Huami Magazine Denver Nov./Dec. 2022

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Urban Esthetic Interiors, LLC

Nov./Dec. 2022 Vol. 1 Issue 5 DENVER ®
K I R B Y R O B E R T S A N D C O . C O M NEED HELP RECRUITING? W E S P E C I A L I Z E I N F I N D I N G J U S T T H E R I G H T P E R S O N F O R T H E R I G H T P O S I T I O N W I T H I N A C O M P A N Y O R O R G A N I Z A T I O N . V i s i t o u r w e b s i t e f o r m o r e d e t a i l s : w w w . k i r b y r o b e r t s a n d c o . c o m

Yesterday Prepared Me For What’s Next

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

www.huamimagazine.com

Terry L. Watson Publisher

Dorjae’ McClammey Writer

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A Letter From The Editor

Tarik Gant

This man can take you places. Learn how has built his own ride sharing company. Nashville, TN

Vivian Brittenum

Learn how she stepped out on faith and built her company. Rock City Staffing Agency. Little Rock, AR

Donnie C. Young

He has universal appeal. Learn more about his journey from the streets of South Carolina to success. Greenville, SC

NOV./DEC. 2022
CONTENTS 6 On The Cover Huami
Baby Braxton
K 9 Safety Consutants Flem
VI Pearls & Politics Podcast Kahalah Clay Serving Their Community The New Black Collective
33 26 20 16
Urban Estethic Interiors LLC
Alice West-Goers
DENVER
Magazine Cutest
Moore
Peacher
Also Featured
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Urban Esthetic Interiors, LLC

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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303-505-0755 Dmccaskill35@gmail.com h

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.

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uniklean8@gmail.com www.debtcleanse.com/UCRABC www.facebook.com/UniversalLawnandFloor dcyoung372@gmail.com h
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Action is a necessary component required to bring change to a community. The type of action to which others who desire change will respond to. The kind of action that addresses the concerns and problems of a community and produces solutions that improve living conditions. Such an organization exists, and is answering the call for change.

Based in Houston, TX, The New Black Collective was developed by four high school friends; Ebony Joiner, Shaquala Warren, Kevin Thomas, and Jasmine Bledsoe. With each member reigning from Waco, TX, they share a variety of degrees and certifications from HBCUs to Ivy Leagues. Another member, DeAundra Moore, serves as Program Manager and is passionate about empowering and supporting others through direct community interaction.

Launched in 2019, The New Black Collective is a nonprofit organization that services the minority community through community outreach programs. The idea was born out of a need each member was aware of. They also genuinely wanted to give children and adults something positive to look up to.

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“To amplify the quality of life in our community, promote culture, and education; through community intitiatives and partnerships with other organizations.”

Led by Jasmine, who believes in giving back and enriching her community, The New Black Collective operates under the mission to implement community initiatives that improve access to education, investments, opportunity, and sustainable services. “I learned that surrounding myself with people who can help me is like being surrounded by tangible Godliness,” Jasmine says. The group offers curated programs that are free to the community. They also host annual events, including a Back 2 School Drive and Coats N’ Cocoa, and collaborate with other organizations and businesses in Waco, and Waco ISD.

What motivates the group as a whole? They say, “God and people. Our love for God has inspired us to love people aloud. Our people inspire us so much. Knowing that we come from a strong people who have built so many things from the ground up is an inspiration. The tenacity and perseverance of those that have come before us will always be true inspirations. They did, we can.”

Like any other startup, The New Black Collective has endured its share of trial and error. One challenge they shared was that learning what works for them as a business and what doesn’t serve them has been pivotal in their journey. They were able to overcome such challenges through mentorship and counsel. “We believe one does not know everything. So we talk to people that know a little bit more than we do and apply what we’ve learned,” they said.

Moving forward, the plan for The New Black Collective is to be a legacy of labor and love. They also hope to expand and build sustainable and forward-thinking programs. To learn more about the program and to find ways on how to get involved with their programs, please visit their website.

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“I learned that surrounding myself with people who can help me is like being surrounded by tangible Godliness.”
Jasmine Bledsoe President
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Pearls & Politics Kahalah Clay, Esq.

You get a reaction when you speak of Kahalah Clay in the southwestern Illinois area or Springfield. She’s a wife and a mom of three amazing little people: two handsome boys and a beautiful little girl. In addition to that, Kahalah is a powerfully effective advocate for her community. She is the kind of person people quickly take notice of.

