Today we’d like to introduce you to Amia Guild.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Takes A Village Transportation was vision I had in 2013. I was settled on my job and moving up, yet I felt I had a calling, purposed for more. I shared it with someone and was told that it would be too much responsibility caring for and transporting children daily. As a single mother, I struggled with the challenges of getting my children to and from their various activities and my daughter to a choice school due to limited transportation options. I couldn’t afford neither a full-time nanny nor quit a job that provided our needs in order to redeem the time needed to get them to and from. The need became greater than my own and what I thought I let go after listening to the nay sayer, came back like a rushing waterfall.
Coming from a life as a teen mother, I grew to have a heart for children and families, a strong desire to help. Idle time leaves our children to increased negative outlets, like drugs and gangs. I believe when children an opportunity to see their future the greater they see the positive reality of what could be. This said, I wanted to be a part of the solution, more than talk. I prayed about it and realized it would take a move of faith. I took that leap October 13, 2015 turning in my resignation, with my last day being December 31, 2015. I purchased a seven passenger Honda Odyssey, knowing nothing about the transportation industry.
I began reading, researching and studying learning more about the transportation industry. I was introduced to Good Biz an entity of Goodwill Industries which supports entrepreneurs. They provided a course for a nominal fee and lasting partnership, with extended resources. The course teaches you how to write a business plan, create a marketing analysis, mission and visions statements in lined with your business culture and additional tools for my startup. The year of 2016 was the ground building work, with a full launch transporting students July 2017. Growth came at a rapid pace. Not being in the industry or in business long enough limited my ability to obtain a traditional business loan. I was introduced to Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE). They read my business plan, saw the growth potential and gave me a chance. I was able to purchase my first 15 passenger van.
The exponential growth came along as ACE provided me with additional support resources. ACE introduced me to Kathryn Sabol, and I was with six free mentoring sessions. Later, I was provided a six months all-expense paid opportunity to work with Atlantic Consulting Solutions. Through this program I learned marketing strategies, legal structures, how to expand and strategically increase revenue streams maximizing the use of our van. This opportunity positioned me to obtain an accountant and purchase a second 15 passenger van. The United Way IDA program is a savings incentive program I was selected to participate in. The program provided me with enhanced strategies on business finances and savings. Upon saving they matched my funds which allowed me to expand our branding. I wanted to implement all I learned without losing the personable relations with clients. Keeping the heart of helping families redeem time, feeling safe, and providing reliable services, with a superior customer experience is the core of what we do. The importance of recognizing the same energy it takes to have a village for our children we need the same in business. My partnerships with each connection made are building blocks and stepping-stones to the next connection.
Today Takes A Village Transportation has gone from me as the only driver of a seven-passenger van, to multiple contract employees and multiple 15 passenger vans, vendor contracts with schools, and partnerships with charter services. What I do daily and what we provide is more than a job, but a hearts work, an intentional walk in living out the purpose God has planned for my life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The journey has been anything but smooth. This has been one of the hardest and most rewarding challenges I’ve encountered. Coming from no knowledge, no understanding of the how and learning from the ground up has made every challenge and every no working to my first yes worthwhile. I have gained a greater appreciation than if it were handed to me. The biggest challenge was stepping out on faith not fully seeing how I was going to support my family as I walked about from everything. This pushed my faith in trusting what I heard and felt though I didn’t see it all at once. My heart was bigger than my bank account. This produced a challenge as I needed more vehicles to support the needs with minimal finances and no large collateral to support a loan. Learning logistics, transportation laws, types of insurance requirements and where to obtain them. The wait, waiting and waiting more, in the midst of it all tested my faith and my patience with the unbelief of others, the no’s, and the not yet. I leaned on my faith and the support of my husband, children, prayer warriors and extended family to get me through the rough times.
Please tell us about Takes A Village Transportation.
Takes A Village Transportation provides student and family transportation. We specialize in door to door transport service for children getting them to and from school and extra-curricular activities. We also provide services for group outings and special events. We encourage community partnerships with business and organizations working with youth. We’re providing more than transportation for the programs, but a partnership in the lives of our youth expanded cultural and educational experiences. We are most known for providing a safe, reliable, dependable service, with a superior customer experience. I am most proud that the name of the company is what I get to live out as a hearts work as we connect with one child, one family at a time, bridging the gaps from community to community. Our values, relationships, community engagement through giving back with scholarships, food drives at Thanksgiving, Winter coat drives, family and student engagement with outings, superior customer service. The value add is sharing in the opportunity of helping families redeem time spent together and providing peace of mind to their loved ones knowing they are safely cared for. This is what it’s all about!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories is growing up with my family living on the same block. We had a strong village. My family along with my grandparents, aunts, cousins, and godmother lived on the same block for many years. This gave me a sense of security as I saw the village that supported me. My brother, cousins and I would play kickball, ride bikes, play all the childhood games until the streetlights came on, ate at one another’s home, and walked together to and from school daily. Dancing and signing with my mother and brother on road trips and during housework brought much laughter. Not having a car most times, my mother would take us on bus trips through the town and we would get off at different stops like an adventure. We didn’t have what many would consider abundance growing up, but my mother and the village that surrounded me gave the love I now cherish in the lives of my children and those I service daily.
- On demand as needed rates start at $20 each way
- Application fee $25 per household
- Guaranteed seat security deposit $50 per student
Koko Hunt Photography and ACE