Rachel Artise on ATHENA PowerLink® in Erie, Pennsylvania
My name is Rachel Artise. I own The UPS Store in Yorktown Center. I live in Erie, but I am from Detroit, Michigan. Like many people, I didn’t have the most conventional upbringing. My dad was a musician, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom with an eighth-grade education. My parents didn’t have much money, but they gave me the tools to be successful. My mom showed me that in life you must be willing to get up and get it yourself. My dad told me “You’ve got to know yourself and use your gifts on your behalf. You have to live for today, see the future, and learn from the past.” These are lyrics from his music that have guided me throughout life.
When my husband and I moved to Erie, I worked hard as an employee at a UPS store, challenged myself, and used my gifts. After eight years of hard work, I purchased my first business. After buying The UPS Store in Yorktown Center, I met Linda Stevenson, and I was totally scared of her. She is an amazing successful woman that I admire greatly. I had no idea why she would want to talk to me. Linda recommended that I sign up for Athena PowerLink (APL). Because you don’t tell Linda “no,” I completed my application and handed it in. I was thinking there is no way I would be selected for this opportunity. Things like that don’t just happen to people like me!
It did happen! At my first meeting, the men and women at the table (also amazing and terrifying) had all embraced my goals. They listened to my struggles, and they supported me to become the champion of my own story. We all worked hard last year, and, in 12 months, my business had seen 25% growth and 20% increase in profitability. On May 29, I closed on my second location in Moon Township. But this was not the most important thing I received from APL. The greatest gift was my perspectives had gone through a complete metamorphosis.
ATHENA Powerlink had broken down boundaries for me and many others. Throughout life, we receive messages such as “communities can’t support each other.” We are told that “women will tear each other down to build themselves up; we are told that men will suppress and objectify women; and we are told that racism is real and there is divide.”
The ATHENA Erie platform has created a culture where women can and will help other women be more successful, The ATHENA Erie Platform proves men want to see their queens become more successful, and that black women will uplift white women and white women will uplift black women. ATHENA Powerlink has shown me that we are one human race that succeeds ONLY from supporting each other.
So, I encourage all of you to support a program that not only supports women in business but represents the change that our world needs to see more of. ATHENA Erie is the foundation of support that every community needs as well as a group of amazing women!
I am Rachel Artise, and I am ATHENA. Thank You.