Why We Chose Antoinette Blake
“Every year I add someone to the top 10 list whom I know very little about. My team does the research on these nominees and they are then chosen based on their accomplishments and impact on the community. Antoinette is one of these fabulous ladies. Despite having tons of mutual friends and colleagues, I don’t believe we’ve ever met — and if we have, it’s been years and years.
If you haven’t met her either, let me tell you why she deserves to be on this list. Every woman-centric event I’ve attended, her name was mentioned as a woman of influence. She is most known as an award-winning blogger (@DelawareBlogger to be precise) and social media guru. She has a weekly podcast and also teaches as an adjunct professor. Other accomplishments include Entrepreneur of the Year Award, featured in several publications like Delaware Today, Woman’s Day, Parade, The Delaware Business Times, and Technical.ly. The most impressive… she’s even on radio! Is there anything this gal can’t do? Antoinette, can we get coffee?! Please??”
Tell us a little bit about your career. (What does your job entail? How did you get into the field? Etc.)
I started my first blog in 2012, DeDivahDeals as a way to fill a void after the death of my grandmother. One of the posts that I had written was about the “Purses to Portfolio” event which was held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. The post was read by Ronni Cohen, Executive Director of The Delaware Financial Literacy Institute which eventually lead her to asking me to conduct blogging workshops at various libraries throughout the state which lasted until 2015.
In 2014, at the Purses to Portfolio event not only was I a featured speaker I was also the recipient of the “Golden Purse Award” presented by The Delaware Financial Literacy.
Once my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, I decided to pursue my passion, however, turned it into a profit, A.Blake Enterprises was founded in 2015. In addition to being a Brand Ambassador blogging and conducting product reviews for various brands, including Verizon Wireless, Best Buy, Walmart, Jennie-O, Drive Shop USA, and others I also provide social media services to business owners, assisting them with the success of their social media marketing campaigns.
As an educator by trade, with a BS in Elementary Education from Delaware State College (University), I find teaching comes natural to me so I am also an Adjunct instructor at Delaware Technical Community College in Stanton and Dover, and coming this fall at Delaware State University, teaching, “Building Your Brand with a Blog.”
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Anytime that I am asked to speak I consider that to be a very significant accomplishment, however, being interviewed on The Delaware Way, WHYY, or in print for Delaware Today or The Delaware Business Times are wonderful ways in which to leave my legacy for my sons. Also, being chosen the Winner of Best Blogger by North DelaWHERE Happenings was pretty cool too!
Should students in your field go for more education or more work experience? Why?
How do you achieve work/life balance?
What change do you want to see in the world, and how are you aiding that cause?
Using Social media in a more positive and productive manner which is why my posts on DelBlogger are uplifting and educational and/or inspirational. My weekly Podcast, Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger is a platform for sharing positivity in the communities and my latest collaboration with DETvCh is going to be positive programming as well
Give a shout out to a woman or women who you consider to be your mentor(s)
Next up is day 10. The last, but not least, inspiring woman.
More 2018 Most Inspiring Women
I had the pleasure to brand Traci’s company, Madison Real Estate. What’s really impressed me about her is that in 2 years she’s tripled the number of agents. Every day it seems she’s having an open house or congratulating a client on the selling or purchasing of their home. She’s always posting amazing photos to inspire those searching for their dream home. AND, she still has time to go out and network. She knows how to work it — she knows how to work her brand, work the room, build truly meaningful relationships, and she can throw one hell of a party. Everyone who knows her, loves her… myself included.
Recognized as a DBT40 Honoree from the Delaware Business Times and a Leadership Delaware Scholar is just the tip of the iceberg that is Sarah’s accomplishments. President of the board of Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation (who I have the pleasure of working with on the event committee) and Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Nemours are just a couple more things that this girl juggles. Yet, the thing that impresses me the most is that she rocked the business world and bought a house before even getting married. She stands on her own two feet. This is an amazing individual that is fiercely independent, intelligent, and spends every day connecting people. I am so thrilled that she is receiving recognition so well deserved and I’m proud to call her a friend as she brings positivity wherever she goes.
At only 15 years old, Jacqueline is known in the community for her efforts in bringing STEM to the underprivileged girls of Wilmington, inspiring girls to get actively involved in science, technology, engineering, and math. So well spoken and passionate, I am totally blown away by her. Speaker, event planner, chess player, volunteer, mentor and more. She makes me so proud to be a fellow Delawarean and a woman. She will continue to defy the stereotypes that limit our potentials.
Sital impressed me with her eloquent yet authentic way of speaking to the room. You could tell that she knew her stuff. She not only could answer all of the audience’s questions, but she provided a level of insight that really just connected all the dots. When I saw her again at the Delaware Small Business Chamber, I recalled her striking presence and how she could command a room. Yet, she still retains a softness that makes her incredibly approachable. As breast cancer survivor and someone who heavily volunteers for the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce, Sital offers herself up as a resource to those who can benefit from her experiences. I am so looking forward to getting to know her better and seeing where she continues to go.”
[Jennie] is more than just a phenomenal photographer — she gets involved in the community. She actually lives her truth and does stuff. She is out and about, building her #bossbabe business and rockin’ it as both a beloved teacher and entrepreneur. We can learn a lot from Jennie’s incredible work ethic and passion for life. She doesn’t exist… she lives. Thank you, Jennie for showing us how it’s done!
I adore Aniko. If memory serves, I met her at a Wonder Women Tea event at the Blue Hen Bed & Breakfast, but in truth I see her at all sorts of events. I’ve had the pleasure to get to know her over the years and what impresses me most about Aniko is her joyful presence. No matter what is happening, she finds reasons to smile. It’s not a smile that’s forced; it’s a smile that genuinely warms a room. I love that she is proud of her heritage in a world of notenoughness. I love that she loves life and still has enough in her cup to pass that love onto others in their time of need. Aniko is so much more than an inspiring woman — she’s an inspiring human being.
Lois is everywhere and everyone knows Lois; but, that’s not why I chose her. We became fast friends after we kept bumping into each other at various networking events. She is one of the most delightful people to be around — and most importantly, she laughs at all my jokes. She is an amazing and persistent entrepreneur. I see her social media posts everywhere from Linked in to Facebook. Her brand is always on point and consistent in everything she does. So dedicated and hardworking, Lois just doesn’t quit. And that’s why she deserves to be on my list. I find her compassionate and inspiring. Oh, and did I mention she is also a juggler? Yeah.
Sheri is a freelance makeup artist. She always looks like a total rock star thanks to her amazing talents. What I love most about Sheri is that she is constantly pushing herself. She was afraid to start her own biz, but she did it anyway. Something she doesn’t mention in her interview but has given me permission to add — through a ton of hard work, Sheri was able to kick diabetes medication to the curb. As a diabetic, this gives me hope. Without further adieu… meet Sheri, who was nationally recognized in The Knot.
“I met Brooke at a Mascara & Mimosa event. She approached me easily and effortlessly, introducing herself. I was impressed by her side hustle, B.Social. As I stalked her on social media and got to know her a little more personally, she became the social media gal for TAPP Network. Now she has accepted a new gig at the City of Wilmington. I find myself proud to know her and also awestruck; Brooke is a go getter, brave & beyond talented. I can’t wait to see what this passionate millennial does next.”