Featured Entrepreneur: Marcell Williams // Featured Member // May 15 2018
Doyenne Group (DG): What business do you own?
Marcell Williams (MW): One:11
DG: What is your role/title within your business?
DG: What is the goal/mission of your business?
MW: One:11 is a faith-based business that exist to transform faith engagement and create diverse opportunities for millennials to engage, enact, express and embody their faith. We help pastors and leaders build the skills they need to define the focus and culture of their communities. We unite churches with diverse cultures to cultivate collaborations and acceptance among ministries which becomes a welcoming space for millennials.
DG: What is your background? What got you to where you are now?
MW: I have known about God since birth when I was Christened in the church my mother grew up in, however I did not have a relationship with Him because I did not understand what was going on during church service. My childhood church practiced “traditions” based off of religious principles and sang hymns that did not penetrate my heart. Going to church for me was about getting a mint or a piece of gum from my grandmother and waiting until the priest was finally finished with whatever he was talking about so my cousins, friends and I could run around the pews. My family and I were CME Christians, not a real thing, we just went to church on Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter or when my grandmother would make us come. It wasn’t until my Father was killed that I developed a relationship with God. At the time I was attending Howard University in Washington, DC and working for BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel (the longest running TV show on BET that showcased Gospel and Christian artist/musicians). Working as the Assistant Associate Producer on a television show about God is where I was able to learn about God in a way that I could relate, through music. The lyrics of the songs touched my soul and woke up my spirit and my heart to be able to receive God so I could get to know Him for myself. I didn’t realize that those same songs about God and the scriptures they were based off of is what I would lean on to get me through the depression I sank into after my father was killed.
I went through many years of doing random things that I loved which have led me to where I am today. After my father’s passing I started a non-profit mentoring organization called Jewels, Inc., (http://www.hujewelsinc.com/) that has mentored thousands of young girls around the nation. I became a motivational speaker (https://www.bmarcell.com/) to encourage the youth and other young woman to never give up. In 2013, I was a young wife and mother of 4 kids and had absolutely no idea what I was doing. During that time I hit major post-partum depression and during that same time a friend of mine was brutally murdered and his death hit me really hard. At that point I completely surrendered to God (I did not know what that meant, I just knew I couldn’t do “life” on my own anymore. I told God whatever He has purposed me to do, I would do it. A short 18 months later God blessed me with the vision to start a women’s group for women who were hurting in silence just as I was and to build a community where we could all go to heal, share and support one another through the word of God. In 2015, I founded a women’s ministry called brunch & Bible (https://www.brunchandbible.com/) that brings God’s Beauties together to share our stories and encourage one another in the word over food and fellowship. Brunch & Bible currently meets in St. Louis, MO & Madison, WI and will soon expand to cities throughout Texas and Washington D.C.
In 2014, God gave me another vision for a platform called Genesis One:11 (One:11). To help unite churches and support start-up churches with the resources they need to build powerful ministries for His Kingdom. Kingdom ministries that welcome all people without the rules of religion and can minister cross-culturally to all His children. Ministries that are inviting and full of the Holy Spirit. Ministries that penetrate the spirits of the youth and millennials.
DG: What made you decide to start your business?
MW: I was working full-time and a member of a mega church which made me privy to how a multi-cultural organization can function with so many diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, differences can come to one building every week and work together in love from one common Jesus. My church was stunning with resources galore and a mid-size working staff. During that same time, I was also a member of a start up church that met in the lobby of a school on Sundays who had to set up and breakdown every single week. I thought of all the possibilities if churches with resources would unite and help support start up churches. I also thought about all of the needs of the start up churches and the cost associated with them. In addition, the business side of church management. Many pastors and leaders have the heart to love like Jesus, but they do not always think about the business behind starting or growing a business. Finally, I wondered how churches set a culture that is inviting to all people and speak to the spirits of young people and millennials because there is no way that if a child, young adult or mature adult walk into a church or ministry that they should leave that service or teaching unchanged. God placed it on my heart to unite churches; help transform traditional churches to be able to reach millennials; and assist start up churches with the resources they need to function as a business and grow their ministries.
DG: If you could give one quote to live by, what would it be?
MW: I have two scriptures that are my life scriptures:
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” -Matthew 6:26
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33
DG: What are three things that people may not know about you?
- I looooove HORSES and all things COUNTRY!
- I can play 4 instruments: piano, violin, acoustic bass & guitar.
- My new favorite hobby is baking and making gourmet icing! Y-U-M!!!
DG: What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
MW: Believe in yourself. If there is something that you are passionate about or if there is something that gets on your nerves and you feel you have a solution for the problem, make it a product or service and make that your business! You won’t regret it!
DG: What does Madison need to encourage entrepreneurs to stay and grow their businesses?
MW: Being an entrepreneur is extremely hard during the start up phase. I think if Madison could start a home buyers program for entrepreneurs that supports entrepreneurs in closing cost or down payment assistance in purchasing a home it would be extremely beneficial to the local economy. The housing market in Madison is completely unreal. The amount that small homes cost is a bit ridiculous. My husband and I have 5 children and to pay close to $400,000 for a home to fit our family does not make sense to me and part of the reason I would like to move to a city that gives me more bang for my buck when it comes to owning a home. There are no incentives for me personally to settle in Madison simply because of the housing market and home ownership is important to me.
If you would like to know more about Marcell Williams and One:11 please explore her social media sites! Friend, like, tweet and share their hard work and celebrate their successes!
Website & Social Pages
Join us at our monthly Connect Event on Wednesday, May 30 from 6-8pm for an evening of networking with other women professionals and a presentation from this inspirational entrepreneur.