Huami Magazine Kansas City July/August 2022

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July/August 2022 Vol. 1 Issue 4

Sarah Watson

Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage Kansas City - July/August 2022


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The Benefits and Burdens of Your Assignment A Letter From The Editor

With the onset of each new day, there is always a list of things for me to accomplish waiting for me. I prepare my day based on the available hours; you can probably say that I am routine. I would beg to differ and counter by saying I work better in blocks of time and with a plan in place. I have been fortunate to learn that I don’t efficiently function without one. That’s just me. On the other hand, I am grateful for having something to look forward to doing. While often things may appear overwhelming, I can rest in the fact that God has chosen me for this experience. This is my assignment. It’s not a “why me Lord” question that I ask; instead, it’s a “why not me Lord” affirmation expressed. There are several ways to understand or comprehend God’s assignment upon us. We can face it head-on and work diligently to complete the mission or not. What I find so fascinating is that when God initially blessed me with purpose, I wasn’t shown what the end would be like. He didn’t brief me on the events that would occur, and I must say, there have been some good and some bad ones. If I have learned anything thus far, I know that the same pattern will likely repeat itself at some time or another. Still, once I tapped into God’s presence and listened for His voice, I realized it was time for me to get moving. And that’s what I did. God also gives us the freedom to ignore our assignments. While it’s not wise, running from what God calls us into only delays our destiny and purpose. God’s word says His yoke is easy to bear, and the burden He gives is light. Because I believe His word, my desire to complete my mission is ignited. Even more, I understand that I am not alone in the fight, and someone else is actually carrying the bulk of my load. All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and move. The blessing in our assignments is revealed to us once our attitude about the assignment is changed. We can embrace the assignment and trust the process or ignore it. Remember that God gives us a choice. He also blesses us with life; with that gift comes a plan. I encourage you to tap into what God has assigned you to do and enjoy a life full of purpose and promise.

Terry L. Watson 4 Terry L. Watson


Dorjea’ McClammey Monica Montgomery Terry L. Watson Ellen Richardson Marrissa DickTamara Smith

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Ava & Associates

Ava Smith


Baker Unified Fitness

Richard Baker


On The Cover

Healing Medical & Therapuetic Massage Sarah Watson



Antonia Boakye


Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Love Monae’ Anthony


Also Featured

Jennifer Jones It began with providing a service to a coworker. It has become a full fledged business. Meet the face and founder of JenSa Massage. Charleston, SC


Foluke Houston-Gaddis She is in the business of helping and serving others. Learn more about P3 Human Capital Solutions. Memphis, TN


Tijania Goodwin Learn more about the face and founder of Divine Connection Agency LLC. Philadelphia, PA


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Sarah Watson

Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Sarah Watson

“I am just a girl from Wyandotte County, also known as Kansas City, Kansas.” That is how Sarah Watson describes herself. Growing up, Sarah shares how she always desired to become the CEO of a prestigious company, though she admits she never dreamed that it would be her own. Well, that proves that we never really know what life has in store for us. Today, Sarah owns Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage, based in Lenexa, KS. Her company offers various services designed to strengthen the health of her patients by customizing treatment sessions to fit each individual’s needs. Sarah adds her products are made with all-natural ingredients and provide temporary relief from minor aches and pains. There are plans to expand into other areas in the future. Sarah graduated from Washington High School and later attended massage school. “I never thought about becoming a massage therapist until a family member suggested we enroll together. I knew I wanted to do something with my life, and becoming CEO of somebody else’s company was going to be easier said than done, so I went back to school,” she says. After graduating from Heritage Massage School in 2005, she had her first and only child in December 2006. She says it was a struggle being a single mom while trying to build her business. “But God,” she says. She graduated from massage school in 2005 but returned to the corporate world soon after. “I felt a void; something was missing. I knew that healing was my passion and calling, and I couldn’t help people the way my heart desired,” she says. In 2009, Sarah decided to enhance her status and become nationally certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Three years later, in August 2012, she decided to step out on faith and open Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage.


