We had the good fortune of connecting with Reeshema Whititngton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reeshema, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always wanted to be my own “Boss,” but I did not know where to begin. I have a love for beautiful skin. I am in love with the beauty of skin, all shades, colors and nationalities. During the Covid-19 pandemic I began making Body Scrubs in my kitchen. One day my eldest daughter came to me and stated, “Mommie, these body scrubs are awesome!” She suggested that I sell them and that is where it all began. I began selling to family and friends. My clients began to ask for body oils, body creams, and etc… Then I began vending in Pop Up Events, the Flower Vigil in Honor of Breonna Taylor (which was historical), Newport Beach Jazz Festivals, Leimert Park Music Festival, the Social Ripple Effect and the Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo in California. So I decided to expand by adding other skin care products, such as our skin brightening products, not excluding, our amazing smelling candles and apparel. So these are the reasons why Meraki Full Body Care exists today. It is my passion, the skin, the beauty of the body. My future is to broaden my horizon by adding other services to the company, by educating myself and taking additional classes in body sculpting for post op patients and those who desire non-invasive treatments. But this is just not enough for me. I am a “Go Getter and I will not settle!”
A year later, I was fortunate enough to start my own Trucking Company. Not just any trucking company “Gettin It N Transportation,” hauling sand, dirt and gravel for contractors and other City sites. I am the Owner, along with my life partner, who is diligently by my side, 110 percent. We have been fortunate enough to help assist with hauling dirt/sand into the newly developed Clipper’s Stadium in the City of Inglewood. I am most definitely career driven with the need and the focus to be my own “Boss” with multiple streams of income giving back to the community. What do I mean by giving back to the community? Well, if you are a felon with a focus on turning your life around and you have CDLs, we are the company for you, and you are for us. Someone took a chance with us, and we are willing to give others chances.
Can you open a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well, I have been employed with the County of Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services for 30+ years. I began in 1992 as a Clerk, moving up in the Department throughout the years, I have served in other positions but again, it was not enough. At that time I was a Procurement Assistant I, purchasing items for the Department. Every fiscal year the Head of the Department had an opportunity to request more items; higher items like Procurement Assistant II but for whatever reason she did not do so. Therefore, I was on my final-step increase, with no more leverage to make more money. That is when the light bulb clicks, I said to myself, “She does not have a say over my career or finances.” So I enrolled and obtained a degree from University of Phoenix, in the field of Human Services. In 2008, I began a career as a Children Social Worker in the Emergency Response Unit, conducting investigations working with neglected and abused children and their families.
The most challenging part of my career is removing a child from what they know, their family. I overcome that challenge by knowing, we as a Department are doing our best to keep the children from on-going abuse or neglect or risk of future harm.
The lesson I have learned along the way is, do not put a price on education. Education is a piece of work that no one can take away from you. Do not allow others to put stipulations on your life, your career, your finances or your goals.
I would like those to know about me and my story, regardless of where you come from or where you start, just start. You are going to make mistakes along the way, learn from those mistakes, greet criticism with a smile. Life will bring you all sorts of challenges; meet them head on and just push your way through. Know whatever challenges that you are faced with, it was meant to be. Just continue to remain focused regardless of how big or small your business may be. “Remember a plant starts life, as a seed, which grows into a plant.”
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 my best friend to the ocean. I love water, it’s relaxing and soothing, you can think clearly there. We would attend the wine country; it is always a beautiful scenery. With so many places to fine- dine in Los Angeles, it is difficult to choose from. One of my favorite places is Yamashiro in Hollywood, California. My second eatery would be Nobu in Malibu, My third eatery is Anqi in Costa Mesa, California. I would take her on a boat ride. I would take her to a spoken word event and jazz festival/concert or jazz brunch. I would take her for a ride up the Coast. I would take her on a tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We must go shopping at South Coast Plaza.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I would like to give homage to God, my Savior, who has been right there by my side throughout my flaws. Secondly, I would like to give a shoutout to my life partner, Aref Mortis and my best friend of over 40 years, Stephanie Roberts. They both are always showing up and making themselves available to assist me, never saying “NO.” They both have been right there, every step of the way. Thirdly, I would like to give a shout out to Dinah Sampson who also has been supportive and giving me constant encouragement. Finally, I would like to give a shout out to my dedicated and future customers.
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