As far as Diarah Humphreys is concerned, it’s not a matter of, “Why me?”
Rather, it’s a matter of, “Why not me?”
“The world we live in today is based off of working for yourself, so why not?” Humphreys told Making Headline News during a recent interview. “To able to do what I love and in my own setting means everything to me.”
The 22-year-old Humphreys is alluding in large part to her newly-established venture as owner and chief operating officer of Chick A Dee’s Pastries And Things, a business that went full throttle shortly after she graduated from Southwind High School in 2012.
“When I first started baking, I didn’t think that I would still be intrigued and interested in it the way that I am now,” Humphreys said. “It was just something to do.”
Today, Humphreys’ up-and-coming, made-from-scratch desserts business essentially has become a way of life, primarily because it has become her livelihood for the most part.
To grasp a broader concept of why Humphreys has become inspired to shift her focus to that of a full-time entrepreneur, look no further than the valiant contributions rendered by her mother, Velinda Humphreys, a longtime businesswoman, who delved off into entrepreneurship a little more than two decades ago.
Velinda Humphreys, 43, is owner and CEO of Styles With Smiles Senior Haircare, a mobile beauty salon designed to service elderly individuals as well as those who are unable to leave the confines of their homes and visit salons the traditional way.
Considering she and her daughter’s businesses are based in a Memphis economic landscape that is deemed amongst the worst the country, Velinda Humphreys said she has always stressed to her daughter the importance of starting a credible business, especially since for someone as young she is, higher education isn’t something she wanted to pursue — at least not right now.
According to a March 30 report in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, for instance, the unemployment rate in the Memphis-metropolitan area for February was at 5.1 percent, slightly higher than the five percent of one year ago, according to some preliminary government statistics.
Such figures came as no surprised to Velinda Humphreys, a professional cosmetologist whose notable career spans more than 25 years.
“Oftentimes, people will not pay you what you are worth,” Velinda Humphreys explained. “They are only out for self. Companies do not value employees’ hard work. I’m not going to say all (companies) but most. I always told both of my children — I have an older son also — ‘If you are not going to go to college, at least get a trade.’ My son went off to college, but still wants to be an entrepreneur. I always knew my daughter would not (enroll in a) four year college. I did not sway her either way. I believe in allowing them to make their own decisions with guidance and research.”
Fortunately for Diarah, things appear to go holding up favorably for this young, progressive businesswoman, although her professional baking business is in its infancy stages.
According to Velinda Humphreys, who routinely promotes and pushes her daughter’s business via social media, plans are effectively underway to locate a building where Diarah can better enhance her brand.
Talk about having an influential impact.
“I have wanted my own (business) for a while, but I was afraid,” Velinda Humphreys said. “That’s why I told my daughter to go for what’s she wants now while she is young. Nothing fails (except not trying), but you have to take that jump. You are not guaranteed tomorrow and there is no time like the present.”
That Diarah has masterfully heeded the advice of her mother, coupled with her steadfast desire to enjoy sustained success as a young business owner, Velinda is confident her daughter’s best and brightest days are well ahead of her.
“(I tell her to), ‘Go for your goals while you’re young and still able,’” Velinda said. “I had my children (at a young age) and my plans had been altered. But she doesn’t have kids.”
All of which essentially sums up why as a young entrepreneur, Diarah can do what she wants when she wants to.
“Things can be ran how you want them to be with no questions asked, knowing there is no one above you to tell you otherwise,” Diarah said of being her own boss. “That’s the beauty of it. There are jobs all around (Memphis), but to do something that you’re passionate about is a career, and what better way to have a career when it’s ran by you.”
So why not her?
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Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.