We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Donovan & Elesha Grace a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Donovan & Elesha, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. We’d love to have you retell us the story behind how you came up with the idea for your business, I think our audience would really enjoy hearing the backstory.
Growing With Grace Tutoring started with the passion of a teacher and the mind of a Financial Analyst. As a teacher, I (Elesha) would frequently tell Donovan (Financial Analyst) the stories of things that happened in my classroom. I noticed that many children were struggling and needed additional help outside of what time was allowed during the school day. I guess my constant storytelling (and sometimes complaining) intrigued Donovan because soon after he decided he wanted to start tutoring. Donovan tutored for about half a year before I too got on the tutoring bandwagon. It was fun! Donovan specialized in math, while I preferred to focus on reading. We each started off with a few clients and we were really enjoying our new side hustle.
One day, we received an inquiry from a client that wanted reading and math tutoring, so Donovan and I decided to tag-team. It was our first time seeing each other’s strengths and we immediately saw the vision of what this could truly be. A few weeks later, we created our LLC. We didn’t really have all the pieces at first, but we just knew this was the direction God was moving us in.
We continued working with families in their homes and at local libraries. We did this for a few months and then unfortunately the pandemic hit. Children were at home and we could no longer access our clients due to safety protocols. It was then that we decided to pivot and try virtual tutoring. I am so glad we did because it opened up a whole new realm! Clients immediately started coming to us for support with virtual learning, a pain point many parents faced at the time. Immediately, parents began spreading the word about our online services. It is because of that moment, that we are where we are today.
Donovan & Elesha, 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?
We are Donovan and Elesha Grace, a married, Black millennial couple looking to take the tutoring world by storm! With combined ten-plus years of experience, we have put our minds and our passion projects together in hopes of making a serious impact in the lives of our students. We recognize the need for educational support, especially in minority communities and we are working hard to bridge that gap. With God’s vision over our lives, we yearn to help students both in Georgia and across the world.
Our mission is to “Gracefully grow the minds of preschool-12th grade children by providing quality tutoring in all core subjects. At Growing With Grace Tutoring we take pride in working with children from various backgrounds, including those from minority communities and children with specific instructional accommodations. By providing children with a safe space to feel seen and heard, our goal is to grow the individual child to his or her maximum potential.”
What sets us apart from others is the services we offer. We aren’t just in the business of making money but truly making a difference in our community. On top of in-person and virtual tutoring, we offer Math and Money: Financial Literacy for Kids. This is a project that focuses on teaching children financial literacy through the math they are already learning in school.
We are most proud of our new storefront location which we opened in March of 2022. With our new Smyrna location, we can now offer even more in-person sessions.
We’d love to hear about you met your business partner.
We actually met in undergrad at Georgia State University back in 2014. I had just been initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Donovan was a part of our brother organization, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. We met at an on-campus event, where we first exchanged names. We always joke that he pronounced my name incorrectly, but that lead us to start talking and getting to know one another. That fall we began dating! We were married not long after in July of 2017.
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
The most effective strategy to date has been word of mouth. It is so true what people say…clients are indeed your best marketers. Our clients are amazing! They share our business cards, repost our social media posts, and they leave amazing reviews. It is because of them that new parents are introduced to our tutoring business. We know we would not be where we are if it wasn’t for them!
- Website: www.growingwgrace.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/growingwgracet/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/growingwgracet
Shout out to Michole Kemp at ShotByMK for the professional photos.