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Conversations with April Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to April Smith.

Hi April, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Well, hello Voyage Baltimore readers! My passion for entrepreneurship started many moons ago. I always endured the drive and the passion, but never the genuine support. Like many of my peers, I immediately enrolled into college right out of high school in search of “finding myself” and taking the first step to finding my “dream career.” I started out in the medical field by working as a CNA and a Phlebotomist while attending Bowie State as a part-time student for nursing. At 24, I gave birth to my son and got right back into working and preparing to graduate. But life happened. Being a mom, working full time, going to school and being diagnosed with Lupus began to take a hard toll on my body. I always knew that I craved more than being an employee for some large multi-million dollar corporation, so I knew there was more out there for me.

When I was 30, I met my husband. From day one, we talked about our goals and how we both wanted more for ourselves. He always expressed how he wanted to start a moving company and in turn, I expressed, that I wanted to own a beauty bar. From there, we put a plan into place. After saving up, we started Happy 2 Help Moving together. He likes to say I am the brains and he’s the muscle behind it. I poured 120% into getting our company started from the ground. That was 6 years ago. We have had the pleasure of moving everyone from the local fire chief to champion boxer Gervonta “Tank” Davis. We pride ourselves on exceeding the expectations of customer service and building a strong rapport with everyone who becomes a client.

In year 3 of our success, my husband surprised me by giving me paid invoices of classes in which he had paid behind my back. I became certified in lash application, yoni steaming, body waxing, microblading and facials. From there, he assisted me in opening Minks and Melanin, my beauty bar. I am currently in the process of leasing a larger space and expanding as we are now offering nails, barber and braiding services. Due to the overwhelming amount of support I have received, I have been able to successfully expand and hire a staff to service clients at my beauty bar. I am grateful to be able to provide clients with having a “one-stop shop” for self-care.

But the goal of entrepreneurship didn’t stop there.

Most recently, my husband and I launched our newest business venture, “The Mover and the Shaker.”
Not too long ago, I obtained my real estate license in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Soon I will also have my license in DC and Virginia as well. With this, we plan on providing clients with both their real estate and full-service moving needs all at once. I am currently a Realtor at the best Brokerage in Maryland, Realty One Group Universal. I am surrounded by a successful team of entreprenuers and go-getters! They welcomed me with open arms and have been pushing me to be the best Realtor since day one!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?:
Not at all. Being a mom, wife, all while still being a full-time employee at my past job was very demanding. My schedule revolved around all of those things first. Finding balance and taking time to decompress was key. Therapy also helped. It gave me time to release stress and express my hardships to an unbiased listener. After having my daughter, I severely suffered from postpartum depression and being an advocate for breastfeeding was just as demanding. Most of the time I was running on fumes alone. But I always had the support of my teammate, my husband. Together, we made it work. Being pregnant again made things even more challenging. My pregnancy was high risk. I had appointments every week from 12 weeks until she was born at 34 weeks. There were always contracts to submit or deadlines that had to be met in order to remain successful. To be honest, I still don’t know how I did it, but I did. Beyonce said it best in “Who Runs the World,” right? So, I had to do what had to be done and make things happen.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
What do I do? Hmm….Everything, lol…just kidding but not really.

At Minks and Melanin, I am the owner and manager. I specialize in lash extensions, brow tinting, brow shading and microblading (semi-permanent tattoo brows). I also specialize in body waxing and yoni steams. My team provides services for everything else.

At Happy 2 Help Moving, I handle hiring, contracts, invoices, estimates, accounting and payroll. My husband Doug, and our amazing employees handle all of the actual moves.

What am I most proud of? That’s easy. Teaching my kids not to give up. Letting them know that coming up with an idea is the easy part. When I decided to take this leap, I couldn’t get start-up funding. I couldn’t obtain the things needed to get my foot in the door. I wasn’t sitting at the conference table in the boardroom. And now, I’m the head of that same table. I’ve been blessed enough to create generational wealth for my children, both my 2 and my 2 “bonus children.” I have been able to provide them with a lifestyle that most people dream about all while keeping them and myself both grateful and humble. I’m able to be of financial support to my family members. I’ve been blessed to have a full-circle support system. And because of that, the doors of possibility are endless when it comes to the futures of my children. I was always taught that I had to go to college for 8-12 years to be successful…and I was programmed to believe that. The fact that I’m blessed enough to make the same amount of money as the person who did all of those years of schooling, has taught me otherwise. At an early age, my grandparents and my parents gave me the tools and the knowledge needed to be where I am today. And I am so, so grateful for that.

My story is just beginning. I have so much more that I plan to accomplish within the next 3-4 years, including becoming a published author and obtaining my Brokers License. So remember my name, you’re bound to keep hearing it!

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Every day is an inner struggle. Every morning I pray for a strong day. Having lupus is hard. There are days that I am in so much pain but you would never see it or know it. My children keep me going. They see their mom as a superhuman and I love it lol. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Seeing them wake up in the morning gives me so much strength. My husband is my medicine. He is my biggest supporter. Living with an autoimmune disease is a struggle by itself. I’ve been through a lot medically over the last 5 years but I’m a fighter. I don’t believe in quitting. I was blessed enough to be able to leave my job and work for myself and that was probably and will probably be the only time “quitting” was on purpose. I am an overachiever. I am extremely hard on myself even when I feel like throwing in the towel is easier than getting my day going. Every morning I pray. I pray for strength. I pray for power. I pray for wealth, health, lessons and blessings. I thank God and I trust that he is leading me on the path that HE paved for me and me only.


(For Minks And Melanin Only)

  • Lashes – Full Set $100
  • Lash Fill – $85
  • Yoni Steam – $30
  • Eyebrow Tinting – $25
  • Body Waxing – $10-$50

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dr. Austin J Hill (YRN Photography)

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