Monica Smith-Albright at all times thought she could personal her personal enterprise. Because it turned out, a COVID associated job loss was the push she wanted to make it occur.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Monica Smith-Albright is a mother of two, but it surely took some time to get there.
“We had a stillbirth, we had a miscarriage, after which our son solely lived for seven and a half weeks,” she stated. “As soon as we have been capable of have our daughter Ayanna, we felt that there was a divine blessing from God after we had her.”
A divine blessing that result in one thing scrumptious.
“Simply through the course of caring for her, I simply acquired a divine revelation for an oatmeal cookie recipe.”
That was 18 years in the past. Over time Smith-Albright has perfected her recipes, studying the right way to embellish muffins, incorporate extra flavors and even make some gluten-free choices.
“Some sort of nut, some sort of coconut, some sort of berry in them simply to reinforce the flavour and the feel of the cookies,” she stated.
Smith-Albright made her sweets underneath the title D’Vyne Creations, primarily baking for household and pals.
“I misplaced my job in December and it was an amazing alternative for me to step out on religion and attempt to see the place D’Vyne Creations might go by working it full time.”
With no expertise within the enterprise world, Smith-Albright took a 10-week enterprise class via the Knoxville City League.
She pitched D’Vyne Creations as a part of the CO.STARTERS enterprise pitch contest and got here in second place.
She gained a $1,000 grant to develop her new enterprise.
“It goes a good distance, particularly when you must improve expertise, when you must develop a robust and safe web site,” she stated.
It is that increase that helped Smith-Albright push her pastime right into a profession as a neighborhood enterprise proprietor.
“After we’re capable of develop a neighborhood enterprise, folks get jobs, you might be pumping sources proper again in and I get pleasure from doing that,” she stated.
With a push for extra variety in native enterprise, Smith-Albright hopes she will carry one thing new to the desk in Knoxville’s maker group.
“Whether or not you are Black or white or Asian or whoever, there have been so many individuals which have poured into my life. Now that I’ve a enterprise which means it is my flip now to pour again into any individual else,” she stated.
Most significantly, Smith-Alright is working to go away a legacy for her two women.
“What higher means to try this to start out a enterprise,” she stated. “In order that after they develop up, or even when I am nonetheless right here and so they simply want just a little additional increase, then I am going to have sufficient to have the ability to bless my kids in order that they will understand their desires,” she stated.
Taking the lack of previous kids and the lack of a job, Smith-Albright is including just a little sugar and following her candy tooth into a brand new chapter.
You’ll find her on Facebook here and arrange on the Grooves within the Backyard music pageant July 17 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the Knoxville Botanical Gardens.