Doing Business My Way
CHARLOTTE ® Nov./Dec. 2022 Volume 4 Issue 10
It seemed like only yesterday when the first edition of Huami Magazine was published. In November 2007, a vision given to me by God became my reality. I have shared the story of publishing Huami Magazine, first having a conversation with God, then taking the leap and stepping out faithfully in response to God’s call. Still, I often reflect on the first edition and become reminded of how awesome God is.
While I was confident in my ability to fulfill the assignment, I admit I didn’t have all the answers initially. Ten years earlier, in 1997, I researched the magazine publishing industry, specifically in the Triad area of North Carolina. I did this to learn more about what is required to publish a magazine, including how to manage a publishing company, etc. Amongst all of the information obtained, I never inquired about how to support my new media company financially. That would eventually pose a problem for me and Huami Magazine.
Finances and their availability is vital to the survival of any business. I self-funded operating costs for quite some time, especially in the first few years of existence. However, all of a sudden, things changed. Huami Magazine would enjoy the love and support from unlikely sources, including individuals who never exhibited an interest in the product. Doors would soon open and opportunities flowed. Things were looking up for Mykel Media Company, LLC.
As the face and founder of Huami Magazine, I worked hard to spread brand awareness. During this time, there were other challenges I would face, but having the support of the magazine wasn’t one of them. Sales were so good that everything needed to keep our doors open, we received it. God saw something good about Huami Magazine and He made provisions to ensure
The message that I want to remind the readers of Huami Magazine is simple. When God gives you an assignment, He will also make provisions for you to see it through. All that we have to do is show up for the assignment.
Terry L Watson Publisher Dorjae McClammey Writer Monica Montgomery Writer Joy Rogers Writer
Todd Youngblood Photographer Still Shots Photography Photographer Angela Maria Photographer
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Howard Gaither Photography
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A Letter From The Editor
Yesterday Prepared Me For What’s Next
Learn how she stepped out on faith and built her company. Rock City Staffing Agency. Little Rock, AR
She has a unique eye for style and design. Learn more about her journey in business. Denver, CO
Donnie C. Young
He has universal appeal. Learn more about his journey from the streets of South Carolina to success.
Huami Magazine Cutest Baby Braxton Moore
Serving Her Community Yohmina Kasey
Unity Ride Inc. Tarik Gant
NOV./DEC. 2022 CHARLOTTE EDITION CONTENTS Also Featured 31 22 28 36 8
She Is A MS Conqueror Sierra Hairston
On The Cover
Scrubs Unlimited LLC
18 32 12
Doing Business My Way
By Dorjae’ McClammey Photos Provided by Todd Youngblood
Timmie Mitchell can easily be described as a go-getter. She is the founder of Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel LLC, along with her two business partners, Danielle Griffin and Dawan Feely. Launched in April 2022, her company offers an array of styles and scrub sets, including separates, compression socks, fanny packs, clogs, aprons, and personalized badges. Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel also provides group sales and discounts for nurses, nursing students, and schools.
Born in Monrovia, Liberia, which is located in West Africa, Timmie, along with her two younger sisters, moved to Durham, NC, when she was only nine years old. She says the transition was not easy, mainly due to the drastic culture change. Timmie was bullied a lot because of her small size, home environment, family income, and her accent. With all of those challenges, Timmie says it was tough for her to make friends.
With all that chaos around her, Timmie was determined to stay focused and get her education. She attended Shaw University in Raleigh, NC, and gained her longtime best friend and business partner, Danielle Griffin. In 1997, Timmie graduated from Shaw with her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. From there, she moved to Greensboro, NC, before settling in Charlotte, her residence for the past ten years. In Charlotte, she is surrounded by her two wonderful daughters, her family, and many friends.
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“You must learn to invest in yourself and your business and not give up. Never give up on achieving your goals in life. Remember that along your journey, you will receive some yesses for every no, but you must remain persistent and patient.”
Once settled in the Queen City, Timmie did not hesitate to jump into the work field, a strategic move she made to provide her daughters a better opportunity to succeed than she did as a child.
While Timmie’s primary focus is Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel LLC, she has dabbled into other business ventures. She is also the sole owner of Liberian Lady Investment LLCs, a property preservation and renovation company. With the services offered, vendors, banks, realtors, and more can fix and preserve foreclosed properties. She also owns Mitchell Notary and Signing Service LLC, a mobile notary and loan signing entity that serves all of North Carolina. Additionally, Timmie is a real estate investor and partner with Guaranteed Homes LLC, owned by Dawan Feely. With this company, Timmie helps renovate homes and build properties for communities in South Carolina and assists clients with repairing their credit.
