We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Adjwoa “Adgy” Tyehimba a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Adjwoa “Adgy” thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Parents play a huge role in our development as youngsters and sometimes that impact follows us into adulthood and into our lives and careers. Looking back, what’s something you think you parents did right?
So, growing up my parents owned a bookstore called Pan-African Connection in Oak Cliff. I always witnessed my parents coming up with creative ways to attract customers into the store & treating every customer like a human being no matter what. While on the other hand at home my parents encouraged us to play sports, musical instruments, to travel, and to always have a vision. In high school I used to make horrible decisions, until one day my father told me to stop reacting negatively to every negative event. He taught me to look for the positive in every negative, because no matter how bad something is, there has to be a positive somewhere. He also taught me to have a vision and imagine the future consequences for all my choices. I credit my mother my for enrolling me in a school that taught me how to be a good chess player. Chess taught me how to plan, how to be more empathetic, and taught me how to learn from defeat. My mother was also a great role model on how a woman should carry herself, so I’m forever grateful.
Adjwoa “Adgy”, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
So, I’m Adjwoa ” Adgy” Tyehimba, I’m the Co-Owner of a local independent bookstore, Author, and I teach Food Safety classes all over the U.S.A. Pretty much I’m a multi-talented entrepreneur. My parents started our family business, Pan-African Connection Bookstore & Resource Center. Yes, the name is pretty long but outside of being a bookstore, we’re a resource center for the DFW community. Growing up, I never thought about owning or working in the bookstore, but as I grew older, I knew my time for contribution was coming. Once my father passed in 2012, it was time for me to step up & into my role as Co-Owner. But my parents did send me to college to further my education. I attended UAPB, a small HBCU in Arkansas and majored in Aquaculture-Inland Fisheries. So not only did I work the bookstore after graduation-I still worked a full-time job in my major. What am I the proudest of? I resigned from my full-time job during the peak of covid to teach food safety management classes independent and I’ve been booked & busy. When I resigned, I was nervous that it would be hard to stay above water during a time when the world was changing. But 2022 is going awesome so far, I wrote a children’s book “The Principle of Balance” that I’m super proud of and I made top 10 list on Amazon! So, I’m super happy about that.
We’d love to hear the story of how you turned a side-hustle into a something much bigger.
So, while I worked a full-time job as a Food Safety Specialist, I started to teach these food safety management classes on the side for extra spending money. I started to see the need for these classes all over the US. My side hustle started to become lucrative and so time consuming; I resigned from my day job to take on my side hustle full time. And let me say that was best decision for me! I made a list of pros and cons , put myself on a financial and social budget -then it was a wrap. I learned how to network and search the internet for new customers to keep me busy. I knew my business was heading in the right direction when I taught my largest class of students at a University in Arkansas. I’m super grateful and business is still going strong 2 years later.
What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?
Social Media & “Word of Mouth” is how I get about 60% of my customers for all of my businesses. When it comes to the bookstore, we try to have the best customer service, so people spread the word to their friends, family and social media. When it comes to the Food Safety classes I hashtag dive on Facebook and Instagram. Since I’m certified to teach all over the United States, I get to travel a lot for work. I try to keep a clean image on social media because that’s where my income comes from & I also try to treat everyone I come I contact with nicely, because they could be a future customer. So, my advice to others is to treat all humans with respect no matter what- that person could be your largest customer. I’ll never forget walking into a business when I was 25- ready for my first large purchase; I was dressed in sweats and looked pretty rough, and I as looked around for the item I needed, the workers treated me like I was invisible & acted as if I couldn’t afford the item I searched for. Now, I’m not one of those people who spend money with people after they treat you bad so I left and promised myself to try to treat everyone like humans when I come in contact with them.
- Website: PanAfricanConnection.com & FoodSafetyAnytime.com
- Instagram: @MissAdgyBaby @PacDallas @ThePacDoc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pan-African-Connection-104267382937373
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adjwoa-hogue-a488a7132/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/pan-african-connection-dallas
D.Lacy Adjwoa H.