That Girl Meets; Mary Daniels, CEO and Founder of ChokeHer SkinsDec 17, 2021
By Natasha Lee.
Meet Mary Daniels, CEO and Founder of ChokeHer Skins. After being diagnosed with lung disease Lupus, in 2015, which led to early retirement, this optimistic entrepreneur began her journey by creating her own company. Based on her health battles, Mary had a vision of promoting the mindset that inner beauty can always prevail no matter how much someone may be suffering emotionally and mentally in life.
The neck was her aim focus since it represents holding up dignity. This Female CEO believes the chokers she designs could brighten up anyone's wardrobe. When asked about the women that inspire her, Mary credits her mother, who first noticed her creativity and took her to sewing class at the young age of five years old. According to Mary, it is difficult to mention the number of people who have inspired her because somebody offers her something to learn or influences her creativity daily!
The ChokeHer Skins founder says it is essential for women to support and empower each other, be reminded of the unbreakable sisterhood they share and encourage one another to be "#ThatGirl"! Mary Daniels and I share many similarities in our views toward genuine sisterhood; in fact, The Female CEO shares the same core values in sisterhood. Those values include celebrating and encouraging each other to be our best selves. We elevate each other through our shared voices, crafts, skillsets, wisdom, and most importantly, agape LOVE.
I asked Daniels a few questions about her journey, and here's what she had to say:
Describe yourself using one word?
What are some of your personal challenges being The Female CEO?
Some of my challenges of being a female CEO would be maintaining my health and schedule. I'm a Lupus Warrior and have a chronic lung disease, a very unpredictable illness. My mindset says "Go!" but my body says "No!"
How would you describe your chokers?
My ChokeHERs are uniquely designed. I create with skins leather and also vegan leather.
What's your why? Who motivates you to continue your entrepreneurial journey?
My Why? Me! I believe you must trust your vision. I believed my designs were mind changing for women and men once applied to their wardrobe a feeling of dopeness.
My family are my motivators! They encourage me with positive affirmations and continuous words of praise.
How long have you been a fashion/jewellery designer?
I've been a LeatherJewelryDesigner for over ten years now.
Why are you #ThatGirl?
I'm That Girl because that's what people are telling me. Honestly, designing is what I enjoy doing, but this journey has elevated itself to places and people who I've had the opportunity to meet and give amazing energy through my creativity. So I've accepted and agreed to be That Girl!
What's your brand story? Why did you name your company ChokeHer Skinsher Skins? What's unique about choker skins?
In 2015, I was stricken with double pneumonia following a diagnosis of ILD, a chronic lung disease. Early retirement led to a vision showing no matter how down and distressed we may feel, our inner beauty can always be present through outward displays of creative vibes. I wanted to share my art and passion for leather in its natural state and uniqueness of skins. The neck was my aim because it holds our dignity and unique beauty despite the battle. ChokeHERskins was born.
Funny because I get that question quite frequently. Usually, depending on who's asking, I say, what does it mean to you? The actual definition is; Choke - a wrapping around the neck HER - woman/ female, Skins - leather My brand is unique, as in one of a kind, never duplicated by colour or design. To each its own.
How can we find you online?
My online platforms are:
Instagram - @choke.HER.skins
Facebook - @Choke.her.skins
We noticed how you cheerlead from other women. Tell us why it's important to empower other women?
Omg, yes, I'm going to cheer for women. I'm a woman, and I know how we want to feel and look. We can't ignore one another because it's just not human. If we don't uplift and empower each other, we need to know and be reminded of our unbreakable sisterhood! To tell one another you 'Got this Girl'!!
What's next for the ChokeHer Skins, Skins Creator and collections?
So many exciting collections are still being born. With the help of my brand AmbassaHER, Shandera, I will introduce our 'SNAP' collection, which is an interchangeable line of ChokeHERs and HipHERs. Also, a humbling opportunity to collaborate on an exclusive design of ChokeHERs for the Beautiful CEO of the That Girl brand Natasha Lee!
My expressive T-shirts and accompanying merchandise for ChokeHERskins will be on the market soon for purchase. Many exciting upcoming projects that will manifest in the future soon.
Who are some women that inspire you?
My mom took me to my first sewing class at five. She always supported my creative side, so of course, my mom is first on the list. Wow, when we speak of those who inspire, it sets a boundary for me because it's almost limiting everyone around me who has given me something to create and learn from daily. At the same time, it extends to those I haven't met or encountered but provides substantial energy unknowingly to me and inspires the process of creating and handling a business.
What's your favourite ice cream?
Vanilla! You can create any flavour with plain ole vanilla, Lol!
How do you find a proper balance between business & personal life?
Balancing my business and personal life isn't that challenging for me. My children are adults, and I'm retired. I make sure I rest and remove myself from stressful moments, even when designing. I can always come back to it later. I purposely do not customise my pieces yet; this allows me to regulate my time for doing business and my hours.
What are some challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?
My health is my only challenge right now. My Lupus flares are unpredictable, and I can wake up with no mobility in my hands or legs. Chronic pain and shortness of breath can be debilitating, and it definitely can wear you down mentally and create complete exhaustion or fatigue. Now that's an acknowledgement of what I experience personally, but it also allows me to take this health challenge and create strong armour to fight like a warrior, not just for myself but others that look for me to inspire them. It's an interchange of powerful energy!
What is your advice for emerging female CEOs?
First of all, HELLO! Talk and share with one another. Say something good and positive. Don't let your vision or mission become someone else's because of their opinion and inputs. Make it known you believe in what you started by speaking up for your brand and business. Even if it's the same product, your creativity can never be duplicated. It's truly unique like YOU!
Natasha Lee is a visionary, entrepreneur and advocate for all things SHE led. She has built businesses, raised a family and worked alongside some of the most inspirational women globally.
Her #ThatGirl brand is all about strong female leadership, and she wears what she preaches! Have you seen the red lipstick cute T-shirts?! From an early age (She was an 8-year-old DIVA) to the present day, she worked toward her dreams. Natasha doesn't allow anything to hold her back. You can read all about her journey to becoming That Girl here and if you want to ask her any questions drop into The Community
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