We had the good fortune of connecting with KP Roberson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi KP, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Selling sea moss did not initially strike me as a business opportunity. I have a full life – and when I say full, I really mean it ! I am a single mother of three daughters, which includes a set of young twins. I have a full-time challenging career and a social life – and creating a business was the furthest thing from my mind! I was sincerely sharing the personal benefits of sea moss on my personal social media page and all it took was one person to ask, “Can I pay you to make me some?” Seriously, just like that.

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?
What sets Sea Moss From The 713 apart is that we have 13 different sea moss gels derived from plants, leaves and herbs. None of our gels contain raw fruit and I have my opinions on that, but that’s another story for another day. We are also the originator of what we call the “Sea Moss Sampler”. It’s a 16oz jar of up to five different layered sea moss gels, sort of like an appetizer. Similar to penicillin, it literally was an accidental discovery made at about 2 or 3 in the morning! Myself, nor anyone in my camp, had ever seen one before then, so that is rewarding especially since samplers are the best seller. I am also very proud to say that we now import our raw sea moss directly from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia ourselves. We no longer have a middleman and as a small business, this has been the biggest win for Sea Moss From The 713! It takes a healthy level of skepticism to establish business relationships and spend thousands of dollars with people you’ve never met, but I trust my instincts and I certainly have favor. Luckily, my supplier and I have a great relationship. Along with having a growing small sea moss business, I also have a full-time career. My professional background is in Compliance. For 18 years, I was in the banking industry primarily with JPMorgan Chase and I was an Anti-Money laundering Quality Assurance Analyst. After a pivotal and personal self-reflecting moment, I wanted to make a career change and do something more impactful, life-changing and purposeful. Two and a half years ago, I joined the largest housing non-profit organization and I still perform compliance type work. My work with the organization helps further the vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. What’s funny is I don’t think my customers realize that I have a full “9 to 5”. I keep my business and my professional life separate. It’s all about finding the right balance to succeed at both. I’ve learned to give myself grace. That really is the most important thing. As a professional career woman and a business owner, I have to intentionally and unapologetically practice self-care.

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 have a laid back style. In my limited free time, we are going to Frozen Paradise by TSU for food, music, hookah and drinks or On The Rocks off OST for juicy steaks on Thursday nights or Backyard Boil House off Scott for some amazing seafood and complimentary wine, all in the Third Ward area. Yes, I am biased. I had to start there because I personally know those owners and in business, I have learned to support those who support you and I am appreciative of their support. I also like D-bar on Thursdays because my girl Keisha is pouring the drinks. I get out of there early though because the youngsters start pouring in (laughing). On Thursday nights, O2 lounge is the place to be for live music. Five Central has live music too with a restaurant connected called Upper Kirby Bistro. When I want to hang out for cocktails, I like The Spot EaDo, Faces and Urban Social too. Bar 5015 is also a nice outdoor spot, but I don’t like large crowds so their weekdays work for me. As far as restaurants, I like Taste, Thirteen and Bar 2200 for some good eats. I also really like Nomad. It’s a BYOB hookah bar and their food is really good.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

It’s always a full circle feeling when others wholeheartedly support me and my business. As a Black woman in business, I am nothing without my customers. I call them my “713 Sea Mossers.” They are literally the best and they truly encourage me. I mean, without them, what is Sea Moss From The 713? They send new customers, keep me motivated and some have inspired some of our collection of sea moss gels. They also keep me busy toying with different ideas, some of which are not even publicly advertised. One of my customers, named Keisha, asks me to make her a sea moss face gel that she calls “face crack!” Another is waiting for me to start making sea moss smoothies. I have another customer, who is also a sea moss retailer, and she has been persistent about us collaborating to make sea moss soap. These projects are in the works, but it’s paramount that I do my homework and research before I release anything attached to my brand because I want to be fully confident with my products. I have to give a major shout out to my mother, Linda. I remember there were times where I was blending so much sea moss, that I did not have normal use of my right arm! I mean, I couldn’t even sleep on it. My sweet and darling mother wanted to learn how to blend just to relieve me of the wear and tear on my body. My friends, like Teresa Rhodes and Dengshia Samuel believed in me from the beginning! I remember when Dengshia would drive all over Houston just to pick up and deliver orders to help get the word out. I also have to thank my friend and classmate, Nick Thomas. He constantly brags on my customer service when he promotes my business and I appreciate the acknowledgement because as a Black business owner, my goal is to provide a great experience. It’s a blessing to have friends who want nothing, but to see you win. I’d also like to thank my family who supports me by buying their sea moss from me, past or present, Amber, Charlene, Arthur, Debbie, Janice, Kyonna, Tina Monique, Cyntria, Chimara, DeAndre, Nobi, Tarah, Shag, Aunt Tarsha, Joseph, Clarissa, Uncle Trouble and Aunt Cynthia, Earl, Lady, Lil Wayne, Reneeka…. I’m laughing because it’s a bunch of us and I know I missed some family members, but I am truly grateful for the support. Oh yes! There is a friend, Ahmir, in the Philly area. He is a fellow business owner. I call him for tips and he’s always there to encourage and inspire. He actually suffered a recent and unexpected illness in his eyes that caused blindness and he never gave up! His business is thriving. Talk about perseverance! Lastly, I’d like to thank my mate Will G. for the unwavering support. If it were not him, I would not have a footprint in North Houston. Sea Moss From the 713 is in South Houston and there are so many North Houston customers who I am grateful for whom I’ve never met. Crazy, but grateful for it all!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seamossfromthe713/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeaMossFromThe713/

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