When you meet Sameera Lowe, you are immediately struck by the ease at which she puts all others around her. She exudes grace, confidence and is quick to offer a smile of encouragement. Sameera started her company, Loud & Clear Communications, 12 years ago. She is also the Executive Director of Nashville’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). We are thrilled to have Sameera her today as our FACE of Nashville.
Tell us about where you grew up and your first impressions of Nashville.
I grew up in Covington, Tenn., which is about 45 minutes north of Memphis. When I was 2 years old, my father entered the state legislature and served for 38 years, which is why I spent so much time in Nashville and knew I would live here when I grew up.
You have been active with Safe Haven for years. Tell us about this organization and any special needs it has as we enter the holiday season.
I got involved with Safe Haven Family Shelter nearly 10 years ago with a group of women from Christ Church Cathedral. I was truly shocked to discover this is the only homeless shelter that keeps the family intact while empowering them to live independently. It is such an amazing place, and once you check it out, you cannot turn your back. It’s also a wonderful place to get your own children involved in giving back to the community. There are so many ways to help support Safe Haven, such as their Hike for the Homeless in November, delivering and serving meals to the families in the shelter and, of course, donations are always critical at this time of year.
You are also active in Nashville’s EO, which has helped countless entrepreneurs in Nashville. How does the organization support entrepreneurs in our city?
Entrepreneurs’ Organization not only supports successful entrepreneurs, but we also developed our own program called “Catalyst” for smaller businesses who want to experience that same success. There are too many benefits to name them all, but some of the most popular are the highly confidential forum groups, amazing monthly events, mentoring opportunities and access to a network of more than 10,000 entrepreneurs worldwide.
As you look around Nashville and see all the growth, what most excites you?
What I love most about Nashville is the people. The business community I am surrounded by is made up of people who truly want to help each other. Part of it may be a “Southern thing,” but I actually think it’s specific to Nashville. People want to see others grow and succeed, and they are happy to help make connections to make it happen.
Conversely, it there anything worrying you about this growth and popularity that Nashville is experiencing?
I live south of town and typically travel up Hillsboro Road to get wherever I’m going. The traffic situation in Green Hills is already out of control, and I can’t imagine what it will be like five years from now! The Trader Joe’s parking lot alone is risky business!
Growing up in a politically active family, how did that impact the woman you are today?
It absolutely formed who I am and what I believe, and it also taught me that you CAN make a change. I’m a very action-oriented person, and if I feel strongly enough about something, I have a hard time letting it go. Exposure to the political process taught me not to take “no” for an answer, and if something means that much to you, keep banging on doors until someone listens.
You have three boys, a husband, a dog, and you work and volunteer. That’s a lot! For someone reading who is feeling overwhelmed with how to get it all done, what advice do you have?
Find a cheerleader, work with people you like, and give up being a perfectionist. On the cheerleader front, thankfully I married mine. I’m not sure I would have ever believed I could start Loud & Clear Communications 12 years ago if my husband hadn’t assured me that I could.
When I meet with potential clients, I’ve learned over time that if our personalities aren’t meshing well, it’s time to walk. Life is too short to work with people with whom you just don’t jive.
And as for being a perfectionist, I’m not sure I ever was one, but I can assure you I’m certainly not one now. I work from my home office, and no matter what, as soon as I get the boys on the bus, I’m at my desk, regardless of whether there’s laundry to be done or dog hair on the floor.
With fall in full swing, what does Nashville offer that you are most excited about?
Even though the Titans aren’t doing so hot, it’s hard to beat taking the boys to a game on a gorgeous fall day. The games are a great way to just grab one of my sons and spend a little quality one-on-one time with them.
Can you share a quote, saying or piece of advice that you have leaned on throughout the years?
One of EO speakers many years ago shared a quote from a feminist who had fought for women to be able to “have it all.” Then she had a child and decided not to go back to work. When the media questioned her decision, she basically said “I do want it all, just not at the same time.” I have surrounded myself with highly successful entrepreneurs, and it’s sometimes hard to think that I could be doing more or starting this business or that business. But the clock is ticking on the amount of time I have with my three boys at home, and I really don’t want to look back and regret not spending most of that time with them.
Do you have a favorite go-to date night restaurant?
It’s hard to name just one because our favorite thing to do is try all the new restaurants. But I will say we often like to hit Robert’s Western World to feel like we’re back in our 20s after a Dancin’ in the District concert.
Is there a particularly great new place that opened up in town that you want us all to know about?
What books can be found on your nightstand (or e-reader)?
Besides faith, family and friends, what three things can you not live without?
Lipstick, my Jawbone speaker for music, and my iPad for reading books.
Thank you, Sameera!
- For more on Safe Haven and how you can help out, visit safehaven.org/give.
- For more on EO, visit eoaccess.eonetwork.org.
- And find out more about Loud & Clear Communications at loudclear.net.
As always, special thanks to Ashley Hylbert, our amazing photographer! See more of her work at ashleyhylbert.com.
Want to meet more inspiring women in Nashville? Click here to check out our archive of Nashville FACES.