We had the good fortune of connecting with Armond Dowdell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Armond, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was more personal than business. I saw how younger generations were effected by having lack of resources in majority of neighborhoods in Metro Atlanta. There was no sense of direction, too many food deserts, no recreation centers, etc. was just a breeding ground for violence and crime. Along with my partner Khalifa Lee we thought if I could create something that could help bridge/build-up our neighborhoods, communities and schools then we would see positive results.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Professionally I am a certified automotive technician. That is my first passion but I grew into the position that I am in today because of my volunteerism and work with the youth. My transition from the automotive industry to working with youth was easy for the most part. I’m from those areas which I serve so I understood the kids and communities struggles so I was able to approach the situation differently. They only issues I had to overcome was getting funding and finding a reliable grant writer. Being a small start up company, it is difficult for smaller companies to get funding and grants because they are not as established as they some would like them to be. I would like the world to know that they’re hundreds of children across Georgia and the United States that suffer from social and emotional disadvantages and they I am trying to help improve the the lives and well being of our youth.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spots in the city is hanging out at Ponce City Market, The Gathering Spot (TGS), Top Golf, eating at Fish Thyme and Poor Calvins. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost I want to thank God for leading me in this direction. I also want to thank my wife Geri and my business partner Khalifa Lee and my family for supporting me in this business endeavour. I also want to think my mentor Robert Reese who saw something in me when I was a teenager that I did not see in myself. Mr. Reese took a chance on me and all he asked in return was for me to pay it forward. Lastly I want to thank my fraternity: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated for supporting me and volunteering their time ensuring that my service projects are successful.
Photo Credit: Khalifa Lee and Armond Dowdell