Meet our Small Business of the Month: the Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center

August 11, 2020

The Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center is a therapeutic foster care agency that helps families who have members with mental illnesses and are fighting not to be defined by a diagnosis or a disease. They have been a part of the Asheville community for 20 years, and seek to assist families in being healthy, happy, and whole. We sat down with them to learn more about their journey as a small business over the past two decades.

Tell us about the Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center.

We started all the way back in January of 2000 with the original name of “H&C.”  At the time, I was in business with Ameanor “Mimi” Hines who passed away June 2020.  She gave me confidence to start the business with her encouragement and her presence, and we worked together from 2000 until 2009.

Originally, we started with a boys group home for the old class actions in the Willie M lawsuit in 2000. In 2004, we were able to open the 2nd boys group home.  In 2007, we started doing foster care because our boys were successfully completing the group home program and then stepping down into foster homes.  When they left our program and went elsewhere, it was like them starting all over again so by stepping down into our foster care it was a continuation of services.  We also provided 1:1 service for children in the school system and the community they needed a little extra support to be successful.

In 2009, we restructured, and the name Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center was established.  Brandi Nichole is my daughter who passed away in 2008 and renaming the company helped motivate me to strive for excellence because my daughter’s name is attached. We shut down the group home in 2009 due to changes from the state of North Carolina.

Currently, we provide therapeutic level foster care and we also have a group home that provides periodic respite services in a community setting.

What’s a little known fact or trivia about your company?

The program was started for a young man that I worked with who was very difficult to place due to his history, but in spite of his behaviors he was still workable when surrounded by the right people.

What are you most proud of about the company?

That we are part of this community!  Our lives and our families are part of this community.  The agency director is Jewel Richardson who was my daughter Brandi’s best friend.  Our respite facility director Diana Glover is a two-time deployed veteran.   The greatest thing that I love about our company is that we all love what we do; it is not just a job.

What is the best advice you’ve gotten for operating a small business?

Do what you love and do it well.  Make sure that you consult with experts as you are building your business.

Any tips  for other small businesses?

Know who you are and what you want to do and don’t get caught up in trends.

What’s next on the horizon?

We are updating our logo, website and are learning how to operate completely on line. We are working with Anne Lazo from Eagle Soars Consulting for website updating and marketer Samantha Coffin. We are also partnering up with community agencies to broaden our scope and be able to offer more services to the family as a whole during this time of great need.

Our tagline is “Together, We are More”. How does that apply to your business or what does it mean to you?

We have two taglines: one is Let’s Do Life Together, and the other is Your Family Matters.

We must learn all learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.  Martin Luther King Jr.  We are all dependent on each other.  Your success makes us all stronger so we should all be working together to be the best versions of ourselves.

Connect with the Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center

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