Businesswoman, Queen and Culinary Artist: Kiana Smith

Mother, wife, pageant queen, business woman, entrepreneur and owner/operator of Yemaya’s Yummies. Residing in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois since 2006 by way of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kiana makes it a point to assist in her community through organizations like Momscandoit2 and her own organization Kiana Kares. Kiana Kares is an organization that assists homeless families with children to find resources to assist them get back on their feet.  Kiana started Yemaya's Yummies as a self taught chef and baker, in her home after being told that she should sell her food. 

Why do you do what you do? 

      I do what I do to bring joy to others through food. We live in a world where people are so cold to each other and we don't feel connected. Food, especially sweets, definitely connects us.

What are some projects you are currently working on?

     Currently, I am working on new recipes while planning an official grand opening for the Spring. 

What are your goals for the short-term and long-term ?

     Goals for the next year include opening a physical location for our customers to enjoy our yummies on a grander scale. In the next 5 to 10 years, we definitely want to expand to locations across the country.

Who or what inspires you?

     Inspirations of mine include my grandmother, Bertile Cotton. She raised four strong children and assisted with her grand and great grand children even after my grandfather's death in 1989. She is the true definition of a southern belle and is some of the driving force in all that I do. My fiance, Sharief and my children, Micha, Malakhi and Mathew also inspire and push me to be my very best in all that I do. They are my taste testers and my most honest critics. All that I do is for them and if all that I do in this life is make them proud to call me mother, then I have completed the job that God has assigned me.

If you could change anything about your industry, what would it be?

     Honestly, I can't say that I would change anything so far. 

What do you plan to do once you cross the millionaire mark?

     Once I cross the millionaire mark, I plan to continue expanding and open a school for financial literacy and business. That way, I can help teach others how to do what I have done while leaving a legacy for my children to carry on for generations to come.  I also plan to open a shelter for complete families who are homeless. That way families don't have to worry about having to split up since in most homeless shelters, the men are usually not allowed to stay. Opening a shelter for these families will help them thrive as a unit.