Crystal L. Gunn is a graduate of Michigan State University. She started her business career in the accounting department of SOC Credit Union. Within a year, she was hired as Accounting Manager at Municipal and Health Services Credit Union and within 2 years was promoted to Vice President, the youngest and only African American, in the Oakland County Chapter of Credit Unions at that time. While serving as VP, Crystal learned the importance of having all staff members share a common goal to aid in the overall success of the business. She mentored and coached the staff to perform to their greatest potential resulting in a cohesive unit and business growth.
Crystal left the Credit Union to embark on a new career becoming a mortgage broker, where she utilized her knowledge in operations to lead her staff with recruitment, coaching, and training. Within 6 years, she built the company to include 4 additional branch offices while ensuring productivity and compliance, always keeping the needs of the client the top priority of the company.
Crystal’s belief that everyone controls their own destiny led her to expand her business endeavors with one sole purpose: to impact the lives of as many people as possible. As an author, coach, businesswoman, and activist, she is dedicated to using her gifts to assist others in reaching their true levels of greatness and making life amazing. Accepting her assignment in life, Crystal has designed specific programs to contribute to her mission.
Through experiencing, witnessing, and understanding the role women play in society, Crystal founded The Amazing Woman Network (AWN), which is designed to empower Black women to achieve their highest level of greatness by providing support, resources, and a network of women, united together, to change their lives, the lives of one another, their communities and ultimately the world. AWN’s pillars are: reclaiming personal power (mind, body, and spirit), reclaiming financial power, increasing social involvement, and supporting each woman in owning, honoring, and executing her amazing.
The Amazing Woman Network’s retail and beauty line was designed by Crystal to uplift and serve as a reminder to the wearer, just how amazing she truly is. Crystal’s financial workbook and signature course, “Write Your Financial Masterpiece to Become FLAWLESS”, teaches financial strategies, and helps women change their “money mindset” leading to greater confidence and knowledge. Participants have expressed that the program is an eye-opening, transformative experience. Amazing Woman Entrepreneur is another signature course designed for the woman entrepreneur in business less than 18 months of launching a new business. Throughout the course, entrepreneurs receive much-needed support, encouragement, and comradery and graduate from the course with 90% of their business and marketing plans complete, feeling empowered to grow their business to the desired level of success.
Crystal’s most recent endeavors continue to positively impact the lives of others. The 5050 Accord is a blueprint for Black Economics. Phase 1 is “Flip Your House” to ensure that at least 50% of the money we spend is spent with black businesses. Phase 2 is “Get Your House in Order” and focuses on stopping generational money curses and building generational wealth. Crystal Clear Conversations is an online talk show which focuses on all areas of financial empowerment. With her own knowledge and passion, coupled with industry experts, the conversations spark aha moments, provide knowledge and action items to help viewers see immediate results and connections to experts, in order to further their financial goals. Crystal’s favorite quote is by Jackie Robison – “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”, and operates with this belief daily. Crystal has one incredible daughter, Nile, who is her biggest source of motivation, and motherhood is the thing that makes her most proud.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Crystal.
Tammy Reese: Other than what your bio says, who is Crystal L. Gunn?
Crystal L. Gunn: Crystal L. Gunn is an Empowerment Coach, Financial Strategist, Speaker, Author, Activist, Mother, and Amazing Woman. She is a creative and gifted work-a-holic who strives to impact the lives of others.
Tammy Reese: Please tell us about “Write Your Financial Masterpiece to Become FLAWLESS” and the impact that you intend to make?
Crystal L. Gunn: This is a 40-day financial workbook for women and courses. After a divorce and the mortgage industry crash, leading to the crash of my mortgage business, I went through my own financial hardships. This workbook was one of many downloads God gave me to get through my financial troubles. I was obedient to not only do the work but also to create the workbook for other women who are experiencing financial hardships and suffering from the blows to self-esteem as a result.
