Celebrating Women’s History Month: A Conversation with Feleicia Walton

While Women’s History Month is often a time spent looking back on the trailblazing women who paved the way, we celebrate it by highlighting the women making history today. Today, we introduce you to one of those women – Feleicia Walton, owner of Sweet Home Elderly Services in Camden. Keep scrolling to read our Q&A with Feleicia as she shares insights from her journey, illuminating her challenges, triumphs and future goals for women in Arkansas.

Can you share a pivotal moment or influence from women’s history that has shaped your professional journey?

For ages, women have fought for equal rights and privileges. From fighting for the right to vote to having a female vice president, women’s history has influenced my journey to start my own business.

 

How do you believe historical struggles or achievements by women have impacted your field or career path?

Although there were many major historical struggles, two women from history who stand out to me most are Harriett Tubman and Maya Angelou. Tubman’s courage and bravery to take charge and lead in such difficult times amazes me. She put her life on the line to save and help others as a true leader would, and she is a perfect example of a role model. Also, Angelou, who came from a very small Arkansas town, showed me that no matter where you come from or what little you have, if you have God as the head of your life, you can go a tremendous way. 

 

In what ways do you see yourself as a trailblazer for women and girls in Arkansas, and what motivates you to continue breaking barriers?

My story is different from one you would expect to be where it is today. I was homeless at one point, and I never graduated college. I struggled, and I managed it all while raising four children. I started my business with just two employees, including myself. Since then, we’ve grown to 45+ employees, have numerous clients around South Arkansas, and are looking to expand our operations across different cities and states. The impact is powerful, and it continues to grow stronger not only for me but also for the ladies who are involved. In the area that I’m in (Camden, AR), I am the only 24-hour service provider for healthcare and private sitting. I went in with very little and worked my way up thanks to the power of God, hard work and dedication. I have become a mentor to many and a family to most. The level I have worked up over the minimum amount of years is miraculous and a significant accomplishment. Women and girls look to me for inspiration because I can show them you can own a business and achieve any goal you have set in life. 

 

Reflecting on your own experiences, what challenges have you faced as a woman in your industry, and how have you overcome them?

Being an African American, along with being a woman in a setting where the majority of our clients are caucasian, was challenging at first. When I first decided to get an office building, I struggled to secure it because I was African American. I have had clients not want me in their homes because of my skin color, assuming my role was much smaller in the business. Although I have had these run-ins, I have never let it stop me. I kept my head held high and asked God for guidance and discernment to carry on and excel in the industry that I am in.

 

Have there been specific women throughout history who have served as role models or sources of inspiration for you?

Madam CJ Walker, Hilary Clinton, Harriett Tubman, Judy Brooks, Missouri Ware, Bertha Ferguson, Kimberly Moore-Davis – they all worked hard and devoted their lives to making an impact and driving actionable change. That drive and courage is an amazing thing to look up to and have for inspiration.

 

Looking ahead, what changes or advancements do you hope to see for women and girls in Arkansas, and how do you envision playing a role in making those changes a reality?

More opportunities for women business owners and women of color. I want to be available for mentorship in any way possible, and I plan to do that by speaking to and encouraging women of all ages and color. I want to show them it is possible to succeed in entrepreneurship.

 

Feleicia Walton is the owner of Sweet Home Elderly Services, LLC in Camden, Arkansas. Walton participated in the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas’s 2022 Women’s Economic Mobility Hub, and she has been involved with the WFA’s entrepreneurship efforts since completing the program. 

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