Life began to move along for Sarah. In 2015, she began to date her husband before marrying him in 2017. “It’s funny how God reveals things to you in due time; His time. My husband and I have known each other for the majority of our lives. We even lived next door to each other, but I never looked at him as anything more than a friend. Then one day, we saw each other out and decided to exchange numbers, and the rest is history,” she says. During the Covid 19 pandemic, Sarah decided to put her knowledge to the test. By doing so, she gained the certification of Medical Massage Therapist (MMT). That move changed the trajectory of her life, and as of today, she has been working full-time for herself for nearly ten years. Sarah says what inspires her the most is seeing other black women entrepreneurs succeeding and being professional businesswomen. It allows her to recognize that faith without work is dead, and she firmly believes that if they can do it, she can too. “It’s not about being popular; it’s about being successful,” she confesses. She also shares how she loves being able to offer relief to individuals who are suffering from muscle pain due to post-op surgery, an illness, or car accidents. “It’s exciting to see their health progress and feel and do better as a result of coming to Healing Medical and Therapeutic Massage.” Most businesses will face challenges at some point, and for Sarah, there is no exception. For her, she says it is not being recognized by medical insurance companies. “I believe if insurance companies covered medical massages, a lot more people would be able to invest in their health through the healing art of massage.” Sarah credits Jesus Christ and her husband for being constant sources of inspiration. “All glory and honor goes to God. This business journey was and is His provision, and I’m just the vessel. I say that because He always directs my steps, and when I get off course, He guides me back to where I’m supposed to be. God helps me not only in a business aspect but in every area of my life. My husband James is my number one supporter and fan. He encourages and prays for me when I can’t do it for myself,” she says. In the future, Sarah shares that Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage will expand. Currently, she is looking for candidates who recently graduated from massage school and are interested in medical massage careers. Ultimately, Sarah shares that her goal is to teach other massage therapists how to heal others through massage effectively. “I know as long as I continue to trust and abide in God, He will continue to give me the desires of my heart that’ll be more than what I could ever ask or think,” she says. Please visit their website to learn more about Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage. h


Healing Medical & Therapeutic Massage 9

I’m Here To Serve

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Latisha Miles

She is known for her unceasing devotion to serving others, an attribute the Upstate area of South Carolina has grown to cherish and appreciate. Without hesitancy, she eagerly answers the call to assist in any way, whether in business or from a personal perspective. In addition to leading and serving, Ava Smith is also an accomplished entrepreneur. She is the owner of Flat Fee Recruiting and Ava Smith & Associates. Flat Fee Recruiting is a permanent placement recruiting firm that provides quality employees at affordable rates. It also assists companies in various industries and with all types of vacancies. Ava Smith & Associates is a full-cycle HR Consulting firm that operates as an outsourced HR Manager or Director for small businesses, non-profits, and ministries throughout the United States. Some offered services include onboarding, compliance, benefits, risk management, wellness, and training. The New Jersey native holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from Limestone University and is a Lifetime Member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society. She has over 25 years of experience as a Human Resources Professional. That includes employee relations, compliance, recruitment, retention, and training. Ava began her career in the non-profit sector and shifted into manufacturing, the corporate arena, and staffing. Throughout her career, Ava progressively moved upward in her positions, serving in various roles from HR Assistant to HR Director. In August 2002, Ava began her own firm, HR Specialties, which specialized in providing HR services, training, and recruiting. She later expanded this firm by adding additional experts and rebranded it into what is now widely known as Ava Smith & Associates. In 2010, she formed a permanent placement agency called Flat Fee Recruiting. Her agency received the Minority Business of the Year Award in 2013 through the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. Ava is also a noted Diversity Trainer and has delivered hundreds of sessions throughout the Southeast since 2005. Her clientele involves corporations, manufacturers, non-profits, service organizations, government officials, municipalities, universities, hospital systems, local chambers, and faithbased organizations. Ava is known for her unique style and approach that captures her audience’s attention, allowing them to discuss diverse topics easily. Even more, she was the Recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Diversity Award, given by the Greenville, SC Chapter of SHRM.

