Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pat Smith Treasures You

You probably know Pat Smith as the wife of former Dallas Cowboy and NFL Hall of Famer, Emmitt Smith.  Maybe you saw her in D Magazine when she was bestowed the title of one of Dallas' 10 Most Beautiful Women of 2011.  If you're like me, you've looked at her in the pages of a magazine and thought, "Now, there's a woman who has it all." And she does. Now. But she didn't used to have anything. And it's that story that makes Pat Smith one of the most beloved figures on the Dallas (heck, the national) scene today.

Smith was the first African American woman to win the title of Miss Virginia in 1993 and was named first runner-up in the 1994 Miss USA Pageant. She then began her acting career with roles in The Wayans Brothers Show, Beverly Hills 90210 and Sunset Beach. She met and married comedian and actor Martin Lawrence and as she says, "...was living the dream: a mansion in Beverly Hills, driving a cute Jaguar, I had a closet full of designer shoes and outfits." And she was scared and miserable.  One night she got up her courage, packed one suitcase, grabbed her daughter and fled for her life. She had no money, no credit of her own, no where to go and felt humiliated to ask for help. After all, she had "the perfect life".

Cynthia Smoot, Pat Smith and Amy Vanderoef

Miss Patricia Southall Smith comes from a long line of Southern women. You can bend a Belle, but we do not break easily. After finding her way, getting back on her feet and eventually meeting and marrying Emmitt. ("Can I get a hallalujah!" she exclaims when talking about Emmitt)  Pat is taking the life lessons she learned about seizing control of your destiny, your money and your happiness and has dedicated herself to a "new ministry" she's created called Treasure You: a women’s support group that hosts conferences and luncheons devoted to encouraging women to find their passion in life.

Smith told Dallas Child recently, “My ultimate goal is to help women tap into their purpose, passion and power in life so that they can start feeling fulfilled and happy — this feeling of contentment has made me a better woman, wife and mom.”  Yesterday, Smith hosted an intimate gathering at Neiman Marcus in Willowbend to share and empower women to start thinking about their financial independence and power.  Annette Watkins of Ameriprise gave us some startling statistics:

  • Did you know that 75% of all marriages today end in divorce? (holy cow!)
  • Did you know that women are widowed at an average age of 56, and 1 in 4 of these women are broke within two months of being widowed? 
  • Did you know that 87% of poverty stricken elderly Americans are women

Girls, you need to get a hold of your finances and get your head out 'da sand! Or get a good financial planner and do what they say. But do something, was the general message of the day.  Chuck Steelman and Pat ended the day with a fun informal runway show showing us Neiman's 10 trends for Spring. An ironic twist after talking about saving money, that Chuck then urged us to all go downstairs and spend it!

Janet Jackson sang, "I'm in control, never gonna stop. Control, to get what I want.  Control, I got to have a lot.  Control, 'cuz now I'm all grown up." Smith wants us to grow up. And I like being in control...

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