We had the good fortune of connecting with Latonya Benford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Latonya, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I wanted to create a business where I could express my creativity and create generation wealth for my family. Generational wealth, in my opinion, is very important nowadays. It’s huge to be able to pass something down to your family when your gone or even retired. I wanted to have something to leave behind for my sister’s children to own one day. I dedicated my business name in honor of my late sister. As I continue to grow my business my passion and love for entrepreneurship becomes much stronger every day.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business specializes in customization of apparel, hats, beanies and many more. I started out with only customizing totes and hats for small business owners. They were one of my top sellers when starting my business. Majority of my clientele were business owners who wanted to advertise their business every they go. After that, I began moving into apparel. Now, shirts and sweatsuits are my number one sellers. I also collaborate with other business owners to create different collection for my brand and bring something new. Being able to collaborate with other business owners all over is what I believe sets me a part from others. I love to collaborate with others and come up with new fun creative ideas to bring to our customers. I also love the fact I can meet new people and network. I’m most proud of my growth as a person and business owner. I’ve learned a lot of new things along the way, that has help me not only as a business person but as a person. Starting a business definitely has not been easy, but I’m getting through it. It took a lot of research, planning, and finances to get started. I’m currently work two full time jobs, and also drive for Uber on the side to make sure I am able to finance majority of the business myself. Being able to finance majority of it myself is another proud moment for me. I’ve learned many lessons in this business. One major lesson is to never be afraid to take a risk. You will either succeed or fail, but you have to take the risk to find out. If you fail you can always try again and find your forte. If you succeed then keep going and master something else. I wanted the world to know that I’m excited to now have my brand in a actual store front in Westminster Maryland. I also have a gaming lounge in the works right next door to my new store. If you are even in Maryland come see my store at 2 Bond St Westminster Maryland.
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 would take them to the Discovery Green. The Discovery Green have activities every day. All of the activities are outside which is a plus in today’s world nowadays. We go do yoga outside, movie night on the big screen on the hill, or even shop at the night market.
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 like to shoutout to my family and close friends. They push every day to keep going, keep thriving and keep creating. I have a sister circle of amazing women who I look up to and adore. To my sister circle I love you and I love our sisterhood we have formed.