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Ava has served the Upstate of South Carolina in various roles, including current Board Member with the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, current Board Member with The University Center of Greenville, Board Member with Greenville Technical Charter High School, Board Member with Junior Achievement (Greenville, SC), Diversity Director of the SC Society of Human Resource Management State Council, Advisory Board Member with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Steering Committee Member with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Advisor with Greenville Chamber of Commerce CAPACITY Builders program, Chair with Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Greenville Women at Work (GW@W) initiative, Advisory Board Member for Virginia College, Advisory Board Member for ECPI School of Technology, Board Member for the Greenville Society of Human Resource Management (GSHRM), Chair of the Diversity/Inclusion Committee for GSHRM, President of the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greenville, Board Member of Fostering Great Ideas, Advisory Board Member for Clemson Small Business Development Center, Steering Committee Member for MLK Dream Weekend, a member of the Clemson CU-ICAR Diversity Committee, and member of the Greenville Technical College Multicultural Advisory Board. These accomplishments and contributions have resulted in her being honored extensively. How did Ava get to where she is now? She says, “I originally started my career in accounting. After obtaining a two-year certificate, I became a bookkeeper for a large finance company. I thought I was destined to have a 10key calculator under my hand until I retired. However, a restructure left me without a position. As a single mom, I had no choice but to pursue any vacancy I could find to make ends meet. After searching for several weeks, I found a position at a local non-profit that would change the trajectory of my life.” Her career in HR began when Ava was only 24 years old. “At that time, the industry called it the “Personnel Department”. My job description had two line items. I was to pass out applications and answer the phone. I was unsatisfied with those simple tasks and began asking for more responsibility. A year-and-a-half later, I was the HR Manager of a facility with 400 employees. As my career continued, I would eventually hold HR roles in various industries,” she says. Ava says while serving in her previous HR roles, she realized a common need for employees accompanied by the inability of their small budgets to cover the cost of staffing. To address this, in 2009, she launched Flat Fee Recruiting. When asked what she loves most about what she does, Ava shares how she loves bringing solutions. “I am a problem solver for businesses that need HR support without having the workload that requires a full-time position. I also love being a part of their business strategy team. My clients include me in their vision and long-term plans, and I assist them with walking it out,” she says.

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Ava shares how she finds inspiration in her children and grandchildren. “I always want to be their role model, and knowing they look to me as an example pushes me not to give up. I am also inspired by my father, who recently passed away. He left such a feeling of “legacy” that it has shown me that I am not only working for what is in front of me, I am also working for what I plan to leave behind,” she says. Becoming an entrepreneur, Ava says, was not something she had planned to do. “I was not prepared, and I had to identify training and learning opportunities to gain knowledge on how to be successful. I was challenged by having to build a network with other business owners and people that could support me on this journey. Being open-minded and believing that failing could still be a form of winning helps me overcome challenges on a daily basis.” For anyone who is considering starting a business, Ava offers some advice that may be of assistance. “Knowledge is power. If you are pursuing entrepreneurship, take business courses, be aware of what your legal and financial obligations will be so that you will be prepared. If you are currently in business, continuously find ways to stay innovative and an expert in your field. Choose yourself even when you feel like no one else will.” Please visit her website to learn more about Ava Smith and her companies. h

