Align Magazine got the chance to sit down with an up and coming Millennial mogul, Dion Kellam, to discuss his journey into entrepreneurship and his dreams for the future. Here is what he had to say…..
Tell us about yourself? My name is Dion Kellam and I was born in Norfolk, VA; but raised most of my life in Virginia Beach, VA. I was raised in a single parent household by my mother, Crystal Avery. I’ve always had great admiration for my father, Darren Kellam, even though he was serving his sentence and couldn’t be around as much as I wanted him to. I attended college at Virginia State University, where I became a national board member for NSMH (National Society of Minorities in Hospitality) assisting students achieve in the hospitality field. In the spring of 2016, I pledged Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Incorporated. Being in the hospitality field has its’ perks as I was recruited by Marriott International a year before I was set to graduate. Once I graduated with my degree in Hospitality Management in May of 2017, I moved to Atlanta Georgia to pursue a career in Hotel Management. I was hired by the Westin Peachtree Plaza, the tallest hotel in Georgia. While in Atlanta I’ve built a network that has afforded me different benefits and opportunities that I couldn’t have gotten on my own.
Tell us about 2getherwestand and some of your other creative pursuits? Our Mission is to promote self-confidence in people, to realize the power they have in every facet of life; with the ultimate goal of creating synergy amongst us as a People. I want us to realize knowledge is true power and we can attain knowledge on our own. I want everyone to understand that they can accomplish any goal that they want just by being fearless in the face of adversity. Understanding we do not take “L’s” we learn lessons. Lessons to spread to the next man trying to accomplish their dreams because we are stronger together!! 2getherwestand is a constant reminder of that!!!
Has your journey been an easy one so far? What lessons have you learned from your experiences? Honestly, this has been a tough and expensive journey. The challenges that I had to overcome are not Quitting on myself and constantly reminding myself that every time I mess up it’s a learning experience! Just starting out you feel very critical over everything happening, sometime you just got to take a deep breath and relax.
What’s one thing we should know about you? One thing you should know about me is that I love my culture and the people in it. There are two different mentalities that I want to help get rid of. That “crab in a barrel” mentality and that “I need the system to get where I need to go” mentality. I want our culture to be surrounded with us (African Americans) uplifting each other and truly supporting each other.
” I want our culture to be surrounded with us (African Americans) uplifting each other and truly supporting each other. “
What sets you apart from competition (if there is any)? What sets me apart is I want to be a platform for other people as well as push the agenda for self-help and self-preservation. At the same time, promoting the notion that we as a people can make anything happen with the right comradery.
What has been your fondest moment in your career thus far? The fondest moment in my career has happened and continues to happen. It’s when I see a customer who has purchased my clothing, wear it with excitement and pride. I get a tingling feeling each and every time!
What do you like to do in your free time? In my free time, I enjoy fellowshipping with my friends and family. I have a son on the way (Feb 2020)! When he blesses me with his presence, he will deserve all of my free time.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now? In 5 years, I plan to see myself owning at least 3 housing properties, owning an event Space, and employing my family! In 10 years, I plan to see myself in front of millions of people yearly, talking about my life story and hearing theirs. My goal is to have all of my businesses on auto pilot, making money for me while I enjoy the rest of life’s fruit.
I hear that! So who would you say has been the most influential person in your life so far? My Father is the most influential person in my life, and he was only present for half of my life.
Random, who has been your biggest musical influence? For me, this is a loaded question with a loaded answer. Most recently Rich Homie Quan has been my biggest influence with his latest two projects “Rich as in Spirit” and “the Gif”. As far as lifestyle goes and how I should move, I would have to go with Jay-Z & Nipsey Hussle.
How were you as a child? All my life I have been motivator and a congregator of people in my life. On top of that, the entrepreneur spirit hit me early. When I was in elementary/middle school I was selling candy to my fellow students and neighborhood friends. In middle school I was passing out fliers for all the local businesses. If I see an opportunity to make green I was definitely trying to figure it out. I’ve always preached and mentored others; providing advice from different perspectives regarding business, life, and relationship. I’ve always wanted to have a bigger platform to share my ideals and thoughts thus 2getherWeStand was born!
Is Atlanta a good place for your business and all your future goals? I believe “my city” is wherever I go and have loved ones there. Currently my business is primarily on social media so it allows me to connect with people all over the country and the world. For a simple answer, YES!
What would you like people to remember about you when you’re gone? When I’m gone, I want people to remember that Dion was a genuinely good guy who really wanted to see other people do better in life and would help anybody get to their dreams! I want people to remember me as a successful person, who had a hand in the success of others!
Give one piece of advice that you can share with fellow Millennials When you own your own Business act like an employee instead of a boss. Do not think you can do what you want when you want. Hold yourself accountable for coming in at a certain time, and task to complete throughout the day. Be your Own BOSS! Be an example to your employees and not just a dictator!