Entrepreneur Timea Gaines Talks ‘SheROCKS’ Event
Finding purpose through pain set a fire within PR & Entertainment entrepreneur Timea Gaines so strong that she made it her duty to use her platform as a space to not only empower women, but to be the “bridge of letting other people get to their destiny.”
Gaines, owner of Love Life Media, was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2015. While undergoing chemotherapy, she was determined to continue to create a momentum for visual and performing female artists in her hometown of D.C.
After a successful inaugural Women’s History Month showcase, SheROCKS, which honors emerging and established women thriving in business and the arts, it was only right that the second and following years were bigger and better.
“I thought about that business owner who was about to throw their business away because it’s failing or someone who isn’t getting the exposure they feel they should and even though chemo was hard, I knew if I was able to get through it then I could empower another woman,” Timea tells JET.
And that’s just what she and her team did.
Now, SheROCKS is heading into its fourth year of celebrating influencers in the D.C. area.
Hosted by entrepreneur and founder of 1K One Day Academy Nicole “ScOprah” Walters, the showcase will engage attendees with live performances, art installations, beauty services and tasty treats. Honorees and categories include: Woman of the Year, Graphic Artist of the Year, Industry Power Player of the Year, Filmmaker(s) of the Year, Photographer of the Year, Choreographer of the Year and Designer of the Year.
JET caught up with Timea, now a cancer survivor, to discuss the growing success of the event and what it means to be a woman who rocks!
JET: How has SheRocks expanded in its fourth year?
Timea Gaines: It really started as an accidental passion. While my company, Love Life Media was working on the Stellar Awards, I was thinking we had to do something for Women’s History Month. I got tired of hearing women in male-dominated industries being told “that’s a good job for a woman.” I wanted them to know they were great period! So I decided to do an event to let women know that they matter and that their art is important and businesses are valuable. The event really went beyond my expectation. The women spoke to me about how there was a need for it and there was nothing like it out at the time celebrating our hometown creatives and heroes. Since then, every year it’s been growing to where women from different cities have flown in to attend. I wanted to get the event to a place where we weren’t just promoting women empowerment but we were a resource for it. Pouring back into women owned businesses and supporting visual and performing artists.
JET: We hear the word “empower” and know of various conferences that focus on supporting women. What’s interesting about SheROCKS is your focus on emerging women in the areas of visual and performance arts. What made you focus specifically on that genre?
Timea Gaines: I was coming across so many corporate women who have hidden talents. They could sing or paint and I would ask why they aren’t pursuing it and they always said “it’s not that much room” or “Artists don’t get paid that much” or they do it on the side. I’m like your art is beautiful and so I wanted to have a space where women could share that. There are women visual artists out there who are amazing and may never get the chance to attend the Grammys or Oscars, but I want them to be celebrated and know that they have a space to share and we can help expose them to a greater market. We are their advocate.
JET: You’ve experienced a very difficult cancer diagnosis and became a conqueror of the illness. That takes much resilience and mental power. How did you do it?
Timea Gaines: I feel like a lot of people make cancer or any terminal illness like a death sentence and instead of looking at the other side of where they want to be and how they can make it through, they wallow in their place of pain. Regardless of what you go through, if you would just keep your mind in a place of positivity, you can be empowered to empower somebody else. I’m an entrepreneur and it kept me from working. I was living off my savings, but smiling everyday. I was able to get my Masters, graduate with a 4.0 and put on the [SheROCKS] event. I don’t know how but, for me, the most important part of that journey was to get to a place where I could say, “I made it!” I feel like when you’re in a position where you can become selfless in your creativity and art, everything falls and gathers the way it’s supposed to.
JET: That’s huge and admirable. Who are some women that motivated you to become the best version of you?
Timea Gaines: One of the key people was my late mentor Sheila Stewart. She was the morning anchor for the Russ Parr Morning Show and got bumped up to The Tom Joyner Morning Show. It was tough love with her and she would always say, “Everything I’m doing now, you’re going to understand later.” She really showed me how to do things with passion and how to stay hungry and be tenacious about what you want to accomplish in life.
And absolutely my mother. I could not do anything without her. Just being raised by a woman with such integrity and greatness. When I look at other women in the field of communication and women entrepreneurs on the rise and doing great things, it really keeps me in a place where if they can do it and still keep that sparkle and shine, then I can do it as well.
JET: Nice! This year, SheROCKS will highlight 14 influencers through performance and visuals. In your opinion, what characteristics does a woman that rocks possess?
Timea Gaines: Integrity, selflessness and sponsor. Selflessness because it all goes back to impact. The women that we look at are really into philanthropy and are really in the communities solving problems. Integrity is a very important characteristic for the ideal woman of SheRocks. You have to be a woman of your word. If we say we’re going to support and empower women, let’s do it not just in words but in our actions. Support and sponsor because I really believe in pouring back into women-owned businesses. Let’s really run the world!
SheROCKS kicks off Saturday, March 26 from 6-9pm at the District Architecture Center in Washington, D.C.