Kahalah Clay, born and raised in East St. Louis, is the daughter of the late former East St. Louis Fire Chief Bruce Hill, Jr. and Mrs. Reola Hill. She graduated from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign with a degree in Pre-Law/Speech Communication and later obtained her law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Kahalah has served as St. Clair County assistant state’s attorney and won her campaign for Circuit Clerk of St. Clair County three terms in a row. In November 2021, Kahalah stepped down as Circuit Clerk, taking on a new role as Chief Legal Counsel at - Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

“I was blessed to serve as St. Clair County Clerk for ten years. I transitioned to my new position as Chief Legal Counsel for the Illinois Prisoner Review Board coming up on a year now. That’s my nine-tofive. I was blessed to launch my God idea, Pearls & Politics, LLC, in June of this year. From the LLC, stemmed Pearls & Politics Podcast,” Kahalah shared.

Pearls & Politics Podcast is a platform for the empowerment of women and the uplifting of our communities. “The podcast has been a fourth-month, full-time labor of love, but God is blowing on it,” Kahalah explains.

As a former politician, Kahalah has seen and survived a great deal. With Pearls & Politics, she is creating a space that won’t just inform but educate. It will allow her to combine all of the elements that make her who she is, African American female, attorney, politician, wife, mother, and family-focused community leader to advance her culture.

“I had been praying for this wonderful “God idea” for years. Just an opportunity to make a difference while providing additional income for my family. And ultimately leave a legacy for my children’s children. I think about all of the business moguls and the ideas that have revolutionized the world as we know it, and I was like, ‘Okay, God. What do you have for me?’”

The birth of Pearls & Politics is an excellent example of beauty for ashes. People had time to sit still and refocus when the world shut down due to the Covid 19 pandemic of 2020. As a result, many great and innovative ideas were born.

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During the pandemic, everything was virtual. We lived and interacted with our jobs, loved ones, and doctors via virtual platforms like Zoom and WebEx. I had the opportunity to take part in an Alpha Kappa Alpha Women in Politics forum. All attendees were A. K. As and were either currently running for office or elected officials. We discussed the current political climate, voter registration, what it meant to be a black woman in politics, and why we ran for office. It allowed black female politicians to express themselves, discussing their positions and perceptions of life as African American women in politics. The conversation was insightful and engaging. I remember thinking, ‘Man, this feels good!’” Kahalah exclaimed. “And it hit me. This needed to be a podcast.” With her God idea in hand, Kahalah started putting things in motion, and before she knew it, Pearls & Politics LLC was born.

Despite her public persona and political reputation, Kahalah sees herself starting from the bottom as she builds her brand and works to gain traction for her podcast. “So many great things have already been birthed from the Pearls & Politics. For example, we partner with a local law firm and my church to host a voter registration rally. We were able to bring the community out to meet the experts. It didn’t matter whom they were voting for. Our goal was to get people ready to go to the polls and let their vote speak for them.”

The rally was held in East St. Louis’ Jones Park. Pearls & Politics, in partnership with Sanderford & Associates and Power of Change Christian Church, created a family-friendly environment. Some vendors were available to discuss community healthcare, family food, and nutrition, as well as hear from the experts about the issues voters needed to be aware of on election day.

“The voter registration drive is just one of the many things we hope to birth from the LLC. But Pearls & Politics isn’t just political talk,” Kahalah explains. “The end goal of the podcast is the advancement of the African American woman, to give access to useful and accurate information to the African American community and communities of color. This includes discussing business and entrepreneurship, women’s and men’s health and self-care, financial health, and home ownership. These topics are important to any community but have systematically been withheld from the black communities.”

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The name Pearls & Politics isn’t just because she is affiliated with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. The name has a deeper meaning. “The name Pearls & Politics has a purpose. The pearls are of wisdom, knowledge, and information relevant to communities of color, specifically women of color. Getting good reliable information into the hands of the black community is pivotal to cultural growth and encouraging citizens to self-advocate by voting. We have covered mental health in the black community extensively. We looked at it from the black female’s perspective, the black male, and black children’s. It’s important to understand that each group needs something different. We did an entire series on financial literacy because, as a community, we have to learn to be fiscally responsible and understand how to become successful entrepreneurs and business owners and how to invest. These important pearls will help us grow and advance as a people and a community.”

