Kayleon Dortch-Elliott is the founder of By Grace Not Perfection LLC, a platform for encouraging and motivating women through writing and speaking. Mrs Dortch-Elliott recently published the “One Day At A Time: Remaining in Step 30-Day Devotional” and “The 45-Day Keepsake Journal for NICU Mamas.” Additionally, she has had the pleasure of speaking on various platforms throughout the years as a panellist, keynote speaker and minister, and was 1 of 50 out of 150 women chosen to participate in Women on the TEDx Stage.
Mrs Dortch-Elliott is passionate about meeting women where they are, not merely to connect, but to engage, ultimately fostering long-lasting support, encouragement, and transformation. The message behind what she does is one that stresses grace over the constant pressure and demand to be perfect. She strongly believes that whether in the home, in the workplace, in the educational system, or in ministry, the message of grace reaches all of us. With this in mind, she strives to encourage and motivate all women with their personal development, emphasising self-reflection, self-care, and rest through speaking, writing, and selling inspirational resources. Aside from her work as an entrepreneur, Kayleon enjoys logic puzzles, sitting in bookstores, watching Netflix and YouTube, indulging in retail therapy, graphic designing, and most importantly, creating memories with her husband André and their daughter Ariah.
Welcome Kayleon, it is great to have you with us! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as an entrepreneur, public speaker, and writer?
I am honoured to be here! Yes, of course. I have had a heart for entrepreneurship, speaking, and writing since I was a little girl. I have always been passionate about meeting people where they are, encouraging with my words, and I always envisioned starting a business one day. In January of 2019, I started By Grace Not Perfection LLC and officially launched my career as a published author and public speaker. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of engaging in public speaking as a panellist, keynote speaker, minister, and podcaster. Most recently, I was 1 of 50 women out of 150 plus selected for Women on the TEDx Stage, so I am grateful for the opportunities that have sparked and will spark from my experience as a speaker.
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and I was a blogger for 9 years before starting BGNP. My first book, “One Day At A Time: Remaining in Step,” was released in September, I also published “The 45-Day Keepsake Journal for NICU Mamas,” and I have more written works to be released in the coming months. It is amazing to be already living out my passion as a young woman, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!
Let’s talk about your business journey, what was the setup process like and how did you fund By Grace Not Perfection LLC to get it off the ground?
Honestly, registering with the state and everything was not as difficult as I was anticipating but only because I received guidance and instruction from my former intern supervisor, Sharon Sauls of Be Led Consulting LLC. It was important that I received answers to my questions from someone I trusted. Before getting to the step-by-step process, I told her what I envisioned for BGNP, why I wanted to form an LLC and asked her for her opinion on taking it to the next level. I went through the filing process, set up everything, and personally invested money into BGNP to get it off the ground.
What are your current marketing methods/platforms used to raise brand awareness and spread your message?
Social media is the main platform I have been using to raise brand awareness and spread awareness. I have literally been able to connect with people and businesses all over the world. I have done a few online giveaways and hope to do more in the future. I have also been featured as a guest blogger and guest podcaster for other platforms. Finally, I have taken advantage of local vendor opportunities and I have reached out to local magazines, book reviewers, local libraries, bookstores, event planners, and more about what I have to offer through BGNP.
We love the synergy here as we both really align on remaining passionate about fostering long-lasting supportive relationships amongst like-minded women. So how would you say you are motivating all women with their own personal development goals and encouraging self-reflection/self-care?
Yes, I love it, too! I am all about building community, so I designed a mobile app for By Grace Not Perfection LLC called ‘Grace Together’ that offers on-the-go access to all things BGNP plus weekly notifications for motivation! Those notifications are referred to as “Today’s Push!” Additionally, I post motivating content on my social media platforms and all my product to include books and journals are published and created for the sole purpose of motivation and encouragement. Finally, I plan to host retreats and workshops in the coming years to encourage self-reflection, self-care and achieving personal development goals.
Who is the most influential female powerhouse that you admire and why?
Wow. I have so many but I will name two if I can choose more than one. The first is Yara Shahidi because not only is she young, but a brilliant writer and speaker who is educated on topics that matter. Above all, she inspires me to use my voice to advocate and cultivate an environment for change for the betterment of others. Another influential female powerhouse I admire is Jada Pinkett Smith. She’s one of the best communicators I’ve come across.
Not only does she have a way with words, but she’s such a great listener. Among other things, she has challenged me to really be present with others in conversation, to honour everyone’s stories, and to never be afraid of addressing stigma by facilitating conversations on taboo topics. I hope to meet both of these ladies in my lifetime, but even if I don’t, my life has been greatly impacted by who they are, what they’ve said, and what they’ve done.
How are you working on your own personal development and are you looking to study or go through any more training/workshops to extend your knowledge?
I daily seek opportunities to grow and develop. I will be graduating soon with a Master’s Degree in Divinity and am currently participating in Women on the TEDx Stage. Additionally, I am always on the lookout for workshops and seminars, whether online or in-person, to extend my knowledge.
The best lesson learnt throughout the business building so far?
Stay committed to the process. There are plenty of days where you may want to give up but don’t. Someone needs what you have to offer, and you may not see the fruit of it right away, but stay committed, remember the passion, and don’t forget why you got started in the first place. This quote by Elisabeth Elliot sums it all up: “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
#BEYOUROWN reminds me of something LaToya Hill, owner of Hill’n Hands Massage Therapy, stated in her recent review of BGNP: “it reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect, I can just be.” That’s what it means to me.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand By Grace Not Perfection LLC within the next 3-5 years?
In the next 3-5 years, I would like to host seminars, workshops, and retreats. I have been brainstorming a lot of different ideas but I want to pace myself and make sure that everything I put out there is serving a purpose and meeting a need.
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