Thirty-two-year-old Hampton University Alumni Alyson Rae Lawson is CEO and founder of RaeLawson Enterprise LLC, a franchisee/operator of two 7-Eleven convenience stores with gas stations that are located right across the street from each other in Arlington, Texas.
She makes history as the only African American in her city to have achieved the feat.
In 2017, After winning a Women’s Entrepreneurial Contest, Lawson earned a 7-Eleven franchise to call her own. Her professional career began at the City of Dallas in the notable Budget Office. From there, she moved to Virginia where she worked for the City of Norfolk, Virginia as a Budget and Policy Analyst and continued at Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board in Hampton, Virginia as a Manager of Budget and Financial Reporting. While in Virginia. With the yearning to step outside of comfort zone of local government and into the private sector, she eventually, moved to Houston, TX where she became a Manager of Business Analysis in the automotive industry and later promoted to Project Manager, today the bosslady runs her own empire.
Right from time, the HBCU graduate who earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Hampton University and later, her Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University knew her calling because of her father who franchised three McDonald’s in the Oak Cliff area when she was younger.
By the age of 30, she made headlines with her 7-Eleven franchisee in two locations.
She also made history selling out bottles of Black Girl Magic wine from McBride Sisters Collection. The brand is owned by sisters Robin and Andrea McBride – founders of the largest Black-owned vintner in the country,
Looking back at challenges:
“It is never an easy road to being an entrepreneur,” Alyson told Voyage Dallas. “Although 7-Eleven waves the purchasing fees, I was still left with the franchising fees and other costs that are associated with promoting my own business. It is always difficult financially beginning your own business.”
“In this industry, it is a challenge finding the best help and longevity because although I am there most of the day, I have to be able to trust my staff when I am not there. So the hiring process is very tedious and selective.”
On advice to upcoming business leaders, she says:
“My biggest lesson that I have learned so far is to BE YOU! I did not get to where I am today by being what other people wanted me to be. I got here by being 100% unapologetically me!”
Lawson who describes herself as a team-oriented leader says she’s ever ready and able to adapt to various opportunities
In addition to running her 7-Eleven franchises, she is also a motivational speaker who encourages younger ones