What do you do? 

Return to Village, LLC is a human resources collaborative, which means that we work on building structure and improving culture in 3 main areas...Talent Acquisitions, Training & Development, and Employee Relations.

What inspired you to start your business? 

Many companies lack awareness regarding the real reason that HR is a part of their organization. HR is more than hire/fire or for payroll; we truly have the answers to improve your business. Return To Village, LLC was created to help those voices and that insight to be heard.

What's special about your business? 

What’s special about Return To Village, LLC is not only what we are, but why we were created. The idea of Return To Village, LLC came from years of actual experience working in HR departments and watching multiple businesses struggle with the same hiring, retention, and training challenges. After providing coaching in these areas, I recognized that my insight and ability to assist a business was key, and other businesses could use my expertise. But also, we were created to support another business….The Blooming Dahlia, LLC. An organization whose goal is to provide single-parent families with affordable housing and homeownership opportunities. 

What have been the high and low points of being a business owner? 

I've tried not to look for highs and lows, because for me, it created an assumption that if I wasn't always in a high season, I was in a low season. Having minimal support created many tough moments initially, but I changed my perspective to being someone who is in "School" constantly trying to graduate to the next class. Graduation for me was getting that alert that the business was "official," seeing my website come to fruition, and obtaining my first client. All of those were and still are the moments that I continue to chase. Everything in between those moments....the late nights, the rejection, battling my own belief in my goals and dreams, etc. is me in class earning my next diploma.

What have you learned from your experiences as a business owner? 

It’s not easy. Nothing about the journey is easy. You have to trust yourself and what is given to you. I’ve questioned myself a lot over this past year, but I kept moving forward. You will have to do it scared; you will have to do it with flaws and imperfections; you will have to try and keep going when everything around you falls apart. It’s all a part of the journey.

What is your relationship with SCORE? 
SCORE client
What influenced you to seek help from SCORE? 

Arriving at a place where I realized that it was time to move forward, my mother actually introduced me to SCORE and its resources. I enjoy and excel when I am able to learn from others, so it was a win-win.

How SCORE helped. 

Sharonda, my mentor, gave me a dedicated space to focus on my business, but in a way that didn't include pressure to be successful, but more a safe space to express my thoughts, my ideas, and sometimes my frustrations. She asked questions and forced me to look at my businesses from the perspective of the client, and gave me that positive push when I needed it, but was also human enough to help me when I may have been overworking or putting too much pressure on myself to succeed. I definitely give her all the honor and respect for her patience, persistence, and guidance. I am 100% sure I would not have arrived where I am now without her.

What's great about my mentor? 

Sharonda's first name stands for... Sharing, Honest, Accessible, Realness, Open, Nice, Dependable, and Accepting. 

The K and J in her last name stand for "Knowledgeable" and/or willing to reach out and find that knowledge and the J equals "Just who I needed at that time."

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business? 

 A SCORE mentor is worth more than you ever can realize. Don’t worry about having it all together.

Helping Businesses Focus on the Human in Human Resources