Businesswoman Tonja ‘The Shoe Lady’ Ayers making her creative dreams come true

What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you create?

One thing that separates me from others in my field is I am a businesswoman first and a creative secondly. Most artistic people just want their work completed. Many don’t think of or prepare for what’s next. The next step is very important to me. I must have a plan. I don’t want to produce a film just to say I did something.

For those considering filmmaking, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? 

Mastering the skillset of team building and networking is very important to filmmaking. I am so fortunate to have worked with a phenomenal team. Mike Jeffers is who I call the “ultimate team player.” I know I can depend on him and I know he’ll get the job done. Surrounding yourself with these [types] of people will smooth out the creation process. Networking is important because it produces visibility and from networking, I have gained access to shoot in various locations such as restaurants, boutiques, various homes and bars.

Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it.

One of my role models in the industry is Richard Bass. He works very hard and gives his all to each production he works on, in addition to working a full-time job and balancing a family. Richard created Chocolate Kiss, which is the next film to be released from The Shoe Lady Productions.

My role model from outside the industry would be my mother. She’s a fighter, a survivor and simply an all-around great person. They don’t make them like her anymore and I am grateful I was chosen to be raised and groomed by this wonderful spirit.

Social media?

Twitter: @theshoelady313

IG: @theshoelady

FB: @theshoeladydetroit

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