My name is Lisa Simone Williamson, and I used to be the luckiest girl in the world. For starters, I was rich. Even better, I was actually born into money. My parents were once the proud owners of Simone Cosmetics, one of the largest and most successful African-American owned and operated cosmetic companies in the world.
My parents both came from very hard-working families. But their families worked hard for other people, which was a concept that neither my mother nor father ever understood. My parents believed that if they were going to work hard, then they would work hard for themselves. So when they met one another and realized just how like-minded they were, the twosome joined forces both personally and professionally, got married, and created what eventually became Simone Cosmetics.
After they had been married for a while and their company was up and running, my parents decided that they were ready to start a family. Not long after, I came along. I must admit, I had quite a charmed childhood. I lived in the most beautiful home that was located in the nicest part of town, attended the best schools, and had the greatest friends. My parents also got me involved in their business early on, because they had every intention on passing it down to me one day. So I knew everything that there was to know about running Simone Cosmetics. However, my favorite aspect of the company was its dynamic marketing department. I always loved watching the dapper men and glamorous women who worked in that area come up with creative and artistic ways to package and promote the wonderful products that my parents had created.
Once I graduated from high school and went off to attend one of the top universities in the country, I decided to major in marketing. Those college years were wonderful. I met a lot of incredible people, was taught by some of the best instructors, and still remain close to the women I met when I pledged one of the top African-American sororities in the country, Alpha Kappa Kappa. During the summers, I would go home and intern at my parents’ company, in the marketing department of course. Those essential internships helped guide and motivate me and kept me focused. Ultimately, I always knew I would return to my parent’s company upon graduation, join the marketing team, and work my way up until I was running the show.
But one of the most exciting experiences I had during college was meeting the man of my dreams, David James. David was the star of the basketball team, and I was his biggest fan. My sorority sisters and I were considered celebrities on our college campus, and we always hosted the biggest parties and turned heads everywhere we went. The basketball players were regular party-goers, and David and I would always flirt whenever we’d see one another. So I wasn’t surprised when one of David’s teammates, who just so happened to be dating my best friend Janice, passed a message along saying that David was interested in me.