My Path to Success
When I was younger, let’s say around… 16 or 17- I always knew that when I grew up, I would own my own business, and that I would be a leader of some sort. I never knew exactly what kind of business, a few things crossed my mind over the years but never stuck- Flower shop, Medical facility, a specialty cafe … random things. I didn’t go to business school though, instead I floated around in the medical field- both clinical and administrative… I also worked for a flower shop, a popular airline- a whole bunch of places. My longest employment lasted 5 years… the others- between 1-2 years max. I liked change… a lot.
In my opinion, all these job experiences were equivalent or even better than going to business school. I learned so much about the world and gained so much experience in customer service. I learned to appreciate challenges, deal with hardships and continue to grow both personally and culturally.
I never once worked with kids. I didn’t even think about them or care for them… so why would I ever, in all those 15 years even imagine that one day- the business I will own one day- would revolve around children?! As soon as God reveled His plan for me, I met a new Zee. “WOW” is an understatement… because I still can’t believe where I am today, and what I’m doing today- but I can say this: I LOVE what I do, I LOVE kids, I LOVE teaching and I LOVE food (of course).
I am both humbled and proud to say that when you see me dealing with your kids- you might think I’ve been working with kids my entire life. I am proud to say that I truly feel gifted because the way I share my positive energy and build amazing memories with your kids- just comes so naturally to me.
Throughout the years, God was preparing me in many ways, and I will forever be so grateful for the gift of ZeeTheCook.
When Tahara contacted me in April, I was totally caught off guard. Tahara, also known as Tara- works for the Arab American Women’s Business Council in Michigan. The AAWBC is on a mission to interview successful businesswoman in the community who have found their calling in life, have been faced with challenges of fulfilling their dreams, and have overcome these challenges in order to make their dreams come true. I am very honored to say that Tara chose to interview me. I was so busy (I’m always busy) that I never had a moment to stop and reflect on what I’ve become and where I was heading- So when Tara complimented me from an outsider’s viewpoint- She said that I was a perfect candidate, I was very proud to say the least!
Soon after, we got together for a quick meet and greet… but didn’t actually finalize a specific date and location for the interview because the AAWBC was still in the works of getting sponsors for their show: Her Path to Success. A couple of months passed, I was in the middle of running ZeeTheCook’s Summer Camp and I got the call that they were ready to interview! My Summer Camp schedule was so hectic, I worked all day and all night… but I knew I needed to squeeze this interview in- as it was important to them, and important to me.
The night before the interview, my 2-year-old kept me up all night… I was walking the hallways of my home in complete darkness with her in my arms at 3am. I had to be up by 7am for our Summer Camp that started at 9am (You mom’s out there know that whenever we have an important event, it is then that our kids decide to torture us lol) Anyway, I started my day with my amazing students who I love so much… and since it was the week of BBQ madness, I was outside grilling chicken skewers in 90 degree weather (I’ll spare you the details of how I looked and smelled) 15 minutes before I had to show up at the Arab American Museum for the interview. As soon as the skewers cooked, and I had all my students finish up at their cooking stations- My team took over as I ran to shower, put whatever makeup I could find (my scarf was a disaster) put heels on, and rushed out the door!
I arrived like a madwoman, thinking- why whyyyy didn’t I sleep last night…. So I was extra jittery when I greeted everyone, and anxious. I think the cameraman still thinks I’m a little crazy (Hi Tony!) So I completely stopped myself at one point and told myself to calm down and relax- to be myself and just go with the flow no matter how tired I looked and felt.
So here it is, I hope you enjoy my story- Just know, the next time I interview with anyone- I’m going to really rock it AND look more presentable (We learn and we grow!)
ZeeTheCook still has a long way to go… but I’m very excited to be sharing the journey with you, and I hope you continue to support me and my team along the way. We appreciate all the love and your belief in our mission with these amazing kids who bring so much happiness to all of our lives!
I am working hard to keep my promises to them- as long as the support continues, we will be able to open up a special location in our community where kids can continue to express their creativity and independence in a healthy and wonderful way.
Please check out our seasonal and holiday schedule to select your tickets today!
Follow: ZeeTheCook on Instagram & Facebook for all future announcements!
Subscription can be done via our website, www.ZeeTheCook.com !
With Much Love & Appreciation,
Zee Shami, Culinarian & CEO