If there’s one thing about which anyone can’t question Melony Walker, that is her fond admiration for Memphis.
Among the reasons is that as a native Memphian, Walker not only graduated high school and college in the Bluff City but, above all, she deemed it necessary to make sure she customarily gives back to her community.
To her credit, her reputation is such that she’s destined daily to go above and beyond to ensure she remains a fixture in her beloved city.
“Everyone has their own gift,” Walker told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “And my gift is different and unique.”
So unique that in many aspects, Walker has literally caught the Mid-South-area youth sports landscape by storm.
An accomplished entrepreneur for five-plus years and counting, Walker, 51, is owner and chief executive officer of Memphis’ Creative Di-Zigns.
Located at 7285 Winchester Road, Suite 111, in the heart of Southeast Memphis, Creative Di-Zigns is widely known throughout the Mid-South for its customary screen printings, vinyl cuts, custom paintings, art gallery, and embroidery, among other things.
“It’s not what you do, but how you make your business a gift from God,” said Walker in assessing the continuous growth and success of her business. “If God is in it you are already successful.”
Fortunately for Walker, a 1982 Carver High graduate, it’s safe to assume that her gifts as a flourishing business owner has given way to an array of success. That’s because among her grandest, most popular clients is former NBA star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway.
A former University of Memphis All-American and four-time NBA All-Star, Hardaway, like Walker, is a product of Memphis and a graduate of Treadwell High.
While Walker and Hardaway’s friendship extends back to Hardaway’s high school playing days, the two established a solid working rapport years ago when Walker became the official designer for “Team Penny,” a slew of Hardaway’s Mid-South-area AAU Teams.
In addition, she produces paraphernalia for SCIAA Championship Sports Gear as well as the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Invitational Basketball Event. Also, she enters her second year a vendor for the Shelby Metro and Awareness Sports for Youths as well as for a variety of other local schools.
“Much of my work is based on family, unity, sports, and Memphis culture through fine arts and wearable art,” Walker explained. “My Mission is to encourage and develop unique and colorful art presence in the nation.”
Long before emerging as a stellar entrepreneur, it seemed Walker had a vision that suggest she’d ultimately become an all things fashion designer, of sorts.
For starters, she majored in Fine Arts at Memphis’ LeMoyne-Owen College, from which she graduated in 1987 — this after an impressive stint as a well-known multisport prep athlete at Carver (basketball, ran track, and volleyball).
Aside from sports, she was a member of Carver’s Art Club.
Consequently, her athletic accolades eventually gave way to her landing a basketball scholarship to LeMoyne in the early 1980s, during which she also became a member of the Lady Magicians’ track and field program.
A longtime member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Walker was named LOC’s Basketball Homecoming Queen in 1984 and was runner-up in the Miss LeMoyne-Owen pageant the following year.
Despite her assortment of achievement and accolades, one thing about which anyone can’t question is Walker’s fond admiration for her Memphis.
“I’m beginning a new journey in my life to make a difference in the world of art in Memphis through creativity as a woman artist,” Walker said.
Sounding much like the beloved Memphian for which she is widely known.
For more information about Creative Di-Zigns, call 901-949-6146, or visit them online at: http://www.creativedizigns.com/.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, author, musician, model, athlete, cosmetologist, barber, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.