NaKeesa Marie is a Black, female, entrepreneur who was born in Washington, DC, and has been a longtime resident of the Greater Seattle/Western Washington area. One summer, when she was 15, she had the opportunity to work as a mannequin model for art classes at an art school near her hometown, which was her first introduction to the creative process of visual artists. She did not realize at the time that years later, much to her surprise, she would marry an artist and meet many other artists who expanded her knowledge of what the many facets are of the life of an artist/creative.
For many years, NaKeesa successfully managed her husband’s art career, which led her to supporting the careers of several other artists both directly and indirectly. During that time, she met and became aware of other artists and small business owners who needed a manager, a consultant, or a thought partner regarding the important behind the scenes aspects necessary to support their work and share it with the world.
There is an abundance of brilliance in Black and Brown communities at the individual level, yet, far too often, that brilliance is not supported at all or is not supported in ways that help to invest in and nourish that brilliance. It is vital to both NaKeesa’s own personal and business goals to ensure that she not only uses her experience(s) and expertise to provide services to everyone, but it is of particular importance that she be an accessible, trusted asset to people from Black and Brown communities providing the support they need at an individual level while keeping community building as a guiding principle in her work.
She is most happy when incorporating her gifts of planning, organization, storytelling, and project management into her engagement with others, seeking her assistance while sharing ideas, providing encouragement, advice, and support to help people across various industries and areas of focus to reach their unique and varied goals. Partnering with individuals and small business owners to provide technical assistance will provide those who she has the honor to work with the opportunity to not only work with her but they will also have opportunities for connecting and networking with one another through virtual gatherings that she will host several times throughout the year.
As an advocate for race and social justice, NaKeesa often uses the written word to shed light on many issues faced by Black people, other communities of color, and women. She will continue to work directly with artists, small business owners, and entrepreneurs and will continue to use the written word to support race and social justice advocacy, as this is a very important part of her calling. NaKeesa Marie Enterprises™ was created as a vehicle to make sure that she continues on her journey to answer that call!
NaKeesa has spent years supporting the work of various community organizations and causes that are extremely important to her. Having served as a volunteer community advocate in support of Black foster care youth (foster youth community council role ended in 2019) stands out as a cause that was and continues to be very close to her heart. It is important to NaKeesa that the people in her community have opportunities to relax, share self-care practices, and support one another which led her to host small gatherings for the women in her community to come together (in-person and virtually) to center wellness.
Though she engages in so many different things, from advocacy to writing to offering support whenever and wherever she can, NaKeesa, first and foremost, prioritizes and engages in an intentional and non-negotiable self-care practice at the beginning, end, and throughout each day. In her free time, she enjoys going on long walks or (easy) hikes, visiting art galleries and museums, watching documentaries, coloring, playing VR games, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with friends and loved ones who are made up of people from her biological family and those who are part of her chosen family.