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Don’t let perfect become enemy of progress, Charlotte entrepreneur tells Minority Business Council

SALISBURY — The words spoken by Christopher Moxley immediately resonated with Veleria Levy.

After Moxley, an entrepreneur and partner at the retail store 704 Shop in Charlotte, finished his Zoom presentation to the Rowan Chamber’s Minority Business Council on Tuesday morning, he took questions from council members. One of those inquiries, asked by Rowan County Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding, was what tips he had for burgeoning business owners.

“Don’t allow perfect to be the enemy of progress,” Moxley said. “It doesn’t have to be perfect right out of the gate, which is something, that especially as minorities, we typically want our stuff to be perfect right out of the gate, because in many cases, we don’t get the benefit of the doubt to get a second at an opportunity.”

That advice hit home for Levy, a senior account executive for Avita Pharmacy, because she is currently advising her 16-year old son as he starts a business venture of his own — a kid’s investment club where teenagers learn how to invest in stocks by actually doing it.

“It made me think about some things. I know I want to make it perfect, but that lets me know that I really don’t have to have all the I’s dotted just yet,” Levy said.

During his talk, Moxley also explained how 704 Shop pivoted to online retail during the COVID-19 pandemic, capitalizing on selling fashionable masks and clothes featuring Charlotte-related designs.

“I think that helps all of us to hear how a successful business person came into opening that business and the tips and advice along the way on how to be there and turn on a dime and provide those products to be a successful business owner,” Spalding said.

Moxley’s discussion with the Minority Business Council is one of several Zoom meetings that have taken place with the council over the last several months. In a time when there is an increased focus on race relations and racial equity on a national and local level, the Minority Business Council has worked to turn that energy into progress for minority entrepreneurs in Rowan County. 

Virtual meetings have allowed the council to engage in meaningful conversations and bring inspirational speakers to their members despite not meeting in person.

“Having people on (Zoom) to show the success that they’ve had and for us to be able to reach out to them is exciting,” Levy said.

Meeting virtually, Levy said, might actually be easier for some entrepreneurs.

“Since the meetings have gone to Zoom, it’s a lot easier for people to get involved,” Levy said. “If you think about it, a lot of these new businesses are being set up and people are working their other businesses, so it’s not as easy to meet physically but it’s easier to carve out time for a Zoom call. I think the Zoom process has encouraged more participation in these meetings.”

The Minority Business Council’s next meeting will be held on Oct. 20 and feature Shawn Blackwell from Premier Choice Magazine as well as Megan Smit, the small business director at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. It has not yet been decided if the meeting will be held in person or over Zoom.

“Anytime you can have an opportunity to work on your own success and your own business is exciting,” Levy said. “To be able to carve out that time, I’m really thankful that the Rowan County Chamber has had the vision to make sure business owners can see the information we need.”

For more information on the Minority Business Council, contact Spalding at 704-633-4221 or espalding@rowanchamber.com

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