Yesterday Prepared Me For What’s Next
A Letter From The EditorThere Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
Yesterday Prepared Me For What’s Next
A Letter From The EditorThere Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
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.
I’ve been told that I often seem like I do too much. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me that I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in return acquire life.
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.
The best advice ever given to me happened when someone told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only hope provided. I have also learned the difference between what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and when to be quiet, because someone may get it confused with being arrogant.
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
Make you tomorrow happen today, but most importantly make it count. Life is but a whisper and we must put ourselves in a position to hear what it is telling us.
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
Monica Montgomery Writer
Ellen Richardson Writer
Terry L. Watson Writer
Dorjea’ McClammey Writer
TMF Photography Photographer Still Shots Photography Photographer
Editor In Chief Terry L. Watson Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Writers Tonya Dixon Terry L. Watson Alana Allen Jeuron Dove
Photographers Perfect Lenz Photography Shaw Photography Group Still Shots Photography
Todd Youngblood Photography
firstname.lastname@example.org (336) 340-7844
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She has a unique eye for style and design. Learn more about her journey in business. Denver, CO
He has stepped into his calling and continued the legacy of his father. Learn more K-9 Safety Consultants. Detroit, MI
Today, Tana is the owner of Cinnabar Nutrition, located in Milwaukee at Bayshore Mall. She started her business under the name of Simply Tasteful Nutrition in May 2020. “It was a way to re-engage with clients, family, and friends through baking. As I became more focused on my own health, I took my love for baking rum cakes to healthier options for baked goods, primarily donuts,” she says. As a result of needing to change her business name, Cinnabar Nutrition was born.
Tana says Cinnabar is a gemstone that represents health, wealth, healing, and personal transformation in the community around you.
Cinnabar Nutrition officially began in January 2021 as a Satellite Nutrition club. While working as Juvenile Probation officer supervisor during the week, Tana baked on Friday nights and delivered her goods on Saturday mornings. On October fifteenth, 2021, Cinnabar Nutrition opened its doors to the public.
Some of the products Tana offers are healthy shakes and smoothies, and teas.. “ We offer healthy plant-based protein meal replacement shakes, healthy energy drinks and protein baked goods. When trying one of our shakes, think about having your favorite ice cream any time of day. It’s a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner,” she says. She also offers healthy drinks, collagen drinks, refreshers, and non-caffeinated drinks.
Tana says what she loves most about her company is being able to restore her faith in her community. “Working in a tough field of Juvenile Justice for 27 years was heavy. Within two days of opening, it felt like weight was lifted from my shoulders,” she shares. “Being able to meet new people daily, smile, laugh, and form positive relationships has been a blessing. The connections and bonds created are real.”
Her own personal transformation journey has had a huge impact on Tana’s life. She says that she has developed the ability to shift her mindset from negative to positive during difficult times and find the good in every situation. Tana is also inspired by the women in her family. “I come from a long line of strong, independent women who support one another, encourage growth, and always find a way when it seems like a solution isn’t possible. There is always a solution!”
She says that her mother and my daughter both inspire her. Tana’s mother has her own floral business. Tana says she is one of the greatest examples of what it looks like to never quit. Her daughter is a full-time student and working a full-time business. Tana says seeing her passion and commitment keeps her going.
As the future happens for Tana, she hopes that both health and fitness can be provided to the community under one roof. Tana says this will help further educate others on the importance of nutrition, along with their fitness journey.
As of November first, Cinnabar has teamed up with five other women to further grow and support the community within Cinnabar’s Results Center. To learn more about Cinnabar Nutrition, please visit their website. h
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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
Footprints in Africa, a subsidiary of Chayil Enterprises LLC., is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to aiding the people of Africa, in poverty-stricken communities, with the skills and opportunities that will support economic stability for individuals and their families. The founder and visionary Tammy Darmell Moore says, “Footprints in Africa is not here to give aid but to assist. We don’t want just to put a bandage on the problem. We are here to provide sustainable ways for the people we encounter to care for themselves and the people of their communities.” Ms. Moore, a single mother of grown children, decided that once her youngest was out of college, she would see the world. “I love to travel. Other people like to shop or go the shows and dine out. I’m not knocking anyone for what they like to do, but for me, I love to travel.” Moore, a selfproclaimed military brat, was now free to move about the country and the world.
“My friends often asked me when I was going to Africa. I had decided to wait until the year of return because I wanted my trip to Africa to be more than memorable. I wanted it to be momentous.”
The Year of Return, Ghana 2019’, a yearlong program of activities marking the 400th anniversary of the first recorded enslaved Africans to the US. While everyone was flooding Ghana, Tammy went to Ethiopia. “I planned to tour the continent, but I wanted to visit Ethiopia first. It was Africa before colonization.”
Moore’s connection with the country and the continent was instant and almost symbiotic. “I immediately fell in love with the people, the food, and the culture. I was in awe of how beautiful the people were.”
The organization’s name, Footprints in Africa, has a three-fold meaning, but it all started because of a little girl and a pair of sneakers. “While I was out in the bush, I met a little girl who asked me for my shoes. I was wearing some black and white Nike Air Max, and she liked them. She was wearing
shoes, but they were in horrible condition. They were so worn that one foot was protruding out of the shoe. I felt bad. I wanted to take my shoes off right there, but I was about five miles from the tour bus, and the terrain was rough, and let’s just be honest, I wasn’t ready to walk barefoot in the Ethiopian bush,” Tammy says, laughing. “But… I decided that I would find that little girl and give her my shoes when I came back.”
Tammy’s visit to Ethiopia was in the fall of 2019, and she had plans to return in February 2020. Unfortunately, rumors of an unknown virus were spreading across the globe, and the FAA was canceling and restricting flights. “When I was notified that we weren’t allowed to fly, no one would tell me why. Our trip kept getting delayed until finally, on March 18th, the city of Greenville, North Carolina, was shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Like most citizens during the lockdown, Tammy found herself with nothing but time. “I’m not one to sit around and twiddle my thumbs, so I decided to clean out my closets. As I was clearing things out, I had a thought. Why take one pair of shoes to Ethiopia when I can take back multiple pairs? So, I contacted family members and friends via text and phone calls. I figured they were doing the same thing I was. I told them if they had shoes in good condition to send them to me.”
Within two weeks, Tammy had collected over one hundred pairs of shoes. “This wasn’t a social media drive or anything like that. These donations came from my immediate circle of friends and family. I was blown away. All I had to do was ask, and this was the reaction I got from my close circle of friends. I asked myself, how much more could we do?”
Tammy and her supporters are finding new answers to that question daily. In addition to their Soles for Africa initiative, there are several other projects the group is using to help people in poverty-stricken areas of Africa to live healthier and financially independent lives.
“We have our Life Gardens project that is currently in Kenya but will be starting in Ethiopia soon. Life Gardens is a partnership between Footprints in Africa and Thrive for Good to twelve Kenyan schools. These gardens are a source of food and good nutrition; they lower the cost of school fees, feed students and teachers, and generate revenue, allowing the schools to purchase supplies for the students,” Tammy explains with pride.
“Then there is the Legacy Scholarship in The Gambia, where we are helping with tuition for students seeking higher education so they can give back to their communities. When I learned that one semester in university was about the same as my Luis Vuitton handbag, I decided immediately that I could help. There is no application process at this time. We choose the recipients based on where we find the most need. Students are carefully researched to ensure they are enrolled and have the academic prowess to complete their degree program,” Tammy assures.
The most crucial thing Tammy wants to convey is that Footprints in Africa is about helping Africans receive a fair wage for their trade. Africans are culturally rich and creative but often aren’t given proper credit or compensation for their artistry and craftsmanship. With the Alkebulan, Footprints in Africa’s Cultural Emporium, people can purchase directly from the artist or vendor in Africa. We have products from all fifty-four countries in Africa,” Tammy explains with excitement.
“We have our own tea line called Justea. Most of the world’s tea comes from Africa, but it’s shipped and repackaged, and the true farmers get pennies on the dollar. Justea comes directly from the tea farmer to you. What we have done is partnered with a company in Canada that works with tea farmers. These farmers employ over three hundred workers, most of whom are women, and pay them a fair wage to work the land. When you purchase tea from us, you will get information on the farmer and the farm in Africa your tea came from.”
