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2011 Successful women in business--Dionne Wright

Full Name: Dionne Wright-Jones

Name of your Company: JH Custom Designs

Position: Owner

Website Address: http://jhgiftbaskets.com

Year Founded: 2006

Tell us about yourself and your business: I am a wife and WAHM of two.  My business, JH Custom Designs, is a gift basket business specializing in custom theme gift baskets. We provide gift baskets and gifts for individuals and corporate clients primarily through our online store. We offer hand delivery locally in Baltimore, Maryland and ship anywhere within the United States.

What inspired you to start a business?  I’ve always wanted to run my own business. About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. At that time I was told I might not have children after the chemotherapy treatment. I made a promise to myself and to God that if I was given the chance to have children I would do everything I could and work as hard as I could to be the best Mom I could be. When that time came I decided I wanted to stay at home and raise my children myself. I felt like there had to be something I could do from home that would allow me to stay at home and be a Mom while also contributing to the family’s income. I never returned to work after my maternity leave. I had a degree in a health related field, so I trained and started working as a Medical Transcriptionist when my son was 6 months old. After a couple of years, I realized that transcription was not for me. My husband, and biggest supporter, pushed me to start the gift basket business because he knew I had creative talents. I had always enjoyed party planning and decorating as well as making gift baskets and bridal shower towel cakes. 

Share one business goal: I would like to eventually expand our store from online to a brick and mortar retail location.

What would you say contributes to your success?  The help and support of my family has been the biggest contributor to my success. I couldn’t do what I do without my family backing me.

What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? Don’t ever give up! Always surround yourself with positive people. When others help you along the way, pay it forward.

Anything else you want to mention about your business? I finally found a job that I love. It’s hard being the boss, but when you love what you do it’s a lot easier. I get to help put smiles on people’s face every day.

LaTersa Blakely   

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