To Top

Check Out Andrea Harris Lyons’ Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Harris Lyons.

Hi Andrea, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
The Anna+Pookie story begins with an “aha” moment realized in a fit of frustration. After many years of searching, I could not find stylish party supplies that look like my daughter, my niece, or my nephew. In 2019, I launched ANNA+POOKIE party collections, which feature beautiful, brown skin characters that black and brown children can love and identify within whimsical settings. I am serious about ensuring that we celebrate black and brown children… one party at a time!

You can view our beautiful party collections at our party shop. By the way, if you’re wondering where the ANNA+POOKIE name of the company comes from, they are the childhood nicknames of the company’s founder and her sister. The names are reminiscent of a time in our lives filled with fun, wonder, and imagination. We didn’t grow up with big elaborate parties, but our mom and her mom, our grandmother, made sure that we celebrated life’s moments.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
LOL! Smooth is never in the vocabulary of an entrepreneur! There have been many struggles! While I was blessed with an angel investment from my mother to get started, operating capital is always a sticking point for small, female, black-owned businesses. When you are spending more than you are making, it’s a bit of a challenge. But that’s typical for many businesses starting out. I’m looking forward to the tide changing and we start gaining momentum. I would say the second struggle is the lack of exposure. As a small business, we don’t have the budgets for large marketing campaigns so getting recognition is always a challenge.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have a 15 year plus background in integrated marketing and have created award-winning special events and marketing programs for corporate giants such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, CoverGirl, and Pepsi, to name a few. Currently, I work full time in marketing for a national nonprofit whose mission is positive youth development. I am a 4th generation Atlantan and am darn proud of it! I currently live in an Atlanta suburb with her very supportive husband, Sam, my beautiful and inquisitive daughter Lillian and my fur baby Levi (my dog). What I’m most proud of, with the exception of my daughter, is ANNA+POOKIE. I have the incredible opportunity to awake every morning to my dream, my purpose, my legacy. A legacy that I intend to pass down to my daughter. I want her to grow up and see ballerinas, mermaids, princesses, and fairies that look like her. I didn’t have those images growing up. We didn’t have a lot of time for whimsy. I want her to live and experience a childhood of fantasy and imagination.

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
I know people say it, but it is so true! Just do it. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t doubt your abilities. Trust your gut when doubt crips in, and it will take a moment to step away. Don’t stay away too long but give yourself some room to reenergize. Most importantly, give yourself grace to fail, to learn to grow.

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in