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One refurbished computer at a time

On Wealthy

As computers continue to sink deeper roots into society, many folks still cannot afford to purchase a new one. Others – due to the rapidly changing technology – choose to procure only refurbished computers in much the same way one would choose to acquire a pre-owned Mercedes Benz. Into the pre-owned computer market has stepped Dr. Edmund Ford Jr. and E&J Computer Services and Repair.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Edmund Ford Jr.: I am 35 years old. I have a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University (TSU) with a major in mathematics (and) a minor in computer science. I continued my education by earning my master’s degree in the same field, performing two years of doctoral work at Vanderbilt University in Leadership and Policy Studies, and earning an educational doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration and Supervision from TSU. I have taught mathematics in Tennessee for 11 years, and this year I obtained my affiliate broker real estate license.  

Providing food and services to the incarcerated


Across the country, attention is focused on economics and crime. Too many times the two are intertwined and the result is incarceration. From Los Angeles to New York, Chicago to Detroit, Atlanta to Memphis, crime is an area of discussion and focus. From prevention to budget, the subject matter always gets its fair share of attention.

But what only a few entrepreneurs focus on is the opportunity to provide goods and services to the incarcerated population. Unfortunately the prison population is not decreasing. It is increasing steadily.  With the increase comes the need for goods and services. While no one is encouraging the increase in the population behind bars, the need and opportunity to service the occupants is real. Someone is currently serving the prisoners, so why should other business owners not consider the opportunity to provide goods and services.

Small-business owners deserve a vacation

Money Matters

Less than half of small-business owners said they would take a summer vacation lasting at least one week in 2013. Many self-employed individuals are reluctant to take time off because they worry about disappointing clients, missing opportunities, or losing income while they are away.

Unfortunately, working too hard and waiting too long between vacations may not be good for your health or the future of your business. One long-term cardiovascular study reported a link between frequent vacations and longer, healthier lives, and another found that men who skipped vacations for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks than those who took at least one week off from work each year.

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: One body at a time


The holidays are fast approaching, which means that we will have days filled with Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey and pies and Christmas. While enjoying the feasts of the holidays remember those waistlines will ultimately pay the price. But have no fear, even if you over do it on the portions. Jack Douglas is waiting in the wings to train you – before or after. With years of experience and a physique that would rival men half his age, Jack practices what he preaches.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
Jack Douglas: I am a father, grandfather and husband. I have been a personal trainer for 15 years and a fitness instructor for 25 years.  I am a certified fitness trainer and personal trainer through AFAA Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.  I currently train 48 clients in the personal training studios of Forever Fit located at 6745 Lenox Center Drive, Suite 112 Memphis, Tennessee 38118.

Mary Nelson sets goal for ‘butterlicious cookies’

by Wiley Henry

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Mary Nelson calls her cookie baking business “Mary’s Homemade Butterlicious Cookies.” Butterlicious is an apt description for the sweet, savory, butter-flavored cookies that she launched from her home 10 years ago with a recipe from her niece.

“If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be called ‘The Cookie Lady.’ The butter cookies started with her,” said Nelson, who tweaked the recipe to enhance the flavor of the cookie to make it her own delectable treat.

Then she tested the market by allowing potential customers to sample her growing product line: strawberry, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, German chocolate, red velvet, lemon, lemon butter, lemon berry, Snickerdoodles, and peanut butter rice crispy treats with a dribble of chocolate.

“Butter cookies are my specialty, my No. 1 seller,” she said.

Nelson started getting repeat orders for her cookies about five years ago. “I get teary-eyed when they want to order again,” she said. “I’m amazed. I’m in awe of what God is doing.”

She makes repeated deliveries to Antonia’s Full Glamour Salon in the Hickory Hill community, where several loyal customers can’t seem to get enough of her cookies. Many of them, she said, convince others to purchase a batch or more.

“They say, ‘Man, you got to get these cookies.’”

Like a politician stumping for votes, Nelson canvases the community for customers. She also uses social media. “Before I go into a place of business, I talk to the owner to make sure it’s OK,” she said. “Reno, my son’s barber, says it’s OK and encourages people to try my cookies.”

Nelson loves baking cookies. However, the love of baking isn’t enough. “What got me into it was my way of getting out of debt. I have to provide for my son,” said Nelson, who was married to Robert Nelson Jr.’s father when she first started baking cookies.

Divorced for two years, Nelson uses the money from her cookie sales to supplement her income as a dental lab technician. Her son, now 10 years old, gives her a helping hand sometimes when he gets home from STAR Academy, a charter school at Golden Gate Cathedral.

“He has a lot of wisdom for his age,” she said. “He keeps me going.”

Nelson works fulltime at her day job and fills cookie orders when she returns home in the afternoon. “I cut the oven off at midnight depending on what I have to accomplish,” she said. “One time I stayed up all night.”

The cookie business is not yet self-sustaining. But the goal, she said, is to come off the job and bake cookies fulltime. “It is my desire to do this on my own…to own my own business. That’s what I want to do. It’s an avenue to bless people – and my cookies will do that.”

Baking cookies was not Nelson’s first career choice, however. After graduating from Hillcrest High School in 1986, she studied cosmetology, but failed the state board twice. Then she got a job at Big Lots on Winchester to pay her bills.

Still searching for a career, Nelson enrolled at Tennessee Technology Center of Memphis and completed six months of an 18-month course, which enabled her to obtain her current job. Later on she took a course from financial author, radio host and motivational speaker Dave Ramsey, “so I can get out of debt.”

Nelson is farther along in business than when she first started baking cookies. A large hanging calendar is filled with orders for various days of the month, and she continues to write in others. Although baking is her forte, she gives her mother kudos for her culinary skills.

“I always wanted to cook like my mom,” said Nelson, who has three sisters and a brother. “I tried to get her to open up a restaurant; she wouldn’t.”

Right now Nelson is focused on establishing her own business, “Mary’s Homemade Butterlicious Cookies.”

(For more information, contact Mary Nelson at 901-288-9694.)

  • Written by Wiley Henry

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: One funeral at a time


Unfortunately this month I experienced the death of my mother. As her only child I had the responsibility of preparing her “home going.” As someone who never attended funerals, I was absolutely clueless regarding the process and procedures. But with the help of a great funeral home taking me by the hand, what could have been disastrous was made to be more than beautiful.

During my planning and grieving, I was surprised by the many businesses that participated during the various phases of the farewell to Anne McCullough.

One bar of soap at a time – Part 2

Soap has come a long way from its original state. Today it comes in almost every scent imaginable. Kimeli Wade has developed a product that is chemical free with skin soothing properties. This week she continues the story of her journey in Part 2.

From Cabrini Green to cultivating ‘A Rose In Concrete'

The first impression you get when meeting with the Soulsville Foundation’s newly installed CEO Calvin Stovall is that they’ll probably have to bury him with the building. He’s that excited about the position and the responsibilities it brings.
Selected to replace outgoing CEO Mark Wender, Stovall has a varied corporate background in branding, development and hospitality with several major corporate brands. A real nuts-and-bolts experience was when he moved to Memphis to become the assistant general manager for the Embassy Suites hotel on Shady Grove. The hotel was then part of the Promus Companies, formerly based in Memphis, and also owner of the Harrah’s casinos. He also served as vice president of Global Brand Training at Hilton Worldwide (Memphis).
  • Written by Tony Jones