“More important than anything else, the podcast is all about providing the African American community and communities of color with political information that is not misinformation,” Kahalah explains. “Studies have shown, and statistics are clear, that the black community is one of the most purposefully misled communities. The abundance of misinformation during the 2020 election was geared toward the black population. So creating a reliable outlet for information and resources is important to me. As a people, we need to be registered and mobilized. Being registered does nothing if you don’t vote.”

Launched in June of 2022, Pearls and Politics has been gaining traction all over the country and around the world. “I’m excited to see the progress we are making. I was initially nervous, but within the first six weeks, we had over a thousand followers on Facebook. It doubled in twelve weeks. The steady growth confirms the need for this kind of platform. Our podcast and Youtube shorts have been viewed in over thirty countries. The episode with senator Chris Belt received two-thousand views in seven hours!” Kahalah said with excitement.

Although Pearls & Politics is focused heavily on African American women, it is also catching the attention of male views. “We call our tribe or female viewers Political Pearls. They make up ninety percent of our viewers. But we also have male views, who currently comprise ten percent of those watching. Those are our political gents who seem to be taking notice.”

If there is one thing Kahalah has proven as a woman of faith and the people, it gets done when she sets her mind to do something. Pearls & Politics is just one episode away from taking the world by storm and changing how African American women in politics are seen by their constituents and themselves.

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name Pearls & Politics has a purpose. The pearls are of wisdom, knowledge, and information relevant to communities of color, specifically women of color.” Kahalah Clay, Esq. Pearls & Politics LLC www.thepearlsandpoliticspodcast.com 615-510-9186 h
“The

K-9 Safety Consultants LLC

Family is essential to Flem Preacher Sr. He is the sixth Flem Preacher in his family and the second generation of leadership in the K-9 Safety Consultants firm.

K-9 Safety Consultants LLC was launched on January 29, 1985, by founder Flem Peacher V of Detroit, Michigan. K9 Safety Consultants is a household name and brand people can trust. K9 Safety Consultants has trained private firms, law enforcement agencies, celebrities, athletes, and the general public. The “K9 Safety Method” enhances the relationship and communication between dog owners and their furry friends.

Flem Peacher VI, the company’s CEO, and his wife, Talitha Peacher, the company administrator, along with his sister, Flemesha (Peacher) Armstrong, president, are in charge of securing the family-run company for the next generation.

The founder of K-9 Safety Consultants was Flem Peacher V. This business was not just a job but a calling. Birth from tragedy, the founder Flem Peacher V built a legacy that would span over forty years.

“Our story started with a near-fatal mauling. When my dad was around thirteen, he was walking down the street, and a neighbor’s pit bull got loose. The vicious attack left my father close to death. Needless to say, that experience traumatized him. After surviving that attack, my father was terrified of dogs. It didn’t matter what kind. He couldn’t be around them or see them. If someone said the word, he would panic, looking around to see if there was a dog nearby. My grandfather was concerned and didn’t want his son to continue to live in terror. He firmly believed that the best way to get over your fear was to face them head-on. So, my grandparents bought my father a puppy. This helped him see that not all dogs were the same. As he bonded with the dog, my grandparents noticed that he had an unusual gift for training the dog. This confirms that everything happens for a reason. If not for the attack, the talent my father possessed may have never been revealed.”

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www.k9safetytraining.com 248-991-2896

After overcoming his fear, Flem’s father fell in love with dogs. Everyone around him noticed his unique gift of reading a dog’s behavior. They also noticed that he could train dogs to perform practically anything on command. Through experience, he began to develop what is known as the “K9 Safety Method.” This method has been proven and used worldwide to transform millions of dogs into model citizens. “After marrying my mother, my dad moved to Arlington, Texas, and went on to receive many specialty certifications. Including Schutzhund training.”

According to the United Schutzhund Clubs of America or USCA, “Schutzhund is a German word meaning “protection dog.” It refers to a sport that focuses on developing and evaluating dog traits that make them more useful and happier companions to their owners. Schutzhund’s work concentrates on three parts. Many are familiar with the obedience work of the American Kennel Club’s affiliates and will recognize the first two parts, tracking and obedience. The Schutzhund standards for the third part, protection work, are similar to those for dogs in police work.”

Upon returning to Detroit with his wife, young son, and daughter in tow, Flem’s father, saw the need to add another layer to the training of personal security dogs. “When my father moved us back to Detroit recognized that the dogs had to be able to discern their environment. With the crime rate as high as it was, the animal couldn’t properly protect its owner in the streets of Detroit if they weren’t trained to do so. So, he trained them in real conditions.”

