#Imagineif we all turned our natural gifts into career dreams

Salim Shukur is the owner of SHUKUR MOTORS. 

An Ethiopian native, Salim moved to the states with his mother and siblings just as he was entering high school. Even as he adjusted to his new home, his vibrant and infectious personality was quickly understood by his peers and made him a well-loved friend to many.

Initially, he didn't know how he would put his gift of connecting with others to use. But Salim has always seen himself as an entrepreneur who would leave a legacy behind for his family. After college, he was offered a great job back in Ethiopia, but turned it down in order to chase his dreams. 

Salim recalls, "I remember just wanting a sign to know where I should head next". Because of his many friendships, family and friends often asked him for referrals, including the always tricky task of finding an affordable car. Then it dawned on him that the automotive business was something he could thrive in.

Salim befriended dealership owners to learn the business before saving up the cash to open a tiny office for SHUKUR MOTORS. What started as a one man show is growing into a thriving enterprise that now has 4 officers and 10 sales agents.

Salim credits his success to three simple principles-- positivity, focus, and persistence. Always treating his customers with respect and care, Salim’s business has grown mostly by word of mouth referrals. He takes pride in selling affordable, reliable vehicles that his customers can count on.

His giving spirit also inspired Salim co-found the Ethiopian/Eritrean Professional Network in Atlanta (EEPNA) as a way to share lessons learned in entrepreneurship. Salim is currently finalizing plans for a new, appropriately sized location for SHUKUR MOTORS that will be a one-stop shop for vehicle purchases, repairs, and accessories. 

As both SHUKUR MOTORS and the EEPNA continue to grow, Salim is most proud to be a friend and contributed to his community.

Stay connected to Salim and SHUKUR MOTORS:


Michelle Paul Events

#Imagineif… your dream event could always be brought to life

Michelle Paul is the founder of Michelle Paul Events. 

Anyone who knows Michelle will tell you how much she enjoys bringing people together around special moments. If you’re lucky, you’ve enjoyed one of her signature West Indies dishes or been to a celebration that she planned for family or colleagues. While Michelle has long been the go-to for coordinating events in her personal and professional life, it became clear at the end of 2014 that her gift was worth more serious focus. Her ability to activate space and create memorable experiences could no longer remain a hobby. 

After spending most of her professional career in the nonprofit world, in 2015 Michelle took a leap of faith into full-time events consulting for a variety of organizations in the New York City area. The demand for her services grew quickly and she saw an opportunity to start an end-to-end event planning firm that focuses on executing meticulously planned corporate, non-profit, and social events.

Michelle says, “planning fundraisers, celebrations, galas, and everything in between has always been a passion of mine”. Through Michelle Paul Events, she is looking forward to bringing a creative spin and an eye for detail to her clients’ events. She sums it up with a simple motto, saying, “if it can be imagined, we can create it!”

The future certainly is full of special moments for Michelle Paul Events and clients as they collaborate to bring dream events to life. When you talk to Michelle about the venture, you can’t help but notice her enthusiasm for the work. And if you ever needed an example of someone brave enough to dive head first into passion, keep your eyes on Michelle as she lives that portrait in front of us all. 

Stay connected to Michelle and Michelle Paul Events:

Instagram: @MichellePaulEvents

Twitter: @MPaulEvents

Facebook: Michelle Paul Events

A Chic Effect

Imagine if… you viewed every day as a good day to dress up

Lisa Dawn is corporate lawyer and fashion blogger who is exploring, challenging and redefining fashion norms for professional women.

Lisa is showcasing her personal style journey through her fashion blog, A Chic Effect (“A.C.E.”). When Lisa joined the corporate world as an associate at a large law firm, she figured her days of creating awe-inspiring looks were numbered. Becoming a lawyer, though one of her biggest achievements seemed to come with such a limited style spectrum. As a woman who views every day as a good day to dress up, she was not thrilled about having to fit into an “office appropriate” box.

Rather than conform to a strict corporate dress code, Lisa began developing her own style and found that it’s still possible to feel sexy and express her personal style while also meeting clients, closing deals, and maintaining professional respect outside of the office.

Lisa was inspired to share her style journey through her blog because she desperately needed a creative outlet from the rigors of working as a young associate at a law firm. She says, “I found that the monotony of practicing corporate law was stifling my ability to be creative, so I decided a fashion blog would be a new way to challenge myself and inspire professional women to develop their own style in and out of the office.”

A.C.E. has been recognized by leading fashion blog designer Cleo Murnane, Founder and Creative Director of Project M Plus. “I get calls from bloggers every day. I think Lisa and her team have an incredible message for professional women, and the making for a very successful blog.” Houston Press profiled Lisa in “Five Things You Need to Know About Houston’s Newest Fashion Blogger”, and Fashion Bomb Daily described Lisa as “an inspiration for those women who feel fashion does not fit into their everyday lives.” 

Despite the recent success of A.C.E, Lisa’s biggest challenge is finding enough time in the day to meet the demands of her day job as well as the demands that come with running a successful fashion blog. However, she is not one to back away from daunting endeavors and is determined to continue chasing and achieving her professional goals while inspiring women to love what they wear. She believes this idea is embodied in A.C.E.’s motto “Dream Big. Stay Chic. Be Unrealistic.”

Stay Connected to Lisa and A.C.E.:


Instagram: @achiceffect

Twitter: @achiceffect

Facebook: A Chic Effect

Pinterest: A Chic Effect