We had the good fortune of connecting with Lecretia Akines and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lecretia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Initially my thought process was, I’ve found something I love to do, it fills a need in my community and people wanted it! This business concept was started about a year after the products were created, at that point, I was confident about starting the business and that I would enjoy doing it for a long time. I had businesses before Dawning Day Creations, but they never carried all three of those components or that weight of confidence. I knew that this business would allow me to Create as an individual, Teach others and Collaborate with entrepreneurs.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets us apart from others, is our unique business journey. In 2013, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I wanted her to wear vibrant African print clothes and accessories like I did. However, I couldn’t find anything in infant/toddler sizes, or I wasn’t impressed with the quality. I decided to solve this problem and taught myself how to sew. I then thought maybe there are other families who want high quality culturally relevant baby clothing, so DDC was created to fill this need! Soon we started making head wraps and that relieved my love for teaching. I’ve taught 100’s of women over the years how to tie a head wrap and rock their royal crowns. Over the last 3 years, I started teaching inspiring fashion designers and mothers, how to sew!
Another focus of our company is positively impacting entrepreneurs, through the exchange of dollars! Yes, likes, follows and verbal compliments are great, but there’s nothing like getting a cha-ching in your back account. That’s why 100% of our African print textiles are purchased from Black owned businesses. We then make it a priority to purchase as much inventory, supplies, goods and services from BOB, women owned business or minority owned businesses. That is something we knew we could do right away, even when we were just a startup. We believed it would make a positive impact for the long term.
Even though I’m a self-taught seamstress, I also had a desire to directly connect with and support artisians in the Motherland. That goal was obtained last year, when I placed my first order of waist beads from Ghana, Africa. Now I’m curating beautiful accessories for our clients, which is exciting and something we’re extremely proud of.
We now have our products stocked in 3 retail locations, in Atlanta, New Jersey and Chicago! We celebrated our 1 year anniversary of transitioning to an LLC after functioning as a sole proprietorship. In August, we will be at The Black Women’s Expo in Chicago! This is our third year, and I’m collaborating with my “Business Bestie”, Maisha Mills of A Versatile You. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals and people who have much more success than me, is what has helped us overcome the challenges we’ve gone through. I learned early on in life the importance of personal growth, self-development and the power of the mind. I vowed to never stop working on myself, and that has also helped us get to this point. Being in business is easy, staying in business is challenging, growing your business is rewarding.
Our brand is a home with a foundation grounded in a dream, love, self-care, culture, family and community.
Our customers, business partners, community, family and friends love and believe in us, we hope the world will too!
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.
I’m vegan, so we would hit my favorite vegan soul food spot, Majani’s! Then I would take them to downtown Hyde Park, because there’s so many awesome Black owned restaurants and shops down there with great vibes. Of course, we would go to the beach and maybe visit the Museum of Science & Industry. I would also bring them to my Sistah friend, Nzingha’s bookstore, Afriware Books. If it’s summer, I would find a cool festival or event to go to…because there’s nothing like Summer in the Chi!
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 started my first business at 14yrs old (babysitting) and my Father, Mother and siblings have supported me and all of my ventures over the last 20+ years, some not as appealing as others! I’m grateful for my partner and my children for being understanding and helping me learn the value of relationships and quality time. Furthermore, I’m grateful for my extended family and friends who constantly express their pour their love for what we are doing and support our business both verbally and with their dollars. Over the last 3 years I’ve had the opportunity to work for some amazing, powerhouse businesswomen, who opened my eyes in so many ways. They helped shift my mindset on what is possible, they gave a good example of how to build a team and how to properly treat people in your organization. I had a front row seat to Excellence and soaked in as much as I could, while I was with them! Thank you TeQuila Cooper-Shabazz, Jeri Toliver and Danielle Pierce, for being who you are…Bold, Kind, Fearsome, Transparent, Wise, Giving and so much more.
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