This past year brought many challenges, including a global pandemic and the fight for social equality. But through these hardships, leaders have emerged to help their community continue to move forward and rise stronger than before.
Lanée Javet is a business development strategist and the CEO and founder of Upscale Noire. Javet uses her business to motivate thousands of Black entrepreneurs, business coaches, authors and small business owners to reach their full potential. Through the Upscale Society, one-on-one strategy sessions and coaching, Javet provides her clients with step-by-step tools to elevate themselves and their businesses to the next level.
The Phoenix Suns recently honored Javet for her work in the Phoenix community as their final Golden Standard Award recipient of 2021. The Golden Standard Award recognizes Black philanthropists throughout the Valley who are promoting equality and excellence during Black History Month.
While receiving this award, Javet was surprised with a personalized video from Suns forward Mikal Bridges recognizing her for her longtime, outstanding contributions to our city and state. Bridges wanted to thank Javet by gifting her with his autographed, game-worn jersey from the NBA Bubble that reads “RESPECT US” across the top.
WHAT IS THE MAIN FOCUS AND GOAL FOR UPSCALE NOIRE?
Javet: “Upscale Noire is a play on words. Upscale means to elevate. Noire is a French word for Black. So, upscale Black is basically the name of my organization. Our whole initiative and purpose is to take the African-American community to the next level. Whether that's in business, in life, personal development, career, it's all about elevating and escalating and legacy building.”
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU, PERSONALLY, TO ASSIST OTHERS IN REACHING THEIR FULL POTENTIAL?
“I think it's important to me personally, but I think it's also important to the community. I don't believe that there's one leader in the community, because I believe we're all leaders. All I do is organize a group of different leaders in the community to help elevate. I don't do this by myself. It is one of my personal initiatives, but it's a community of people that do this. There's multiple organizations here locally in Phoenix that push Black initiatives and want to help us to grow and be better.”
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVE IMPACTS THAT UPSCALE NOIRE HAS HAD ON THE BLACK COMMUNITY?
“It allows us to network and connect with corporations. We've done diversity training. We've done work with nonprofits. We've done work with the NBA. It allows corporations to be connected to Black community members that they may not normally be able to connect with.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOCIETY?
“I love what I do. I literally get to wake up every morning and help my community — whether that's through job placement, entrepreneur training, resume building, networking and connecting. I get to facilitate elevating Black people here in Phoenix and it makes me feel really, really good. Even just getting this award for doing something that I would do freely, it makes me feel super empowered and excited about the work that I get to do here.”
HOW TOUGH CAN IT BE FOR BLACK INDIVIDUALS TO, NOT ONLY REACH THEIR POTENTIAL, BUT KNOW HOW HIGH THAT POTENTIAL CAN BE?
“That's a great question because a lot of the time we don't see it in our community. I started out with a company called CulSire. That's how I got put on the map. It was a play on the words 'culture' and 'desire.' Culture being African-American culture. Desires being, not just us in our generation, but ancestors. We've always wanted good families, good schools and the ability to have good jobs to take care of our family. The impact of that is important. If you don't see it or you've never seen it, it's time for us to see it. Having positive leaders, having positive opportunities to network, having positive gatherings, having a positive initiatives — those things are important because those are the ways that we're going to elevate. Having Black businesses, that's how we're going to get economic empowerment. It's super important that the Black community sees those things and know that those things are available, because that's how we're going to reach our next level. That's how we're going to reach our full potential.”
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE BUSINESS OF HELPING OTHERS AND BETTERING THE COMMUNITY?
“My first company was called CulSire and I launched that in 2013. That business did really, really good, really, really fast. We were in 214 countries and territories in less than seven months. We had 3 million page views from one million people. I raised $10,000 crowd funding. It just took off. I had over 50,000 followers on social media. Because of that business, I started coaching and I started teaching and I started mentoring. I have always, always, always had a passion for Black people. I've always had a passion for Black entrepreneurship. I truly believe that it is the way that we will get economic empowerment. It's the way that we can take care of our families for ourselves. It's the way that we can pay for our children to go to school. It's a passion of mine that I've been able to fully develop as my purpose and now created a business for it. I get to do it here in Phoenix, but I have clients all around the country. So, it's super impactful. It's super important. It's always been a part of me.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE RECEIVING THIS AWARD FROM THE PHOENIX SUNS DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH?
“When I got the note, I was super excited because I didn't expect to get an award for doing something that I just do every day. It's like breathing. Helping the Black community, I don't even know if I would call it helping the Black community. I am a citizen of the Black community. I am a Black person and I'm helping my community to elevate, which is what a lot of us do in the community. To get this recognition, it's amazing, because I do it freely. I share it with all the other leaders here in Phoenix and this community that do the work that I do.”