Kendra Lewis

Founder of The Boss Architect

“I am one of the very few Atlanta natives; I was born and raised right here in Atlanta. My career as a Strategy Consultant took me to a lot of places. I lived in six different states up until 2019. My final stop on my grand tour of the US was in Minneapolis, which was also my final stop in Corporate America. I was then recruited to be a part of Target’s team leading their strategic  turnaround. I was a part of Target's initiative from 2016 to 2018. I oversaw the launch of twelve new brands. During my four years at Target, I got so much exposure that I transitioned to a level where I didn't realize the magnitude of what it was until I stepped outside of it. I wasn’t reporting my progress on projects to a Manager, I was reporting my progress  to the C-Suite.  The advice I was giving on these decisions was not only impacting billions of dollars, but thousands of people. Working with these people made me set a goal to be an executive by the time I turned 35. I remember getting my final promotion after advocating for myself and working so hard. As a black woman, I was proud of my journey to get there. However, when I got the title, the money, and the benefits, it didn’t feel right. 

I decided to start dabbling in a side hustle that I called The Boss Architect in September of 2018. It started with me posting in a Black Women Business Network group on Facebook. At first I introduced myself as a professional that could help start your business, giving you strategy, funding, and more. Then I realized what most people were looking for was funding. Prior to my career as a Strategy Consultant, I was a Business Banker so I knew funding inside and out. 

I went back to the Facebook group a few days later and stated that I could help build business credit and fund business without personal credit at all. By the end of that, I had seven hundred people comment. I stayed up all night responding and collecting emails. I began creating courses on how to fund your business without using personal credit. The first month I made $10,000. I kept rinsing and repeating. I was working twenty hours a day. I had birthed an alter ego that we called #2AMKendra because that was when I did my best work. I was using my personal story and experiences and I was the only person teaching people how to use funding to generate revenue, not how to just get funding  to go into debt.  This birth a movement called #leveragenotdebt, and In less than 2 years, this side hustle was bringing in seven figures. At that point, I was able to leave Target confidently. 

I’m not blind to the fact that I’ve experienced 6-7 years of business growth in less than 2 years. I feel all of that every day. I asked for this and prayed for this. I take it in stride and I still have big goals that I want to accomplish. 

When I was 19, I used to work for the SunTrust bank here at Colony Square. I saw that this was the ‘it’ place; the place with all the doctors, lawyers, radio shows, and real estate agencies. I saw this place as a status symbol. I checked out Colony Square when I was looking for a new place for The Boss Architect headquarters and immediately knew it was the location for me. It is the perfect location. Now I bring clients here for VIP days where they stay at the hotel, eat at the restaurants, and can enjoy the amenities offered here. Everything at Colony Square makes it so easy to create an experience and the views are amazing.

Throughout my entire career, I have been in a lot of C-Suites that were white male dominated. I had to get used to standing out and being comfortable with that. I remember at times my hair was a topic of discussion. An executive ran their fingers through my hair once. I had to be confident that I belonged. I had to be willing to advocate for myself but also know when to seek allyship. I had allies that could speak for me. Advocating for myself sometimes meant that I turned people off, but I wasn’t afraid. Either take me for who I am, or I don’t want to be here. I was confident enough to know that they would be losing one of their biggest assets if they didn’t treat me right. 

This is my advice, especially to people of color: it’s okay to speak up and advocate for yourself. It can be scary but you have to be okay with what comes from that. Remind yourself that you are enough. If you’re looking to get your idea out there and turn it into something tangible, follow it regardless of how scary and unsupported it is. You wouldn’t have the urge to do it if it wasn’t meant for you so just get out there and go for it.”

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