( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Breast Cancer Survivor and Self-Made Entrepreneur Joni Rogers-Kante Talks About Her Road to Global Success
ENSPIRE Contributor: Julia Postell
Joni Rogers-Kante is a woman of many talents; from CEO & Founder of SeneGence and The Make Sense Foundation and her commitment as a full-time Mom and breast cancer survivor and educator. Featured in the Today Show, People Magazine, and InStyle Magazine; Joni Rogers-Kante has made it her life mission to inspire and educate others on the steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur. With offices in five countries and hundreds of thousands of Independent Distributors worldwide, Joni’s company SeneGence has completely revolutionized cosmetics and skincare by providing a real cause behind her products.
Originally from Sapulpa, Oklahoma; Joni devotes her time to giving back to the community that raised her. She and her husband have focused on purchasing buildings, restoring icons, painting murals, moving businesses, and starting new ones in her hometown, all to preserve and enrich its history. Her dedication to philanthropy is clearly represented through the creation of The Make Sense Foundation which aims to support women and children in need.
ENSPIRE spoke with Joni Rogers-Kante about beginning her brand and how her experiences as a cancer survivor have shaped her ability to lead and inspire other women and future entrepreneurs.
What were some obstacles you ran into while starting your brand?
Hehe – the question should be “was there anything that wasn’t an obstacle?!” In the beginning, there was no infrastructure or systems, no cash, no personnel, no departments, no product line, no facility, and no form of distribution – only an idea and a business plan that I wrote.
In the very beginning …. for the most part, it was just me.
Just me building the brand through trade shows and individual demos with no working capital to support the process. It was a mammoth undertaking. However, our flagship product “LipSense” was literally the very first long-lasting lip color on the market, and it packed a punch. As we like to call it the “Wow” factor. The results are undeniable and immediate. The product caught on and others wanted to join me in the endeavor of building SeneGence as a company, as a brand, and as a culture.
What is the biggest lesson you learned about life as a cancer survivor?
Just being a woman, this alone puts you at the greatest risk of contracting breast cancer. So many times, I think women tend to believe that it’s their lifestyle choices that put them at risk (and they do), but just by being a woman, you are automatically at a higher risk for contracting this disease. 1 in 8 women will contract this disease in their lifetime. This staggering fact is sobering and a wake-up call, not only to assure women have access to regular breast health screenings, but also education about healthy lifestyle choices that can make a difference.
Why do you think it is important to share your story with the world?
None of us are alone. Even if you haven’t had the disease, you know a mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, or co-worker who is battling breast cancer right now. Shared stories and experiences provide, hope, insights, and answers and remind us we are a part of a community that can and does survive.
When we open our lives and let others in, we are truly never fighting alone.
My fight could be ‘imposter syndrome’ if I were to let it. I was lucky – I was diagnosed with 7 cancerous cells that had not formed a tumor – that’s called Stage ‘0”. Lucky me – not yet full-blown cancer. Given time these cells would indeed form a cancerous tumor. Inevitably, decisions about treatment must be faced and measures taken all the same. Fortunately, today, there are thousands and thousands of us who have taken the time for wellness checks for early detection, making recovery and eradication much easier.
How do you think your experience being a cancer survivor has positively impacted your ability to lead and run your brand?
My belief is that healthy beauty, inside and out, is a vital part of what makes women strong and powerful. We often equate our femininity and confidence not only to what we learn and have accomplished but also to how we look and feel. I’m honored and humbled to know that SeneGence products have played an important part in many women’s breast cancer stories. From making them feel and look the best they possibly can, through what can be a time of immense change and during periods of time where unknown adjustments to our physical and mental state might occur. Our brand is about more than creating beauty, it’s about building confidence. Building confidence manifests into an energy that can be harnessed into fighting, surviving, and beautifully thriving.
Joni Rogers-Kante is an inspiration due to her ability to help and give back to a community of women and children who are in dire need of support and guidance. Her business is instrumental in portraying a way of inspiration for people who want to be entrepreneurs and start their own brands but lack the resources to do so. Joni’s experience as a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy and multiple reconstructive surgeries, while performing CEO duties and conducting business in 17 countries; is a story that continuously inspires and leads others into pursuing their dreams.
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