The American reality television series Belle Collective premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network on January 15, 2021. The series follows 5 of Mississippi’s Black female businesswomen working together to redevelop a struggling mid-20th century historic district. Dr. Antoinette Liles is an accomplished entrepreneur and philanthropist who has overcome her struggles to break glass ceilings and succeed in a male-dominant field.
Besides being a television personality, Antoinette is the founder of Mint Dental, an independently owned, state-of-the-art dental office located in Pearl, Mississippi. Proud of being the reason people smile with confidence, Antoinette is mindful of her responsibility as a woman belonging to a minority community and is also the founder of the mentorship/scholarship foundation aptly named Mintorship.
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Coming from a humble background to become the recognized and admired woman she is today, Antoinette’s life journey inspires women who want to get what they deserve despite the barriers limiting them. Raised in Saginaw, Michigan, by a mother who earned just above the poverty line to qualify for government assistance, she lived in Section 8 housing. She moved every year of elementary school until her father rescued her from her abusive mother’s house.
When her father lost everything to gambling, Antoinette had to move in with her paternal grandparents. After completing high school, she applied for every scholarship/grant available, hoping for a better future. Qualifying for all the scholarships, Antoinette finally got away from her troublesome life at the age of 17 and has never looked back since.
The challenges she had to face were far from over. In 2019, Antoinette went through a divorce, followed by a pandemic. As an unemployed independent dentist, she spent her days saving up on expenditure amidst the uncertainties that overwhelmed the whole world. Tough times make us or break us, and for Antoinette, she was determined to have it made and refused to give up on her dreams.
There was one business plan. And between every tear shed, there was one email after another. Eventually, Mint Dental was born. In 2021, Antoinette was included in the Top 50 Leading Business Women by Mississippi Business Journal and was the star of a TV show on OWN. Antoinette is proud that Mint Dental is the official dentist of the Jackson State University football team, offering services to the entire 107 players, coaches, and support staff.
Now a TV star herself, Antoinette has her fan moments rejoicing over being known by the Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and Oprah Winfrey herself. While spreading smiles at Mint Dental and her social media handles on Instagram @lilesofsmiles
Dr. Antoinette started as a dentist and has become a TV star and a role model, inspiring others, especially African American women, to realize their potential by breaking stereotypes and barriers and never giving up.