We had the good fortune of connecting with Lakecia Walker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lakecia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work-life balance is extremely important! When I started my business, I was working a full-time job, mom, and wife. I recall many nights going to bed with my laptop because once I got home from my corporate job it was time to put in the work for my business. There were nights I would go to bed at 2 and 3 am and have to be right back up at 6:30 am however I was determined to put in the necessary work to grow my brand. Finally, I realized after my husband told me not to bring the laptop to bed lol that I had to find balance. My daughter played sports which occupied a lot of our time and my husband was traveling back and forth to Alaska before he decided to retire early and pursue full-time entrepreneurship. I had to find the balance for my family, work, and business and I did! I had to put a schedule together and share that with my family. Now, let’s been honest, it’s not always going to go according to the plan but it helps keep you on track! It helped me!
What should our readers know about your business?
Effective March 1, 2020, I entered the world of full-time entrepreneurship after working so many years in corporate America. The bulk of my corporate experience was in mortgage default servicing and management. I was running my business for the last 5 years and working a full-time job but by the Grace of God, I made it happen. Corporate taught me so much and honestly it helped me become a better business owner. I took advantage of all the classes the company offered. I’m excited to say I am the owner of Simply Ke’say Boutique and Confessions of A Goddess and I am a full-time entrepreneur. It doesn’t stop there, of course, I have to work hard to keep my brands operating. I didn’t expect to leave corporate and 15 days later be told the State was issuing “safer at home” orders which would force businesses to close until it was safe to reopen due to a pandemic that was rapidly spreading throughout the entire nation. Through the pandemic, I’ve learned that despite our plans God always has his plan and it may not align with yours however when you seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness all these things will be added unto you Matthew 6:33. I trust God and that’s where my excitement comes from! My store is still open Praise God and I’m strategically working on ways to continue pushing my brand! I want the world to know I’m a humble young lady who loves to help others, enjoy mentoring young teens, and passionate about the work I’ve set forth to do. We all have purpose and I’ve found through every journey God has placed me in the path of someone intentionally. It’s bigger than me it’s ministry!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting I would roll out the red carpet experience. I love nice intimate spots with great ambiance so that would definitely be on the list. We would start with a visit to my Boutique of course because let’s be honest women loves a little retail therapy and I pride myself on providing clients/customers with an experience. We would also visit the other businesses on the strip with me who I refer to as my business family. We are known as the Shoppes of North Pearl which includes Marvalous Shoes, Auzena Maree Makeup, 1 Foxy Lady Cafe, Icescapades Frozen Treats, Auntie Peaches Apothecary, and the Cookbook Restaurant. We would visit other stores as well! We would visit one of the local rooftops such as Cowford Chophouse, River & Post, or Black Sheep for an evening of happy hour and girl talk. We would have a spa day and Pedi at the Ritz in Amelia Island or Sheraton in Ponte Vedra just to relax from all the hustle a bustle. We would have dinner at one of the city 5-star restaurants such as Morton’s Steak house or some of the local favorites like Blue Fish or The Brick. Depending on the weather we would visit the beach because we have so many in Florida or travel to St. Augustine for a wine tour at San Sebastián Winery. We would definitely go out for live music and drinks at Jazzy’s, Breezy’s, or The Cookbook! And of course, it depends on what else we have going on at that time of year but we would have a blast!
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?
I must give a shot out to God because truly without him there’s no me, no business, no nothing! My husband Greg has been so supportive and stands by me through it all. When I told him back in 2014 I was ready to get back in the business he said go for it, I got your back! That was the push I needed at the time. After that phone conversation because he was at work at the time I immediately started filing for all of my business information and within a few months, Simply Ke’say Boutique was established! I have to recognize some family members and close friends whose been in my corner from day one and helped me at times I really needed it most. My mother Flora will drop everything if I say I’m in need. She travels with me and assist me at all of my out of town popup shops. She’s a real trooper! My cousin Alnisa Turner has been on this journey with me for quite some time vise versa. She has traveled to vend and incorporates her yoga expertise to facilitate classes at the events. My sister-friends Marvalous Haywood, Ingrid Jones, and Kristen Hodges have been apart of the team from day one! Honestly, these ladies have sacrificed a lot to help me and I am forever grateful for their love and support. My sisters Nikki Redmond and Lisa Finn has been very supportive as well and are always there to help whenever needed. My business boo Chasity Alford, owner of Classic Maven Boutique has been rocking with me since our initial collab in 2016. My PR Tomitchell Pratcher owner of Dream Release, omg this chic has been a rider since the creation of my COG brand! She’s one loyal person who truly has a heart for people and loves to see everyone win. She has been very influential in the fashion show events which started in 2016! We are still working together today. My Louisiana Family especially Kiesha, Myra, Brandi, Dawn, and all of the businesses that have partnered with me for Essence over the last 5 years, are indeed a huge part of my success as well. Shoutout to all of my Jacksonville businesses and models who have been rocking with me over the last 4 plus years. It’s way too many to name and I do not want to leave anyone out. Honestly, I have a group of great people around me and amazing supporters! I’m forever grateful!
Linkedin: Lakecia Walker
Other: YouTube name: Simply Ke’say Boutique