Keisha Reynolds, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, originally from Detroit, Michigan, is a woman of many talents. Reynolds is the CEO of K&R Communications, a digital public relations and marketing firm that provides a wide-range of services from web design, to social media marketing and branding. She is also the CCO of Hampton Roads Regional Black Chamber of Commerce. In the last year, Reynolds has produced 3 written pieces geared towards entrepreneurs and creatives, and just recently released the “Shift Into Position: 21-Day Empowerment Journal”, designed to empower and inspire other millennials who desire to pursue their purpose and become entrepreneurs.
While others have merely decided to start their businesses, for Reynolds it was 3 years in the making. “I had a dream journal and I wrote my ideas in that journal. In 2012, shortly after finishing undergrad, I wrote down what my business would be. I wrote down the services I wanted to provide and the business plans, and who would be on my team, the mission and vision statement- everything. I really feel like it’s important to write the vision and make it plain.” Fast-forward to 2015, during Reynolds’ master’s program at Norfolk State (VA), a professor, reviewed her resume and suggested she start her own business. Reynolds recalls, ““he said to me “at your young age you have a lot of experience and people really need these services.” So the spark was lit again. But I went on to finish my master’s program, graduated, and two weeks after was in my salaried position. Somewhere in there I felt like I should be doing something else. Later that year I was asked to build a website, and that’s where the idea to make this my side hustle was born. So then I brought forth K&R Communications in October 2015.”
Reynolds took a leap of faith that would’ve terrified many. Not only did she leave her native Detroit and move to Norfolk, VA to continue her education, without knowing a soul, but she also quit her full-time job a year after starting her PR firm. While this may seem daunting for some, Reynolds, an eternal optimistic, was confident. She credits her mother for her self-confidence and drive. “My mom poured a lot in my spirit growing up, enabling me to write. Her willingness to allow me to explore different things when I was younger is what helped to shape me. Whenever I get an idea, I’m like let’s try it, the worst that could happen is I either get a no or I fail, but then there’s always a lesson.” Whether it’s working in Washington, D.C. with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Inc., or in Virginia with the Hampton Roads Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, Reynolds is willing to take risks and brings excellence to all she does. “I want to leave this place empty and put forth everything that has been placed in me. I feel like if something is given to you (gift, talent, or idea) it is your obligation to bring it to pass.”
Despite all that she has accomplished, Reynolds shows no signs of stopping. When asked what serves as her greatest source of motivation, she had this to say: ““The idea of generational wealth and leaving a legacy is what keeps me going. How do we break the cycle of living broke and dying broke? I understand that education is the first step in attaining success. My grandfather always said “if you want to hide something from a black person put it in a book.” So education is important, but there has to be more. I desire to leave a legacy for the next generation. Even with this generation, I want to impact and empower those around me.”
While Reynolds’ resiliency propels her forward, she acknowledges that attaining some of her goals has at times been challenging. Reynolds, a self-described hardworking perfectionist, has had difficulty building a strong team. “Everything has to be polished to the T before I submit it to the client. Having people who are willing to be utilized in the organization and have that same vision is key. Making sure the quality of work being produced is excellent is so important for future contracts and my reputation.” Yet, even with the challenges, Reynolds encourages others to pursue their dreams at all costs. “Set the vision and go after it because no one will do what you will do for yourself. You have to be encouraged and continue to be a learner of the thing you want. Never allow others to place their predisposition on you because they were not able to do something. Don’t let anyone put into your spirit what they couldn’t accomplish for themselves. Everything you have been gifted with, you have to birth- go forth and do what you’re supposed to do. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
Reynolds acknowledges that while there were challenging moments, the rewards were worth the risks she took. “When clients get projects back and are blown away by what they see that’s a great feeling. I’m able to bring people’s ideas to life. Taking the ideas and making them into an actual product that they need is great. Hearing them say “wow, this is amazing” or seeing their testimonials makes all the hard work and long hours worth while. being able to mentor rising entrepreneurs of various ages has been rewarding. Also, when people call me to speak on specific topics or being inviting to platforms I never thought I’d be on- this is amazing.”
In a time where creating vision boards is popular and the thought of being an entrepreneur is exciting and captivating to so many, it truly takes a dedicated individual to take what they have put on paper and make it a reality. Reynolds is a testament to the fact that if you commit to process and are patient you can achieve great things. She continues to demonstrate that while setting goals is important, it’s not enough if you don’t work towards achieving them. At this rate, she will certainly continue to build her brand and will become the legacy she desires to be!
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