Sylvia: Hi Walethia. I am thrilled to talk to you. Congratulations on being selected as NAWR’s “10 Most Intriguing Women on the Rise. Tell me about yourself and your business?
Walethia: Thank you Sylvia. My name is Walethia Aquil and I am Founder and Director of Grace and Charm and the creator of the Grace and Charm Success System. I am one of the country’s most knowledgeable and recognized experts in the fields of etiquette and image coaching.
Proving that it is possible for anyone to dramatically change their circumstances, my own life reflects the ultimate personal transformation story, evolving from a terribly shy and insecure child, embarrassed and self-conscious about my social skills into a successful CEO, model, award-winning image consultant, etiquette advisor, media expert, and radio host.
I remember my first date; it was awful, the Junior Couple Dance. A tradition is to have dinner after the dance. I walked into this restaurant, sat down to a table with silverware, a tablecloth, napkins and china, and knew I was out of my element. I made a decision then that I would never feel embarrassed in any given situation.
For over 25 years, I’ve coached business leaders and teams, politicians, entertainers, beauty pageant winners, and society’s elite. I’ve helped thousands to boost their confidence, improve their bottom lines, business and personal relationships via television, radio, seminars, and personal coaching.
Fast Forward to Today
I am host of the Success with Grace and Charm radio show and have been a guest on over 100 other television and radio programs. I’ve received numerous awards including the “Total Image Award” my outstanding work in the image consulting profession.
I am author of the highly anticipated book, Women Who Win: Business Etiquette Tactics that Lead to Success in Life and Business. This summer will be the release of my second book, Sister To Sister: A Guide for the African American Girl. She has been featured in Women in Business magazine and publications from the American Business Women’s Association and Professional Business Women’s Network and numerous other publications.
My Grace and Charm Success System includes over 30 unique training programs for improving organizational and personal behavior, business and social graces, and effective team building. My clients include the Small Business Administration, Michigan Department of Transportation, YWCA, and numerous other leading business, government, and faith-based organizations.
In addition to being a certified Image and Etiquette/Protocol Coach, I am a former instructor for the John Robert Powers International Finishing School, coach for the Ms. Michigan Beauty Pageant, Image Consultant for the Urban League, and an Ambassador for Dudley Beauty Corp, LLC.
Sylvia: Success is…
Walethia: Success is…Having it all. Health, family, friends, spiritual life, a business I love and the resources to give back to my community.
Sylvia: How do you give back to your community?
Walethia: I am actively involved in my community; my most recent endeavors include the creation of My Dreams do Come True, which I serve as CEO. My Dreams do Come True is an emerging non-profit which donates formal gowns to high school seniors wishing to attend their prom. As a facilitator for Teenquest, a pre-employment training program, I help prepare teens 9-12 grades with the necessary skills to successfully enter the workforce.
I also speak at colleges and universities across the country teaching etiquette, dress, teambuilding, public speaking, and career development skills. I’ve developed the Ideal Girl youth personal development curriculum taught in Michigan schools and helped establish the Dress for Success program in Flint, Michigan.
Sylvia: How do you create work/life balance?
Walethia: How do I create work/life balance? That one is a hard one for me. I am a workaholic by nature. I love what I do, so sometimes it is a challenge to turn it off. My husband keeps me balanced. I also try to eat healthy and workout at least three times a week.
Sylvia: What tips can you share with women business owners?
Walethia: I would tell women to tap into their inherent power. Believe in themselves and the gift God had given them. Also, not to try to do it alone, find a mentor or a coach who can guide you, and to serve as a sounding board. Surround yourself with other successful women. It is important to take care of your health, so eat healthy and exercise.
Sylvia: Thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our members and subscribers. How can we get in touch with you?
Walethia: You are welcome, my contact information is below: