Question: What is the name of your business?
Your Answer: Wake Up It's All About You Foundation and AKIMALYAH Publishing
Question: Where is your business located (city & state)? Who are the customers you serve? What products or services does you company provide?
Your Answer: Rensselaer, NY; I service to anyone that want to help victims; or someone that is a victim themselves. Books I have one sale are to benefit the foundation as well as my paintings.
Question: When did you start your business? Why did you decide to start your own business?
Your Answer: I was a victim at one time and during the time I was trying to get services, I was told that one I didn't need counseling. Although, I just came back to my own state which is Albany, NY at that time and left South Carolina, I went through a terrible ordeal that left me thinking that I was dead. Ever since that incident I will not go into details too much its too bad for me and don't want anyone to feel that bad. I am alive and I made it, thank God. I immediately tried to go to counseling because I kept having nightmares because they did nothing about it even though he was on parole at the time he did it from NY. However, I never received justice. So I started helping others so that people don't have to experience what I have. You have to get the book to read the gory story..
Question: Did you quit your "day job" to start your business? How did you initially fund your business?
Your Answer: My funding comes from my pocket. When I had my first business a prison ministry, thru generous people that voluntarily gave I was able to keep that ministry going for six years. So I am used to giving and using what I have to make money. My artwork and books are for sale to help fund this foundation. Later on down the line would love to build a safe house big enough so that they can stay longer than three months while they get the help they need to transition from an abusive home to a different way of living and that is in peace. Somewhere it is not on the main street but in a area where the children can play and feel safe; the mothers and/or fathers need anything to get themselves prepared for outside world we will give them what they need.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge in running your company?
Your Answer: Getting people to accept the fact that they do need help because its hard to get them to want to leave the person after going through the traumatic experiences. Getting people to understand that the reason why I paint and write is to fund the foundation through my creative artwork and books.
Question: What’s been the biggest opportunity that came from owning your business?
Your Answer: I had a week paid trip to Orlando, Florida to give a two part Domestic Violence Workshop; to sing down there and more. I was trying to take my education as far as becoming a DV Attorney; however, while in school actually the first day of school, after class I fell so hard that I left out of there with a coma and now in a wheelchair. Working hard to get out of it because I have work to do and people to save.
Question: What has surprised you most about being your own boss?
Your Answer: There are some people that do care. And the violence is becoming egregious.
Question: Is there a success tactic you’d like to share that could help other business owners (i.e. implementing new software, tactic to grow sales, etc.)?
Your Answer: I am hoping someone will be able to tell me.
Question: What’s the best piece of advice you could give to other small business owners?
Your Answer: Don't give up.