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From the little farm girl in rural Guyana who left her home as an immigrant to pursue to the “American Dream”, to now being a real estate mogul and inspirational business women supporting the growth of other women, Felicia’s efforts have shown that while we may currently live in a “man’s world”, she has no problem putting herself, her voice, and story in the spotlight to change the narrative and show that women can dominate the world just as men have in the past.
Felicia is of both Brazilian and Guyanese descent and was adopted at the age of 3 by a single woman general store owner in Berbice, Guyana. Under her adopted mother’s guidance, Felicia worked as both an attendant to the general store and was a farmworker. The skills learned from these occupations in her teenage years paved the foundation for Felicia’s tenacity, fearlessness, and confidence she later exhibited as a real estate mogul in her adult life.
At the age of 20, Felicia migrated to the United States alongside her husband. With no formal college or graduate education, Felicia used her ability to learn quickly, problem-solve, and wit to secure a job as a bank teller in a boutique family bank in Queens, New York, before leaving to work as a title reader and application/ policy writer for a major title company.
Using her experiences from her time as a title agent, Felicia and her husband founded Empire Land Services, a full-service title insurance company that has provided advisory and insurance services to some of the most expensive commercial real estate transactions across New York. Empire Land Services has secured business partnerships with leading real estate development companies and has been featured by the Real Deal and Worldwide Who’s Who, among other media brands.
Additionally, the company has obtained other honors over 17 years since its founding in the early 2000s. Today, Empire Land Services operates in more than 62 counties across New York State and has closed more than 20,000 transactions. While the company itself demonstrates remarkable success, its emanating notoriety is also because it is run by an independent and sophisticated minority woman in an industry that mostly hosts white, male professionals.
From the early days of Felicia’s career when she was walking up and down the avenues of Manhattan sourcing clients with numerous doors slammed in her face by men who underestimated to her to now her owning and operating one of most successful boutique title companies in New York, her distinction as one of preliminary trailblazing women leaders in the predominantly male run real estate finance and title insurance industries does not go unnoticed.
Felicia is a firm believer that more work needs to be done to further include the voices of diverse women who come from a wide array of backgrounds within the industry, as doing so can further enhance real and equitable representation in real estate. Her business success is not isolated to the real estate industry only. While she was out supporting clients at closing tables and offering title insurance to large commercial real estate companies, her creative love for fashion lingered in the background.
Felicia wanted to also pursue a different passion of hers that encapsulated her love for clothing, colors, and her cultural South American memories. Felicia founded Bela Criacao, a luxury women’s clothing label dedicated to creating garments that allow women to show off their curves in sophisticated and elegant ways, without losing colorful prints and shades. Confidence is not just an attitude that Felicia wants women to exude on the runway or out and about in New York, confidence is an attitude that Felicia wants her fellow women to feel and express in every aspect of their lives.
Capturing vibrant yellows and bright pinks, to dramatic blues and rich greens, the designs of Bela Criacao bring alive the fruitful and distinct vibe of the Amazon rainforest: a guiding natural inspiration for Felicia in her design process. Felicia’s designs have been featured by Vogue and worn by celebrities such as Pia Mia and Jessica Szohr, among others. Her work has also been seen on several red-carpet events by fashion influencers. While she is temporarily retired from her design work, her love for fashion continues to remain. Whether at New York Fashion week and styling celebrities or in the executive boardroom handling multimillion-dollar real estate transactions, Felicia brings excellence, spice, and poise to anything she does.
As for what’s next for Felicia Persaud, she has created a brand-new company called Sejour Land LLC, which she will use to strictly provide title insurance and financial deal advisory commercial transactions instead of residential transactions. She hopes Sejour Land LLC will become the next leading and prominent title insurance company that will be used by all major commercial real estate firms and brokerage houses across New York.
Currently, she is in the process of sourcing new clients she hopes to provide services for under Sejour Land and is open to any communication from prospective real estate firms looking for a personable commercial title company that can handle their transactions with the most care and diligence. Additionally, she is also in the process of branching out into the world of real estate Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and “proptech” industries, as the world continues to adopt Web3 technology and she wants to implement that technology into her lines of business for clients.
Felicia has a wonderful support system in the form of her husband, her two sons, and her amazing staff of employees who assist throughout these endeavors. Apart from spending time working on her companies in real estate and fashion, Felicia spends her days participating in numerous charities and philanthropic initiatives. A lover of animals, she feeds nearly 1000 birds, squirrels, deer, and ducks every day of the week as part of her morning routine before heading to the office.
And while she gives generously to numerous philanthropic organizations, she also serves as an executive advisory board member to a philanthropic organization her sons started called, KB Operation Hope. KB Operation Hope provides medical and educational goods to impoverished children overseas, allowing Felicia and her sons to directly support and give back to communities in Guyana and other parts of the world they deem important. No matter the task, or the industry, Felicia will attack it head-on and confidently. As she puts it, “The future is female.
Her success represents the importance of determination and the necessity of a willingness in never giving up on your dreams, even when countless people tell you that your dreams are impossible because you’re a woman. Moreover, Felicia hopes her trials illuminate the idea that women should never succumb to the opinion of men and their underestimation of their businesswomen peers. She hopes that her story will push women to take leaps of faith and go after their professional goals, no matter what they may be, and to never be held back by the opinions of men who may wrongly deem them unworthy of business success. (extracted from: News Channel Nebraska River Country)