because Life is always full of risks you; have to believe in yourself and know that you are worth the risk.
I always tell my students that “You will never know your true potential if you don’t step outside the box and take the risk.
Being an entrepreneur involves a constant learning curve. You are always learning from your customers. And that applies whether you are a rookie entrepreneur just starting out with a great idea for a new business or a more established small business owner with a quickly growing business that needs to expand. In the end after it all payoff. One of the most rewarding feelings you can have to be called an entrepreneur!