Tamara Hicks

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | November 18th, 2016
Tamara Hicks (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

Tamara Hicks (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

In a hidden office in a large brick business building on Albemarle Road, Tamara Hicks owns and operates TPR Solutions Tax Service. In four years, Tamara has grown her clientele from 5 to over 100 and she’s steadily expanding.

The North Carolina Central University alum didn’t set out to own a tax service, but it was obviously in God’s plan for her to do so. In 1996, Tamara graduated from NCCU with a degree in Psychology, ready to change the world, one problem at a time. She retreated back home to Winston Salem, but soon realized she had outgrown the city. Her next move was to pack up and relocate to Charlotte where she quickly landed a job with Mecklenburg County.

After a stint with the county, Tamara entered the financial field by working at another tax preparation facility. One day it dawned on her that she could work for herself doing the same exact thing but make her own money. Her mother, who also owns a tax preparation service, was her guide and inspiration. With the knowledge and expertise of both women, all Tamara needed was to get certified and apply for an EFIN (Electronic Filing Identification Number) and she would be on her way. Two months before the 2013 tax season started, she did just that.

She knew the road would be bumpy at times, but her mother, the rock in her life, helped her stay the course. Even when times were rough and emotions were high during a failed partnership, Tamara’s mother made a surprise trip to Charlotte to get her daughter back on track. After the matriarch of the family had weighed in on the explosive issues Tamara faced, she knew what she had to do – forge ahead on her own and leave the rest behind.

When reminiscing on how far she’s come, Tamara’s eyes fill with tears. “I was in a really low place at that time. Trying to make this business work, figuring out how to make money – it was hard. But I made it when others didn’t think I would.” As far back as she can remember, Tamara has been a fighter and embraces her tough spirit. She and her sister were raised by their single mother (though their father made occasional appearances) and it was inevitable that she would be just as strong.

Now the Winston Salem native is planning to add another service to her umbrella – Mental Health Counseling. Though tax preparation is at the forefront, she couldn’t forget about her psychology degree and decided to go back to school. She received her master’s degree in 2014 and obtained her LPCA (Licensed Professional Counseling Associate) designation in December 2015. Now she has her sights set on dropping the ‘Associate’ and becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor. In conjunction with working a full time job and running a tax preparation business, the undeniable go-getter has an apprenticeship with Safe Haven Child and Family Counseling Services.

“I’m trying to figure out how to marry my two businesses, but so far, I’m not coming up with anything. I know I’ll be led in the right direction soon.” Tamara has even purchased a comfortable oversized chair for her office, to serve her mental health patients better.

If you think Tamara Hicks is an educated, God-fearing hustler, you’d be correct. Her business, T.P.R. Solutions – Tax Services also offers credit repair and credit counseling, business set-up, income tax loans up to $1200 during the tax season, and Notary services. In the future there may even be other assistance she’ll add to the already lengthy list. She’s crafty. She’s determined. She’ll make it happen.

Tamara has travelled many paths, embraced even more endeavors, and with God’s grace they have usually led to bigger and better things. She does know failure, of course, but she has never let it stop her from shining.

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