Timmie shares she has always desired to create a business that would last a lifetime, and one connected to the medical field made perfect sense. Why? It’s neverending, Timmie explains. Once her vision was realized, the next step was to get the business off the ground. She says the beginning was a little rocky. “I wasn’t making many sales, but I kept true to my faith, and by the grace of God, it did a full 360. The rest is history. Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel went from barely making sales to generating between $500 and $1,000 worth of weekly orders,” she says.
Even though things have been better for Timmie and Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel, she remains grounded. Timmie shares she still loves being able to provide medical professionals with uniforms that make them look and feel good at an affordable price. As for Liberian Lady Investments LLC, Timmie continues to assist clients with preserving one property at a time. This includes working along with Guaranteed Homes to build and help clients get into their dream homes while educating them on ways to improve their overall credit.
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Timmie says she is proud to be a true African American woman and for the opportunity to show her children what faith, determination, and hard work look like. “I want them to know that no matter their challenges, they can achieve anything. I am proof of that,” she says. “I always wanted my own business, and now I have multiple. What better example for them to have than me.”
For anyone wanting to follow in her steps, Timmie advises you to do your research, “Google is your best friend. You must learn to invest in yourself and your business and not give up. Never give up on achieving your goals in life. Remember that along your journey, you will receive some yesses for every no, but you must remain persistent and patient.”
Moving forward, you can expect big things from Timmie Mitchell. In addition to expanding Liberian Lady Investment LLC and continuing her partmentship with Guaranteed Homes, Timmie and her partners plan to open storefronts/boutiques in Charlotte and South Carolina for Scrubs Unlimited & Apparel. The first boutique grand opening is in January 2023 in uptown charlotte. The expansion will also include the release of her custom line of scrubs. Please visit her website to learn more about Timmie Mithcell and all of her businesses. h
www.scrubsunlimitedapparel.com www.lladypropertypreservation.com www.mitchellnotarysigningservices.com www.guaranteedhomesllc.com
By Dorjae’ McClammey Photos Provided by Angela Maria Photography
On the surface, Donnie Young appears to be an average African American male. However, if one looks a little deeper into who he is, one will find a lot more to this serial entrepreneur’s story. For the most part, his journey has come with a few ups and downs and bumps and bruises. Still, Donnie has found a way to persevere and now lives a life of gratitude and grace while exemplifying the love of God.
Born and raised in South Carolina, Donnie comes from humble beginnings. His mother passed away when he was just a baby, and his father was imprisoned shortly after. At such a young age and without his parents, what was next for Donnie? What would his future look like? As if someone sounded the horns, Donnie’s village stepped into place with his grandmother and aunt answering the call.
During his childhood, Donnie enjoyed playing all sports, including football. There is where Donnie could be found, on the football field, he says, until the pressure of wanting more in life pushed him toward the wrong crowd. “I looked to the streets to find my way. I began selling drugs and soon got entangled in crime. I was charged with accessory to murder and found myself sitting in a jail cell, alone,” he says. Donnie was eventually cleared of that accusation, but his past would soon catch up with him, and soon Donnie would find himself back in prison, he says, for being framed for a crime that he did not commit or know anything about. “I wasn’t supposed to be in there, but I used that time to my advantage. I slowed down, sat quietly, analyzed my mistakes, and educated myself.”
Donnie says, “Prison won’t teach you how to be a man, but it will give you the blueprint.” While incarcerated, Donnie learned as many trades as possible such as cooking to brick masonry and obtained his G.E.D. He was a model prisoner and gained a good rapport with other inmates and officers. “I was motivated to make it out and make something of myself, but most of all, I was inspired by the fear of ending up like my father.”
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“I looked to the streets to find my way. I began selling drugs and soon got entangled in crime. I was charged with accessory to murder and found myself sitting in a jail cell, alone.”
Once released, Donnie was determined not to find himself in an idle situation. He went straight to working multiple jobs and mastering a new trade at each one. “When I did something, I pretty much mastered it, making it a point to be the best at it,” he says. Things were going well for Donnie but he knew there was more he could be doing, specifically for himself. That is when the spirit of entrepreneurship sat on him, and he hasn’t looked back.
