Three men teamed together to come up with an ingenious way to connect businesses with customers. 1921 was created with the goal in mind to give businesses the best opportunity to expand their platform. With 1921 on your side your business will definitely prosper.
Will Simmons is 27 years old. He was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina. He grew up in the county where he spent a lot of time with his grandparents. They worked on their family business which fueled his entrepreneurial spirit. Will is very passionate about financial literacy, real estate and uplifting his community. Joshua Mackey is 39 years old. He is married with one child. Joshua grew up in Elkhart, Indiana. From 2003 to 2005 he served in the United States Army as a helicopter crew chief. In 2007 he relocated to North Carolina and in 2013 moved to Charlotte, NC where he currently resides. He owns a few companies that specialize in Software Development, Al Robotics Engineering, Farming and Natural Cosmetics. Mike Richards is 31 years old. He is a first generation Jamaican American and is married. Mike is originally from New York and moved to Charlotte in 2006. He is very passionate about mentorship, finance and self knowledge.
In 2016, Mike and Will met while working together. Will was a technical associate assigned to Mike’s team. Mike was the team lead who was in charge of Will’s training. As they got to know one another, they noticed similarities within one another and they worked well together. In 2018, Mike met Josh when he started his first company called Black To Nature. Josh helped educate Mike about ways to to build an application and how to scale his business from a technical perspective.
1921 and Black To Nature were thought of and created by Mike. 1921 was born from the struggles of the 2020 Pandemic. Mike had to put Black To Nature on hold as the world retreated back into their homes and began practicing social distancing. The pandemic hit hard and for a moment Mike lost inspiration to keep Black To Nature going. During this time, Mike noticed a need for companies to continue to strive and adjust during these hard times. Times were changing as we shifted gears from face to face interaction to virtual interacting. Mike began to focus on building businesses within the community while not having to rely on in person contact. This is how 1921 came to be.
Working together as a team, they are able to come up with decisions that are best for the company. Decisions are made by listening to input from each member and coming to a common ground. If there are disagreements within the group, they all will touch on what’s bothering them and come to a solution collectively. Everything they do is for the betterment of the company.
Through it all the team has a few proud moments under their belt. Will remembers the return of Black To Nature. In January 2021, they had their first hike since the pandemic. A lot of people showed up and the support was real! Everyone was excited for their return. In 2019, Black To Nature had a cabin trip. Watching strangers come together and have a great time was a fond and proud memory for Joshua. Starting Black To Nature in 2018, launching their platform and enjoying nature with supporters are moments that Mike is proud of.
The goal of 1921 is to take the concept of Black Wall Street into digital form. They strive to help build businesses within their community. 1921 is a space for businesses to post their events whether they are doing product launches, expos, workshops etc. and reach their target audience.
Black To Nature is an event platform that aims to bring the Black community together through indoor and outdoor activities. The goal is to create a space where anyone who wants to find, create and attend various outdoor and indoor events can connect with people and fellowship.
Owning more than one business comes with plenty of lessons. Joshua has learned the meaning of “Rome wasn’t built in one day.” Patience is a powerful skill to have. “Success will not always happen rapidly, but you have to have patience and endurance to last until the time comes when you become successful,” says Joshua. Will has learned two very important lessons. “You have to be willing to leave your comfort zone and to never compare your journey to anyone else’s because we all have different paths,” says Will. Mike has learned that not everyone has the business owner gene. “Starting a business and running a business requires a strong level of dedication, patience, faith, and strength,” says Mike.
If you are an aspiring business owner, here are some words of advice from the 1921 and Black To Nature team:
Joshua: “My biggest advice for any entrepreneur is to remain fluid and flexible. The business world will throw many different challenges at you that you will not see coming and the best way to stay prepared for these challenges is to have a flexible mindset. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in your ways and stunt your own growth.”
Mike: “My biggest piece of advice is to check your emotions at the door. Being a business owner requires a high level of emotional intelligence and if you make business decisions based solely on feelings you are more likely to make a bad decision based on your temporary feeling.”
Will: “My biggest advice would be to stop waiting until you feel that things are perfect. A wise man once said “If you wait until things are perfect, you’re already too late.”