The workbook and course not only walk women through the steps to reclaim their financial power, it gives a safe space to be vulnerable while boosting their pride and self-esteem creating the necessary psychological shift to transition successfully and not revisit financial hardship again. It also encourages them to teach their children the financial lessons they learn.
Tammy Reese: What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
Crystal L. Gunn: Seeing the growth in others is what enjoy the most. Igniting that spark, assisting in their aha moment, and helping them to step outside of their comfort zone to recognize their goals.
Tammy Reese: In what ways do you use your platform to empower others?
Crystal L. Gunn: Everything I do or produce is about uplifting and empowering others. From The Amazing Woman Network, publications, courses, workshops, meetings, retail, and more, all are designed to deliver powerful, thought-provoking messages of encouragement. I believe the most powerful thing I provide is a safe space, a judge-free zone, full of love and encouragement. This space, for some, is something they haven’t experienced before, are in need of, or have been seeking. They feel welcomed and at peace.
Tammy Reese: The Amazing Woman Network retail and beauty line sounds amazing indeed. How did it come about?
Crystal L. Gunn: It started with one signature T-Shirt which was designed to empower the women wearing it and spark an interest in the woman seeing it on another. It grew from there with more t-shirt designs, all created to ultimately empower the woman wearing it, reminding her just how amazing she is. As the retail line continues to grow, new styles will have the same mission.
The beauty line started in 2019 when the signature fragrance was created. I initially thought it would be something exclusive, for members of The Amazing Woman Network, but the feedback received proved it was something truly special and needed to be shared with the world. With such an amazing scent, it was natural for the sugar scrub and whipped body butters to follow. Women spend so much time taking care of everyone else, the AWN beauty line is a further celebration of women and gives women a way to pamper and love on themselves.
Tammy Reese: We would love to hear about your online talk show as well. Crystal Clear Conversations. What could you tell us about it?
Crystal L. Gunn: Last year, right after the George Floyd murder, I was recovering from surgery for a ruptured appendix, and God starting speaking to me. I already had an outline for an economic plan for the Black community. Financial empowerment is something dear to my heart. This plan was to be pushed out at a later date but God saw it differently. I was to push out the framework in June/July of 2020. I tried my best to be disobedient. I wasn’t ready, or so I thought, but God was ready. The 5050 Accord was born.
It started with a Facebook Group encouraging supporting black businesses and families reclaiming their financial power. The more I shared, the more I realized, in order to get the much-needed information out, I had to share that information on my own platform. I had been a guest on numerous shows for others and where that helped get the information out, I was not in control and couldn’t guide the conversations.
Crystal Clear Conversations came out of the need to guide the conversations and ensure that the information needed was getting out, the way I saw it needed to get out. It launched in April of 2020 and the feedback proved that the information shared and the way it was shared was impactful and desired.
Tammy Reese: What else are you currently working on?
Crystal L. Gunn: I am currently working to expand the retail and beauty line for AWN which will also include something for the men. I am filling up the calendar for Crystal Clear Conversations with financial conversations for the rest of the year. My course for women entrepreneurs will be open for enrollment this fall. There are a few other things in the hopper that I can’t disclose just yet.
Tammy Reese: Mother’s day is approaching, Happy Mothers Day. How do you balance career and family?
Crystal L. Gunn: I don’t do this well. I love empowering others and creating. I get lost in it and have to make a point to schedule time with family and friends. I am grateful to have family, friends, and an amazing daughter, all of who understand my drive and passion and do their best to support me however they can. That allows me more time to spend with them. Balance is something that I have to keep top of mind to ensure that I make time.
Tammy Reese: What else would you like our readers to know about the work that you do?
Crystal L. Gunn: I found my assignment or purpose as some would call it, in what I thought were my darkest days. Business failure, depression, and financial hardships didn’t stop God from choosing me it empowers others. I learned later, that I had to go through all of those things in order to do what I do today. This work is changing the lives of others. It is bringing people together for the individual and collective good. This work is powerful and I love every bit of it.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.