Donnie shares that he became tired of growing so much with his skills and not with the companies he was employed by. He decided to break away and create his own business and do it the way he knew how, with excellence. In 2016, he launched his first brand, Universal Lawn and Floor, a high-quality landscaping and lawn care business. Under the Universal brand, he owns several sub-companies. One is Universal Flooring, which covers all floor maintenance, such as striping and waxing commercial floors and flooring installation. “Laminate, tile, vinyl, carpet, and subfloor. Anything flooring, we can install it,” Donnie says.
Other companies Donnie has produced are Universal Power Washing Solution and Uni-Klean. These offer services such as pressure cleaning driveways and homes, as well as commercial cleaning. He has also developed Universal Credit Repair and Business Consultation and UNI-Wellness.
The word “Universal” is purposely incorporated into all of Donnie’s companies. He says that word is his staple. “I am ‘Mr. Universal’. I can apply my brand to anything, no matter what you need, I can handle it,” he says. Moreover, Donnie’s work speaks for itself. That is obvious and he has several awards to validate that. He’s won ‘Best of Taylors’ award twice and ‘The Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite’ award, amongst many others.
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It is apparent that Donnie has his hands and mind involved in many things, and that is by design. He shares that while he serves many industries, his primary objective is to impact his community positively. “My past has been challenging, but I’ve decided to allow my lifes’ lessons to help others. I can do this by employing and providing real opportunities to members of my community. I want to provide an outlet for people facing obstacles, as I have. I understand that all it takes is for someone to be given an opportunity, and I am happy to be in a position to do so,” he says. “Just like how I was tired of struggling, I’m even more tired of seeing others struggle.”
Moreover, Donnie’s testimony is that he got it out of the mud, period. “I’m a very, very hard worker. I never quit, I never give up or listen to the naysayers. When people tell me I can’t do something, it makes me try harder,” he says.
What is next for this self-driven entrepreneur? He says, Don’t think for a second that he will be slowing down anytime soon. Donnie says he’s just getting started. He has plans to continue growing as a businessman and will add real estate to his list of services in 2023. It is pretty clear there isn’t much that he can’t accomplish once he sets his sights on it. To learn more about Donnie Young, and all of his brands, please visit his website or contact him directly. www.uniklean.com www.debtcleanse.com/UCRABC
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Rock City Staffing Agency, LLC
By Terry L. Watson
Photos Provided by Vivian Brittenum
Vivian Brittenum is the owner of Rock City Staffing Agency. Based in Little Rock, AR, her company is a locally owned and operated professional staffing and recruiting agency. Vivian says her team is dedicated to providing their clients with top-notch service, industry-leading solutions, and skilled talent. “At Rock City, we take great pride and purpose in what we do. That’s why we always seek to outperform client expectations. We cover many staffing situations, including temporary, temp-to-perm, contract, and direct hire. We specialize in filling administrative, information technology, customer service, manufacturing, and light warehouse vacancies,” she says.
Vivian is a native of Forrest City, AR, but has called central Arkansas home for the past 28 years. She is a divorced mother of two fantastic children, Miracle, 21, and Praylyn, 19. She acquired her MBA with an emphasis in Information Technology and an MS in Management and Leadership with an emphasis in Project Management from Webster University. She also obtained her BS in Management Information Systems from Park University with a minor in Human Resources.
Some additional certifications she holds include a nationally Certified Public Manager as well as a Certified Arkansas Governmental Manager from UA Little Rock. She is a Certified Woman Entrepreneur from Cornell University, a graduate of Leadership Greater Little Rock, past Chairman of Auditing Committee for Southern Gas Federal Credit Union, past Diversity and Inclusion committee member for the City of Little Rock, Commissioner for the City of Jacksonville, past-chairman of the Board of Adjustment, and past chairman of the Planning Commission and a graduate of the Rock It! Lab Accelerator Program.
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“At Rock City, we take great pride and purpose in what we do. That’s why we always seek to outperform client expectations.”
