We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamyka Perine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamyka, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My business was birthed from my desire to be a Jill of many trades. Growing up I was never one to stay idle. In fact, by the time I graduated high school I had been actively involved in over 30 activities and organizations. As my career progressed, I found myself drawn to work in the non-profit realm. Anyone who has had a chance to spend time working in that space is well aware that there tend to be a lot of needs and not a lot of available resources. So, with each job I had to wear many hats. Project management came easily and my event work started years prior, making those areas where I initially focused. I had experience in Human Resources and insurance, but because of reorganization I had to teach myself graphic design, how to create websites and how to fundraise.
I loved doing work that had a positive impact on the community and I loved the variety in the work I was doing, but it was far more than one person could do. It was more than one person should be expected to do (especially for the amount I was paid and title I was given).
After networking and learning about gaps in other organizations, I was able to secure my first client. Then my second. I realized that I could do all the things that I love on my terms and make an even greater impact on the community by consulting various non-profits and helping them fill those voids without exhausting their most valuable resources (their staff).
Today, I am able to continue to connect non-profits with specialists who can help them fulfill their mission, while leading an incredible organization dedicated to building youth into social justice changemakers and advocates for equity.
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.
Still in the tradition of wearing many hats, I am an entrepreneur and support the work of a local non-profit, Cultural Leadership. While I carry the top position in both of these companies, getting there was not easy! My journey to becoming a business owner was rough, but those experiences and obstacles prepared me to lead.
I often found myself working in spaces where I was undervalued and unappreciated. Spaces where I was forced to dim my light. But I am true believer in the power of positivity. Times may be trying and life will be full of challenges, but no matter what we are going through we have to “Just Keep Swimming.” Remaining positive, learning all that I could and viewing those negative experiences as opportunities to add more to my “tool belt” was, for me, the key to finding my path.
Through it all, my greatest discovery is that I am the one who determines my value, no one else. And the same goes for everyone. We can’t let the limitations of how others perceive us drive how we see ourselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would first focus on food, because of course we need energy, right? I love to support local and there are so many amazing local eateries and fun neighborhoods in St. Louis! Our list would have to include south city’s The Vine Cafe (Lebanese), SweetArt (the most incredible vegan desserts around) and Polite Society (American). Then we would head to downtown to Lombardo’s Trattoria (the best toasted ravioli in all of STL), Pearl Cafe (you won’t find better Thai) in North County, Casa Don Alfonso (for brunch) in Clayton and Ari’s Ice Cream Parlor in north city for their special pineapple delight.
For drinks, the first place we would check out is Open Concept in the Grove neighborhood and then move to Planter’s House and Sasha’s Wine Bar during the week.
I tend to avoid a lot of tourist attractions, but I love spending time at our Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Zoo.
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 have an amazing village that encourage me, pray for me, and offer support in any way that I need it. They are family and “framily.” I am so grateful for them!
Headshot – Katrina Kerr Tablescape – Suzy Gorman UNCF – Darian Day