Ava Smith & Associates 864-448-0939

Flat Fee Recruiting 864-326-4211

Celebrating Fifteen Years of Acknowledging Black Excellence

2007 - 2022


Richard Baker Baker Unified Fitness

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By Dorjea’ McClammey Photos Provided by Richard Baker It’s never too late to get physically fit. Without question, being physically active promotes good health and positively impacts mental health. This is the arena where Richmond, VA resident Richard Baker excels. He is the founder of Baker Unified Fitness. Richard has operated in the fitness industry for over 12 years. Not only is he knowledgeable in everything fitness, but he also has a background in elementary education and previously worked as a social worker for eight years. Richard’s chosen profession didn’t happen by chance. For the most part, his journey in life has led him to it. He has played sports, beginning at age seven. This included everything from track and field, basketball, baseball, and his favorite sport, football. His passion for recreation led to him becoming a coach at Chowan University in Virginia, which happens to be the same school where he played sports. After coaching at Chowan, he moved to Richmond and continued to coach and build up his clientele. In 2017, Richard’s brother, an entrepreneur, gave him the idea to branch out and start his own fitness company. “From the student-athletes and parents I trained, my brother saw my potential before I did. He took a picture of some cash and texted it to me asking if I was ready and to start looking for rental spaces,” Richard shares. From there, Richard got straight to work, pricing all the equipment he would need, setting up the studio, putting in floorboards, and building just about everything from the ground up. With only one client at the time, Baker Unified Fitness was born. Since its conception, the brand has done nothing but flourish. Baker Unified Fitness, or “BUF” for short, offers essential personal training fitness with a twist. Richard calls it “Partner Training”, which allows clients to bring friends or partners to join them in training. He says this makes them feel more comfortable, motivated, and accountable. Another way Richard has grown his business is by renting out his fitness space to other independent trainers and for fitness events. Richard shares that his favorite type of training is Group Fitness. “The Group Fitness represents the brand’s culture,” he says. Richard always promotes accountability, and his community and clients latch on to that. He shares, “They have a sense of community and pride about our brand because that is what we talk about. It all has to do with the kind of energy you get when you’re in our space. It’s not just a gym. Clients don’t just come in to work out and leave; they stick around and connect, strengthening their community.”

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Baker Unified Fitness also offers training outside the gym, such as their annual hike. Once a year, Richard takes his clients on a hike about an hour away into the mountains. Additionally, during the spring and summer, they offer outdoor pop-up training sessions across Richmond. Baker Unified Fitness also brings in guest speakers who not only talk about fitness but nutrition as well. While the journey has been incredible, Richard also points out a few challenges he’s faced. Some of them were a lack of resources and being a first-time entrepreneur. He shares he did not have disposable income to achieve everything he wanted. Through it all, he continued to grow, build, and learn everything he could and be open to adapting and adopting new services and making his business unforgettable. He’s joined business organizations with resources and seminars which have connected him with other business owners and entrepreneurs. “Those things have allowed me to take my business to the next level,” he says. Richard says his biggest inspiration is his family. He says that watching his daughter grow reminds him how much he loves helping people develop in every aspect of his life. Richard offers clear advice for anyone looking to follow in his footsteps. “Seek information, and whatever you learn, apply it! The biggest thing that ever helped me was when I looked for information and asked questions. Doing these gave me the knowledge I needed to be a successful business owner.

Richard Baker

Baker Unified Fitness 804-592-1867

Moving forward, only expect the best out of Baker Unified Fitness. They plan on reaching the next level of becoming a corporate fitness business. “We would love to take our whole style, energy, and swag and just drop it in a company,” says Richard. They also plan to continue to offer classes and personal training and share their fitness plans with others. He concludes by sharing, “Many people see fitness and become intimidated. I hope people can understand the true benefit of fitness, incorporate it into their lives, and adopt it as a lifestyle.” To learn more about Richard Baker and Baker Unified business, please visit their website. h

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P 3 Human Capital Solutions P Human Capital Solutions

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Foluke Houston

Foluke Houston-Gaddis has a very clear and simple goal; to connect people to their purpose and passion. The Vicksburg, MS, native and current Germantown, TN, resident is the face and founder of P3 Human Capital Solutions. This diverse and woman-owned organization provides strategic solutions, enabling talent and organizations to develop and sustain high-performing and inclusive environments. The company’s guiding principles are the most practical parts of P3, which Foluke clearly outlines. “Our universal, enduring principles guide our organization in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in project goals, strategies, and work climates. Following these guiding principles, we create bigger and better value for our stakeholders and clients in collaboration with innovation and integrity,” she says. “We stand on Integrity, First - Trust & Service Always. We believe that feedback serves as a gift. We also understand the value of simplicity, and we do not allow anyone to stand alone and are always value-focused.” Foluke is the wife of Rodney Gaddis and the youngest of six children. She is a national keynote speaker, award-winning community leader, and Human Resources expert that values service and excellence. As a global talent leader, Foluke brings unique perspectives from her experience working within Fortune 300 and Fortune 100 private sector organizations, local and federal government agencies, and community groups within the HR space.

