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Rising Stars: Meet Edward & Keionna Wright

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edward & Keionna Wright.

Hi Edward & Keionna, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As a newly engaged couple, my fiance (Keionna Etier) and I (Edward Wright) decided to get married out of the country. After planning and purchasing our trip to the Dominican Republic, we realized a lot of our friends and family wouldn’t be in attendance. We then decided to have a huge reception in Kansas City after we returned.

As we began to plan and search for locations to have the reception, we quickly realized how expensive the venues were. We also noticed that none of the venues we visited were black-owned venues. Although we were mid-pandemic, and essentially all human contact was banned, we seen a huge investment opportunity. Neither of us had ever been in this industry prior to, and we both still had our regular day jobs and still do. However, we decided to go for it! We took a couple of months studying the industry and coming up with a plan to open our own event space. We spent night after night seeking information, affirming to one another that we were business owners, and even gained acute mentor-ship before opening our own LLC. We scheduled days to drive around the city to view available spaces and would even take photos and photoshop our logo on buildings that weren’t ours. This allowed us to envision what we believed could truly be possible as long as we took massive action daily to achieve our goals.

Within two months of us making up our minds and locking in, we received the keys to our first building. Although we were ecstatic to have finally found our first space, the building needed a ton of tender love and care. Our building was an old barbecue restaurant that had been completely vacant for nine months. What other people seen as trash, we saw as treasure. While everything was still shut down, we spent two months remodeling an old, beat up restaurant on pure faith not knowing for certain if or when things would open back up again. We spent two months of 2 am nights, clocking into our dream after clocking out of our jobs, building out our space with our own hands to help cut down on labor costs. With very little marketing and no grand opening, The Wright Place has been booked every single weekend since opening in March 2021. We have already hosted community events, creative workshops for the youth, and have also given back to graduates who endured a difficult year yet through perseverance, still made it across the stage. We are excited to become a pillar in our community and to continue on our entrepreneurial journey with one another.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We believe that the word “smooth’ is relative. If your mindset is right, every obstacle becomes an opportunity to get stronger, wiser, and closer to your goal. Of course, we ran into obstacles such as: zoning issues, negotiating lease agreements, drowning out the noise of naysayers, finding a location, etc…However, because we properly educated ourselves before just hitting the ground running, this enabled us to dodge many setbacks and costly decisions. By the grace of God and His favor the process went relatively smooth. Fighting off distractions and juggling our daily routines, three children, and jobs took sacrifice, dedication, and sheer willpower. We knew what we wanted so we did whatever it took to obtain. No excuses.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Edward: Prior to my career in insurance sales, I was a national recording artist known as The Pyramid, I have written, produced and collaborated with the likes of LeCrae, Tye Tribbet, YFN Lucci, Chris Brown and more. I always have been an entrepreneur at heart. From selling G-Shock watches in college, flipping my father wonder bread paraphernalia when they went out of business, building a studio in my apartment and charging for studio time to help get me through college, starting a profitable meal prepping business via tasty, keto-friendly meals. Even after creating an LLC for my music, I never truly capitalized on anything because I always believed my gifts would somehow open doors for me or that someday I would magically become successful. After dedicating my entire life to side hustles and music for so many years and was still just a starving artist with a dream. I decided to get a “real job” in sales and figured enough was enough. I met the woman of my dreams, and she pushed me and encouraged me when I was at my lowest point. They say when you’re at rock bottom, you can only go up, and this was definitely the case for me. I decided to level up and stop pitying myself. I became the number one rookie salesmen in my entire company and decided to use that income to create more income. The event space is one of many dreams that we set out to accomplish as we become heavy influencers in our community as well as around the world.

Keionna: I have always had a corporate job but my dream was always to be my own boss. I love fashion and makeup so I wanted to one day open my own boutique. Once I met a man with a vision and who reminded me I am not mediocre, I was able to think outside the box and assist in opening our event space. As a teen mom, my mindset was just survival. After adjusting my mindset, I truly believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I am dedicated to not fall victim to my circumstances but instead cultivate change by breaking generational curses by creating generational wealth so that my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren have options and the freedom to be whomever and whatever they desire. I am most proud to be on this journey with the love of my life and to become a self-made power couple.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
Our city is a great place to raise a family. It is not too fast but not too slow either. There is a lot of opportunity if you know where to look. There are also many small businesses and gems that have become staples in our city. The one thing we like least is the violence. However, this could be said about most cities in America. This is why we strive to set examples and pave a way for future dreamers to let them know there are other options and ways to make money and be your own boss.

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