We had the good fortune of connecting with Karlecia Swan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karlecia, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I grew up believing that everyone had to choose one career path and follow only that. The age old question to a child is, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’? At eight years old, how was I suppose to know that? But I quickly said that I want to be a Doctor, knowing full well that I had a weak stomach and couldn’t stand the sight of other people’s blood. All I knew was that was a great thing to say. Needless to say, I do not believe that I was created to only do one thing. I never became that doctor. I actually studied Social Work in college and years later, I am an actress, comedian, and a multi small business owner. I believe God gave me a few gifts that I can busy myself with while here on earth.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2008, when I founded my nonprofit organization. It started with a mentoring program for girls ages 8-14 that primarily focused on building self-esteem. I, then formed an educational wellness agency in 2012. Years lated, I would expand my nonprofit and add a division for group homes, which led to the launch of WeCare Alabama. Most recently, I launched the Inspired By KSwan brand, which includes, publishing, apparel, and production. In all that I set out to do, I try to make sure I am making a difference in the lives that I come in contact with. While all of my businesses are dreams I’ve had from when I was a little girl, I know that God did not place them on my heart just for me to benefit from it. My purpose is to empower and inspire others to live the life they were created to live with boldness and confidence. I do this in every business. One of the things that sets me a apart is that I understand that those who work with me in any capacity are helping me fulfill my dreams. I don’t take that for granted and I try to make it a point to allow space for them to fulfill their dreams. one of my favorite questions to ask is, ‘what dream are you working on and how can I assist in making it happen?’
I am most proud of the people on my team. The individuals who stick it out with me when things are slow or non-existent are the real champions. I’m grateful for those who believe in the dream right along with me.
I often still feel new to this. There is so much to learn. I’ve made so many mistakes and still do, but I am a forever learner. I overcome by my mantra #doitscared.
One of the lessons I’ve learned and am still learning is that it’s okay to ask for help and give assignments.
I want my legacy to be that I never gave up. I want the world to know that when you know you have value and worth, you can walk in your purpose with confidence. I want for young girls and women to know that while I struggled with my self-esteem at times, that I never stopped doing my work to heal and as a result empowered others with how they can to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I can’t even lie, I would need to call up a friend myself to tell me. I’m a true introvert and love being home. Now, I do like to have a good time when a good time is being had. I can’t give any specific hang out spots, but when my friends and I are together, we can be in a field somewhere and we can laugh and have a good time.
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?
I would like to dedicate this to my late father. He was and still is huge influence on who I am today. I’d also like to dedicate this to every young girl who has passed through my mentoring program, 1st Lady Empowerment Foundation. I see myself in many of the young girls who I have had the honor in mentoring and have been able to grow in my self-development as a result of those experiences.
Instagram: @karleciaswan @inspiredbykswan
Youtube: Karlecia Swan
Sweet Gap Photgraphy