TRUTAI is a mother-daughter story that goes on to become a story of strong women entrepreneurs.
Our story begins with me -- Tai’s mom -- Kiree. I was born and raised in District of Columbia by my grandparents. My mother married a wonderful man who loved her as his own. My father was incarcerated until I was 13 years old.
I graduated from high school in 1991. Post high school I decided to attend Virginia state university to receive a bachelor’s of science degree in information system decision sciences.
In the freshman year at Virginia state university, 1992 I experienced the worst tragedy of my life, my grandmother died. Following my grandmother’s death in 1992, my mother died in my senior year, 1994. After losing my mother, my grades started to spiral downward.
I failed a major course that was going to hinder me from graduating. I was able to enroll in a university in the DC area for summer school which allowed me to walk across the stage with my peers but only to receive my diploma upon finishing the summer class.
I graduated from college in July 1995. By this time my grandfather health began to deteriorate. After graduating from college I stayed home to take care of my grandfather. In 1998 my grandfather passed away.
The next year my father and stepfather died 5 months apart. Feeling all alone having no one to truly love or to love me I asked my boyfriend could I have a child.
The lonely feeling I carried within made me offer a promise to my boyfriend If he gave me a child I would take on all financial responsibilities as he would be physically in our child’s life.
In November 2000, I gave birth to a 6 lb. 12.9-ounce bouncing baby girl. I named her Tai after her father and my father Tyrone. After giving birth to Tai I experienced postpartum depression.
I wasn’t aware of my actions but since her father had many sisters he saw something. One day I was talking to my grandmother’s baby sister my great aunt, and Tai’s father asked could he speak to her.
Tyrone told my great aunt everything I was doing he informed her he was very concerned especially because I was nursing. I was summoned to her house with a deadline line.
Upon leaving my great aunt’s house, all I will say is I had a new perspective on life. When Tai was in kindergarten about 4 years old, she had a severe asthma attack. The severity of the asthma attack consisted of one of her lungs collapsing. We spent three long days in Children’s Hospital.
Within the same year, I lost my job. It amazes me how children pick up certain things. As I was dressing Tai to take her to school she noticed that I wasn’t dressed to impress for work. She said no work no money I replied, true Tai. Often we will go to the grocery store and Tai will want something. I will tell her “mommy doesn’t have any money for that. mommy is being true to Tai”. On this particular day, Tai wanted this toy. I was about to say mommy don’t have any money for it. Before that she interrupted me and said, “mommy true Tai, true Tai mommy” she melted my heart. I set some of the items down and responded to her “yes mommy is being true to Tai, I have money.” Her facial expression was priceless.
This entire episode left quite an impression on our us. As they say, life is 10 percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it. The lessons I learned from the loss of my loved ones made me stronger and resilient. I decided I will fight back harder.
In late 2018, the government had a furlough. That’s the time I decided which I later learned was one of Warren Buffet’s quote on earning – “Never depend on a single income. Make investment to create a second source.” I started looking into ways I could earn money and pay for Tai’s college. I started an eBay page and sold high-end authentic crystal vases under the name of “Trutai”.
Today when I look back on my first step towards being an entrepreneur, I see all of that was the process of metamorphosis. From being a daughter to a mother and an entrepreneur, I would say, “showing up at work every single day pays.” It has been a rewarding experience.
In April 2019 I became an IBO with Amway, started selling vitamins and supplements to friends and family. In 2020 I started publishing books upon the COVID-19 pandemic. After selling a range of products, I slowly began to build a network of customers, a small community of happy customers who trusted me and my services.
With a growing network of clients and business associates, I planned to go back to my first love online retail “TruTai”. With Tai now leading the business, we plan to scale up TruTai and aim to be one of the leading e-commerce players in retail.
We’ve had some encouraging response in the first quarter of 2020, even before COVID 19 could slow down the business world. TruTai has an impressive product line that lists some great SKUs. Our current product line offers some of the finest home decors in the country. Our fitness products are one of the fastest-selling products on our site. We have also added a hand-picked line of designer and brand clothing.
By the next quarter, we plan to expand and reach a wider audience across the coordinates of North America.
Our mission is to offer the best to our customers. Our team constantly strives to provide the best customer experience in every phase of a customer journey. Our motto is Customer Experience First.