February Small Business of the Month: KENDRA MAYS DESIGNS & AMAYSN EVENTS

Kendra Mays is a Certified Interior Designer and Event Planning Expert. Kendra was born in Dallas, Texas and begin sewing and making flowers as a hobby while still in high school. That hobby quickly became a passion and that passion is now a lifestyle brand that includes everything from custom furniture, accessories and décor, to lavish floral designs and “over-the- top” theme event productions. Within 27 years of business Kendra has designed some of the most spectacular spaces for athletes, celebrities, politicians and more. She has produced opulent and beautiful events for several clients across North America and abroad.

Kendra has received some of the most prestigious awards in her field, such as CID Designer of the Year, Women in Business Entrepreneur of The Year, as well as receiving a record Better Homes and Garden Designer of the Year – 2 years in a row (making her the 1st African American to receive the award as well as the only designer to receive it multiple times). Both Kendra’s work and presence have appeared in Better Homes & Garden, Equanimity, HGTV and Garden Party. She was also the feature “on air” design personality for TV One’s hit show “Divine Restoration” which crossed over into the Canadian and European markets after the 2nd season.

Throughout all her accomplishments “giving back” is the only thing she considers as success. Kendra has a passion to see women and minorities become successful in business. She has dedicated her time to hosting free business classes, seminars and workshops that are open to the community. The business and financial workshops are located at her venue on an on-going weekly basis. These classes are open to all entrepreneurs (old, new and aspiring) as well as individuals seeking financial tools for and structure in business and personal and to receive training, tools, resources and motivation to be successful in business and in life. Kendra, along with her husband and business partner Chris Mays are also heavily involved in the community throughout the year with hosting multiple charity events and an annual holiday toy drive for five years in a row. Kendra and her team also hosts one special bride and groom with a complete wedding design completely paid for to assist a couple in need of a beautiful wedding but cannot afford such a high-end ticket. The design center “pays it forward” every year as well. The design team donates a brand new designed room to a family in need that may have experienced a rough year financially and need a “pick-me-up.” The free room design is a project that was birthed inside of her several years ago when she came across a mother that was in desperate need of a room makeover for her sick daughter. This project touched her heart so much that it changed her life and business model forever. From that moment forward she built into her business budget a “pay it forward fund” annually to assist families in any way she could. This is Kendra’s heart-strings. She personally visits the family, lays out a customize design plan and executes every aspect of it including fresh wall paint, new furniture, art, accessories and more. She does the same in her event production business as well. The “pay it forward” wedding couple is chosen by Kendra and Chris early in the year in order to give the team plenty of time to provide the couple with everything they will need for the most amazing ceremony, reception and everything in between.

In Kendra’s words “Giving back is what defines me.” I don’t want to look back on my life with any regrets. I want to say that I did all I could and gave back all I could.” When we come out of darkness it is our duty to turn on the light for someone else so give – give lovingly – give joyfully – give enthusiastically and most important – give as if it is being given back to you because in the end it will be.