What was your experience like going through the MORTAR program?
KL: Going through the MORTAR class was enlightening. Like the lightbulb went off. I had been catering but didn’t know what direction or what resources to use or how to establish myself as an entrepreneur. MORTAR laid the pathway for me in terms of what I need to do to be productive as an entrepreneur and exposed me to people who were on the same path as me. When you’re going through something that could seem scary, but you’re with people who have a like mind, you can share your experience and that gives me the opportunity to say “hey, I’m doing this wrong”. It was a community. We could put our ideas together based on the blueprint to be a successful entrepreneur.
What have been some of the obstacles for you as an entrepreneur?
KL: Not having the tools at my fingertips to become as big as I’d like to be.
Since leaving the program, what has your experience been?
KL: Networking has been very, very important. You have to go out and keep in contact with the community because you never know how someone else can assist you. MORTAR has been there for me, I can contact someone in the organization at any point – they’ve always been there. Whether I need to ask about how to hire employees or business management, they’ve always been there for me. I would recommend that everyone stays in the MORTAR Alumni community and realize there’s always something out there.
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As Interviewed by Kyla Woods
Photography © Allen Woods for Kelli Camille Films