Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyson Rae Lawson.
Alyson Rae, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a native of Dallas, Texas. Upon graduating from Bishop Dunne Catholic School, I attended Hampton University, an HBCU, where I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Management. I later earned my Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University – Commerce and my Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Miami. My end goal was always franchising because my father franchised three McDonald’s in the Oak Cliff area when I was younger. I never knew that it would begin at the age of 30.
My professional career began at the City of Dallas in the notable Budget Office. From there, I made the decision to move to Virginia where I worked for the City of Norfolk, Virginia as a Budget and Policy Analyst and continued my career at Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board in Hampton, Virginia as a Manager of Budget and Financial Reporting. While in Virginia, I pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. However, I was not finished exploring. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone of local government and into the private sector. I, eventually, moved to Houston, TX where I became a Manager of Business Analysis in the automotive industry and later promoted to Project Manager.
In March of 2017, I reached out to 7-Eleven with the hopes of purchasing a franchise on my own. Shortly after, they had a Women’s Entrepreneurial Contest. I entered, and because of my background, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard work from my community over the months of the contest, I WON!!! The prize was a 7-Eleven convenient store. I am, currently, the CEO of RaeLawson Enterprise LLC, franchisee/operator of a 7-Eleven convenient store with gas on the corner of Matlock and I-20 in Arlington, TX.
I, also, am a motivational speaker focusing on high school and college student empowerment.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It is never an easy road to being an entrepreneur. Although 7-Eleven waves the purchasing fees, I was still left with the franchising fees and other costs that are associated with promoting my own business. It is always difficult financially beginning your own business.
Also, I believe the biggest struggle when having a business is employment. In this industry, it is a challenge finding the best help and longevity because although I am there most of the day, I have to be able to trust my staff when I am not there. So the hiring process is very tedious and selective.
Nothing is ever the same at the store. There are new challenges every day. There is not a day that goes by that you do not experience something new and have to decide the best strategy in order to continue to run a successful business that customers will enjoy coming back to daily.
RaeLawson Enterprise (7-Eleven) – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
First and foremost, RaeLawson Enterprise specializes in people and customer service!!! Everyone already knows the 7-Eleven name. They provide great food, take home items, beverages, gas, lottery, tobacco, etc. to bring the customer into my store, but it is my job to make sure they come back! I am literally known for my personality. When customers walk in, I am the first person they see, and I always have a smile. This I pride myself on! I do not want to be just a convenience store; I want my business to be the best experience someone has that day.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, to me, is positively reaching your goals with peace of mind. Most people would consider what I have done so far as success. Although I do not discredit myself, I know I am capable of much more. Success never stops in my world.
- Address: 100 E Interstate 20
Arlington, Texas 76018
- Email: RaeLawson.7Eleven@gmail.com
- Instagram: @7Eleven_RaeLawson
- Facebook: @RaeLawson_7ELeven
- Twitter: @RaeLawson_711
Personal Photo: Justin Taylor of Taylor Media