We had the good fortune of connecting with Mavis A. Creagh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mavis A., how does your business help the community?
Currently I serve as the Executive Director of R3SM, Inc. (Recover, Rebuild, Restore SE MS), a nonprofit that is located in Hattiesburg, MS. I began as a case manager 12 years ago. Almost 3 years ago I began my journey as Executive Director and was instrumental in rebuilding the agency along with the footprint of our reach. R3SM (Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi) coordinates restoration, rebuilding and disaster recovery services to low-income families and individuals living in Mississippi’s Pinebelt. The nonprofit was founded as a long-term recovery agency to assist and support victims of Hurricane Katrina. Since 2006, R3SM, Inc. has generated over $ 22 million in value to the Pinebelt: $11.7 million in grants and private donations; and over $10 million in volunteer labor which completed homes, rebuilds, and fully renovated the historic 10,000 sq. ft. Volunteer House at 301 Buschman Street which can house 60 volunteers. Also, the Volunteer House holds the administrative offices for R3SM, other small businesses, community organizations, and acts as a venue for small events and community events. R3SM recently revised its mission; to help South Mississippi Pinebelt’s most vulnerable RECOVER from natural disasters, substandard housing, economic crisis, and toxic effects of chronic poverty, REBUILD their homes, communities, and lives, and RESTORE financial stability, dignity, and hope. Recently the agency has expanded to assist in over 12 Counties throughout Mississippi. R3SM’s major focus now are recovery efforts following the 2020 Tornados that impacted multiple Counties in Mississippi. Over the past three years she provided oversight of almost 30 New Constructions, 80+Repair Projects, and Over 5 Million Dollars in volunteer labor and donations that were reinvested into the community. Also, Mavis A. Creagh recently started We Women Ministries, LLC. She serves as the Founder & CEO of We Women Ministries LLC, a ministry created to empower, enrich, and elevate women from all backgrounds. She is an advocate, survivor, inspirational leader, motivational speaker, mentor, entrepreneur, consultant, and 2X bestselling author!
What should our readers know about your business?
Since 2006, R3SM, Inc. has generated over $ 22 million in value to the Pinebelt: $11.7 million in grants and private donations; and over $10 million in volunteer labor which completed homes, rebuilds, and fully renovated the historic 10,000 sq. ft. Volunteer House at 301 Buschman Street which can house 60 volunteers. On last year our agency was able to pay off the mortgage on the Volunteer House! This is nothing short of a miracle…a nonprofit now owns and operates a true community asset to empower and enrich the local community, state, and even nationwide. We have volunteers from all across the country and as far as Canada that stay in the Volunteer House. Over the last 3 years there have been almost 3,000 volunteers that have partnered with our agency. Since the formation almost 500 homes have been repaired and over 40 new constructions rebuilt from the ground up. Additional programs and services beyond disaster services include weatherization, affordable housing, and veteran housing services. This year I became an entrepreneur and founded We Women Ministries, LLC. This year I became a 2x Bestselling Author by being a contributing author on two projects. Also, I spoke for the first time for conferences that were aired globally. (Success Women’s Conference and Comeback Champion Summit). Another book project is scheduled to be released in December and my first single project, a Women’s Devotional and Workbook is scheduled to be released by January 2021. My joy comes from empowered Women from all backgrounds and letting them know that no matter where they are in their journey there is always hope. I got to where I am in business by sacrifice, being teachable, and not taking no for and answer! A No is never final when it comes to business. One person may tell you know; but this may open the door for more potential, possibility, and provision. So when I get a no I no longer get mad but understand that there is a better opportunity around the corner! The journey was definitely not easy….I really do not know how I did it or what motivated me to move forward daily; but my motto daily during the most difficult seasons was., ” It Will Work Out”! Whatever the “It” was I believe it with all of my being and this pushed me to not give up and push forward. From the toughest times in business, I have learned many lessons. One of the strongest lessons is that you have to believe in yourself. If you do not believe in you how do you expect complete strangers to believe in you. You risk giving p before things can work out for the better. I encourage anyone to not give up and continue the journey to build your brand and your business. The many lessons during the most difficult seasons encouraged me to be more determined and dedicated to the mission. This has propelled me to start my own business this year and begin my career as an entrepreneur.
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?
Our Volunteer House is located in the Historic Downtown Area that is within walking distance of local breweries, pubs, and Historic Theatre, and Dance Studio. I participated in my first Pub Crawl this month and even met new friends to hang out with in the future. Everyday we would pick a local restaurant to try something new in the area. Next door to R3SM Volunteer House is a wonderful restaurant that has homemade sandwiches, fresh brewed coffee and desserts. They know my name when I come through the door like on the famous show “Cheers”! List of local stops for a fun and exciting week. 1) Depot Kitchen and Market 2)The Lucky Rabbit-Is a flea market on steroids! There is a building of over 20,000 sq. ft. that is filled with antiques, new unique items, custom made designer pieces, food, drink, and themed movie and TV sets all wrapped up into one. It is one of my favorite places and I usually can stay for half a day. 3) Southbound Bagel and Coffee Shop has been a locally owned business for almost 70 years. 4) Blue Jazz Cafe- Has New Orleans Style Food and Beverages with Live Music, Fun, and Laughs 5) The Porter-Downtown Hattiesburg’s own authentic public house. Finest regional craft beer. True American pub fare. Live local entertainment. 6) Fairley’s Wings and More 7)Southern Seafood and Market 8)George Fairley, Jr. (Bear’s)-Homemade Southern Food, Live DJ/Music, and Fun. Always a Fun Time at Bear’s
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 am thankful and will be forever grateful to my teenage son Jordan. He currently is 15 and has taught me so much about determination, perseverance, and love. Without him coming into my life I truly do not know what my life would have been like. I was very lost at one point and did not have clear direction. There was not a clear vision, plan, or purpose. I had him during my last semester before I was to graduate from college (Mississippi State University-Go Bulldogs)! I was so determined to not give up because of him. I wanted to make a better life for my son and did not want to disappoint him even though he was a baby. I wanted him to be proud of his mom, even though I had made many mistake in the past and even up until today. I wanted to be a good example and role model for him. Our life has not always been easy but through faith in the Most High we are taken it one day, one step, one journey at a time!