Van, now 62, tells a captivating story of a Shero with passion, determination, and a lot of perseverance in a time that was anything but easy.
Maxine Helen Deerman was born on April 10, 1921. From a young age, Maxine was a worker.
Her love of entrepreneurship began at age nine during the Great Depression as she began selling biscuits on the street. “I think it sparked something in her. Somewhere in there, there was a little seed planted," Van says.
She later started working at a grocery store, where she met Bob, the bread man that later became her husband.
Soon after Maxine and Bob were married, he was sent off to fight in the war. For the first 3 years of their marriage, they hardly saw each other.
Maxine became apart of the Civilian Workforce, which was largely women with a few men. She later became a part of making aircrafts, in which she was especially talented.
However, after the men came back in 1945 after the war was over, the women lost all of their jobs. “But there were women who didn’t want to stay home and wash the clothes," Van states.
In 1967, Maxine and Bob finally decided to go into business- together. They decided to open a cafe, and traded equity from their car for a one year lease in the building. "That was the generation's source of pride," Van says. "My momma loved cars."
"Mama always said she succeeded in a man's world," Van recalls. And what a true statement that is.
Maxine Skyes was a business woman, a family woman, and a woman of Faith. Perhaps we can all learn something from her, like Van did. "Everything that I do goes back to what she taught me all those years," Van stated.
Because of this one woman's courageous actions and perseverance, she achieved more than anyone thought possible, and influenced everyone that knew her. To this day, her story inspires young women all over the world, some that never even had the opportunity to meet her- like myself.
Hearing Van's story of his mother truly moved me, so I hope her story inspires you to chase your dreams, even when they seem impossible. Maxine sure did.