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Meet Keesha Rivers of IAmFla’Vore Productions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Keesha Rivers.

Keesha, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
It all began when I was 8 years old. My elementary school teacher, Mrs. Keating, discovered I could sing.

I enjoyed entertaining, so I decided to pursue singing, mime dancing, acting, and playing the clarinet throughout grade school. Along with those, I was also a drum major during my last 3 years of high school. So yeah, entertainment has been a part of my life for most of my life!

I got to where I am today–having my own enterprise, being a 3X best-selling author, award-winning actress, playwright, and more–because I never forgot my roots. Your foundation, no matter where you end up in life, will carry you on your journey, if you allow it to, for the better.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No, not at ALL. My very first struggle was betrayal by someone I thought was a close friend. They used me, lied me to others, and even tried to turn my own friends against me. Thank goodness, all of them passed the test!

Another struggle would be when my very first production member used “text” to tell me that it was time for them to leave. Now, I was cool with that because I understand that seasons must change.

However, it was HOW that person left that was heartbreaking for me because they were literally with us since day one. It was hurtful and it left me feeling like I wasn’t good enough to actually speak with over the phone versus what I felt was the cowardly way out via text.

Last, I will say about struggles, would be financed. I’ve always worked but when God gave me the vision, I was not even working a full-time job. It tested my faith! 14 years later, we still get tested from time to time but if I wouldn’t have gone through the dry beginning season of low budget, I wouldn’t understand the trials now.

It’s all worth it in the end because we have never owed anyone anything, after all of this time. It’s been a learning journey as well but it’s such a great feeling, walking away from an event, etc., not owing!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Our organization started back in 2008, exposing the up and coming in a variety of categories: Music, fashion, and theatre.

Because we received such a large amount from the community at our events (500 plus in attendance–selling completely out), we decided to expand. We then added: workshops, vendor expos, networking mixers, live tapings, and consultations, and our latest addition has been stage play production and DNA research.

What makes us special is how we are a “family” atmosphere for people who feel as though they are black sheep and have nowhere to go. Fla’Vore allows one to feel at home with no judgment.

As CEO/Founder, I’m most proud of the level of success that the ones who started with us have achieved; most of them are all bosses now! I also love how they have remained loyal to us, even in their own personal growth. We offer basic model classes, a platform to learn stage presence, etiquette, a safe outlet, and more.

Even in all of that, God allowed me to heal from childhood and young adult trauma on my entrepreneurial journey, by writing 3 best-selling books on my life story. That process helped me discover, my worth, but also made me appreciate who is really here for us and not just the name, which is so important in business.

I want the readers to know that even when you are given a vision, it doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park. I was also a single teenage parent trying to find my way in life right before I became an entrepreneur. The road wasn’t easy; however, God sent his angels to help nurture me and my son along the way:).

Always remember to steady the course (thank you, Lakesa for that reminder), and do not let distractions cause you to fall or give up. Trials will come but just remember why you are doing what you love. People will come and go and you have to accept it. If not, you won’t grow! It’s all a part of the process for the next level, every time.

Lastly, don’t forget to learn how to follow even as a leader. No one is ever too smart to keep learning and growing! You will then become one of the very best, unforgettable, legends that will only leave your MARK so that others can learn and succeed. Stay original and not a counterfeit.

In the end, counterfeits have a certain amount of time before they get caught!

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
My favorite childhood memory was going to my maternal grandmother’s house whenever I wanted to. My parents knew that we were safe when they dropped us off. Good times. Some of my best times.

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Image Credits
Matt Doheny

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