We had the good fortune of connecting with Majidah Muhammad and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Majidah, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Starting my own business was a MUST for me. I was always raised to “Do for Self”. This means creating something for yourself, your family, and your community. The first love is self-love. I know that true power is in ownership. So I had to own my own business. I was hesitant and overthinking with the first business I started. In 2018, I started momi swap to make it easy for moms to swap child care for child care. I was nervous about how people would receive the business and if others would support the business. Having the momi swap platform, made it easier for me to pivot my business during COVID. I began posting about using the Elevated Learning Binder on the momi swap Instagram page and moms loved it! I contemplated whether I should keep the momi swap business name or change. Ultimately, I decided it was best to change the name to fit the purpose of the business. Thus The Learning Cove was born.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Since I was a young girl, I’ve loved babies and children. I believe I was born to be a mother and educator. My love for children and tactile learning style propelled me into the classroom as an educator in 2009 after graduating from Spelman College. Getting the job as an educator seemed easy, but being in the classroom has many challenges. From lack of support from administrators to rambunctious children, I conquered it all and navigated the public and charter school space for 6 years. I continued to ask for support where I needed it. I asked other educators for feedback, I observed their techniques, and eventually changed schools when I saw I wasn’t growing professionally. A new school meant new challenges which ultimately showed me that many problems are a systematic issue within our education system. When my son Haqq was born, he became my priority. I could no longer fathom spending 8 hours a day with other people’s children and only 2 or 3 hours at the end of the day with my own child. I stayed home with him for a year, then co-founded a homeschool co-op in DC to create the structure for his education. The homeschool co-op was my first taste of entrepreneurship. It was a lot of work because I was doing multiple jobs; accountant, administrative assistant, principal, teacher, nurse, counselor, you name it, I did it. Although it was challenging, it was also very rewarding. Most days, it did not feel like work because I was doing what I love on my own terms. The pandemic launched me into The Learning Cove. I had no idea that I would be creating another business in 2020. However, if you look in my journal I wrote down a scary money goal that I had no clue how I’d achieve it. Opening the doors of The Learning Cove helped me exceed that money goal. Once again, I found myself working hard and long hours, yet doing something I love-creating education curriculum. The biggest reward is in the feedback from customers who rave about The Elevated Learning Binder and say how much it is helping their child learn. The biggest lessons learned through my professional journey are- do what you love and the money will follow, ask for what you need, if it’s not given, create it. Create the space that you need. Create the support you need. Create the environment you need. Create the product you need. Create the service you need. Create joy, daily.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many fun and interesting spots in DC. I love to eat and be outdoors so the trip will be based around good food and being outside. Day 1: Lunch from Ben’s Chili Bowl. Take a train ride to Smithsonian Station. Eat on the grass of the National Mall. Visit the African American History and Culture Museum. Get Ice Cream from Southwest Soda Pop Shop. Day 2: Morning Tea from Calabash Tea. Rent scooters and ride through Howard University. Lunch at HalfSmoke. Dinner at Cane. Day 3: Photoshoot at BLM Plaza. Lunch at Ooh’s and Aah’s. Rent bikes to ride around the city. Day 4: Segway Tour of DC. Visit MLK Monument. Grab lunch from a food truck. Dinner at Dukem Ethiopian. Day 5: Breakfast at Florida Ave Grill. Visit The Spice Suite. Dinner at Po Boy Jim Day 6: Morning Hike at Great Falls. Lunch at Busboys & Poet Day 7: Brunch at Milk & Honey. Rest & Recover 🙂
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
On the journey of entrepreneurship, there are so many people who believe in me and have supported me from day one. This Shoutout is dedicated to my husband, Khabir. From the moment I told him I was making binders, he encouraged and supported me. He saw the value in The Elevated Learning Binder before I did. The binder started out at $25 and he told me that wasn’t enough; he saw that it was worth more and kept telling me to sell it for $50. Today The Elevated Learning Binders sell for $50. He helped me get the processes of making the binder more efficient and each day had a new suggestion on how to make it easier. Khabir stayed up many late nights just to laminate pages or to fix the laminator. He has been involved in the full process of creating The Learning Cove- from brandstorming to cutting pieces and taping labels. For this reason, I SHOUT OUT a major THANK YOU!
Instagram: @the.learning.cove @majidah
Amber Iris Photography