Entrepreneur Spotlight: Sip & Become Founder Nyeesha D. Williams
Each week the NAAHP highlights entrepreneurs who are making changes in their communities as well as the small business world. Nyeesha D. Williams is a Philanthropic Inspirer and Counselor and modern entrepreneur. She has built an impressive personal brand, speaking her truth and inspiring young girls and women of color in underserved communities. As an educator, she currently has two active schools in Africa and one school in Los Angeles that teaches young girls the power of artistic expressions and entrepreneurial consciousness.
10 Questions for Nyeesha D. Williams
Dominique Elkind, NAAHP: Tell us a bit about your personal background.
Nyeesha D. Williams: I grew up in Newark, NJ but lived a bit of everywhere. My mom had me at the age of 14 so we grew up together. My childhood was pretty fun, but had sprinkles or maybe pouring of hardships. My dad was in and out of my life and I watched my mother’s experiences with men and used it as a road map. At the age of 12, I was molested by a family member and his friends who were recently released out of jail. Thankfully my mother kept me in the world of performing arts because there and only there did I find refuge.
NAAHP: What is your vision for Universal Sisterhood and how did you come up with the concept?
NDW: My vision when it comes to Universal Sisterhood is just that. A world where no matter how light or dark the shade of your skin tone, you are my equal. Many times we as women immediately pre-judge another woman because of media, family teachings, our own insecurities, and many other reasons. I want a world where as many women as possible can come together building a forceful tribe of accountability partners, sisters; the ones that love you no matter what. The sisters you can run to and pour your truth on. The sisters that refuse to judge you because they too might have been lost one time in their life. I want a true sisterhood of women that believe no matter your distance, I am right by your side.
NAAHP: What’s the story behind the name of your tour, Sip & Become?
NDW: It’s funny you ask because as cliché as it may sound the name came to me the moment I stopped thinking of names. I created so many titles and so many different layouts on how I envisioned the tour, but it just never set right with me. One night I was in bed writing with my incense burning and I had a glass of Stella Rosa in my hand. As my inhibitions began to go away
because my comfort level raised; I wrote, “I just want to Become my greatest self”. Then it hit me! That’s all I want from my sisters as well. I want them to go through their trials or better yet acknowledge them come out blossoming. This is where it all started. With me. As does everything else.
NAAHP: How did your background and expertise prepare you for your current role?
NDW: I’ve always been known as “the grandmother” amongst my friends because of my wise words at such a young age. Before any schooling or studying and researching; I lived. I like to say that my body and heart was sacrificed for this movement. The creative arts were my backing. I traveled singing and dancing. I wrote my own lyrics to songs and put on my own recitals for my
friends. This was my way of helping other people who didn’t know how to or couldn’t afford to, express themselves. As I got older I went into medicine and ultimately found CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). The ability to find the positive or “the light” while in darkness fascinated me. This was the beginning of a turning point. I’ve been through absent parents, drugs, drug-infested communities, poverty, betrayal, hurt, bondage, rape, you name it. So whether you look at my education or my life, they both simultaneously show that I’m prepared to conquer everything with my sisters.
NAAHP: What is the biggest challenge of your work?
NDW: It isn’t the transparency and it isn’t the scheduling because I think I have those two under control. Surprisingly, it’s helping my sisters see that my mission is not founded or initiated because of popularity or a movement because of a hashtag trend. I’m doing this because I eat, sleep, breathe and bleed SISTERHOOD. Most sisters have been doopt to believe in someone else hiding behind a similar movement and now when they hear about me the trust needs to be earned or it’s just so gone, but I’m not new to this movement. People are just hearing about me. So I would definitely say my biggest challenge would be removing myself or making sure that I don’t fall under the cloud of “leaders” or “public figures” with ill intentions.
NAAHP: How do you prioritize your time and what you focus on?
NDW: I schedule every single thing! And although all things do not go as planned on some days; I remain focused on the goal of the day and what I wrote down the night before. I studied Ayurveda Medicine and Lifestyle and it changed my life. I feel more in control which leaves others with less power over my energy and happiness. When writing out my plans for the next couple of days I think about what would make me happy first, then my family and plan accordingly.
NAAHP: What is your strategy for creating a strong brand identity?
NDW: Truth. Nothing more and nothing less.
NAAHP: What is your strategy for hiring and building a solid team?
NDW: I watch and analyze people. That’s the psychology fanatic in me. I pay attention to not only what people say, but also how people move. Ex. If I receive a DM (direct message) from someone “interested” and want to be a part of the team. I thank them before immediately informing them on the process. I watch their IG page, how they respond and treat their followers in the comment sections and what their captions are about. If it does not fall within the lines of my vision then I cannot move forward. I am aware that everyone can bring something to the table whether crumbs or a 3-course meal, but I like to eat at least a 2 course when it comes to my business. Lol
NAAHP: What advice can you give to entrepreneurs going into business?
NDW: Breath! Align! Focus! Then call me for additional assistance. 😃
NAAHP: Do you have specific advice for women?
NDW: You are the beginning and the end. The strength of your community is YOU. The backbone to our men. The world needs you, but you also need yourself. Find understanding in this and all else will prevail.
NAAHP: What are your entrepreneurial journey highlights thus far?
NDW: I have a few highlights. From being recognized by other organizations, reposts, a few awards and love from Africa, but nothing feels better than the moment I see my two daughters during my events quoting me to their friends or involving themselves in the therapy sessions or even the smiles they have while watching me speak. That’s a HIGHLIGHT!