This led Flem’s father to go door to door, offering his services. “He went from house to house asking people to let him transform their dogs. And that’s how it started. One house, one client, one dog at a time.” Eventually, word spread about the success Flem’s father was having, and their clientele grew. By the time Flem was ready to take over the business, the Peacher name was known by dog owners across the country.

One of the many things K-9 Safety consultants prides itself on is that they not only train the dog, but we train the owner. “What makes us unique is that we train the client and their dog. Because the dog is only as good as its handler, and the handler is only as good as the coach. As coaches, we have to educate and empower the handler. Once the owner or handler has completely bought-in to the theory behind what we do, you see a different kind of relationship between the dog and its owner.”

K-9 Safety Consultants’ “both sides of the leash” approach to training gives them success with dogs that most people won’t work with or own. “We are known for dealing with the dogs that most people have given up on,” Flem explains. “We have partnered with rescue organizations and taken on dogs sentenced to be euthanized. We’ve found that most people don’t know how to handle or respond to dogs with behavior issues. Like us, dogs have emotional issues and trauma, but they cannot express it the way we do. That’s where our approach excels.”

Flem and his sister Flemesha were raised watching, helping, and being trained by their father in the family business. Their mother was the executive administrator, and their father the CEO. Just like his name, Flem knew that K-9 Consultants would be passed on to him one day. At the age of twenty-one, he and his wife were newly married and had just purchased their first home. They were starting their new life together, and Flem was preparing to take up the torch when the recession hit.

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“It had always been my dream to run the business, but because of the recession, there was no business. Our clients had to choose between paying basic utilities and paying for dog training. All I could do was stand by and watch our business, legacy, and my father’s hard work dry up. My father did everything he could to keep the doors open, but eventually, in about 2007, the banks foreclosed, and K-9 Safety Consultants was no more,” Flem confessed. With fewer clients, employees were laid off. “It was the toughest period in my life. We lost our home and our car. We lost everything. I’ve been a certified master trainer since I was thirteen. I didn’t know anything else.”

After losing everything, Flem found himself at what he said was his lowest point. “I had to work, so a friend connected me with a job as a part-time lunch aid, making $8.00 an hour. I was at my lowest point. My parents were multi-millionaires, so I never knew the kind of struggle I was experiencing. God was humbling me. Ministry wasn’t on my radar then, but God had plans.”

Taking the job as a lunch aid, Flem trusted that there was something bigger ahead. Like his dad, it wasn’t long before people noticed his unique talent. “The students at my school were rough. But they needed someone to give them structure and show them that they cared. Although I was just an aid, I didn’t sit by and allow them to be disrespectful. I knew how to give constructive discipline, and people took notice.”

Even in his dark place, God showed favor to Flem. Within ten years, he went from being a part-time cafeteria aid to Dean of students. “I didn’t want there to be a reason I couldn’t progress, so I went to school to show myself approved.” After losing everything, Flem and his family were finally starting to stand on firm financial ground. But the dream he thought was dead was only sleeping.

“K-9 Safety Consultants had closed physically, but it was always on my mind. So, once I made decent money and we were stable, I started training dogs again. I started just like my father did. I went door to door.” It wasn’t long before K-9 Safety Consultants was back in business with over two thousand clients. Flem could leave education and go full-time into the training business again.

The company continues to prosper and be a blessing to its community. They won the business of the year in 2022. And through their K-9 Cadet program, they have mentored twenty-five hundred children and youth, ages nine to eighteen, because the Peacher family legacy is bigger than dog training. They have also granted scholarships to students who what to further their education.

“This has truly been a rollercoaster ride, but I wouldn’t do anything differently. God has blessed us beyond measure with a life and legacy that I pray will last another forty years.”

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“It had always been my dream to run the business, but because of the recession, there was no business. Our clients had to choose between paying basic utilities and paying for dog training. All I could do was stand by and watch our business, legacy, and my father’s hard work dry up.”

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.

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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. www.unity-ride.com h

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Rock City Staffing Agency, LLC

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, Pat Haggins, has owned and operated a well-respected construction business for over forty years. My father, Leon Jones, Sr 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 inherited my entrepreneurial spirit.,” 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 spoke to me and said now is the time! I stepped out on faith, drove to my job, and resigned in the parking lot! I knew it was now or never. I chose my NOW! I came home and incorporated Rock City Staffing Agency and 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
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Rock City Staffing Agency LLC www.rockcitystaffing.com

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