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Using real-world examples, Foluke says her personal and professional mission is to positively impact others through her gifts. “P3 was a vision in my mind for over ten years; however, like so many others before me, I was apprehensive about stepping out on faith. I had this vision, but something was missing. In late 2021, I was referred to a non-profit organization, Innate Success Corporation, which provides business mentoring to aspiring and new business owners. Innate provided me with the missing ingredient of business start-up knowledge and confidence. Still, I needed guidance on the “how” of entrepreneurship, such as how to create my business plan, how to complete the legal compliance steps, etc. Once I completed the program, P3 was ready to roll,” she shares. Before completing the program with Innate Success Corp, Foluke had secured contractual collaborations with two national organizations and provided them with services such as Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging(DIB) program assessment and training development and facilitation. Foluke shares that she loves the opportunities P3 provides her, especially connecting others with their passion and purpose. She also loves connecting with individual clients and organizations and witnessing the positive impact of empowering someone to operate within their purpose. Anyone who has had a significant encounter with Foluke understands how important God and her family are to her. “My name, Foluke, means “Placed in God’s hand” and I truly understand the power my name possesses. My faith and upbringing have kept me humble while persisting that I operate in my purpose and excellence,” she shares. Foluke says she is inspired by transparency and being connected to authentic and transparent people. She also states her professional journey has not been easy but has been fulfilling and successful. “My testimony is that I can and will be transparent at all times to inspire others.” Every part of Foluke’s journey hasn’t been easy. There have been a few challenges she’s had to face. Still, she confesses that she wouldn’t change anything. “Every accomplishment, connection, and misstep has led me to this moment. I have learned so much since arriving in Tennessee. It has all played a part in the inception of P3.” For those who may follow in her footsteps, Foluke offers some sound advice. “Rest in the promises, not the paranoia. A lot of times, we sabotage our own success by thinking, “what if I fail” or “how will I sustain my business?” My advice is to rest in that God would not have placed the business idea in your spirit and heart unless there was a provision already waiting for you to take action. Also, know that it’s not about you. Someone or some organization needs your gifts. There is a call on every one of our lives, and your “yes” to starting a business or a non-profit will impact someone’s life. You are the answer to someone’s call for help. And finally, render the pen. We are not the author or finisher of our fate, and as business owners, we like to control outcomes with our perspective. Do your best, build relationships, provide excellent service, and trust that everything will work out the way it should.” Moving forward, Foluke says that P3 is deeply committed to helping her individual clients realize their worth and what they bring to the table. She is also committed to helping leaders, teams, and organizations evaluate their current practices and culture and influence true, positive change. She also states the P3 website is in production and will be live by mid-August. In the meantime, they are open for 20222023 consulting services and projects. Individual clients and organizations can book their initial consultation at

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G oodwin The Divine Connections Agency By Dorjea’ McClammey Photos Provided by Tijania Goodwin Tijania Goodwin of Philadelphia, PA, is the owner of The Divine Connections Agency. The self desrcibed “jack of all trades” shares how the plight for her success began as a young child. Her mother enrolled her in the best magnet schools. Yet, at eight years old, Tijania was thrust into the responsibilities of life after her mother suffered nerve damage from an accident. Tijania didn’t allow these changes to slow her down, and she made the most of her life, enjoying it with her mother as they traveled all around the world and more. As life continued to happen for Tijania, the picture would become clear that she was destined to leave a positive mark on the world. She would attend West Chester University and receive a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Studies. Minors in Health Education and Sociology. She later received her Master’s Degree from St Joseph’s University without missing a beat. With all of her accomplishments, Tijania knew there was more she needed to do. Currently, Tijania is the founder and owner of The Divine Connections Agency. Her company received its official name just four years ago, but she says it has been developing over the past ten years. “It all started when I left my corporate job to become a full-time event planner and entrepreneur. My first company, Events


