Brown Girl Green Money
An Interview with Entrepreneur
Tara Wilhelmi
Tara Wilhelmi

JZ: That’s wonderful! Have you ever faced any personal financial struggles? Please elaborate? How did you overcome them?
TW: Yes, as a single mother of five children, I have faced nothing but financial struggles.  We have even been homeless for a short period —
twice!  I have overcome these struggles by self- advocacy and network building, hard work, education, and learning to create and stick to a
budget.

JZ: Wow, thanks for sharing that. You are truly inspiring. Has being in your field of business helped you in your quest toward reaching financial
freedom? Would you recommend it to someone else?
TW: I am just getting started as an entrepreneur, but it feels fabulous to know every sale, every connection I make is a direct benefit to my
family.  I would recommend this to anyone who is tired of long hours for check to check “survival income” and never feeling like you are
getting ahead.  If you are a personable and hardworking person, you can make it work!  

JZ: Awesome! What advice do you have for other young women interested in getting started in this field? What are steps they can do to get
started?
TW:The key is to find a business that both fills a need and is something that you can be proud to be involved in. Network—open your mouth and
tell folks what you are up to. And utilize all of the small business resources in our city and state.

JZ: So true! Great advice. Any final advice or words of support/inspiration in general for other young women of color working to reach financial
freedom?
TW: Research — read, network and ask questions.  Everyone has financial struggles and goals — talking with people about your experiences
and asking them about theirs is a great way to learn.  And for young ladies — start saving as soon as possible, the years pass and that money
adds up quicker than you would think! If I could go back to 20-years-old with the knowledge and discipline I have today, I would easily be a
millionaire.

JZ: Thank you!

Do you have story to share about your personal quest toward financial freedom? We’d love to interview you. We can be reached at
browngirlgreenmoney@gmail.com . Also check out our website at www.browngirlgreenmoney.com . Any more questions for Tara? She can be
reached at
mswil@live.com. Have a blessed day! Let’s stay focused and reach those goals!
By Jasmine Zapata, MD

Hello, welcome back to the Brown Girl Green Money column. We are a social network of women of
color working to reach our financial goals and to support each other along the way!
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing an amazing entrepreneur I met recently! Tara Wilhelmi
is the proud single mother of five children ages 8 – 19.  She has certifications in Early Childhood
Education as a Family Childcare provider and a Special Education Assistant. For the past five
years, she has worked for a local hospital as a volunteer coordinator and has also worked up to
three part-time or fill-in jobs in addition to that full time position. She recently found herself at a
crossroads when she had to decide whether or not to take another part-time job to pay the bills OR
to start working for herself. She ultimately decided to start working for herself and started a new
business called “Reflections of US”.

JZ: Please tell me a little more about yourself. Where are you from? What do you like to do for fun?
TW: I was born in La Crosse, WI. At six-weeks-old, I was adopted and moved to Burlington, WI
(10,000 population in southeast Wisconsin.) At nine, we moved to Madison where I continue to live
(except for one year that I lived in Chicago as a young adult.)  I enjoy movies, music and trying
anything new.

JZ: Awesome! What is your field of business? When did you get started and why did you choose that
field? What do you love most about it?
TW:I am currently employed as a volunteer coordinator for a local hospital, but I recently started my
own business, Reflections of US.  Our featured product line is from Shades of Color. Right now we’
re selling greeting cards, calendars and other gifts that depict positive images of Blacks created by
renowned Black artists.  What I love most about this is working hard to build wealth for myself and
my family instead just a paycheck!  I look forward to growing this business.