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Conversations with Warn Wilson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Warn Wilson.

Warn, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Hello! My name is Warn Wilson Jr. and I am a local engineer, author, and artist in the Memphis, Tennessee area. I was raised in Jackson, Mississippi. There as a kid, I attended an academic and performing arts school, which really fed my childhood passions of math and art. Afterward, I attended Bailey Magnet High School and also obtained a certificate in Graphic Design (at the Career Development Center). From there, I went on to attend Mississippi State University, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, I began my career as an engineer in Montgomery, Alabama. After a year there, I moved back to my hometown and obtained a Research and Development Engineer intern position in Brandon, Mississippi. Upon finishing my internship in Brandon, I was hired here in Memphis, Tennessee as a Quality Engineer.

Now four years into my engineering career, I have revamped my childhood passion for art into painting, creating visual art, and new products. I have written and illustrated a children’s book called Brown Money that introduces kids to STEM, engineering, investing, stocks, real estate, job security, and entrepreneurship. I painted every image in Brown Money on canvas using acrylic. It took me weeks to complete, but I wanted to ensure that I captured the correct image to reflect the lessons taught in the book. So far, I have performed book readings with schools in Memphis, Nashville, and Atlanta. I am now also wrapping up the completion of Brown Money 2, which will continue with lessons on STEM-related topics and financial literacy as well. I also wrote and illustrated a book called Royal Counsel that is a great uplifting read for all ages. It is filled with great advice and positivity to help you to push thru tough times. Please check it out if you have the chance.

Along with my books, I am also an entrepreneur with an array of products. I started my own consumer electronics company in January called vondu. Our initial product line includes the following: emergency chargers, solar power banks, GPS Bluetooth trackers, electronic candle lighters, and wireless chargers. It has always been a dream of mine to have my own electronics on the market. I aspire to one day become the first black-owned consumer electronic powerhouse in the country. I also have a card game that is great for a family game night called “Na Bruh.” The card game involves breaking into two teams and answering witty trivial questions until the first team reaches a score of 10. The other card game is actually a spinoff from my book Brown Money.

Brown Money the card game reinforces the lessons and messages that are taught in the book. In the game, there are occupation cards and penalty cards. When you pull an occupation card, you get paid but if you pull a penalty card, then you pay. Occupation cards vary from engineer to lawyer to even a professional actor. And penalty cards consist of unfortunate situations such as having “No Plan B” or even having “One Stream of Income”. It is very fun yet informational. If you are interested in any of my books or card games, please visit my website at www.warnwilson.com. You can find the vondu electronic products at vonduelectronics.com.

Moving forward, I hope to use my academic insight, engineering background, and creative skills to influence the next generation of young Black thinkers, creators, and engineers. I hope to inspire them to achieve their dreams and explore the many options they have in this world. Join me along the way.

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?
No it has not been a smooth road at all. The main struggle I have encountered in terms of business is marketing. Starting a business has its difficulties, of course, but marketing is a heavy subject that has to be learned. Learning the basics of marketing has helped me greatly. Actions such as researching your niche and studying the actions of your customer are often looked over but are very important. It requires a totally different way of thinking. Instead of thinking as the creator of a business, marketing requires one to think as the consumer. You must think about who your customer is, what problems do they have, and how you can help them all at once. And as you juggle those three aspects, you must also learn strategic ways to reach your customers (and audience) on a daily basis via ads, influencers, or publications. Keeping the aspects of marketing in perspective has helped greatly. I now approach business from a totally different angle.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am most proud of my ability to teach myself almost any skill I desire. When a subject or skill really catches my attention, I submerge myself in it until I learn all that I can. I believe that ultimately sets me apart from others and allows me to explore new talents/skills at any time. I also am a firm believer that no one is smarter or better than anyone. The line between “good” and “great” is correlated with the amount of time one spends perfecting on reaching a goal or target. This belief allows me to always bet on myself because I know that at the end of the day my success will be decided by the amount of effort and time I put in.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My biggest supporter has been my fiance, Alesia. She has supported me every step along the way as I have released my products. She has been the best cheerleader and partner I could ever ask for along this journey.

I also want to give a special thanks to one of my mentors and personal videographer, Ryant Nelson. He is also an electrical engineer but has recently left the STEM world to pursue videography full-time. Ryant has been a great help in providing me with entrepreneurial guidance, as well as capturing some of my 2021 highlights on film. He has done a great deal of filming in the Atlanta area as well.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
The first image (with the white background) can be credited to Matthew Vance.

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