to the T, allowed me to plan birthday parties, weddings, and more. Yet, I still felt unfulfilled. Next, I created ‘The Tijania Experience’, a graphic design agency. I was on the right track, and both of these experiences helped me to establish valuable connections,” she says. “I realized that if I can assist a client in developing what people see, I can also help them become more in tune with their target audience.” Soon Tijania figured out what she wanted to do, and The Divine Connections Agency was born. TDC offers three branding packages; however, Tijania can tailor a product based on a client’s specific needs. In addition, TDC has a la carte services such as makeup artists, photographers, videographers, available resources, location scouting for upcoming events, and product content development. Her versatility helps TDC to be an all-in-one, one-stop-shop for branding services. Like any other entrepreneur, there have been challenges that Tijania has faced along her journey in business. “I was my biggest challenge,” she says. Tijania explained that there were moments when she was developing TDC and did not feel worthy enough to do what she was doing. “In the back of my head, I know I can do it, but then I would find excuses for not doing it. For a while, this kept me from reaching my full potential.” Through it all, what Tijania loves most about her business is the reactions she receives from her clients after her work is done. Being able to help others and give them the advice or strategy they may need to execute their business makes it all worth it, she says. “Knowing that people trust me enough with their brands, gives me all the excitement I need to keep going.”


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“I was my biggest challenge....In the back of my head, I know I can do it, but then I would find excuses for not doing it. For a while, this kept me from reaching my full potential.”

As for her inspiration, Tijania loves seeing other entrepreneurs win, especially other Black women, “I fall in that bracket as well, so when I see them winning, I know I’m winning,” she explains. “I enjoy seeing all accomplishments, especially the little ones, because I know that the small victories are the bigger dreams.” For anyone wanting to follow in Tijania’s footsteps, she advises you not to get discouraged and let the naysayers say what they want. “It’s easy for us to get discouraged, especially when we’re building something for ourselves. While we can’t see the future, we must be hopeful about the end result. You must resonate and sit in the process, prepare and enjoy the ups and downs, but don’t doubt yourself. Also, find your support system, even if it’s just two or three people,” she says. As for the future of The Divine Connections Agency, you can expect continued growth. Tijania plans to start working and collaborating with corporate clients so that more people can see her agency’s value. She also plans to dive into more production projects. Her final bit of encouragement for the readers is, “Being an entrepreneur is dope, it’s a good place to be and something people should consider. You are an entrepreneur, and you will win. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.” To learn more about Tijania Goodwin, please visit her social media pages, and check her on YouTube.


Instagram @thetijaniaexperience Facebook @DCagency Check out her podcast: Purposely Bossin Up


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MomSpace&Co, Inc By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Antonia Boakye

Antonia is Boayke of Baltimore, MD describes herself as a caring and funloving person. She is a wife and mother to three beautiful kids. Amongst all of her responsibilities, she has enjoyed a career as a professional hairstylist for almost 12 years. As life has continued to happen for Antonia, many opportunities have also presented themselves to her. One is the host of a podcast called MomSpace&co. “I am a hairstylist turned podcast host. I love to laugh and enjoy good company, but resetting and self-care are vital in my everyday life. MomSpace&co provides a platform for me to do that,” she shares. A mother, wife, and everything else in between, Antonia says her passion for helping others provided a path to helping mothers. She shares, “Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.” The podcast started in 2017 with a focus on bringing moms together to have the “taboo” conversations about motherhood and life. “We’re a nonprofit organization that moms exactly where they are; in motherhood, business, and through conversation and community.

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“Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.”

Antonia is inspired mainly by people, and she is always looking for opportunities to serve, offer solutions, and give back. Antonia says she loves what she does and wouldn’t change a thing about the process to get to this stage in her life. “Coming from a place where I had little to no experience operating a business put me in a position to learn and grow personally and professionally. It has helped me to become who I am today,” she says. As she looks toward the future, Antonia says she plans to receive whatever God has in store for her. “I pray it’s more meaningful connections and continued support from our community for our mission. I also hope to grow more,” she says.

