We would greatly appreciate it if you could tell us a little about your company.
At UNIVERSE KONADU we focus on the ‘whole’ person (spirit mind body), offering comprehensive therapeutic services to girls and women through a variety of arts-inspired programs that support their personal and professional growth.
Our goal is to empower girls and women financially, emotionally and spiritually, and prevent youth involvement with the Juvenile Justice System by increasing program enrollment, interests in post-secondary education opportunities, community involvement & support and parent participation.
Our mission is to encourage girls and women to share in the vision of total healing: spirit mind body. We use the arts as a tool for empowerment, challenging individuals to take responsibility for their own future, and through this empowerment, collectively take responsibility for healing and educating ourselves, our families and communities, building and maintaining stronger families and communities, and creating our own wealth.
Universe Konadu (Chief Creative Visionary) offers a methodology, unlike any other, successfully tracking the development of participants from as young as five years old through adolescence, and well into adulthood. From arts and culture enrichment to enhancing social capital, Universe and her team of artists and educators have created evolutionary programs and services strategically designed to produce ripple effects in the lives of participants, impacting their peers, families and communities for lifetimes to come.
What were your childhood aspirations?
To immerse myself in the arts! There was always a natural gravitational pull toward anything that gave me a creative outlet, and honed an entrepreneurial spirit. I was super animated and theatrical as a child and loved creating comic strips, activity books, worksheets (I use to play school with my cousins), plays or anything else that involved writing, performing or leadership. I had (and have) an affinity! I remember being in an oratorical [poetry] competition in the fourth grade. It was the first time I had ever stood on a stage, alone. I was as equally nervous as I was excited. Although the next couple of years (5th & 6th grade) would find me with the championship trophy, I came in second place that year. Through the experience I learned my pain had a voice and my story had a platform. So, the arts became very therapeutic for me…a sort of ‘therapy,’ so to speak. And while our relationship have at times been on-the-fence, from the moment we were introduced, I fell deeply in love and my love has only continued to grow stronger.
Can you give our readers a quick answer of business advice ?
Never give up. Stay focused. Don’t take no for an answer. If one door closes, then go and knock on another one. The box doesn’t exist. It never did! So, don’t worry about trying to think outside of it. Instead, think in terms of your own standard. Read books, ask questions, get a mentor, take free business courses in your local community. Always be growing personally and professionally; you can never have too much insight. Last, but certainly not least, as James Baldwin once said ‘Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.’ If someone tells you that you can’t do something, interrupt them by doing it!
What was your toughest challenge?
My toughest challenge was finding employees with the appropriate skills set to match the vision of the company. I’m a very passionate, forward-thinking individual who believes in excellence in everything she does (if I miss the marK, I give myself a good ol’ pep talk), and that ripples through my approach to hiring qualified candidates. Our team members embody the mission of girls and women sharing in the vision of total healing: spirit mind body, as well as understand (on a soul level) the moral obligation of the organization’s purpose.