What is your "day job"?
I am an entrepreneur. I left my teaching job in July 2015, so now I am a full-time entrepreneur. Literally, I send and receive emails, make phone calls, and I get to create things. From now until the end of 2016, my focus will be on perfumes. That process includes the advertising side of creating perfumes, as well as coming up with ideas and communicating with people who can help bring those ideas to life. I love perfumes, and I enjoy dreaming up combinations that I think are awesome and then sharing those with others.
I also still do Kingdom Citizen Youth Empowerment tasks, which includes communicating with donors, sponsors, and parents.
Who were your heroes, or mentors?
Now that I’m older, I consider my mother, who is no longer with us, to be one of my heroes. Because of that, I feel really close to my sisters. Each of them have a special part of her that I need in my life, and the way that they herald those qualities individually is awesome to me. I get to observe those qualities in the way that they interact with their families as well as our family as a whole. They are my heroes right now.
My oldest sister is 21 years older than me. She has been a professional woman all of my life, and has successfully balanced her profession and motherhood. She demonstrates an excellent balance between domestic excellence and professional excellence. All of our family truly admires her for that.
My other sister is so incredibly loving. She has younger children as well as two adult children. Her love is magnetic, in the sense that she is a friend to strangers. She will always go above and beyond to meet a need for strangers.
My mom was entrepreneurial, and I believe that quality was passed down to me. Mom did not take her creativity to a public level like she could have. She took care of other people’s children, as well as she sold Avon, which was my first perfume experience. She was also a musician all my life, as well as a pastor’s wife. She was very busy, and what she did was done very lovingly.
When did you decide you were an entrepreneur, that this would be your journey?
I have wanted to be an entrepreneur since high school. However, to me, it wasn’t creating stuff, it was just owning stuff. I loved the idea of being able to take care of my kids as well as provide for my family. But I didn’t think it would be through an idea that I had created; I didn’t have that idea until later.
When I started my nonprofit five years ago. I bit the bullet, and I thought, I have ideas. I had always created little things throughout my life, but when I started the nonprofit, the idea of marketing my ideas and selling what I had created became interesting to me. So, I would say that five years ago is when I decided that I would be an entrepreneur. Even though I was a teacher at the time; I knew that was what I would work toward.
If you weren't an entrepreneur, what would life look like?
I would be a classroom teacher. I like helping people and I love kids. However, I grew very unhappy with just that.
I’m very curious naturally, and the ideas I had became very literal when I started exploring them. I knew I would be happiest if I could put my energies into them and see them develop.
If you had it all to do over again, would you do anything differently?
Absolutely nothing. I’ve learned so much and I’m still learning. I started out at Howard University as a musical theater major. The experiences I have had through that were priceless. I refuse to think that any of that information or those experiences would go to waste in my life. I’m using everything I’ve experienced and learned.
What do you do for you that brings you absolute joy or peace?
(Laughs) Don’t laugh. Okay, so, generally speaking, I eat food. Specifically...chocolate. As much as I like chocolate, I can’t eat it all the time. But when I feel a need to be “happy”, I eat chocolate, and my favorite is dark chocolate.
What would you like your epitaph to be?
Hmm...She lived, she loved, and she laughed. She created awesome life-giving experiences, and she shared them with others.
In one word, what is it that you want people to remember about you?
Authenticity. Biting the bullet and saying that I’m going to do this entrepreneurship thing full time, is making me happy, and it is making it easier for me to share myself and my journey. I am still learning how to use social media and how to incorporate that, but I truly enjoy meeting people face to face and having those encounters. I want people to feel they had a genuine connection with me. Being authentic is being genuine; not feeling like you have to practice anything. I want everything I do to be heartfelt, and seen as such.
Is there anything else you wish I'd asked you?
No. I think your questions are wonderful!