KISH: Tell us about you..
First and foremost I’m a child of God. Additionally, I’m a mother of four children Destiny Wicker, Sema’J Gibson, Joshua Wicker, and Emani Wicker and a proud GiGi to three grandchildren Cohen Wright, Karter Manigault, and Kaislynn Wright. I’m the owner of Laverne’s Place LLC in Dublin, Ga where I reside. My hometown is Soperton, Ga. affectionally known as “the box.” My favorite past time activities include attending church, thrift shopping, yard sale hunting, decorating (for birthdays, weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, graduations, homes, etc.), and spending quality time with my family. When I first developed an interest in decorating, I only focused on home interior décor, but rapidly expanded to an array of settings.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Stephanie: Having sole ownership of a building that would consist of a venue hall, show room, and flower shop is my dream. It will be a one stop shop for sure! The vision I have for my venue is breathtaking and beautiful! It promises to bless everyone that books. It will give my clients and others the opportunity to be able to eliminate the anxiety of having to go to several places to get what is needed to make that day special and exquisite.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Stephanie: My mom, Laverne W. Parker, inspired me to pursue my dream. My business name is derived from her name. She was my most influential and supportive cheerleader. She knew that I possessed a special gift when it came to decorating. We often laughed about how she would be the one to run my business. However, at the age of 43, my mom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer. It felt like I was hit by a ton of bricks! She was my go-to lady for almost everything. Mom taught me how to be a lady at an early age. No matter how she was feeling, she continued to encourage me to keep pushing, keep going, and not let anyone impede my success. On January 13, 2008 at the age of 46, I lost my mom, my best friend, and my everything. Being a single mom of four, I asked God, “What now? How do I go on?” I not only grieved silently, but I prayed and cried late nights. For six months, I went to her grave without anyone knowing just to talk to her. Then one day after leaving her gravesite, a revelation overwhelmed me: continue her legacy and be the best that I can be. That’s what mom instilled in me. So, I accepted the challenge and still continues to this very day by the grace of God.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Stephanie: While pursuing my dream, the most profound challenge that I have encountered was being diagnosed with Lupus. However, I’m not allowing Lupus to defeat me because I know God didn’t bring me this far to be unprofitable. It’s just another reason for me to pray fervently. One principle that I’ve learned is that when you’re doing great, challenges will come. You will either stand firm or collapse and allow the challenges to devour you. Since I was born a winner, therefore, I’m standing strong and firm!
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Stephanie: The most important resource that keeps me going is prayer. Even when challenges come, I already know that God has my back. Prayer has gotten me through so much, even the things I didn’t see coming. Furthermore, all the encouragement from my family and friends, past and future clients, has invigorated me to continue. You all ROCK!!
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Stephanie: Big not small. Go after what makes you happy and be a better you. Dreams do come true.
You can follow me on Instagram: @lavernes_place1961
Facebook: Laverne’s Place LLC or Stephanie Wicker