Mothers and daughters are out here doing it, together. You’ve heard by now that Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, and in some cases it’s mother-daughter duos that are building businesses that will ensure generational wealth.
Over at Atlanta-based Imani Jewelry, there are three generations of women running things. Norma Lilly, mother; Traci Lilly, daughter; and Atiya Lilly-Gassaway, granddaughter. And according to Traci, “Working with three generations is a blast!”
She added, “There are two key elements, patience and a sense of humor. We make crazy earrings that don’t match. That’s actually our job! So, if and when tensions arise, we remind ourselves, ‘It’s not that serious.’ As the ‘middle generation’, it is a beautiful experience. I have the benefit of referencing mom’s years of experience and wisdom, as well as refreshing new insights from my daughter. As we move into this technological era, it’s very important to listen and hear the ideas of the next generation if your business is to progress.”
Norma and Traci founded Imani Jewelry company in 1984. “We were the chief designers and visionaries. Atiya was ‘born into the business.’ She has never had the desire to craft the jewelry, however, her many talents have been utilized throughout the business. Currently, she is our photographer (@thelensgoddess), our social media guru, and website developer,” said Traci, who has taken over as sole designer as Norma’s eyesight has waned.
The company is forever evolving, having recently relocated from Harlem to Atlanta. And not long ago the trio began making sorority inspired jewelry and launched a South African Collection. “And, we are thrilled to introduce Summer Colony Living, in Palm Desert, California, as the newest member of the boutiques that carry our line,” Traci revealed. “We are also working on an Imani Jewelry blog. It will include styling ideas, healing properties of the stones we use, and VIP (Very Imani People) specials! It’s the 2018 version of the Imani newsletter that we’ve published over the years. We are inspired to take Imani Jewelry to new heights.”
Another mother-daughter team in ATL has made fitness their business. Ellen (mother) and Lana (daughter) Ector launched Black Girls Work Out, TOO! DVD series and Gymnetics Fitness, a private exercise studio, in 2010. Ellen is an avid runner and sports enthusiast, having competed in over 400 competitive road races and several triathlons. Lana Ector is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, and she creates customized meal plans for Gymnetics Fitness clients. Together they make fitness a finalncial success.
Paige & Paxton is a company founded by Kelley O. Williams and her mother, Rachel Williams. The pair formulated a K-2 curriculum that makes it easier to teach young students STEM skills. “Paige & Paxton were born out of my love for my children and a desire to do what was best for them,” Rachel wrote on the company’s website. “As a young mother with two little girls of color, I looked for ways to give them an edge. Not necessarily in the competitive sense but to give them the power to chart their own destiny. I determined that math and science proficiency was a way to accomplish this goal. At the time, there was no national STEM movement, and there was certainly no “push” to get girls interested in math and science. But something deep inside told me that the way to ensure their future was to make sure that they were really good at math and science.”
For those in need of life or business coaching, there’s Orlando-based LifeCoach2Women. There, Dr. Stacia Pierce and her daughter Ariana have helped some 25,000 women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and abroad better balance their lives and businesses. Dr. Pierce, who has been called a “Whole Life Coach,” also created “Success Attractions Strategies,” a collection of success tools, seminars, and conferences.
When it comes to food delivery services people typically think of Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh. But when it comes to meal kits for kids, Scrumpt should now be top of mind. The subscription-based company is the brainchild of Dr. Schery Mitchell-James (mother), a retired pediatrician, and Bri James (daughter), targeted to busy parents who want an easier way to pack a healthy school lunch for their children. Scrumpt, which is based in San Francisco, mails low-cost, healthy weekly lunch plans and nutritious snacks nationwide.