Vivian shares how her faith in God has shaped her life from the very beginning. “I am so grateful to God for choosing me for such a time as this. Life for me began in Forrest City. My parents were teenagers when I was born. My mom, Barbara Paulette, was a senior in high school. My father, Leon Jones, Sr. was attending college in another city. In a sense, my mom and I grew up together. She raised me and my two sisters, Tracy and Tajuan in a strict Pentecostal household. We were in the church from sun-up until sundown at least four days a week. That is where my faith began and where I learned to trust and believe in God. My mom and dad worked hard to provide for my sisters and me. Mom worked for a time in factories making garments and televisions before she decided that was not the life she wanted for herself or her daughters. She decided to further her education and became a CNA, became certified in early childhood education, and worked as a transport driver before settling down in the classroom. That’s where I got my inquisitive mind and my love of learning. My dad operated a well-respected construction business for the past forty years, and my father has been self-employed for 48 years. They both stepped out on faith, took a chance on themselves, worked hard, and are now reaping the benefits of following God’s path. That’s where I got my entrepreneurial spirit from,” she shares.
After getting married and moving to the central Arkansas area, Vivian knew this was where she could flourish. The big city lights, highways, fast cars, and endless opportunities, she says, it was time for her to walk in the calling God has on her life.
Vivian says her job isn’t about just having a source of income or building generational wealth for her family. “I have a God-given passion for helping others, so placing someone in a job offers me a sense of personal fulfillment and professional growth. I am so blessed to wake up every morning with the opportunity and be a blessing to someone else.”
When her youngest graduated high school, she felt God telling me that now was her time. Finally, on September 14, 2021, God said it was time. She stepped out on faith, drove to her job, and resigned in the parking lot. “I knew it was now or never. I came home and reincorporated my business, Rock City Staffing Agency, and I have not looked back,” she explains.
Without any doubt, Vivian is sure she is walking in the plan God has for her because He gave her the idea to open a staffing agency and the name of the business. “I did not know much about the staffing and recruiting world, nor did I have any savings to fund a business. All I had was faith and trust in God,” she shares. A week after opening her business, Vivian was blessed with a $1000 small business grant. Still, she didn’t know where to begin or how to open a staffing and recruiting agency, but she says God provided everything needed to get her company going. “I don’t have a choice but to be successful,” she says.
Now fully operational, Rock City Staffing LLC has positioned itself as a premier staffing agency. Vivian’s advice to others who may follow in her footsteps is to pray, pray, and pray some more. “Keep God at the forefront. Do your research. Find good mentors. Go for it!”
Moving forward, she hopes to continue to follow God’s plan. “Rock City Staffing Agency is just the beginning. There is so much more that’s going to be birthed from this. We are going to use this platform to do the Kingdom’s work,” she shares. To learn more about Vivian Brittenum and Rock City Staffing Agency, please visit their website.
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Vivian Brittenum Rock City Staffing Agency LLC 501-345-7899 www.rockcitystaffing.com h
I Consult, I Counsel, I Serve
By Dorjae McClammey Photos Provided by Still Shots Photography
Yohmina Kasey of Greensboro, NC, wears many hats. On the one hand, she is an intelligent social entrepreneur; on the other, she leads a non-profit organization that focuses on improving the lives of young adults.
Born and raised in Penhook, VA, Yohmina received a Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Next, she followed that feat by acquiring her Masters of Social Work from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. Not finished, Yohmina decided to plant her roots, transition back to Greensboro, and jump-start her career.
As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Yohmina started her own practice, Peculiar Counseling and Consulting, nearly 12 years ago. Peculiar Counseling and Consulting is a group of private practice licensed therapists, social workers, and counselors. Together, they assist individuals, couples, and families with life challenges. They have years of experience and training in mental health counseling services.
The name “Peculiar” came from Yohmina wanting her agency to be unique regarding the quality of services provided and how each therapist is genuinely passionate about the therapy they deliver. She says “As the owner, I always wanted to be accessible to every client that walks through our doors no matter how big we get.”
In 2014, Yohmina wanted to expand her practice by providing services that would fill the gaps in clinical services. She answered this yearning with the development of the Selfless Foundation. Its mission is to provide innovative services and solutions to address social issues related to poverty, education, and healthcare. It provides transitional living services and intensive recovery support for young adults.
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Intensive recovery support services, also know and the “Selfless Souls” program provides help for single mothers who are recovering from substance use. We help them find employment, housing, childcare and provide lasting support to assist them with maintaining their sobriety,” she shares. “Our goal has always been to decrease child abuse with Selfless Souls because we know that much child abuse and neglect occurs when parents are involved with substance use.”
