interview by Wendy Jackson Slaton | photography by Traci Ling Photography
HFM recently met Denise Hamilton, a wife, mom, and an impressive entrepreneur who founded WatchHerWork, a multimedia digital platform to support and empower professional women.
Who is Denise Hamilton?
I’m a fierce optimist who believes in the power that each of us has to change the world. I leverage that power every day and encourage those around me to do the same.
Tell us a little about your family.
I’m celebrating my five-year-anniversary with my incredible husband, who is a dynamic supporter of my dreams. I get the privilege of working with my 25-year-old daughter, Javan, who works as the Brand Manager for my company. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m pretty sure she’s a genius! Family is so critical when you’re an entrepreneur, not only do they lift you up when you’re down; they keep you humble and grounded.
How do you manage a career and “me” time?
I don’t. I believe there is a season for everything. Anyone who says you can have it all is lying. We need to be more patient with ourselves and one another. Everyone is doing their best. Often, I miss the mark, but I’m always aiming at the target.
When you’re not at work, what is your favorite thing to do?
I just went through a home renovation with the fantastic team at Madelen Christopher, so right now, our home is my little piece of Heaven. I love hosting small dinner parties. Sadly, people have stopped opening their homes because they’re worried the house isn’t clean enough or they can’t whip up a gourmet meal. I refuse to let perfectionism keep me from spending quality time with family and friends. I love a good game night. We’re a family of foodies, so living in Houston is amazing. We love trying new restaurants. I’m also a big fan of foot massages in Chinatown.
What is WatchHerWork?
I started WatchHerWork to solve my own problem. Throughout my 25-plus year career, I was the first or only woman and/or African-American more times than I can count. Because of this experience, I had numerous requests for mentorship. It became clear that we needed to figure out a way to scale mentorship, so I began filming advice from leading executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. Today, we have a library of over 7,500 videos covering everything from how to ask for a raise to how to handle sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition, we also offer keynote presentations, on-site training, executive coaching, and we love gathering our community at events, like the upcoming WatchHerWork Live.
Who inspires you?
My mom! She is an extremely hard worker and a powerful example of grit, determination and work ethic. She instilled in me the will to try and keep going and doing and find a way to solve issues. I credit her for the inspiration that led me to develop a network to help others as they navigate new territory.
What advice would you give to any young girl today?
Try it. Fail. Try again. I promise you will be fine.
To learn more about Denise and WatchHerWork, visit www.watchherwork.com.