We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexcia Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexcia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was creating something that would be mine. A legacy of sorts. I wanted to share my talent with everyone and realized the only way to do that was to branch out and launch something on my own.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006, I went on to work with a corporate Food service company where I spent the next 7 years managing the food service operations at The New York Times, Hearst Corporation and Condé Nast Publications. I soon became fed up with the lack of diversity in leadership and false promises of promotion so I walked off my job. I didn’t have a plan but I knew I’d be better off doing something for myself. In January 2013, I launched my private chef brand and landed my first celebrity client – Bow Wow who I met through a fellow chef/friend. I then worked for Sean “Diddy” Combs and then moved on to Alicia Keys. I was able to get the where I was because I believe in building great professional relationships. So, with networking and support of fellow friends I was able to land these celebrity clients. I also have some knowledge of marketing and branding and used what I knew to my advantage. Having an excellent product is great but capturing an audience that will see that requires great marketing strategy. The greatest lesson I’ve learned from all of this is nothing happens overnight. Even if it seems like it’s overnight, it required much sacrifice, sweating and tears. Giving up is also not an option. If something is working you can’t call it quits but find another way to get it done. That’s why it’s important to have the right people in your corner and have a mentor. Having solid people in your life allows you to see things from other perspectives. That has helped me greatly.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d definitely hit up some of my favorite local spots in NYC like Wildair and Buddakhan and indulge in getting some dim sum in Chinatown. We’d also have to hit up my old stomping grounds, The Hamptons to check out the Wölffer Estate winery for some of their amazing rosé.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I must give credit to my family for always supporting me and seeing the vision with me. My mother especially. She is responsible for my strong work ethic. I’ve never seen a harder working woman and I knew she was doing it all for my sibling and myself. So, I knew if I wanted to do something great, it would require much hard work and my mother showed me what that was like from a young child. My close friend and another major supporter in my endeavors, is my college roommate and BFF for life, Danielle Alex. When you surround yourself with amazing people who are doing amazing things it only encourages you to be your best self. As they say, “iron sharpens iron”.

Website: www.ingrainedroots.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexcia/
Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/alexcia-smith-50b4b211
Twitter: alexcialsmith
Facebook: Jus Catering, LLC
Other: www.getjus.com

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