While Regina Thomas Dillard, an entrepreneur who lives in Oak Park, was recently developing her newest business project — a subscription-based website designed to provide information about, and sell numerous services and products on, health and wellness — she got a bit of encouragement from across the country.
Dillard was recently one of 10 small business owners and nonprofit leaders who [in August] won a portion of a $15,000 Giveaway by La Detra White, a well-known marketing consultant based in Atlanta.
Dillard said that at least 200 candidates from across the country pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges either in person or through video messages. The judges then selected the 10 winners.
When she was considering entering the contest, "there were some fears and doubts," Dillard wrote in an Aug. 21 Facebook post.
"The internal critics came to the surface and whispered, 'You may not be ready' and 'Stay in your safe space.' After advancing to the Finalist Phase, I was thrilled! I decided to persevere even in the face of fear. I took a chance and flew to Atlanta to present my business live and in person."
During a recent phone interview, Dillard — who owns Inner + Sanctum Wellness, a health and wellness company — described her winning business idea.
"I'm developing Living Body 360, which is a website that will have tutorial videos and other informative features that will offer support for people who are seeking to improve their mind, body and soul," she said. "I'll also advertise a detox product line, along with other supplementary products."
Dillard said that the site is currently in the development phase and could go live in November. The site, she said, is just one of her many entrepreneurial focuses. She plans to launch a healthy foods recipe book by Christmas and currently works with various farming communities in the Midwest, helping them develop farmers' markets.
"I also teach on-site in gardens located in urban communities. I teach classes at the Perry Market District [an urban gardening community in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood]," she said. "I share recipes to support a healthy lifestyle. We focus on three top diseases that affect us — heart disease, hypertension and diabetes."
Answer Book 2017
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