This Detroit businesswoman Tasha Danielle is regrouping after nearly losing her customer base. This is how she is doing it.
DETROIT—Tasha Danielle, 34, was minding her business, literally, when 2020 happened — among other things.
But the not-your-average millennial and Detroit business owner of Financial Garden, swiftly pivoted into an additional niche market to keep her six-year-old financial literacy business (for kindergarten-12th graders) on top.
“I was going into schools directly to teach students about money. Because of COVID literally everything stopped,” Danielle said.
Her business halted because she couldn’t go into schools and libraries teaching kids about money smarts, but the certified public accountant and founder of Financial Garden didn’t let that defeat her. Her financial education company serves students and educators (and now parents) with a mission to improve the financial health of metro Detroit communities and beyond. Danielle is a whiz at numbers and having money smarts (including not putting all your eggs in one basket) is something her grandmother instilled in her long ago and it’s paid off in more ways than one.
“My peers, my friends didn’t have the same money mindset as me,” she said of growing up. “They said, ‘Everyone has debt. You should work on investing.’ My mindset was different. My grandmother taught me about money. She taught me to refinance my goals. I knew I could pay (my student loan) debt off full throttle.”
Danielle was on a journey of eliminating $80,000 of debt before the age of 30 — and she accomplished that goal.
Throughout the years while working with young people from Danielle’s church and volunteering at schools, she discovered that there was a disconnect between students and knowing financial literacy skills. So Danielle decided to “plant seeds” of financial literacy for children of every age by formally founding Financial Garden in 2014, according to her website.
Due to COVID-19 forcing schools to close, parents are now invited into helping their children thrive financially with a virtual curriculum using a hands-on approach inclusive of games and age-appropriate activities that take an hour to complete.
“Everything shifted for me,” Danielle said of her business when COVID-19 hit. “I don’t think anybody saw it coming. I was like, ‘OK, now what do I do?’”
Danielle was working on building out an online platform and making courses for parents to enroll their kids in last year after being asked about it by so many that she was propelled into the virtual realm after schools went the virtual route.
“I pretty much had to re-pivot and market toward parents and figure out how to do this all online,” she said.
A Pivot With A Purpose
Next month Danielle will be rolling out her program to enrolled parents online, she encourages other business owners to “really think” about what work they could be doing digitally.
“What they can do digitally to offer their services?” she said, adding that her journey was not done overnight, and she is still making a way for herself.
She’s well on her way after teaching 700 kids over the years her financial curriculum, and winning a $15,000 business grant from Essence and Pine-Sol.
“There are a lot of business grants available for minorities and black women,” she said. “Just be aware of what’s going on.”