Jemmalyn Hewlett

Laci Ollison | September 15th, 2020
Jemmalyn Hewlett (Photos by Gwendolyn Wilson)

Jemmalyn Hewlett (Photos by Gwendolyn Wilson)

Many people dream of starting one business and becoming a successful entrepreneur. But for Jemmalyn Hewlett, she sought to establish multiple businesses and create generational wealth that would be passed down to her children and generations to come.

Jemmalyn is the owner of We Care enterprises: the umbrella company for seven different businesses ranging from a juice bar, café, behavioral health services, and a salon and spa.
Her business We Care Community Services offers a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities and has corporate offices in Richmond and Virginia Beach.

At her salon and spa location, individuals with disabilities have a special day on Monday where they can receive services. We Care Training provides medication, cpr, and other continuing education courses for employees of her community service businesses as well as other behavioral healthcare providers.

Recently, Jemmalyn opened We Care Salon Café next to her salon and spa. “Every time I came in the salon, I saw people eating,” she said. “So I decided to open up a café. We also offer free delivery to other salons and barbershops within a four mile radius. We have a full bar, breakfast all day, and a hot bar.”

But Jemmalyn doesn’t run these businesses on her own. She has created opportunities for her son, Trayvian Lewis, and her daughter, Ashley Lewis, to manage and own businesses as well.
“I’m very big on generational wealth. It is very important for me to have my kids working with me and for them to know how the businesses are ran. If something were to happen to me I know that they can take it to the next level.”

Jemmalyn said that it was important to instill entrepreneurship into her children. “I tell them all the time that they don’t have to work for someone else,” she said. “You can determine your own pay and you don’t have to ask someone else for a raise. When you work for someone else you have to wait for them to determine that you get a small increase. But when you’re working for yourself, you determine whether you make money or not.”

Now, her daughter is opening up a second location of their We Care Community Services business, which will also provide support for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Although Jemmalyn is now a successful serial entrepreneur, she hasn’t always been a business owner. “In 2011 I was working at a medical school as a coder biller making $24,000,” the mogul said. “I was tired of being broke. So, from there I looked into opening up a medical transportation business.”

Jemmalyn said that she used an income tax refund check of $4,200 to purchase her first vehicle that she used to catapult her business.

“All of my businesses were built from reinvesting into myself,” said Jemmalyn. “I remember telling a friend of mine that when I started the business that I didn’t have the knowledge, money, or experience. The first thing she asked me was how I was going to open a business. I took the chance and now I own seven businesses.”

The business owner said that although she doesn’t have experience in the fields that her businesses are in, it has been her ability to multitask and hand off tasks that has helped in making her businesses successful.

“The key is to know how to multitask and put people in place,” Jemmalyn said. “I’m able to do what I do because I’m not in the field. I opened a café, but I don’t cook. I have a training center but I’m not an instructor. I’m able to put people in place who love what they do. I just so happened to open up business that aren’t in my field.”

Jemmalyn says that it isn’t about having a certain degree or even skill set to start and maintain a business. “You don’t have to have the degree or the experience or gift to start a business. It’s really determination that you need. Anyone can work hard, but when you work hard for a purpose, that’s when you see results.”

For Jemmalyn, the thing she is most proud of is the fact that she has been able to keep the doors of all her businesses open.

“The face that I’m still in business is what I’m most proud of,” Jemmalyn said. “Anyone can open a business but when you can still be in business, that’s when you’ve made it. Often times people stop because they feel like they’ve failed. They’re afraid of failure, but you are going to fail. All of those things will just be a learning lesson.”

But Jemmalyn said that it was her struggles that made her to be the business owner she is today. “I would’ve never gotten to the point where I was running seven businesses if I didn’t go through some things,” she said. “Your negative is your positive and your bad days are your good days. You can’t allow your bad days to affect what you’re doing.”

For We Care Enterprises, Jemmalyn said that in the next five years she hopes to go wherever God leads her. “I’m big on growing the business,” she said. “I’m staying on top of my kids and making sure we enjoy what we have. Because when you open a business, your goals don’t stop. Your goals are actually just now starting.”

Jemmalyn has also launched a cooking show called “Poolside Cooking.” The show will feature area chefs cooking by an outdoor pool. The show currently airs locally but will soon be viewed nationwide through the Roku app.

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