We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia R. Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julia, was there something or someone who had an outsized impact on your career?
This is an easy question. Hands down my mother. From an early age entrepreneurship was introduced to me. My parents had a “Candy Van’. Forget about the ice cream truck, everyone in my hometown was looking out for the Candy Van. You knew we were coming because Sammy Davis Jr.’ s song “The Candy Man” was playing. My first introduction to owning your own business. At the time I didn’t realize the impact, but now as an adult the memories mean just as much – just in a different way. I remember not being able to give a customer the correct change without using the calculator, Customer or not, my mother did not hesitate to take the time out to force me to give change without using the calculator. Telling me whatever I do I will need to know how to count! The Candy Van later turned into owning a “Corner Store”. I learned so much about running a business from my mother. Not just the normal day to day stuff, but things like how to treat people and giving back to your community. I think that is why I spend so much time giving back. I’m sure there were times that my parents were struggling and didn’t have it, but still gave. Giving not only financially, but GIVING. Whether is was a job to a kid going down the wrong path or a meal to someone who didn’t have exactly enough, my mother taught me business or not – be a good person. My mother instilled in me so many things that have helped me along the way. She was and still is my biggest influence.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I Love ME! Book Series, LLC is a children’s book series designed to encourage children to love themselves and the things that make them different. Whether it is skin color, disability or just all around different, Children need to know that our differences are what make us special. If it is instilled when we are young then as adults we are fearless. Realizing that each of us are one of a kind and that is a good thing. What sets I Love ME! Book Series apart is that even though we are a business the focus remains on self-love and literacy. Following with the business model of leading with passion and purpose. In my opinion if you lead with focusing on how much money you can make versus what purpose you serve, then you won’t be as successful. People frequent businesses they feel they can trust and that provide great customer service. Of course making a profit is key, but if that is your lead focus you will not truly succeed. With that there will definitely be challenges. My journey has not always been easy and still isn’t. There are days when I wonder what am I doing this for. It never fails on those days, I get a call, email or something from a parent that said I made a difference in their child’s life. I love when I get an email from a student who says thank you for listening or your book is the best book ever. That’s when I realize I need to push through whatever struggle is happening at the time. As an entrepreneur, your business should also be your WHY? Your purpose. Being introduced to entrepreneurship at such an early age plays such a huge impact in how I handle my business today. The lessons I learned as a child while being in my family store shaped me today. From counting change by hand to properly stocking the drinks in the cooler – label facing front and warm drinks in the back. These things taught me the importance of things like proper branding and marketing. All details are so important when owning a business. When someone sees “I Love ME!, LLC” I want them to think pride. Not only pride in themselves, but pride in what I Love ME! represents. Knowing that it’s not just a children’s book series. Not just a good book to put on the shelf. I Love ME! represents love and dreams. Knowing that, YES I CAN! To know you can follow not one, but all of your dreams.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
For me it would be the quiet thought provoking places. My family and friends are always hustling. We sometimes are living, but not truly living in the moment. Definitely on the list would be Sweetwater Creek Park. Such a relaxing place to be. A place to wind down and enjoy each other’s company. The views are amazing and we could get some hiking in. Georgia has so many good places to eat. As a native New Yorker, I would probably guide my friends to more of the smaller town restaurants versus the Downtown/Midtown life. Tokyo Sushi in Smyrna would be a great start. For dessert, Cami Cakes!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout! Family of course. I have the most supportive family. I was BLESSED to be given the family I have. From editing, printing, publishing, cover art to working events. You name it they are there. Also, my I Love ME! Ambassadors and their moms. Without this group a lot would not be able to get done. They all put up with the last minute “Julia ideas” that absolutely have to happen. Also, The Book Worm bookstore in Powder Springs, GA. Some may already know through an article published in the AJC that I intend to purchase the store. The store has been in the community for 14 years and the current owner is ready to retire. COVID-19 has not made it easy to get anything done financially. The owner has been nothing more than patient and continues to offer me guidance and support so that it can continue to operate as a successful bookstore. Owning a bookstore will be a huge addition to the I Love ME! brand and it would become the first African-American owned bookstore in the area.
Linkedin: Julia Davis
Youtube: I Love ME Book Series
Other: Website: www.ilovemeevents.com Challenge and Activity Website – join us for weekly, monthly challenges and downloadable activities for the kids.
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