Another component offered by the Selfless Foundation is Exposed Transitional Living Services. This resource helps young adults between the ages of 16 to 21 transition to adulthood. This includes individuals who’ve faced certain hardships, such as homelessness, and need assistance with learning how to live independently. Yohmina’s team of Social Workers work with these young adults to provide much needed support to prevent homelessness, assist them with becoming employable while exposing them to different opportunities outside their current situation. Selfless Foundation also has ‘Skills on Wheels and the ‘Tutor Bar,’ a mobile tutoring service for lowincome households. Fundraising efforts are underway, and Yohmina plans to launch these new services in 2023.
Like any other business, Peculiar Counseling and Consulting has faced challenges. This includes learning how to manage her company and understanding the protocols that come along with it. Whatever the challenge, Yohmina has been committed to working through them in order to continue to serve. “As a Clinical Social Worker, people do not come to you because life is going great, they come to you because there are serious challenges presenting in their life. You have to really be passionate about this work in order to have longevity in this field. Having good work life balance for myself, helps me provide the best service I can to the people I serve.” she says.
Yohmina says she loves working in a field that keeps her grounded and connected with life and everyday people. “There is never a dull day,” she stated, but her services are needed by someone everyday.
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Yohmina’s main inspiration comes from seeing the difference that Social Workers make in people’s lives. “I can not see myself doing anything but Social Work, mainly because there is so much to do. Finding a career you love is nothing to take for granted, and I am glad I found my passion early in life,” she says.
As a Clinical Social Worker, Yohmina finds inspiration in the opportunity to work with individuals from all walks of life. She says, “The broadness of my chosen field leaves much room to impact lives in any direction. Social Workers exist because there is a need in every social institution, we survive because of the various ways that we impact lives. Getting it right and truly making a difference is what keeps me going.”
If you’re looking to follow in Yohmina’s footsteps, her advice is to try everything. “Because the field of Social Work is so broad, it is very important that you try to work wit h a variety of populations in order to find your spot. Finding out what you don’t like in this field is just as important as finding out what you do like, so try everything,” she says.
Moving forward, Yohmina says you can expect Peculiar Counseling and Consulting, as well as Selfless Foundation, to expand across the rural areas of North Carolina. She says the exact needs in Guilford County also exist in surrounding counties, and her team is prepared to serve.
Finally, Yohmina shares a quote upon which she has built her brand and life, which clearly defines her perspective of service. “Doing unto others is part of the solution. Selflessness is the solution to many of the problems in the world we’re facing.”
Please visit their website to learn more about Peculiar Counseling and Consulting and Selfless Foundation.
Peculiar Counseling and Consulting Inc. Selfless Foundation Inc. Main Office: 16 Oak Branch Drive Suite A Greensboro, NC 27407 www.peculiarcounseling.com www.selflessusa.org 336-285-7616 Yohmina Kasey h
I can not see myself doing anything but Social Work, mainly because there is so much to do. Finding a career you love is nothing to take for granted, and I am glad I found my passion early in life
By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Unity Ride LLC
Unity Ride LLC is more than a driving service. Owner and founder Tarik Gant says it’s a hospitality service as well. When one gets into one Unity’s vehicles, they will find snacks such as chips, fruit, popcorn, fruit bars, and cakes, as well as beverages such as juice, tea, water, and more. Unity Ride provides local trips, long-distance trips, one-way trips, round trips, and chauffeuring services by the hour. They also do mobile pick-up and deliveries, including groceries and restaurants.
Tarik graduated from Antioch High School and attended Tennessee State University and American Baptist College. There he studied psychology and theology. Amazingly, Tarik says he realized at age 37 that college wasn’t necessary for him to do what he loved to do. “I realized that I wasn’t going to find the perfect job. I had to create it,” he says.
Tarik describes himself as a family man. Though now separated from his wife, his three children are homeschooled and often ride with him. Their mother works two jobs and he shares, “My children ride with me just about everyday. The only time they do not ride with me is when it’s a rider I’m not familiar with and or there is not enough room for them and my passengers,” he says.
Based in Nashville, TN, Unity Ride LLC was birthed from Tarik’s understanding of the need for more transportation services and as a response to a life-changing situation he endured. “In 2015, my wife miscarried the first child we conceived together. Although we lost the child in the first trimester, we never knew the sex of the child. I never wanted the baby to be forgotten. I felt that the miscarriage challenged us greatly and strengthened our union. I decided to name the baby Unity. That’s how the name Unity Ride came to life. Not only is it a business, but It is in honor of the baby I never got to hold and see in the flesh,” he says.