In the two years since the foundation was started, Footprints in Africa has made it its mission to empower people in the poverty-stricken areas of Africa with as much support as possible. They have been successful, but like all great initiatives, it takes money.
“The one obstacle we have had to contend with is donations. Because we are still dealing with the fallout from the pandemic, people are timid about giving. It’s understandable because nobody wants to be caught off guard by all of the new threats. We have been blessed to have a core group of supporters we call our FIA (fiya) tribe. They are champions for our cause. We would be nowhere without their constant support.”
With the momentum Footprints in Africa is gaining, the future looks bright. “We hope to add more recipients for the Legacy Scholarship and extend it to students who want to attend trade school. We understand that university isn’t for everyone,” Tammy acknowledges. “And to help fund our projects, we are launching our Legacy Society. This is a way for supporters who believe in what we are doing to continue to give posthumously. They could name us as a charity in their estate.”
As stated before, the name Footprints in Africa has a three-fold meaning. “This all started because the little girl asked from my shoes. But it has grown into so much more. While I was in the bush, I saw more footprints than I saw shoe prints. This meant there were more people without than with. The other aspect comes from my desire to leave something behind. I desire to leave my mark, my footprint in the continent’s soil that has made an indelible mark on me.” h
There’s always a good time to drink lemonade; fortunately, a young group of inspiring entrepreneurs in Durham, NC, has made it their business to quench the thirst of lemonade drinkers.
Founded in October 2020, King’s Lemonade LLC is a siblingowned and operated business led by Corey Jr. and Ami. They also share ownership with their older sister, Jada Lyons-O’Kelly. With the support of their mother, Erica, and other family members, the duo has created over 25 delicious flavors of freshly squeezed homemade lemonades. Erica is the formal operator of the business and describes herself as the “Momager” and “Queen”.
So how do they make it happen? Corey is responsible for squeezing lemons, cutting fruit, creating new recipes, assisting with purchasing supplies, loading and unloading supplies, and serving as a cashier at events. Amir is responsible for the same duties as Corey; however, he is also the spokesman.
Initially, the idea of the business came about while Corey and Amir were at home during the Covid 19 pandemic. During this time, everyone was bored and just tired of doing the same routine, day after day. Like most families, the pandemic required most families to resort to a life of isolation. In some cases, the pandemic even added a financial strain on their budgets. Erica’s family experienced both. “The pandemic changed how we moved, so we collectively decided to think of various ways to generate additional income. We came up with various ideas, and finally, the boys decided they wanted to have a lemonade stand. I encouraged them to expand their thoughts, think bigger, and even start an entire lemonade business. With the support of their father, Corey Sr., everyone agreed. Next, we needed to create a name for the business. Everyone threw out various ideas for names but none really stuck. Finally, Corey Jr. blurted out “King’s Lemonade!” I asked him why he chose that name and he said “because I’m a king, momma!” That’s how King’s Lemonade was birthed,” Erica says.
King’s Lemonade currently has over 25 flavors of delicious, freshly squeezed homemade lemonades in various sizes. Some of their most popular ones are Strawberry Lemonade, Pineapple Lemonade, Blue Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Very Berry Lemonade, and their classic Original Lemonade. King’s Lemonade can be purchased online, year round, and they also deliver locally within a twenty-five-mile radius of Chapel Hill, NC, for an additional fee. At various locations, King’s Lemonade can also be found around the Triangle and Triad areas.
Owning a business has been an enjoyable experience for both Erica and her two sons. She shares, “I truly enjoy learning with my children. I didn’t go to school for business. I actually went to school for Criminal Justice. Teaching my kids how to provide for themselves for the future is very important to me. They now have the opportunity to continue to build and grow their business and brand and provide job opportunities for others.”
Amir shares that working with family is easily the greatest challenge he has faced in his young business career. “No one knows how to support you like your family, but no one knows how to push your buttons like family also. Working with my mother and brother has proven to be stressful, and I’d be lying if I say if I haven’t thought about waving the white flag at one time, but after seeing how well-received our products are, I can firmly say that I believe in what I do.”
Erica says she is inspired by her children and the support of her community for their business. Corey Jr. says the positive feedback from the customers also inspires him. Amir says, “While revenue is a great inspiration, an even bigger inspiration is what I can hopefully tell the people that see what I do and are either encouraged in entrepreneurship themselves, or to support small businesses like mine.”
