I was getting ready to find a place to sit for the Atlanta Bloggers Meetup this week, when Kimberly Kelly approached me. I had noticed Kimberly entering the room a few moments earlier carrying two large bags. It turns out that each of the bags contained several square boxes – each was decorated with a ribbon and had a business card attached to it. I was intrigued by Kimberly’s personality, as well as what might be contained in the box.
It turns out that Kimberly Kelly is the proud owner of Devine Kakes and she wanted to share some of her signature Praline RumKake with each of the Meetup attendees.
I have to admit — it was a challenge for me to bring the box home unopened! My wife enjoys rum cake as much as I do, so I wanted her to share some of it with me. In fact, for the last several years everyone in the office has looked to me to bring in the traditional rum cake for the company Christmas parties. Actually, they have looked to my wife, since my passion and talent lies in enjoying great food and sharing it – not creating it!
Once I tasted the cake, I understood immediately why Kimberly’s customers as far away as New Orleans and Las Vegas order her Kakes for very special occasions. It was delicious!
Ok, so by now you’re asking “why are you writing a blog post about cake?”
The ingredients of this cake go much deeper than flour, butter, pralines and rum – the added ingredient entrepreneurial spirit!
Kimberly left her position as a practicing Doctor of Pharmacy to follow her dream last December and has not looked back since. Her customers in Atlanta will tell you that now she provides exactly what “the doctor has ordered” as her “Atlanta’s Best 2009 for Minority-Owned Businesses” award will attest.
Many people will remember 2008 and 2009 as especially difficult years, due to the economic reasons. I will look back on these same two years as difficult years as well – but the overriding theme for me during the past couple of years is entrepreneurship.
I will remember these years as a time when I met so many interesting people that followed their dreams and made things happen.
The same type of inspired entrepreneurship has caused those before us to set sail across oceans, take wagons across the prairies and cross areas of unmapped terrain in search of opportunities filled with promise. It is the same type of spirit that motivates people to harness ingenuity, take risks and inspire those around them.
I’ve met far too many inspiring entrepreneurs during the last couple of years to mention all by name. There are many whom I see as true pioneers.
Take Chris Jordan, “Host” of Atlanta Insurance Live!, for example. Working behind the desk for a single insurance company was not fulfilling enough for Chris. So, he has branched out and harnessed the power of social media (including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to get his message out. Chris Jordan, your “Host” of Atlanta Insurance Live!, is able to provide a variety of insurance solutions, including personal and commercial auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance and complete business insurance packages to his customers in Georgia. His approach is both entertaining and informative!
Be sure to check out Atlanta Insurance Live!, and you’ll soon see why Intuit and CBS Atlanta have made mention of the convenience and availability that Chris brings to the table. You can learn more about Chris Jordan’s innovative approach by visiting http://www.atlantainsurancelive.com
I’ve been struck not only by the innovation that entrepreneurs are bringing to the table, but also by their passion. Take Diana Baldwin Martinez, for example. Diana brought more than twenty years of Marketing, Business Development, and Product Management experience with her as she left Corporate America to start her own business in 2009. Once Diana’s previous experiences are combined with her passion for Social Media, a winning combination is virtually assured for her customers.
One thing that really struck me about Diana during a recent conversation was the genuine concern for well being she has for her customers. I could see it in her eyes as she discussed her undying commitment to providing value to each and every customer. Customers of Diana’s company, Social Techs Marketing, LLC are truly in very capable hands! Check out the blog for Social Techs Marketing by visiting http://socialtechs.com and you’ll surely feel the same way that I do.
These are but a few examples of the type of entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity and passion that will make 2008 and 2009 very special years for me.
I’m planning to include a very special Praline RumKake as part of my celebration this New Year’s Eve, as I look back during the past year with a sense of excitement for those who have followed their dreams and those who will follow in their footsteps in 2010.
Perhaps you have considered following your dreams, but are holding off for a variety of reasons.
I would suggest that the best time to step away from the sidelines and get into the game is right now!
Should you decide to include a RumKake in your New Year’s Eve celebration, you can check out the Devine Kakes site by visiting http://www.devinekakes.com. You will be happy that you did!
So, with this lengthy blog post, I salute the entrepreneurs – past, present and future!