Four years later, in 2019, Tarik launched Unity Ride LLC. “I learned I am passionate about transporting people safely and providing an entertaining and freespirited atmosphere while driving for Uber part-time. One night while driving for Uber, I thought I could provide the same services. So from that point, the rest is history,” he says.
Unity Ride LLC serves Nashville and the surrounding areas mostly. Tarik says there is no place in the United States his company will not travel to. When asked what he loves most about what he does, he says, “I love the connections that I make. The friendships, bonds, business, and even family through the people I meet. I love it when the service is so good that my riders express love towards my children and me. Whether they express it verbally or through gestures, I’m grateful most for the connections. Next to that, I love traveling to different places,” he says.
While Tarik has enjoyed the successes of business ownership, he has also faced some challenges. He says that shortly after launching, he was hit with the Covid 19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020. “The world shut down right after I quit my full-time job and started Unity Ride LLC. I overcame that challenge by continuing to advertise and meet riders. My consistency and passion helped me to overcame that challenge,” he says.
Another challenge Unity faced was losing money from riders that would ride but would not pay. “I lost a lot of money when I allowed riders to pay me after they received my services. It was a tough lesson to learn, but I overcame it with a strict policy of having the riders pay invoices before they get into the vehicle,” he says.
Tarik obviously loves the things that currenlty happening with Unity Ride. He also says there is nothing he would change about his experience in business thus far. “I know that everything is happening the way it should be. I know i’m on the right path and doing what I came here to do, so I wouldn’t change a thing about the journey,” Tarik shares.
His advice to others who may follow in footsteps is simple. “Stay in the moment, keep the initial vision alive, and remain conscious of how far you’ve come,” he says. In the future, Tarik’s plans for Unity Ride is to add a full fleet of vehicles provided for all drivers. He also plans to have Unity Ride Stations nationwide, and provide job security for drivers. “The possibilities are limitless and I plan to give each one that comes to mind, a chance,” Tarik says.
To learn more about Unity Ride LLC, please visit their website.
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Urban Esthetic Interiors, LLC
By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Dymetra Caskill
Dymetra McCaskill of Denver, CO, has a unique eye for detail. Her ability to look at a blank canvas and create works of art has propelled her to being one of America’s top African American interior designers.
Along with being a mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter, Dymetra is the owner and founder of Urban Esthetic Interiors, LLC. As a black designer, you will notice hints of cultural esthetics, vibrant colors, and warm textures. She describes it as a whole vibe!
With her company, Dymetra offers one-on-one, personalized design experiences and collaborates with her clients to create what she describes as a beautiful space.
Dymetra was born and raised in Denver. There she attended school and obtained a Business Management degree. All of her family resides in Denver, including the matriarch of her family, who is now a great-great-grandmother. Dymetra is also a lover of music and says, “If you come to my home, there’s always music playing and candles burning. I’m always tinkering around with something design related,” she says.
Urban Esthetic Interiors, LLC came to life in 2020 during the Covid 19 pandemic. “I worked full-time as a flight attendant, and because of the pandemic, I was temporarily furloughed. During that time, I was able to divert all of my attention to interior design, develop a business model, improve my skill set, and work,” Dymetra says.
When asked what she loves about having her own company, she says it’s all about the art of design. “I love beginning with a blank canvas and using my imagination to create a work of art. There are so many moving parts, which can be challenging at times, but that is what drives me. I test the limits with each project, make bold choices, and experiment with new trends.”
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While Dymetra says she is inspired by her friends and family’s support and encouragement, she specifically acknowledges her mother for being the most significant source. Dymetra says her mom was the first to let her use a miter saw, which she thought was just a “guy thing” at the time. “I gained confidence, and it allowed me to feel limitless,” she says.
Growing up, Dymetra says her mother would always rearrange furniture and have beautiful plants throughout the house. She shares that everything had its place. Even more, Dymetra’s dad is a pretty good designer in his own right. “Dad designs with class and deliberate pieces. His home shows like a model home, and I always wanted that for my space,” she says.
Additionally, Dymetra says that all things visually beautiful inspire her. “My son, who mimic’s my feature wall ideas, inspires me. My four-month-old grandson, who greets me with bright eyes and the happiest smile, inspires me. My sisters, who consistently root for me, inspire me. My aunt, who always eloquently encourages me, inspires me. My gramma, who covers me in prayer every day, showers me in love, and shows me how a fierce black woman moves and shakes in this world inspires me,” she says.
