We had the good fortune of connecting with De’Vonte Hughes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi De’Vonte, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process might be different than most. I didn’t sit down one day like, “okay I’m going to start a business, let me brainstorm on what I want to do and how to do it.” I kinda just jumped right into it. When I first moved to Houston, a lot of old college friends would reach out for advice on how to handle their money, eventually a light just clicked for me to start my business. The first thing I did was text my group chat of friends and see what they thought about me starting a business. After getting nothing but positive responses, I kind of just threw myself in head first. First thing I did was develop a logo, picked the name, colors, the services I would provide, and the prices. I’m more of a learn as you go kind of person so by the next day I launched my business. There have been some rough patches here and there trying to navigate starting and maintaining a business but I’m glad I did it.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I feel like there are two things that help me set my business apart from the others; customer service and how close we work with are clients. We pride ourselves on being very compassionate and understanding with our clients. We understand life happens and we want to reflect that. We work very closely with our clients as well. We feel the best way to help them grow is to continually check-in with them and always be available when they have questions. This actually led to the development of our Financial Coaching program. The one thing I get excited about is when a client comes back to me a few months later letting me know they’ve been able to save more than ever, pay off a debt, or learn how to cut their expenses. That is the best part of the job. Getting 1st Step Finances to where it is today was no easy task. As I mentioned earlier, I’m more of a ‘figure it out as I go’ kind of person so it took some trial and error. I overcame the majority of my challenges by always being willing to ask questions and learn. I can’t even being to count how many times I’ve reached out to others to get an outside perspective. Some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way are; never doubt yourself, it’s okay not have the answer right away, and always be willing to learn. What do I want to world to know about me, 1st Step Finances, and my story? That’s a good question. I think the one thing I want the world to know is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, your background, or what you’ve been through. As long as you believe in and never quit on yourself, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Believe me, I am living proof.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m glad you guys asked this question, I have a reputation of being a good host so I’m well equipped to answer this. I’ll start by answering where I’d take them to eat and drink. Brunch is VERY popular in Houston, so we would definitely partake in that. The best brunch places to me are Seaside Lounge, Phil & Derek’s, and Domain Lounge. Seaside’s food is amazing & they have a GREAT mimosa selection. Phil & Derek’s food is decent but they also have good drink options, not too many places where you can get a entire bottle of champagne for $10. Domain might have the best combination of vibes, drinks, and food in my opinion. Now if we’re talking about lunch, I have plenty of go to spots. First would be La Calle, it’s an authentic Mexican restaurant that has specials everyday of the week. Mondays are $2.99 margaritas and Tuesdays are $1 tacos. Just can’t beat it. The next spot is Bourbon Street Daiquiris. This place is mostly known for their daiquiris but they have some amazing food as well. The fried catfish basket is a personal favorite of mine. The also have craw-fish, seafood boils, muscles, and po boys. The daiquiris will definitely take you where you want to be, if you know what I mean. Now moving to dinner, the first thing that comes to mind is The Fish. It is a sushi bar located in Midtown. I’m not too big on sushi but their chicken teriyaki is my favorite item on the menu. They also have these Sake Bombs, which is a shot of alcohol resting on on two chop sticks above a glass of beer.. The goal is to bang on the table until the shot falls into the glass than chug it as fast as you can. Now when it comes to places to just hangout and visit, I would definitely start with the Color Factory. It’s an interactive art gallery. The next spot would Hermann Park. It’s one of my favorite places to just chill and hangout. The two things I like to do the most there is visit the Japanese Garden and rent a pedal boat to take out on the lake in the middle of the lake. There is also a Zoo located at the park. Another place would be Galveston Beach. I love the beach because of the good weather, the strip across from the beach that features too many restaurants and bars to count, but the crown jewel of the beach would be Pleasure Pier. Pleasure Pier is basically a small carnival, they have games, carnival rides, and funnel cakes, never can go wrong with those. Man, I could really talk all day on this but I think I’ve said enough for now.
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 love to take this time to dedicate my shoutout to my late mother. From as long back as I can remember she was always supportive of me and encouraging me to follow my dreams. Continuing to keep her proud has been my main driving force in making sure 1st Step Finances is successful. But I would be wrong if I didn’t thank my friends and family as well. There are too many to sit down and name but when they read this, I’m sure they’ll know who they are. So I would just like to say thank you and I appreciate all the support. All of the shares, retweets, likes, and feedback has not gone unnoticed and it is the foundation of 1st Step Finances. I am grateful.