Erica, Amir, and Corey encourage anyone who may follow in their footsteps to be unafraid. Amir’s message is to embrace struggle and loss and, while doing so, continue to swing on. “There are days where our product doesn’t sell as well as we had hoped, and it can get discouraging. Never give up, swing on. Sometimes a closed door can open another window. Another window will open for you soon enough.”
Moving forward, Erica says her plans for both of her children’s businesses are to continue to assist them with making each better. “We would love to see King’s Lemonade in various stores and online,” she says. With persistence and good flavors available, the sky’s the limit for King’s Lemonade.
To learn more about them, please visit their website. www.kingslemonade.shop
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.
Kenya Lomax-Sims of Greenville, SC, is known as the “Queen of the $100 dollar Tax Return”. She is also the owner of Lomax Tax and Financial Services LLC, a full-service accounting firm dedicated to helping clients with their tax needs.
In addition to being a business professional, Kenya is a loving mother and wife to her husband Gregory, a union that has spanned ten years. Together, they have five kids; Antonio, Stephen, Erin, Nairuby, and Gregory Jr., and one grandson, Caidyn. Kenya grew up in a loving, religious household with an entrepreneurial spirit. Furthermore, being a business owner did not come by happenstance as her father, mother, cousins, and husband owned or still owned a business.
Her father was a pastor, businessman, and restaurant owner. From there, Kenya saw the good and the bad of running a business but still received the spark to start her own. Her mother opened Lomax Hats and Tax Boutique, and a cousin also ran a tax business. These two extraordinary ladies helped Kenya realize that she also wanted her own in the tax world.
“We may be a small operation, but we have a big heart. We love our clients, and they love us back. This is what I love most about being a business owner, being able to serve others.”
Kenya began her journey from humble beginnings. With the help of her cousin and the motivation from financial gain, Kenya worked hard to create her tax firm. She worked with her for two years before working with her mother until she became an independent operation. Kenya worked job to job every tax season until being able to work it full-time in 2004. She would rent office spaces until God blessed her with space to call her own. “God has been the anchor to everything I have done,” she confesses.
In addition to being an accountant, Kenya is a real estate agent and life insurance producer with the Posey Group. Those additional skills have made Lomax Tax and Financial Services a full-service center capable of offering tax preparation, life insurance, and home sales. Lomax also provides free financial literacy consultations and tips to help others acquire the education and preparedness needed to operate a business effectively.
Launched in 2005, Lomax Tax and Financial Services is a small firm whose motto is, “Everyone is a name and not a number.” Kenya understands the needs of her clients and strives to ensure everyone who walks through her doors feels appreciated and welcome. “We may be a small operation, but we have a big heart. We love our clients, and they love us back. This is what I love most about being a business owner, being able to serve others. From birth, I was taught how to serve. Before you lead anyone, you have to know how to serve,” she says.
While there have been many great things Kenya has experienced as a business owner, she has also encountered some challenges. One of these was acquiring the needed capital to finance her business. Yet, she remained determined to succeed and persevered; by doing so, Lomax Tax and Financial Services LLC exist.
Kenya shares that her desire to leave her children a legacy is what keeps her going. As she continues to grow, Kenya plans to make Lomax Tax and Financial Services a one-stop shop for everything taxes, financing, and real estate. She also wants to dispel any misconceptions others may have about the tax system. “Most people dread all things taxes and deathly fear the IRS. With us, there is nothing to fear. We are not the typical tax office that shuts its doors on April 15th. We are always accessible and will help each client every step of the way. This includes tax planning and tax preparation,” she says.
Her advice to others who may follow a similar path as she has is very clear. “No matter who you are, no matter what you have done, there is no limit to what you can do. I learned from my past that no matter how bad it gets, that nothing is too hard for God, and He will always make a way. I began in the back of an office building and eventually obtained the whole building. God opened up endless doors for me and allowed me to continue to work through Him,” she says. “If you desire to enjoy a career such as the one I have, I advise you to start working for a tax preparation business first and learn how to do the business. Be ready when it’s your turn to step out because it can come any minute.”
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.”
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.