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Questions That Matter: Donellia Levy

Donellia Levy is a serial entrepreneur. She owns 3 businesses, Shop the Impact, Designs by Donellia, and Journals by Donellia. On top of that, she also has her own personal food blog, Donellia the Foodie where showcases her own recipes along with different restaurants in the Chicagoland area. I've had the honor of discussing more in depth on her life and how journaling has impacted her.

You started with Shop the Impact, what got you into that and do you plan to relaunch soon?

I always genuinely loved fashion. At a very young age, I understood there was not many opportunities for black people in the fashion world. When I went to college, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I loved fashion, but I knew it wasn’t many spaces for me. When I started brainstorming ideas of what I wanted to do, I came up with Shop the Impact. When I launched it, I wanted to do it in a way no other brand was doing it so I started incorporating community service as one of the core values. I plan to relaunch very very soon. I don't have a specific date because I would like to first generate funds to relaunch in a way that it deserves to be. I have been planning to relaunch for about two and half years. My goal is to relaunch between this year and next year but I don’t want to do it without having the proper funds in place. 

You now have Journals by Donellia - what was the inspiration behind that?

Journals by Donellia started off as something that was at first, just a hobby. From high school til now, I have been journaling. It became an outlet for me to not feel judged and a way to express myself. Within these past four years, I have been journaling more intentionally and writing down my goals, things I want to see in my life, and manifestations. I realized that so many other people may be going through something similar and probably need some type of personal growth/transformation that they can benefit from. So I decided to start making journals. 

How many versions of journals do you have?

Right now I have three versions. The self healing journal, my first one, is filled with daily affirmations, personal challenges, and spaces where you can write a letter to your older/younger self to be able to sit down and reflect on things you have accomplished. I have a journal for black women and men as well. 

How has journaling helped you?

Journaling has helped me shift my mindset in so many ways. I think for me, it made me not have to worry about other people and how they are. It has helped me understand who I am while also creating a safe space to just, let go. It has also helped with being consistent and keeping up with my daily affirmations. Starting six months ago, I was heavy with doing my affirmations and prayers daily and things shifted mentally for me tremendously.

What keeps you going?

My personal motto is Start Strong, Stay Strong. I’ve had it since I was 14 years old and I stick to it to this day even with my business ventures. Things may get hard and you may cry, but at the end of the day, you just gotta keep going and stay strong throughout your journey. 

Designs by Donellia, Donellia the Foodie, Shop the Impact, and Journals by Donellia. You're basically the Jack of all Trades. Is there anything else you've been wanting to add to your resume?

Right now I plan to stick to these four. In the future I would love to rebuild my personal brand and turn myself into my own fashion blog. With my job, it's pretty hard to create content for myself along with my other brands so eventually I plan to have time to explore that. 

What is your favorite brand from the 4?

The one that mean the most to me is Shop the Impact because I put so much time, money, effort, and it's ultimately my true passion. I have so much things I want to do longevity wise, where I feel this company can change the world. It is such an impactful brand and very personal to me because I went through so much with it. It taught me how to be an entrepreneur. Even though its closed right now, its so much I’ve done behind the scene that has made me a better entrepreneur so that I am able to thrive with the rest of my brands. 

What else can we expect from you this year?

With Design by Donellia, you can expect it to shift more into helping small business owners learn how to market their business, teach different strategies, and ultimately scaling it in a way that's best for their business. With Donellia the Foodie, there will be more consistency. With Journals by Donellia, you can expect more journals, of course. Journals by Donellia is also an extension of Designs by Donellia so with that I plan to create more aesthetic journals and also incorporate marketing and content like journals. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other people with a small business?

Don’t give up on your dreams. There's going to be people who won’t support you and so many people who will doubt you, but as long as you don’t give up on yourself, and you find different ways to achieve your goals, you will be fine. Everything isn’t going to be a straight line. Life is life, it’ll throw a curveball, but always keep going.

If you would like to buy one of the newest journals on Barnes and Noble click here. To purchase her previous journals, check out these three links: option 1, option 2, option 3. Be sure to stay updated with all of Donellia's businesses by following them on IG @shoptheimpact @designsbydonellia @donelliathefoodie @journalsbydonellia

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