Look at her now.
Among the things about which Lavenda Smith teaches her four children is that never is it too late in life to assume the businesslike approach.
To her credit, Smith’s tireless approach seemingly is paying off mightily for this rising entrepreneur.
A 38-year-old native Memphian, Smith is owner of and chief executive officer of DABB Online/Shop DABB, an online department store that offers an assortment of clothing fashions and trends for individuals from various walks of life.
You name it and Smith, by all accounts, will just about have it at your disposal to suit your fashionable needs.
And, if she doesn’t have it, chances are she will go to great lengths to get it.
“The mission of my business is to make people aware of themselves,” Smith said during an interview Saturday afternoon with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “What I mean by that is they can wear anything but wear it with class.”
DABB Online/Shop DABB is apart of DABB Enterprise, LLC, a two-fold business venture in which Smith also assumes the roles as a well-established professional tax preparer (for nine years and counting and a notary republic (for five years and counting).
What’s even more appealing as it pertains to Smith’s online store is that her children have fully bought into her vision and passion for giving back to the community through her business, which has become a popular establishment, most notable through those whom she meets and interacts with via social media.
“My children and I stand behind our business,” Smith explained. “We want to offer lower prices for good products, so that everyone can afford to look good at a very reasonable price. Our personalities sell everything we have on because we connect with everyone. Our clients will benefit by purchasing products from DABB at a lower price. They will receive great customer service, exceptional feedback, and will enjoy their shopping experience. We want to bring to our clients whatever it is they want to see more of.”
Generally, Smith’s rise to becoming a business owner did not come easily which, according to her, has made this life-enhancing journey much more admirable and gratifying.
For starters, Smith recalls like yesterday how many individuals told her time and again that she wouldn’t merely amount to anything, told her that she’s going through the motions of life, told her that she’s settling for just getting by, or the status quoism of life, if you will.
Yes, Smith surely remembers. She remembers it quite well. She remembers who said it.
Still, she was determined to never let the potentially damaging predictions of those to prevent her defying the odds, thus maximizing her potential.
Look at her now.
One moment, she’s writing and signing books as a best-selling author.
Weeks later, she’s erecting an online business venture that figures to become a fixture as the spring and Summer months approaches.
“For the people who told me I wouldn’t amount to nothing, all I can say is, God has an assignment on my life, not you,” Smith said while exhibiting her signature smile. “Thank you for speaking negatively into my life because, what you meant for bad, God turned it around for my good. I love you and I thank you!”
More than anything, Smith is grateful of the unyielding support of her family, especially her children, each of whom have witnessed their mother persevered and press her way through adversity, each of whom have loan an ear to hearing just how hard she’s worked to provide for them a life opposite that of mediocrity .
Look at her now.
“What’s special about how I’ve learned to persevere through my trials is that when I look at my four smiling faces, I know I’m in it to win,” Smith said. “Looking back on how I was molested and then the cycle repeated itself with my firstborn, I knew I had to take every setback, heartache and anything that tried to deter me and my children, to turn it around. I reached out and God continued to take me higher just by flashing before me the painful things my children and I encountered in life. I refuse to let it continue to follow me, this is why I know God continue to let those things flash right before my eyes to remind me that He has never left nor forsaken me.
“I am blessed beyond anything anyone can imagine,” Smith continued. People see me but don’t really know I’ve cried a many a nights, but through those tears, I gained my strength because I know I will never fail my children and I want them to know and understand that they are somebody and will always be somebody. I often tell my children that, ‘We are not in competition with anyone but ourselves. We don’t compete with others, we are our best competition.’ When you compete with yourself, you can’t do anything but bring out greater in self.”
Fortunately for Smith and her children, things are starting to come full circle for them, just as God had envisioned, Smith acknowledges.
As for the plans and changes for her business in the foreseeable future, Smith said, “I see my business in the next year going mobile. I want to be able to allow people to shop from the comfort of their home and have it delivered on the spot. I want people to have a mobile clothing store where they can walk out their front door and walk on a mobile vehicle and go in a dressing room to try on what they’ve ordered. That’s what I envision. I see my business expanding because the love my children and I have for everyone will draw them to want to continue to shop with us and spread the word. We are here to serve therefore we want to continue bringing our business to our clients.”
Look at her now.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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.