Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Akira Smith Collins. I am a 34 year old wife and mother of two amazing daughters: Lauren 13, Khloe 9. We are expecting baby girl #3 any day now! I am blessed to work alongside my husband Larry, together we own Wags Food & Culture. My favorite hobbies are brainteasers, reading, and other mind-stimulating activities. I graduated from John Ehret High School in 2002 and completed some college hours prior to pursuing self-employment.
You are a young, black, female business owner; did/do you face difficulties related to your age, race, or gender? If so, how did you overcome them?
I can honestly say I have not experienced any challenges related to my ethnicity. This is most likely because our business is in an area populated predominately by African-Americans. I have not experienced any adverse encounters, but my husband is more popular among other chefs. Occasionally there may be issues related to my age when someone I am working with is older and or more experienced. However, that only encourages me. I am always willing to learn. Having been an employee and employer, I have learned what to do and not to do based on past experiences with employers. The majority of my staff has been with me for a while; most of them feel that working in our company is more than just a earning a paycheck. They are connected to our vision and goals as a restaurateur and are willing to support us in seeing our vision come to past.