Neice Danzey is the CEO/Vice President of Danzey’s Xtreme Cleaning and Danzey’s African Goods Store. She and her husband, Gentry Danzey Sr., have been married for 21 years. They have three children, Jazmyne Banks (27), JaDavion Danzey (26), and Gentry Danzey Jr. (11).
WP: You recently retired from a long-time career at Medical Advocacy and Outreach (MAO). Let’s talk about what you did there and the impact it had on you.
ND: My job title was Community Outreach Coordinator, and my duties were to raise awareness about HIV in our communities and educate on ways of prevention. I went into any place of business, prisons, jails, schools and churches that would allow me to come speak to the youth and adults about HIV prevention. I had a motto that if what I said could change at least one person’s mindset or direction in life for the good, I made a difference in someone’s life. Honestly, working at MAO there were positive and negative impacts in my life. One of my major passions is helping people. To be able to help our clients and community was always rewarding. The not-so-rewarding side was telling someone that their HIV test results were positive. That had a major effect on my life, not just in that moment but also after. I would always think of the client and how that result changed their life, and that result could happen to anyone.
WP: Since retiring, you have started not one but two businesses. Was entrepreneurship always a dream of yours?
ND: My husband and I have always had the dream of being entrepreneurs. With the desire and entrepreneurial mindset we have had several businesses. About 20 years ago we started a small business similar to our current boutique. The name was Danzey’s African Accents. We sold pictures, statues, area rugs and so much more. At that time we would load our merchandise on our little enclosed trailer and set up in our church parking lot. We would sit out there for hours selling our items every weekend. We had a few other businesses over the years; we made hand-crafted items and sold them. Not long after that we started a baking business, Sweet Tooth Delectable. We also started a small cleaning business. Life changes occurred, causing us to close those businesses. However, we don’t consider these businesses ending to be a failure. We took what we needed from each business and used that to learn. We allowed them to teach us a valuable lesson. No matter what, don’t give up on your dreams, no matter how long it takes. We pray that we are able to share what we have learned with our children and grandchildren and they will benefit from our lessons.
WP: What was your inspiration behind Danzey’s African Goods Store? Danzey’s Xtreme Cleaning?
ND: We were inspired by our community. We wanted to have a direct impact by bringing culture awareness and knowledge to the community, as well as serve our community in various ways by serving hot meals to those in need and just being able to give back. Our inspiration for both businesses was to be able to fulfill a dream from 20 years ago and be full-time entrepreneurs. Our main inspiration was to show our children that it can be done and to inspire them to be entrepreneurs and self-sufficient.
WP: What would you say to someone considering starting their own business?
I would say if this is a true desire and dream of yours, don’t let it die inside of you. Don’t let the time it takes to reach your goals, a few doors being closed, or the naysayers discourage you. Set your goals, dream big dreams and go after them. Also, make a vision board. Write the vision and make a plan.
WP: You have two grown children and one pre-teen. Do you think your parenting style has changed now that you have only one at home?
ND: Yes, I think we are a lot more relaxed with our youngest child. Our older children bring it to our attention all the time.
WP: Summer is upon us. Any big plans for this year?
ND: As of right now we are in the planning stages of a couple of things. Usually, around this time of year we are hosting our customer appreciation event, and in August for our youngest son and granddaughter’s birthdays, we host a Kidpreneur pop-up event.
WP: Do you have a favorite summer memory from your childhood?
ND: Just spending time with our family and taking trips to the beach and Six Flags.
WP: Running two full-time businesses, raising a pre-teen, and being a grandmother, you must stay busy. How do you make sure you don’t burn out?
ND: When I’m not spending time with my loved ones, I enjoy meditating and tending to my flower babies. Just sitting near my flowers, sipping my tea, listening to music, and soaking up the sun gives me such peace.
WP: You have turned your birthday into a mission to give back, which I love. Tell me about that project.
ND: Yes, when our boutique was located on South Alice I noticed there were a lot of people in the area that were in need. And since one of my passions is helping and giving to those in need, when my family asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of years ago, I said there is nothing I want for me, but I wanted them to help me serve meals and give out gift baskets, And that’s what we did with the help from family, friends and community members. The goal was to serve 45 hot meals and 45 gift baskets. We were blessed enough to serve 100 meals and gift baskets.
WP: That’s not the only way you’re involved in the community. What are some other ways you and your family have given back over the years?
ND: We started a small food pantry at our store, so when people come by in need we provide them with food bags. We also do a clothing giveaway. We take up clothing donations and offer a clothing giveaway to those in need.
WP: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
ND: I would tell my younger self to love myself more, make myself a priority and follow my dreams.
WP: Any advice for new parents?
ND: Don’t take things so seriously. Just go with the flow. Being a parent is learning as you go, and there is no right or wrong way to do things. The best thing to pour into your child is love and affection. Listen when they need to talk, discipline as needed, and be nurturing as much as possible.