We had the good fortune of connecting with Akellia Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Akellia, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is the reason I am where I am in my business. If I didn’t take a risk on myself and my dreams of owning my own business I would still be working for someone else. I made the decision that I was ready to be a full time entrepreneur and it took a lot of courage for me to get comfortable in that space to be brave enough to go all in. I decided when and how I was going to do that so that the transition would be smooth for my son and I. Once I decided to move on, opportunities started to open up more for me. It was the best decision of my life. I realized that I was holding myself back from my own opportunities.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
CustomsByAk is more than just sneakers; it’s a lifestyle of endless opportunities for different generations. Not only does it provide custom sneakers but it also gives you an opportunity to show your creative side and desire through your own personal sneaker. AK provides leather education, sneakers, and leather goods like purses and wallets. I’m most proud of what’s to come next. I’m tapping in with the youth to provide them the education and knowledge about leather goods and sneakers while allowing them to explore their creative side through their feelings. “Changing soles one shoe at a time is the motto, and I fell that you can give someone the opportunity to change their life by educating and giving them the tools to progress their knowledge. That’s why I’m starting a program for children to be able to use art as an expression. It’s not always easy to get where you want to be, for me it took 8 years of hard work and dedication. I’ve taken lots of business classes and leather crafting classes to help improve my business as well. I worked a day job and worked on my business at night and weekends. I lost lots of sleep but gained so much more from the time. I had to set small goals for myself and knock those out one at a time. Once I was comfortable and realistically accomplishing my goals, I set bigger ones. From all of it I’ve learned to say yes to everything. Saying yes allowed me to take risk and figure things out in lesson-learned scenarios. The risks are what got me further because if I would have said no I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go through certain unfamiliar situations. Every good or bad situation I’ve been though as a business owner has made me better and I don’t regret anything. I want the world to know that CustomsByAk is here to stay and it will continue to change soles one shoe at a time throughout the community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay my girls are in town and this is the week’s plans for us. First we always have to start the morning with some wellness so we would go do yoga at Warren Park downtown. Then catch brunch at Bamsvegan or Ida Claire in Addison. We would go to Galleria Mall so I could take them to PCHLA at my friend’s spot so she can get some gear and sneakers or CentreTx. Definitely have to go by TC Shaved Ice in Frisco for the best snow cones. Then, I’ll take her to Deep Ellum for some bar hoping like Stirr or Punch Bowl Social. I would also take her to Jamaican spot called Taste of Islands so yummy. Then a night with a fancy car rental from Luxexotic rentals and hit a nightclub with Incrowdlife party.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family is my biggest support system; they are always there (The Stewart’s (parents), Amar’e, Darren).
Facebook: Akellia Stewart