We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophronia McKenzie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophronia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Sure! Back in 2018, I was at happy hour with one of my best friends. We decided to try a new restaurant and I was super annoyed at the fact that I couldn’t see any pictures or videos of the menu items. I kept fussing that I cannot understand why in this digital era, restaurants do not use multimedia menus. She looked at me straight in the face and said, “Well you work with technology, so why don’t you build that type of menu yourself?” At that point, a light bulb went off in my head, and I decided to start a new company and developed a photo menu app, which I now call visuEats.
The first thought I had to getting started was to meet with one of my really good friends, Krystle Karee, who is now a UX designer, to bring the idea I had in my head on paper, better yet, in Adobe XD. Adobe XD was the tool she was using at the time. Krystle and I had several meetings in-person as well as virtual. We spent time designing the user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX) flow of the mobile app.
The design was the first step. I knew I needed a developer next and prayed I would be able to afford the developer from my 9 to 5 salary.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Senior IT project manager by day and creator and founder of my own startup software company by night. Juggling multiple professional hats plus maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not an easy feat.
I literally have reminders on my phone to remind me to eat. I have reminders that is scheduled for 12pm, 3pm and 6pm Monday through Sunday on both my work and personal calendars that nudges me to get up and eat.
I am super grateful for my 9-5 because it pays the bills and provides me the seed money to grow visuEats. I know juggling multiple hats will pay. There is a lot one can achieve in a year and 2022 is the year of harvest!
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?
The days when I am at my lowest and feel like I am losing focus or the drive, the support I get from my team, my friends and most importantly my family especially my brother and mother, refuels me.
I literally feel mentally stimulated after a phone conversation or a quick DM or text to say, “I am proud of you”.
Building a company from scratch is not the easiest thing to do; entrepreneurship “looks cool” when the reward is received, but the work behind the scenes requires tenacity and most importantly consistency.
I am super grateful for how my support system loves me. It really keeps me consistent.