We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Wade and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Valerie, any pet peeves with networking events? Anything you feel works well in terms of relationship building?
For me, a genuine spirit is a high priority when networking. I want to connect with people who are truly involved with their projects and who are honest about what they want from me and what they can offer. Quality over quantity. One thing I’ve learned from networking in the past 12 months is to watch out for busybodies. To me, a busybody is someone who has their name attached to several businesses and initiatives, but their actual involvement is shallow. They are great at social media engagement, but behind the scenes, busybodies really just delegate to other individuals. I don’t think they all do this maliciously. I think many busybodies want to do great things in lots of different areas, but they overextend themselves. When networking, I try to avoid people who seem scattered or unorganized. I would much rather network with someone who is focused on one or two ventures that produce results than with someone who talks a lot about a dozen projects, but isn’t directly involved in them.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I established Lynnfield Historical Consulting with a mission to help people connect to their family histories. Genealogy remains a big part of my mission, but over time, I’ve had several clients who have used my services for their creative and educational projects. I’ve shifted my focus to accommodate this client base because there is a need for historians in creative spaces. What sets me apart from other historical consultants is my flexibility and willingness to step out of my comfort zone for my clients. I’m quite proud of that. My business would not have grown if I tried to stick to a strict service model. Right now, my big challenge is dealing with all the cancellations from COVID-19. I had some public history events planned for 2020, but like many other small business owners, I must put projects on pause and reconfigure them. I am taking this time at home to learn new digital skills and test new content so that I can emerge on the other side of this pandemic stronger than ever. This is a reflection of an important lesson I’ve learned on this journey. Faith and perseverance can carry you far, especially when you have no idea what will happen in the near future.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough question! Houston has a lot to offer. I’ll try to narrow it down to a few for each category.

* Sunshine’s Vegetarian Deli
* Phil & Derek’s Restaurant & Jazz Lounge
* Doshi House
* Crumbville Bakery

To Visit:
* Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC)
* Project Row Houses (PRH)
* Ensemble Theater

Hang Out:
* Palm Center Farmer’s Market
* Emancipation Park
* Miller Outdoor Theater

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to Ms. Jalyn Gordon, who owns the Afrocentric Communiversity. She’s doing great work with local nonprofits and businesses. She has been incredibly supportive of my Lynnfield Historical Consulting projects. Her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/afrocommuniversity/

Website: http://lynnfieldhistorical.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lynnfieldhistorical/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnfieldHC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LynnfieldHistorical/

Image Credits
Blue Treasure Photography (red dress photo)