Things are going great for Dymetra, and she says there isn’t much she would change about how things have happened for her in business. If anything, she says she wishes she would have started sooner but also that she firmly believes that everything happens when it’s supposed to happen. “I’ve encountered some challenges and made plenty of mistakes; however, the beauty lies in knowing they are learning lessons. I’m creating my own formula, which makes me unique, bringing about some uncertainty, but it’s a beautiful mystery. I’m hopeful and excited about what’s to come,” Dymetra says.
Her advice to others who may follow a path similar to hers is not to allow fear to keep you from leaping. “Keep some of your thoughts and plans private, and if you decide to share them, do so with those you know will encourage you. Remember, we’re always students, so we never stop learning. This is a constantly evolving business, so be prepared to operate consistently with your creativity. Whatever your dreams and desires are, release them into the wind. Allow yourself to imagine all the possibilities, keep your intentions pure, and enjoy the ride.”
By the sounds of it, Dymetra has a bright road ahead of her. Futuristically, Dymetra plans to add to her existing brand, which will include designing commercial spaces and offering my products through retail. “If I’m not in your city, I would love for anyone to have access to an Urban Esthetic Interiors experience,” she says.
To learn more about her, please contact her directly.
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Multiple Sclerosis Advocate and Thriver Published New Book
By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Sierra Hairston
Sierra Hairston of Greensboro, NC, is a 32-year-old who does many things. In addition to being a multiple sclerosis advocate and thriver, she is an author, writer, content creator, small business owner, dancer, volunteer, and social worker.
In her newly released book, Multiple Sclerosis: A Bitter Battle With An Uninvited Party Guest, Sierra takes readers on her journey of quiet, personal battles leading up to her bitter fight with her body and mind, all in the hope to find herself and her purpose again after illness.
Sierra received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 2013. In 2015, she earned her Master of Social Work degree from the Joint Master of Social Work Program between North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Additionally, she has over five years of experience in the social work field, working in various clinical and caseworker roles.
Sierra has a genuine heart for people. She is a proud volunteer who is always looking for ways to give back to the community through service and kindness in person and online. She also spends much time educating people in the multiple sclerosis community on her wellness journey. While she may have MS, the disease doesn’t stop her from enjoying an eventful lifestyle. She remains passionate about dancing and working out, taking photos of nature, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.
Sierra’s journey of educating others about MS began after being diagnosed with Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) in April 2016. She shares, “My health rapidly declined. I lost my ability to walk, eat, and complete daily tasks. I felt afraid and alone. My health improved over time through the support of my neurologist, healthcare team, physical therapy, prayers, my mother, family, and friends. My mother encouraged me to journal to start my healing process. By doing so, I discovered my gift for writing inspirational messages through journaling. My love for writing helped me be transparent and process my thoughts and feelings. This happened while trying to find me and my purpose again after illness. Journaling was therapeutic. It healed my grieving heart and propelled me to write a book to share my MS story.” More than anything, Sierra says she hopes to be a light for people facing life challenges.
When asked what she loves most about what she does, she says it’s the opportunity to advocate for people living with chronic illnesses and the families and individuals affected by the challenges it brings. “I love volunteering in the community. I love connecting with people, organizations, and community partners to promote public health and raise funds for education, research, services, and programs locally and nationally,” she says. She also loves sharing her health journey on her YouTube Channel, Sierra C. Hairston.
Sierra says her mother has impacted her life more than anything else. After her MS diagnosis, her mother took on a dual role as her primary caregiver. Sierra says, “My mother invested her love, time, and resources in helping me fulfill my passion and purpose. My mother always advocated for me and instilled in me that she was my resource, but God was my source and told me the importance of depending on and trusting in God. She took her role as a caregiver seriously and never wavered in her faith, knowing that God still had a plan and purpose for my life. My mother’s support inspired me to use my social work knowledge, transferable skills, and God-given talents and abilities to inspire, encourage, enlighten, enhance, enrich, and empower people.”
Sierra has received recognition from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and several other organizations in her community. Ultimately, she shares her goal is to help people feel empowered, encouraged, and motivated to face challenges, walk through pain, and emerge more resilient. Please visit her website to learn more about Sierra Hairston and even purchase a copy of her book.
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