t Novo, we’re continually inspired by the unique stories of our customers – their dreams, goals, challenges, and victories. It’s an honor to share them with you. We’re excited to shine the spotlight on our customer NaKeitha Melton, founder and owner of NaKeitha K Creative Services.
NaKeitha Melton is the founder and owner of NaKeitha K Creative Services. Her business provides clients with a holistic approach to personal branding, including professional photography and graphic design. She walks us through her business journey, which is driven by courage, passion, and motivation to grow.
While in school for Video Production and Broadcasting at the Art Institutes, NaKeitha realized that her true interest was in photography when her son was born. She says, “once I had him, he reignited my passion for photography… in school, I always had those little disposable cameras. And it really didn’t click for me until after I had him that, hey, I’d been doing this for a while, but just for fun.”
NaKeitha switched her major to photography, even in the face of doubt from those around her. “I was like ‘nope, I want a camera, I want to do this – sign whatever I’ve got to sign, and put me in the program.’” Soon after, though, she had to go back to work to provide for her son and couldn’t finish her degree. But undeterred, she continued to develop her photography skills and started her photography business: after that, she says, “I was self-taught.”
This mindset of self-motivation and ambition to expand her skillset personifies NaKeitha’s business journey. She often asks herself, “how can I evolve, how can I grow, and how can I offer more, not only for myself but also for my potential clients? That’s been the key: How can I grow, and how can I continue to get better.”
A couple of years into her photography business, she started doing graphic design work. “And that was just a whole other world. It ended up taking over my photography. So I was like, ‘what can I do to add this together?’” She came up with a solution, leaning heavily into the aspect of personal branding. In 2016, she took makeup classes, earning a certification as a makeup artist. “So [now] I do all of that together. If you come to me, I’d do your branding, your photoshoot, your makeup. We’re going to have a whole one-stop-shop. So it’s been a fun process for the last couple of years… And I haven’t turned back.”
“I transitioned to branding in the last two years,” she says, “because I got a lot more into the graphic design side of things… mostly helping build brands from scratch. Like if somebody starts a new company or if they want to rebrand, it’ll be anything from logo design to strategy and concept. I do this for mostly female-owned small businesses, but I do have a couple of male fitness clients, too.”
NaKeitha describes taking the plunge to focus full-time on her business
Like many small business owners, NaKeitha worked a full-time job on top of managing and growing her business. In January of this year, all that changed when she lost her job. She describes this as a pivotal moment. “I was at a point where I needed to ask myself, ‘do I go find another one, or do I finally put everything into me?’ Like, all of this effort that I’m putting into someone else’s brand, do I finally give that same effort to myself?”
She decided to take the plunge. In her words, “It was a whole leap of faith.” Since January, NaKeitha has been self-employed full-time. “It’s been ups and downs,” she says, “it’s been a rollercoaster definitely. But I don’t think I would trade it. I think I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
“For me, the bravery in being an entrepreneur and working for yourself is that you do what you do, even if you’re afraid of it. Even in the midst of fear, you’re still pursuing that dream.” - NaKeitha Melton
“Do it scared”: How NaKeitha defines courage in entrepreneurship
We asked NaKeitha what bravery means to her as a business owner and entrepreneur. She says, “I actually have a subscription box that I started. And the first theme of my box was ‘Do it Scared.’ For me, the bravery in being an entrepreneur and working for yourself is that you do whatever you do, even if you’re afraid of it. Even in the midst of fear, you’re still pursuing that dream. So, to do it scared is the brave part.”
Looking toward the future
NaKeitha is optimistic about the future of her business. She aims to open a studio in the next year, and she’s also interested in expanding the geographic scope of her business. “Being accessible to clients in different states, maybe even countries. Definitely travel. And if not finding the studio space already, being close to it or in the process of doing so.” She adds that “continuing to build business credit and credibility” are critical next steps for the growth of her business, too.
Why NaKeitha chose Novo
When first starting, NaKeitha didn’t separate her business income from her personal income. This made bookkeeping and tracking her business funds complicated. But within the past year, she’s switched to Novo, leveraging both our integrations and Novo Boost* to increase the ease with which she manages her business finances.
About Novo Boost and the flexibility it offers, she says, “I was excited. Because, you know, I’ve been waiting on it. It’s a key feature for me.” Novo Boost has virtually eliminated waiting time, increasing the ease with which NaKeitha can move her business forward. “If I know the money’s coming in or if it’s going to be instantly available, I can go ahead and schedule a payment to be processed – I know the funds are going to be there. It’s another tool to help me in my small business operations.”
NaKeitha’s website: NaKeithaK.com
Follow her business on Instagram: @nakeithakdesigns
*Novo Boost is currently in open beta.
Novo is a fintech, not a bank. Banking services provided by Middlesex Federal Savings, F.A. Novo Boost and early availability of funds are governed by the program terms and conditions outlined here.