Wanda Childs has reached levels of success she never imagined as an entrepreneur. That’s because her faith in God is what’s kept her doing what she believes is his work. However, it was a lack of faith that almost derailed the entire process.

Childs worked for Fannie Mae for over 21 years. In the meantime she’d started selling her own Blessed 24:7 merchandise at Christian conferences on the East Coast, in the Midwest and in the South. However, she said, she had been ignoring a call from God to venture out on her own.

“I went to work one day and after 21 years I got fired,” Childs said. “Prior to getting fired, God told me, ‘You need to open up a gift shop. It’s time. You’ve been all over and you’ve had your online gift shop for eight years. It’s time to move this to a store front.’”

Childs said she was worried about finances as she didn’t believe she had the resources to pay her mortgage and the rent for a storefront. After losing her job with no severance package, having no unemployment benefits and having a son preparing for college, she just didn’t see how it was possible for her to open a shop.

That’s when a chance meeting changed her life. She was having lunch with a friend when a member of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square came by and greeted her friend.

“When he said he was a member at the Sanctuary, I told him I always wanted to open my shop over there,” she said. “He said, ‘What are you waiting on?’ All I could say was that I didn’t know.”

The gentleman directed her to get in touch with Kingdom Management, the church-run company that handles the leasing for all businesses in Kingdom Square, and soon after she signed the lease.

“I don’t think they ever saw one tenant cry so much,” said Childs. “It wasn’t sorrow; it was excitement. I could not believe that the vision God showed me in the years prior was coming true in me signing that lease.”

Now, just one year after moving into a 110-square-foot space, Childs is opening at a location over five times that size on July 25.

Blessed 24:7 is now a copyrighted, national brand, but it’s not all Child is known for. She is a motivational speaker and printer; she has her own non-profit organization and is now an author.

Her book, Pushed Into My Purpose, is a story about Child’s firing and rebound as a businesswoman. The self-published book has already sold over 2,000 copies. Childs believes the success of the book doesn’t come specifically from her trials, but from her perseverance.

“People are attracted to the fact that I fell down, but look what God did for me,” she said. “The point is doing what God called you to do.”

Childs fought through unfaithfulness, depression and stress, but is now excited because she’s not only a successful entrepreneur, but she’s also fulfilling what she says is God’s purpose in her life.

“I have it straight now. It took a swift kick, but I’m excited,” said Childs. “I put it on God: ‘You told me to come here. Obviously, you have a plan up your sleeve and we’re just going to roll with your plan.’”

For more information about Wanda Childs, visit www.wandachilds.com/blessed_247

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO