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#MississippiRising & Smart Retail with Marissa Simms on Anna Live

Recently, I set out on a road trip to find entrepreneurs doing amazing ventures. As a result, my producer and I found our way to New Orleans, LA, Jackson, MS and Atlanta, GA. And let me tell you guys, I found some really fantastic people doing some fabulous, world class work. Every entrepreneur I spoke with on this trip was absolutely incredible! They all were so knowledgable and passionate about their careers. As I sat listening to them explain why they chose not to work a traditional 8 to 5 job despite having to work double the hours and double the stress as an entrepreneur, they loved their freedom of being their own bosses. Each one of them left an indelible impression upon me.

Entrepreneurship was not the only common thread that most of my guest had in common. Seven out of the ten entrepreneurs I interviewed on my journey around these three states were from Mississippi and/or an alumni from Jackson State University. Oh! and how funny was it that they all proclaimed, "THEE I LOVE!" at the mention of their alumni's name. I was so moved by the their stories an backgrounds that I decided to name this series #MississippiRising.

It was not a coincidence that all of this series' guest had some commonalities. You see, this tapestry was woven together by the producer of the #AnnaLive show, Zira T. Washington. Zira too is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and an alumnae of Jackson State University. She excitedly organize this three state journey and proudly shared her relationships and vision of highlighting these dynamic leaders from her home state.

This trip was especially special for me as well, in that, I finally spent my first night in Mississippi, EVER! There's an unconscious reason for only passing through Mississippi and never really stopping. When I was 18 years old, I headed for college in Atlanta, Ga with my dad and he said to me, "We have to be sure we are full of fuel before we get to Mississippi, cause we ain't stopping! Nobody stops in Mississippi!" So, every time I would drive anywhere near Mississippi, I would always follow his advice, don't stop! In

light of that, going to "The Sipp" (as the natives call it) with Zira, meeting her family and friends was pretty awesome.

Now, to kick off our Anna Live's #MississippiRisingSeries this month our spotlight for this week is business mogul, Marissa Simms who hails from, you guessed it, Jackson, MS and is now residing in the suburbs of Atlanta! Marisa is a firecracker! I loved sharing with her and I am so impressed with her passion and drive for her purpose! Her outlook on the future of retail is highly innovative and risky but she believes she has a formula for good success.

Marissa is a 2011 graduate of Jackson State University who always knew she wanted to be her own boss! And A BOSS SHE IS! Marissa set her sights on becoming a business owner her senior year in college and before she graduated in the Spring of 2011, she had accomplished her goal by opening Royal Bleau Boutique on the campus of JSU! Within just a few short years, Marissa had been named the SBA Entrepreneur of the year for 2014 (MS)! Marissa did not stop there, she went on to pursue her goal of becoming a philanthropist by launching the nonprofit side of her business called, “Kidpreneur.” Kidpreneur's mission is focused on cultivating creativity by inspiring the youth to pursue economic development. "Kidpreneur" breaks down basic principles such as exploring passions, financial literacy and goal setting. Her organization has serviced thousands of youth with back to school supplies and entrepreneur workshop designed especially for youth.

Snippet with Guest Marissa Sims - Watch Full Broadcast Live on Friday at 10am CST on Facebook on Anna Live!

Today, Marissa resides in the Smyrna, GA. She still owns and manages “Royal Bleau Boutique” and “Kidpreneur.” However, you can’t be a mogul without multiple streams of income! Marissa has added to her titles: author (The Royal Bleau Print), real estate agent and real estate investor. She is also the loving mother to one amazing little boy!

As the weeks go on, you will meet more of our stellar entrepreneurs from Mississippi in our highlights. I got so excited about these young jewels, that we are now working on a documentary entitled, "Mississippi Rising," that will highlight entrepreneurs under 40 from Mississippi and the great work they are doing in the world.

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