Today we’d like to introduce you to Tenika Davis.
Hi Tenika, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I used to go back and forth with different ways to make money to see what best fit me. I started with MaryKay with makeup, Organo Gold Coffee, and a weight loss business. I never liked to recruit people to make money. I liked the product to sell itself and grab people’s attention easily. I love working for myself and trying to become my boss, so I drove school buses and opened up a shop in a local flea market selling cell phone cases in between my breaks. I enjoyed having stylish cases, so I named my business Stepping N Style, where you can be in style with what you wear to match your case. I did this for 3 years, and man, I built a clientele. When new phones drop, I’ll drop new cases. It seemed like every day; new phones came out. Life took me a different toll that I had to close because I was with a child. So life got a little hard to work and manage everything. It felt like I had lost everything I had accomplished. I was in a shelter due to losing my home from not having the funds to maintain it, and the bus job was part-time. The shelter taught me a lot about the woman. We lack a lot of help when it comes to parenting and is not yet ready to have kids, but sometimes things happen. Also, I saw women with no clothes or shoes crying for help. I knew I was aiming to leave and help women, immediately showing who God is. After a while, I had my son and was blessed with housing and able to return to the local flea market, but this time, I came and sold shoes.
I stated that so many women needed a pair of shoes just to start their walk in the shelter that I wanted to see them walk in my shoes, and Stepping N Style’s name remains. I was there for 2 more years until I manifested a building I was looking at for the entire 2 years and not to know a guy in the market approached me about a building, and that building was that one. There I had it. I moved in and was located still not far from the local flea market. My clientele followed me, and I made it where I did local pop-up shops in my store. It helped the community brand their businesses on the parking lot to make money and several fashion shows. The pandemic came along to bring attention to those that should be recognized in the city and to Stepping N Style as an annual thing going into my second year in the storefront. It was a hair braiding shop next door. They moved out, and I got it and worked on it through the pandemic to help my daughter help others take their hairstyles down as a teen entrepreneur. When Covid slowed up, I allowed other braiders to come in and rent a booth to give their service and started helping to certify those that didn’t. So now I have grown a lot and in my third year. I have gone online for my shoes to focus on my hair shop with the youth and nonprofit to build the youth up with entrepreneurship and for my daughter to be a leader amongst other youth. Also, ready to tell my story to many other women with my newly published book, PusHER.
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. I was a teen parent so having to grow up faster than I had to took a bit toll on me. The obstacles made me stronger, but being a single mother is a huge job, so trying to multi-task and keep a focused mind is challenging. Also, when things happen in the world beyond your control, for example, COVID, it can affect your business. Trying to manage all bills and keep customers’ attention was a task. Trying to save for rainy days, it seemed like those days were for a year with the pandemic. Understanding some days are slow, you still have to believe in yourself when the support doesn’t seem there. I have faith that things will go back to normal one day, and going through the motions of changes with my kids in school and praying for them not to get sick, as well as for myself and running the business.
As you know, we’re big fans of Stepping N Style. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
I sell affordable shoes online for as low as $22.99 at steppingnstye.net. I ship local pick-up and have after pay feature available. Also, I have a hair braiding shop building generational wealth for my teen daughter, and I can help other youth with my non-profit, Doll’d Up Studioz Outreach. As an event coordinator, I’ve had four fashion shows I’ve created on my own and others I was a part of—also pop-up shop events. I’ve helped others in business coaching with branding and marketing their business. I am an author of a book called PusHER, which is inspiring and motivational and available on Amazon. I have been rewarded as a trailblazer entrepreneur in STL and am known for selling creative and different shoes. Inspiring people all over with many of my accomplishments. I’m most proud that I can live on purpose and show the world that all days are not good, but God can change them for your good, and people will see your light shine and help people push through. What sets me apart from others is that it’s only one me, so what God has for me is for me.
Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
PusHER by Tenika Davis Motivation App
Stephen Speaks book
- 25 PusHER BOOK
- 75 a hour event coordinator
- 50 a hour business coach
- 100 braider certification
- 125 hair booths
- Website: Steppingnstyle.net
- Instagram: Stepping_ n_style
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/