Shawn and Khari Parker are doers in every sense of the word. Aside from careers in procurement, IT management, and real estate investing, they’re writers, teachers, and oh yeah, restaurateurs. They opened Connie’s Chicken and Waffles in Baltimore, MD, two years ago with the help of Fiverr. The restaurant’s named after and inspired by their mother, Connie, so let’s add great sons to their list of accomplishments. Check out their Fiverr success story below—and then follow along as they take over our Instagram account for the day!
Tell us a little about the two of you. Who you two are, where you’re from?
Hi! We’re Shawn and Khari Parker and we’re brothers that were born and raised in Baltimore, MD. Before opening our most recent restaurant startup, Connie’s Chicken and Waffles, Shawn worked primarily in strategic sourcing/procurement and Khari worked primarily in IT/management. We both juggle real estate investing careers on the side. In addition, Shawn works a lot with his fraternity IOTA PHI THETA, and Khari teaches real estate investing and personal finance online and through his book The Lost Curriculum: What School Didn’t Teach About Personal Finance. We keep a lot on our plate, but we feel that life is short so you have to find the time to do the things that interest and drive you.
Tell us about your brand. What inspired you to start it—and what are your goals for the future?
We began our restaurant startup, Connie’s Chicken and Waffles, about two years ago and officially opened in Baltimore’s “World Famous Lexington Market”, in June of 2016. We felt the fast-casual restaurant industry was in need of high-quality food, served quickly with excellent customer service. Inspired by our childhood home-cooked meals by our mother, Connie, we decided to create a one-of-a-kind, homestyle chicken and waffles joint.
The goal at Connie’s is to give our customers and our hometown of Baltimore the same loving experience that our mother fosters at all our family gatherings as far back as we can remember. We now refer to this as the “Connie’s Experience”.
Our next goal for Connie’s is to expand our menu items. We would also like to continue giving back to the communities that we live and operate in, and to hopefully raise capital to expand our business and spread our chicken and waffle experience throughout the U.S. and to other countries.
How do you use Fiverr to make your business ideas a reality? Any favorite sellers or projects?
Fiverr is amazing because it allows us to connect with service providers who are able to turn our visions into tangible products. We have used Fiverr for various projects. We would say that our favorite project is a recent Flyer which was completed by a seller named Belabati. Belabati was easy to work with and delivered a great product to us, very quickly. I guess that’s why he is currently rated 5 Stars! Check out this flyer:
What motivates you as entrepreneurs? Why do you do what you do?
To us, entrepreneurship is about improvement. As an entrepreneur, you are constantly wearing many hats which requires you to learn new skills and also to improve upon current skills.
From a business perspective, being an entrepreneur is all about improving the world that you see around you, by adding what we like to call, “Tremendous Value”. We are motivated by the opportunity to make things better by either creative thinking, leveraging IT, hard work, or a combination of them all!
We love growing our business, because not only do we have the opportunity to meet great people on a daily basis, but we have the opportunity to put a smile on their face by giving them the “Connie’s Experience”!
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs in the beginning stages of their business journey?
Some advice that we would give is:
- Learn as much as you can about your industry, work hard and never give up! There will be up and downs, good days and bad days, but understand that the bad days will not last and if you put your focus on your customer and meeting their needs, then everything will work out.
- Surround yourself with folks who want to win. Positivity and drive are contagious.
- The time may never be right, so you just have to jump out there and try.
- Have fun and enjoy the journey!
Want to know more about how Khari and Shawn built their business using Fiverr? Ask them in the comments below—then follow along as they take over our Instagram account for the day!