Hello #MILKMondays Family! This week’s MILK is Kia Weaver Byrd. Now, before we move any further—she’s an NCCU EAGLE. Please do not hold that against her, Ha ha! I grew up attending Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ, here in Durham, since I was about 5 years old. My Aunt Teresa would load me and my four cousins: Mac, Mickey, Lisa and Noon—yes those are nicknames, in her tan-ish yellow Subaru and head on over to Athens Ave. to go hear the good news! I think she tried to take me sooner, but it’s been said that I talked too much so she started me when I could exercise more constraint. Before 5, I was relegated to Sunday school ONLY– which was the church dungeon aka basement. Back then, our beloved pastor Rev. J.C. Cheek was presiding, and our church family made Sundays a good day. Kia and her parents –Mr. Ralph and Mrs. Priscilla Weaver were part of that church family and helped foster those feel good Sundays and fond memories. Nowadays, Kia is an entrepreneur via her company S.O.U.L.F.U.L Creations, and has taken it upon herself to keep our community moisturized and living our best lives.
Check out #MILKMondays: Kia Weaver Byrd’s story below:
Owner Operator at S.O.U.L.F.U.L. Creations
Peer Support Program Director at V.O.I.C.E. Therapeutic Solutions
I have a Masters Degree in Agency Counseling from North Carolina Central University. I am licensed as a professional counselor by the North Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors. I’m from Durham, NC and currently live in Raleigh with my husband and our three children.
What is your most personal goal?
To be at peace with who I am and to model that for my children. Whatever I do in life, whatever decisions I make, I have to be able to sleep at night and be able to look myself in the mirror and be ok. Absolutely nothing in life is more valuable than my peace of mind.
Touch the Sky – Kanye…….This song gets me so hype, it can change my mood instantly. I love “old” Kanye and I love the seventies music (I’m a seventies baby).
How has being a Mom changed you?
Besides giving me anxiety….it forced me to really look at myself. When I did, I became aware of some things that I didn’t like and that I wasn’t really proud of. I had to make some decisions about the type of person / mother I wanted to be and what I wanted to teach my children.
I use to be the kind of person that really cared what other people thought about me. I was really a people pleaser. After my daughter was born, it didn’t matter anymore if other people didn’t “get me”, like me, or like the decisions I made. All that mattered was being the best Mommy to the children I had been entrusted to care for. Doing that meant I had to let my own inner guidance have the final say. I practice that in every area of my life now and I’m so much better for it.
Has anyone helped you on your journey?
So many people have helpe
I’ve gotten some gems from women I admire professionally, who are those women for you and why?
My greatest gems come from women very near and dear to me two that come to mind are,
My Mama, Priscilla Weaver, taught me to be strategic. Her working at North Carolina Central University is the only job I have ever known her to have. She planned to stay there until her retirement because she earned benefits that would let her retire at a relatively young age and live comfortably. Right now she is healthy, financially independent, and retired at an age that she is young enough to enjoy it. I wanna be like my Mama when I grow up!
My sister/friend Kemi Amola–Hill taught me to seize moment and to be persistent. She saw an opportunity to build something great from the ground up and she didn’t let fear or adversity stop her. She now owns a successful mental health agency with more than 20 staff, including myself.
Who have you helped?
I have worked in community mental health since 2004, and I have worked with I don’t know how many families and individuals. I pour everything I have into my interactions with people I serve. I would like to think that my efforts have helped them in some small way on their journey. They would tell me their stories and I would do my best to be a light in their path. I’m striving to do the same with my personal care line at S.O.U.L.F.U.L. Creations. I want to share what I have learned to continue to help others on the journey towards healing.
That Old African Proverb (okay I don’t think it’s really an African Proverb J), “It is what it is.” And to me, it doesn’t mean you just settle for any old thing out of life, but I have found peace in the ability to surrender to the reality of any given moment, and look for what lesson I can take that will help me figure out my next move and make me better.
What do you have faith in, and how does it help you day to day?
I’m not a religious person. I have faith in myself and I have faith in a power of love. I know that l am made of love and from love, and that God is in me and in everything. That is my truth. I remind myself daily of my divinity and that I am here to not just survive but to thrive.
What do you most enjoy about your career?
I love that I am an instrument for people on their journey towards healing and wellness. Most people that know me, know that I make Shea Butter and Essential Oil products, but I am also a licensed psycho-therapist for the last 10 years. I enjoy sharing and allowing others to benefit from my training, experiences, and passion, and it has been a reciprocal experience. As much as I have helped anyone, the interaction with them has helped me as well. We are all on a journey to be better. I am so thankful that I can make money doing work that I am good at and I love.
What are some tough lessons you’ve learned career wise that you’d like to use to help others?
- Having passion and a good idea are not enough, you also need a plan…and a budget.
- You need people around you that will tell you when you are messing up. When I started S.O.U.L.F.U.L. Creations, all I knew was I loved making products and I was good at it. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t create a budget, I didn’t do market research, and the prices of my products didn’t reflect the high quality ingredients that I was using to make them. I didn’t know much about the “business” side of my business and I was barely breaking even. After about 6 months of selling a lot of products, but not really making any money, my husband sat me down and was like, “look I know you really like what you are doing, but if you want this to be a successful sustainable business you need to do some planning and make some changes. We did it S.O.U.L.F.U.L. Creations is still a work in progress but I love what I do and I am now getting a return on my investment because of proper planning and educating myself past learning to make the products I am selling.
If you would like to be featured in MILK Mondays, please contact me.
By Lauren Ettson-Holding