Amplify Her Voice: Kristen Talley-Riley

KNOW Book + Tribe kicked off a brand new series called Amplify Her Voice. It is a storytelling series focused on amplifying the voices of our Black female business leaders and members. Each day we will be featuring one new KNOW member and they will be sharing their stories and advice.

Meet Kristen Talley-Riley, Founder of SHE E.O.

Kristen is an incredible leader in her community. She’s also got several impressive accomplishments; from being the first female African American Director of Operations for one of the largest grocery chains on the East Coast to writing a book at the age of 30, Kristen is inspiring! In this episode of Amplify Her Voice, Kristen shares on a tragic loss that shaped her entire world, her experience with racism, and how important her faith is to her and her family.


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Takeaways from Kristen: 

1. The best decision she ever made. “[My Family lived] in a predominantly white neighborhood. I went to an all white high school, middle school and elementary school. So when it was time to go off to college, I made my own personal choice to go to an HBCU, a Historically Black College or University. It was one of the best decisions I’d ever made in my life.”

2. Follow your path“It’s incredible how, when we follow the path that’s laid out before us, we not only change our lives, but we change others’ lives.”

3. Sharing on her father’s mantra. “I don’t care if you’re a trash man, I don’t care if you’re a janitor. I don’t care if you’re a pastor, or a doctor, or a teacher. What I want for you is to find yourself being the best at it.”

4. Forgive yourself. “You have to have the ability to forgive yourself. You have to have the ability to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Today was a tough day, but tomorrow will be better.””

And most importantly: Never stop learning. “So as I think about this story of being an African American female pushing her way in her corporate career. And now as an entrepreneur, I see the same posture that I used in corporate showing up as an entrepreneur. But I’m starting at ground one again. I’m learning again, I’m studying again, I’m building different relationships. And that’s extremely important for us to understand the different seasons we’re in in life. Understand that, whether you’re the CEO in your corporate career, in your home, or in your entrepreneurship business, you still have to have principles that keep you whole. You have to.”

Kristen Talley-Riley is featured in KNOW Charlotte Volume 2 on page 35.  

Interested in MORE? Learn about our joining our KNOW Book + Tribe here.