Black & Powerful: Black Opal CEO Desirée Rogers

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Seeing is believing," is the premise of "Black & Powerful," a long-form streaming series created by ABC 7 Chicago.

Leaders in government, entertainment, education and more, discuss the personal and professional experiences that led them to become the person they are today.

In episode five, ABC7 Race & Culture Reporter Will Jones has a conversation with Desirée Rogers, the CEO of Black-owned beauty brand Black Opal.

Rogers is a well-known businesswoman in the Chicago area who knew at an early age that she wanted to be a leader.

"As a young child, they would often say, 'what do you want to do or be when you grow up?' And I would say, 'in charge of something,'" Rogers said.

Rogers has an impressive background. Before she and Co-Owner Cheryl McKissack acquired Black Opal in 2019, Rogers was the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, served as the White House Social Secretary for the Obama administration, and was the former director of the Illinois State Lottery.

"I like to win. I don't lose. Lose is not in my vocabulary. Failure is not in my vocabulary," Rogers said.

Rogers credits her curiosity as one of the driving forces in her journey, and she encourages young leaders to embrace opportunities to learn and develop new skills.

"You will tell yourself directionally what's going to be good for you," Rogers said. "The steps don't end. You have to enjoy each step. Enjoy that development, enjoy what's around you."

Rogers has overcome challenging times in her professional and personal life, including a battle with breast cancer, but said her persistence never waned.

"I learned I am strong. I am actually a warrior and I will do what it takes to live," Rogers said.

Rogers said she is comfortable in her own skin and she's excited to co-own a beauty brand because she wants other women, especially women of color, to feel the same confidence.

Watch more episodes of Black & Powerful here.
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