We had the good fortune of connecting with Adeidra D. Washington and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adeidra D., we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my business one year after being laid off during the 2008 great recession. I decided to go back to school to obtain my Master’s degree in Public Policy (since. I didn’t have anything else better to do), while being unemployed and during the process, I was required to work an internship. I met a local businessman Waleed Shamsid-Deen, through a college friend of mine, who offered me an internship at his nonprofit organization. While working for his nonprofit, I learned that I enjoyed the work I was doing in the community, and I was using my communication skills in writing, policy, and research to help better my community, through grant writing, fundraising and building relationships with local politicians.

During my time at the nonprofit, Waleed taught me how to research, write, edit and submit micro and macro grant applications, implement youth services to hundreds of students, evaluate programming to measure impact and strategically grow the nonprofit to the tune of $1.3 million over five years. With all the success the nonprofit was having with winning grant awards and providing quality free programming to the community through these awards, Waleed encouraged me to start my own business to help support and consult other nonprofits to help them build successful and impactful service organizations. Many times, nonprofits lack the human and financial resources necessary to sustain the work they’re doing in the community and for me, it’s my passion to help those organizations by providing them with creative tools and strategies to grow their nonprofits.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
They say it takes 10 years to become a success. In my case, I’ve found that statement to be true. It took me nearly a decade to establish consistent business. I worked with my business mentors to help me navigate growing my business. I was able to partner with my mentors on different service contracts to expose me to large and small nonprofits nationwide. Through my work over the years, I was able to work with iconic and historical organizations like the Martin Luther King, Sr. Collaborative Center, Morehouse College, Tennessee State University Foundation, the Allen Houston Foundation, DeKalb County Office of Youth Services, and many more influential nonprofits. These organizations, helped me build my portfolio and my successes. The work I accomplished with these nonprofits allowed me to leverage my services to work with more organizations large and small.

It’s often very difficult for smaller nonprofit organizations to gain access to professionals with a specific skill set necessary to operate a successful business, like: accounting, program management, fundraising, grant writing, evaluator, etc.

It’s even rarer to find black professionals in this industry that have the skills and want to lend their talents to help advance community organizations.

As we know, nonprofit organizations have smaller operating budgets, which makes it difficult to hire skilled employees/contractors that have the knowledge needed to succeed. Business professionals typically work for large organizations, where they can make big bucks for their roles, but working with nonprofits can also be profitable and just as rewarding as working for a large corporation. I think the work I do with nonprofits is even more impactful than working with a large corporation because I know the work I’m doing directly make a positive impact with my local community and the community at-large.

But I understand that finances in business and in life are important. When I first started my business I worked a part-time job to help supplement my income as I grew the company. Five years in, I was feeling stagnant, and I wanted to be able to fully support myself from my business revenue, so I decided to take a leap of faith and focus 100% of my time to growing my business. After quitting my part-time job, I think the stress and fear of succeeding drove me to make it work. Dedicating all my time to my business in turn allowed my business to sustain my income. I thought having a part-time job would give me security, but it was actually a crutch but it’s wasn’t helping me it was enabling me to stay crippled and complacent.

Believing in myself, the talents God gave me and the impact of my business has given me the drive I need to continue to serve my community.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My bestie is from NYC and I think she would like to experience some metropolitan norms and some southern country outings.

We’ll start day 1 on the beltline – renting bikes or scooters and rolling along the beltline to see all the festive artwork, pit-stops to the local merchant shops. Grab a froze (from Recess) in Krog St. Market and park the bike/scooter at Ponce City Market to catch the elevator to the rooftop for some carnival fun and rooftop nighttime dinner at 9 mile station.

Day 2 – for the culture: All Black Everything – Breakfast at Breakfast @ Barney’s, then we can take a walk to find some of the Tiny Doors throughout the city as we head the historical King Center to tour the King museum and Dr. King’s family home, after our tour, Casterlberry Hill is our next stop for our spa day @ Iwi Fresh. We’ll get relaxing massages with an essential herb sugar body scrub followed by veggie mani/pedi’s. Next, we’ll head to lunch at Neyows Cajun & Creole Cuisine. After our late lunch we’ll walk to Parlor for an after 5 artisanal cocktail, curated by local black award-winning mixologists.

Day 3 – time to go shopping: Little 5 Points shopping and fashion anthology tour of Little 5 Points.

Day 4 – lunch @ the high museum (Obama Exhibit), dinner @ the botanical gardens (garden tour).

Day 5-7 – trip to Blue Ridge Mountains for a country cabin stay (hiking to local waterfalls, swimming, fishing, zip-lining, gem mining, wine/brewery tour).

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Major shoutout to my mentor, Waleed Shamsid-Deen, and his nonprofit Supreme Family Foundation for fortifying my talents and love for community service while also allowing me to learn and grow into the professional I am today.

Shoutout to my little brother Clay West, for introducing me to Waleed over 12 years ago.

Shoutout to Hampton University and my amazing family, my deceased mother, my dynamic father, my loving aunties, and supportive cousins for setting a firm foundation in my life to excel personally and professionally…it takes a village!

Website: www.detailendeavors.com

Instagram: detailendeavors

Linkedin: Adeidra D. Washington

Image Credits
Keri Hilson Foundation step n repeat pic (black gown) – Donna Permell Photographer, Primephocus

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.