Ladies We Love is a monthly interview series with women from around the world that provide us with inspiration through their travels and personal stories. This month we got to know Just Her Rideshare business owner Kimberly Evans.
1. Kimberly, Please Introduce Yourself To Our Readers? What Do You Do? Where Are You From?
My name is Kimberly Evans, I am a servant of others, a wife of 24 years, a mom of 3 sons and 1 grandson, a great friend, a speaker, business owner, and entrepreneur.
2. Tell Us A Bit About Your Background.
I come from humble beginnings, grew up in a small town Gastonia, North Carolina. My parents divorced when I was a toddler and most of my early childhood was very dysfunctional. There was alcoholism, physical, verbal and psychological abuse in the home from the ages of 3 or 4 until my mother left her abusive common-law husband around the age of 11 or 12. Education was never a priority in the home and it was a challenge to even finish high school.
Early on I discovered my “WHY” in life and I knew that my life was going to take a different turn other than what I had experienced growing up, but as a teenager, I started to feel insecure about who I was and allowed my early childhood experiences lead to self-sabotaging myself with a feeling of inadequacies. I always had a desire to be great and to do great things that would impact others and while on the journey of self-awareness I had to do the work, and by doing the work, it lead me to a place within myself that had to overcome and lead.
I attended community college to study communications and English Literature which helped me to see life from a different perspective. I have spent my entire life in the service industry field, serving others and it is the place I feel the most organic part of myself. I currently serve in several outreach organizations, I am a part of several amazing women’s groups and serve on the board of A Lady of Influence, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities and resources to ladies who may have experienced a hardship or life-altering events. We educate, empower, and equip them to overcome and lead in their given territories.
I started my first business in 1997 in the fashion industry and it was my first epic fail, but the biggest life lesson. I learn so much about business and was able to apply those lessons throughout the many years of business ownership. My husband and I currently own an Engineering Consulting Company, a Logistics & Transportation Company, and a Customer Support Call Center Company.
Just Her Rideshare is built on women taking care of women. We are a rideshare service that employs women drivers for women riders. We do not discriminate against anyone but when I discovered there were over 10,000 assaults against women from 2017-2019 within the top rideshare industry-leading companies perpetrated by men, including physical, verbal, sexual, and murder, I knew something had to change.
Research shows that women feel safer driving and be driven by other women and women should have the right to choose who they want to transport them. We also found out through research, that more women would take advantage of the income opportunity if they we not afraid.
We started phase one of the mobile app design last month and I am so excited about the progress so far. We are on schedule for an early 4Q soft launch with an expectation of partnering with the community during breast cancer awareness month to serve by offering free rides for women who are in need of transportation to treatment as well as assisting some essentials workers during this COVID crisis.
Last year my former business partner came to me with the idea. Because of my business background and acumen, she was looking for someone to help lead the project. I was able to dive right in and take an idea and execute it into a business concept.
Early on I was able to see beyond the profit-driven motivation and it became more about mission and service for me. I saw an amazing opportunity to connect with women all over the world, not only to offer them safe alternative rideshare but to find ways to serve them, through mentoring, team building, entrepreneurship, and showing them how to overcome and lead in their communities.
Unfortunately about 10 months into developing the business, my partner decided she did not want to move forward, but I still had this great desire to keep moving forward and carry out what I felt I was spiritually led to do. So I prayed a lot and sought counsel and hit the ground running and that’s how Just Her Rideshare was birthed. It was a huge vision and the best choice I ever made.
5. Where Do You See Your Company In The Future?
I see the company as an industry leader. I see the implementation of two potential IPs that we are working on in the design of our app that will help solidify our place in the industry. I see the company profitable and expanding rapidly and building a great partnership in the community. We have some amazing ideas and as we scale the company I eventually see a possible acquisition or IPO in the future.
6. Your Company Is Also Hosting A Bi-Weekly Podcast. Can You Tell Us A Bit About What It Will Involve And Where Our Readers Can Subscribe?
We are currently working on our marketing campaign and the podcast will start very soon so that we can get listeners plugged into what we are doing and the upcoming launch. Until then your readers can go to the website and subscribe and we will keep them informed.
We will have great content with industry speakers in the area of safety, sex trafficking, mental health, self-care, and entrepreneurship. We will also have mentoring programs and webinars on how to develop successful businesses.
7. What Advice Would You Give To Our Readers Who Are Looking To Launch Their Own Company?
I am very passionate about entrepreneurship and business ownership. GO FOR IT!!! BUT…..keep in mind, there are many great ideas but business is more than an idea, it is an execution. Do your research, educate yourself night and day, and perfect your craft. Be fierce and dedicated to the cause. No one will believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself. Hire to your weakness and build a great team.
Without a great team of experienced people and their expertise, you will surely fail. If you go into partnership with someone, make sure that you have the same vision and agree on the same strategic direction. Clearly define the business roles and outline job responsibilities. Make sure you have a strong identity so that it can project a trustworthy image among your market.
8. What Is The Best Piece Of Advice You Have Ever Received About Being An Entrepreneur?
Surround yourself by people who have been there, people who have done all of what you are trying to do. People who are smarter, know more, and have great vision. Be teachable and coachable. Do not be afraid to hear the word NO!!! But do not let it stop you.
9. What Do You Know Now That You Wish You Knew When You Started Your Company?
How to connect with great mentors. Experience is an excellent teacher, but if you find someone that is willing to share true knowledge of the difficult road it can be, especially for a minority and when it comes to raising capital, it will save you a lot of time, energy, and money.
10. Now For A Fun Question, Tell Us A Fun Fact About Yourself?
I love to dance to old school music. On Friday nights my husband and I love to cook together with a great bottle of wine and we dance and listen to music for hours.
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