BLKHSTL (BH): What is your hustle?
Keiara Stevenson (KS): My hustle is all about staying productive. I work full time for a large, eight location Estate Planning law firm, where I help people set up their assets and prepare their families to deal with the least amount of stress.
Additionally, I’ve taken on document review full time, where I identify important, confidential information that has been captured through data breach and attempt to repair some of the damage done by the information being stolen.
It became apparent to me early on that if black attorneys want to have a place in this field, they needed to create that place for themselves. Thus, I came up with the concept for my solo practice and began by filing for an APC, getting a web domain, a copyright for the logo, etc. Each bud planted eventually grows into a full on business. I was raised up with the belief that family is everything so my hustle includes participation in both of our family businesses. My grandfather started a commercial plumbing business before I was born and I now do bookkeeping there. My father started a commercial cleaning company when I was in elementary school and took it on full time upon retirement. I participate in the management of his contracts. Lastly, about a year and a half ago I started a travel themed jewelry company, where I sell my personal designs inspired by my domestic and international travels.
BH: What gets you up every day to work in your purpose?
KS: Each day I think of the many faces looking to me for inspiration. As a black woman who decided to go into law, I felt support not only from my family, but from my childhood peers, the beauty salon I frequent, community businesses, etc. When I get up for work each day, I really am doing this for the culture.
On a personal level it all relates back to family. You want your parents to be able to let go of some responsibilities and enjoy their older years. Simultaneously you want to place yourself in a space of independence and stability that allows you to start your own family.
BH: Why do you hustle?
1) I hustle because it is my duty. I feel we wouldn’t have been placed in such a society if we weren’t meant to give this world all we have got.
2) I hustle because I am able and there are so many people who are unable and need our contributions.
3) My mother and father are hustlers and I really know nothing else.
4) I hustle because representation matters.
BH: What barriers have you overcome on your journey to success?
KS: In attempting to balance all that I do, I failed the bar exam by two points and it was just a given that you pick right back up and try once again. The key in overcoming is taking the task on by a different angle this time.
Also in starting my jewelry business I had minimal funds and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to produce enough products, but in taking on new ventures you’ll come to learn there are answers to every problem (whether it’s placing more of the allotted capital toward marketing or starting off with less product options to produce more of those products, finding investors, etc.).
BH: What advice would you give to a fellow BLKHSTLR?
KS:The road to success isn’t linear. Even if the next place you end up isn’t where you planned to be, you’ve made it to a new space and you’ll conquer that all the same.
Set mini milestones and you’ll start to see that you’re accomplishing more than you ever thought you could.
Stay true to yourself in all actions and never doubt that you can actualize your dreams.