This month’s Spendefy Stories features Kacy Wickerson is an ASHA Certified Speech-Language Pathologist and CEO of Teach Speech LLC. Kacy built Teach Speech from her passion for teaching parents and caregivers strategies that grow their child’s communication skills at home.
While she loves working with little ones – it’s the parents who want to learn and understand their child’s development who really tug at her heart. She’s helped hundreds of parents take an active role in improving their child’s communication under their own roof, yielding in confidence, competence, and best of all results.
We talked to her about her step into the entrepreneurial world, what motivates her, and what she has been able to accomplish through receiving a grant from her dream grantor.
When did your entrepreneur journey start?
My entrepreneurial journey started in 2019. I was in St. Louis, sitting at my 9-5 when I got confirmation. I sensed God speaking to me when I heard the words “jot this down.” I opened up a note on my computer while my kids were doing activities and it was a full download of everything Teach Speech. That was October 2018 and I moved on it June 2019. I started by teaching a workshop for parents, sharing everything they needed to know about the basics and it took off from there. I established an actual business in July 2019.
My passion came from working at a Title 1 school with low income families and black children. I would sit in IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings with parents and realize that we were saying so many things to them without asking them if they understood what was happening. There was a missing piece there and I realized I wasn’t operating at my highest level of impact if the main person in these children’s lives were confused and misinformed.
With Teach Speech, I teach parents and caregivers how to grow and support their child’s communication in the home through parent training, coaching, and traditional speech therapy services. I help my parents unpack and I ask them how they feel about it. I give them a safe and informed space to unpack things and get clarity before they go into securing services for their child.
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
One of my biggest accomplishments has been that multiple clients have benefited from my services. For them to feel empowered and see results every single time is the biggest blessing for me.
Secondly, we were the recipients of The Black Owned Small Business Impact Fund Grant; a $10,000 grant from Bey Good and NAACP. I applied for the grant and completely forgot about it until I received the news that I’d been selected. As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel unseen. Being selected meant that I had finally learned how to effectively communicate my value to the world and others saw that value and agreed with me. It was more than a validation, it was a confirmation that I’m growing and able to communicate what I can do for my community on behalf of my business.
I’ve been able to use these funds to automate some of my backend processes and hire marketing professionals to increase awareness.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been to show up everyday and see the value in everything I do. There are days when I don’t want to show up or I am feeling down about things but showing up everyday is so vital and essential for moving my business forward.
How have hard times made you who you are?
They’ve made me so much stronger mentally and business wise. There are things I don’t take things personally anymore. Now I’m like “that didn’t work, let’s keep going”. I can’t wallow. I have to show up everyday because if I don’t, who will. It helps me be more confident. If I overcome something, it makes me think I can take more and I know what I’m doing. As time goes on things get better.
Do you have a personal mantra?
I don’t have one specific mantra that I speak everyday but I do use scriptures. I keep them on my vision board that I see everyday and I speak them when I need them.
What advice would you give someone starting a new business?
Honestly I would ask if they actually want to start a business because it comes with a lot and every hobby doesn’t need to turn into a business. If you love making scarves and you like to give them away, give them away. Once you make things a business, there is a different level of commitment that needs to be there. If you truly want to do it, show up and believe in what you’re doing. Learn how to articulate it and keep going.
What are you doing when you’re not working? What are your favorite things to do? The things that calm you. Replenish you.
I like to read. I’m trying to get away from business and personal development books because sometimes that’s exhausting. Honestly, I like to get on Tik Tok and laugh at ignorant humor for several hours. “I’m about to Tik Tok til I drop” is what I tell my husband.
What are your motivations?
My bougie motivates me. I want a certain level of lifestyle and you have to work to get there. A laundry service. Housekeeper. Driver. A personal assistant. Things that make my life easy. When I have children I want to have a night nurse. That’s what motivates me to keep going, the life I want.
What does it mean for you and others to spend with black businesses?
We have been through enough. We deserve! Why not us? We already don’t see enough of us on tv. We are just now starting to see changes that should have occurred a long time ago. I always make sure that you see black faces and families on all of my marketing videos and material.
All are welcome but I do want to make sure I cater to my people. It’s important for black people to have a space to connect to other professionals in business and support each other and get the information they need.
There is a very small percentage of black speech pathologists and when I started, there were none on Youtube talking about the field.
It’s so important to have representation in the medical field and family services so that our black families have people who understand their struggles and speak their language.
Kacy will be relocating to Charlotte, NC within the next few weeks. Teach Speech will be taking new clients and hosting live events between Charlotte, Atlanta, and South Carolina. If you’re a parent with a child or children who may need speech services, visit https://www.teachspeechservices.com/ to get in contact with Kacy.