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Her advice to others sitting on a dream or facing a similar path that she has traveled is simple. “Don’t give up. It seems so cliche, but persistence and diligence will get you where you once dreamed of seeing yourself. It’s no easy road, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t forget to celebrate yourself and the milestones you reach, both big and small!” To learn more about Antonia Boayke and MomSpace&co, please visit their website. h

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Charlie Jones and Trenise Elmore

JenSa Massage

It’s been said the first five years of running a business can be the most challenging period for them. This is typically the period when their survival or demise is determined; statistically, only 50% of small businesses make the cut. For Jennifer Jones, she wants to prove that the numbers aren’t the end of her story. Jennifer is the owner of JenSa Massage. Based in the low country area of Charleston, SC, her company offers traditional massage services such as hot stones, cupping, prenatal, relaxation, and deep tissue massage. She also provides therapeutic massage services that promote relaxation and pain relief. Jennifer shares, “I started my business making house calls to clients and local businesses. The inspiration for my business name came from combining the first three letters of my name, Jennifer, with the first two letters of my zodiac sign, Sagittarius, to create Jensa.” “I got into this line of work with the encouragement of a coworker. While working at a restaurant, I’d massage and knead some of my coworkers’ necks and shoulders after our shift ended. They appreciated it so much and encouraged me to look into it as a career. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It was perfect for me because I genuinely enjoy helping people feel better. Later, I saw an advertisement for Miller-Motte and recognized it as a chance to get in. The 15-month program was one of the best investments I’ve made,” she says. Jennifer has a genuine love for people. The Charleston native and newlywed is also a daughter, sister, auntie, and friend. She also describes herself as energetic, passionate, focused, dedicated, and determined. “My values play a significant role in me owning a service-based business. My parents instilled a strong work ethic into my older sister, my two younger brothers, and me. They encouraged us constantly to strive to better ourselves and help those in need. These values helped me immensely during my days at Miller-Motte Technical College and my career as a massage therapist.” Being a massage therapist offers Jennifer unique opportunities to meet the needs of her clients. She says, “I have been able to meet people from all over the world. Often, clients arrive tense and stressed out due to the pain they are experiencing. However, they leave smiling once their discomfort has been relieved. Knowing I played a small part in their well-being brings me tremendous joy. I aim to make a difference, one client at a time.”


Jennifer shares that her parents have influenced her life the most and demonstrated the value of hard work and commitment to her and her siblings. “I watched them both work full-time while running a successful business,” she says. Jennifer also credits her mentor for positively impacting and sparking her ambition. “Years ago, I was fortunate to participate in a women’s empowerment business group she conducted. The event educated women on how to start their businesses. She did such a fantastic job preparing me to launch my business.” Jennifer’s entrepreneurship journey has come with some shining moments and a few challenges. She has reached the five-year mark while operating in a brick-and-mortar location; previously, she worked in two spas while running her company and doing home visits. Her transition into opening her doors was smooth, and she’s been blessed with supportive clients. Though there were moments when she had faithfully believed her business would survive. She says, “As a business owner, it takes time to build up your book of clients. I had a client I would see four times a month. That was all the confidence I needed to continue building my business. My goal has always been to provide a comfortable living for herself while offering services that promote relaxation and pain relief. My business is blessed because I’ve stayed focused and dedicated to those goals.”

There isn’t much Jennifer would change about the journey she has experienced in business. She only points out that she wishes she would have bought more materials ahead of time. “I had enough to start, but I should have stockpiled massage sheets over the years. I’ve learned that you can never have too much of anything in business. You never know when you might need it,” she says. Her advice to others who may follow in her footsteps is to first find individuals already in your industry and ask them questions. She advises you to purchase supplies in advance if you can and don’t hesitate to seek assistance. “Your company is a reflection of you. Be steadfast and dedicated, and keep your enthusiasm and motivation alive. Finally, take pride in what you’re doing. Small steps often lead to bigger ones down the road.” In the future, Jennifer hopes to expand her brand and have more space to accommodate more clients. “I’ve been in the same location for five years, and it’s been great, but as my business has grown. I’m also considering hiring an employee to help with administrative duties and light cleaning. This will allow me to focus on what I love most; massage therapy,” she says. To learn more about JenSa Massage, please visit their website. h

JenSa Massage 843-330-0633 34

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