We had the good fortune of connecting with Khaliah O. Guillory and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Khaliah O., can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
My favorite affirmation that recite daily: I am working to allow generational curses to die with my parents and I will birth a generation of wealth…not wealth in currency, wealth in integrity, innovation and generosity. I love this affirmation because it constantly reminds me of my divine purpose, especially on days I don’t feel like getting out of bed!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was in my late 30s, VP role at a Fortune 100 financial services company, working 80+ hours, traveling 75% of the time. I found myself sleep deprived, at the intersection where my contribution and satisfaction were no longer aligned and I desired more. Moreover, I was beyond sleep deprived. What you don’t know about me is I am an avid napper! That’s right, I was the kiddo in kindergarten that didn’t give my teacher any problems when it was nap time—I grabbed my red/blue mat went to my favorite corner and was out. As a professional, taking naps in my car and/or the uncomfortable blue chair at the airport was no longer getting the job done. I committed 10,000+ hours to research and discovered NASA conducted a study on sleepy military pilots and astronauts and found a 26-minute nap improved their productivity by up to 34% and alertness by up to 54%. In 2018, I risked it all and transitioned away from a 14-year cushy career in banking, took a shot like MJ game six and invested in me. Overnight my 401k became the silent partner in Nap Bar, the first of its kind, white-glove rest sanctuary experience for professionals, entrepreneurs, travelers and stay-at-home parents. My sole responsibility and Nap Bars social impact is committed to solving the $411 billion dollar US economic loss due to sleep deprivation. Nap Bar™ (NB) is obsessed with disrupting the $4 trillion-dollar global health & wellness economy. NB is the first white glove, self-care napping experience offering communities and companies onsite and in-suite rest sanctuary to help reduce sleep deprivation and increase productivity. Our custom pods and suites help sleep deprived, health-conscious professionals, entrepreneurs, travelers, and stay-at-home parents’ a safe haven to recharge by turning sustainable rest into sustainable productivity. We curated a scientifically proven health and wellness ecosystem providing turnkey solutions for self-care not limited to 26-minute naps in private suites on organic mattresses, and bedding, IV therapy, massages, and guided meditation. Prior to COVID-19 Nap Bar was scheduled to provide rest sanctuaries at SXSW 2020 in the VIP Artist Lounge. We faced the challenge of being deemed “non-essential” and were forced to close our doors due to the pandemic. We took a risk and pivoted to e-commerce and developed the Better Sleep Box. We are committed to making sleep sexy again by offering white labeled Vegan candles and pillow mist, eye mask and exclusive brain wave soundscapes. Lessons I learned along the way: 1. Protect your energy. Stop sharing your vision with folks who don’t have the capacity to understand my greatness. 2. My motto: Why duplicate mediocrity when you can borrow genius. Get a mentor and sponsor ASAP!! 3. Feedback is a gift, it is up to us to unwrap it!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Go to Trez Art & Wine Bar. It is a WHOLE vibe!!! Think the modern-day Cheers Bar with dope music (live and DJ) and delicious food. If you visit on Tuesday evening, you can partake in the ear candy curated by DJ Big Reeks on vinyl. Houston’s finest entrepreneurs showcase their products and services like Kards for the Kulture by Kendra Mills. My fave dishes are the lamb chops and brussels sprout. You’ll be surrounded by some of the illest art curated by some of the dopest artist in Houston like Amy Malkan. Oh! and order the Signature Old Fashioned curated by Kewee. It will blow your mind!! Dining at Nuksy’s Table is a must!!! Chef Yo is a magician in the kitchen. Nuksy’s Shrimp and Orange Corn Grits is my go-to entrée. Yup! You read it correctly, ‘orange” corn grits…, ask Chef Yo the story behind it and tell her KG sent you. Oh! And she is a beast as pastry chef…order the signature bread pudding… you can thank me later!!! Plan to check out our massive museum district. Some of my favorites include but not limited to: Houston Museum of African-American Culture, Buffalo Soldiers Museum, and The Museum of Fine Arts. Picnic at the Waterwall Park. The park is a landmark and re-circulates 11,000 gallons of water per minute that tumbles down the structure’s inner and outer walls. It is pretty dope to watch!
If you are like me, I love to work out in the city I am visiting. If you want to be surrounded by a gym culture that promotes individuality, diversity, and fun MUST check out Fenixx Fitness and the Fit Chixx Group Training offerings (fellas you can attend as well if you are up for the challenge ). It’s the experience for me. The gym is woman-owned by Antanique Landry, a certified health and wellness coach. You can partake in an array of classes ranging from bootcamp, step and booty sculpt!
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 dedicate the shoutout to my mommy, Cynthia A. Guillory. She was a unicorn disguised as a human living amongst us. My mother taught me several valuable lessons and I had a front row seat to what the power of tenacity, perseverance, and ‘can do attitude’, “looks like”. Simply put, my mother sacrificed way too much for me to play small. Hence the reason I founded The Cynthia A. Guillory Foundation (www.CagAls.org) in 2011 to continue her legacy through the gift of giving. For the holidays last year, we partnered with Wal-Mart, CM Edward Pollard and raised nearly $16,000 and paid off over 130 layaways in an underrepresented community in Houston, TX. Joseph Wesley Roberts, my maternal grandfather who was affectionately known as, “Old Man” definitely deserves a shoutout! He was the epitome of grit and faith. A devout Catholic who said the rosary three times a day, put his daughters through private school and was a homeowner all while having a 5th grade education, My “Old Man” taught me integrity is all I have. In his Creole accent, he would say, “BayBae” your word and name will live on for generations to come… don’t let yourself down.
My big sister, Rondo Mobley, also known as “Doodie”…can you tell nicknames were a thing in my family?!?! Our mother, Cynthia, lost the fight against ALS months after I graduated from college, weeks after my 22nd birthday and a week before Thanksgiving. As you could imagine I was beyond devastated. I will always ooze with gratitude because my big sister stepped up while she was grieving, covering her family as a wife, mother of two children and managed to play a role and continue to parent me. She’s the reason the trajectory of my life shifted when succumb to depression and introduced me to therapy. I owe her everything!
Lastly, I have to shoutout Oscar Wilde for curating one of my favorite quotes of all times…”Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
Other: Nap Bar Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NapBarHou CAG Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CagAls1 Nap Bar Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/napbarhou/ CAG Instagram – https://instagram.com/cagals1 Nap Bar LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/napbar
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