We had the good fortune of connecting with Confidence Omenai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Confidence, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I am a mother of five. My thought process was that I would no longer allow anyone to dictate when or how I showed up for my children. I created my own business because as a single mother of four, 14 years ago, I struggled to pay for daycare. My work life balance was in shambles. Without a co-parent or partner a sick child being sent home from school or daycare was catastrophic. At that point in my life I didn’t have a huge support system. If a child got sick and I couldn’t go to work there was a ripple effect. You worked less hours so the paycheck you have already stretched to the point of translucence is short. Now you don’t have the money for the payment arrangements you made. Next come the cutoff notices. Then the employer starts “coaching” you on attendance. You start wracking up points for every occurrence until eventually you max out and get fired. I remember the last time, not the first. I got a call from the daycare halfway through my work day. My daughter had a fever and I had to come pick her up. I made a few desperate phone calls to see if anyone could pick her up so I could finish the day. To no avail. I alerted my manager. He told me if I left they would have to let me go. I did what any mother would do. I went and got my baby. I cried for 24 hours straight. The next day when the tears dried up I filed the articles of incorporation for Only Confidence Inc. I knew that I was a gifted writer with the ability to teach. I parlayed my gift into a career that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I write plays, poems and recently started dabbling in screenwriting. I teach performance poetry virtually in high schools. I facilitate writing workshops, create curriculum and perform when my schedule allows. I speak publicly on issues of anti-Black racism and reproductive justice, serving on the board of The Colorado Doula Project. I am a voice-over professional represented by Go Voices Talent in Colorado and Wehman Models & Talent in Minneapolis. I am also a licensed insurance agent. After watching how many people were using crowdfunding campaigns to cover medical and burial expenses I decided to be a part of the solution. The pandemic changed the economic landscape that we were accustomed to navigating. People were losing jobs. Companies were shuttering their doors for good and it was having a devastating effect on already marginalized communities. In 2020, I passed the Colorado Insurance exam subsequently obtaining my health, accident and life insurance licenses in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia and Kentucky. Losing a loved one is hard enough without being at the mercy of donations to bury them with dignity. I also see life insurance as a wealth building tool for our communities. I understand what it is to be stretched thin with little disposable income but there are a multitude of affordable options. It may seem an odd industry to fold into what I have already created. In truth it is on brand. Everything about the art I create and work I do is meant to empower and restore.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would hit Snooze A.M. for eggs benedict with the smoked cheddar sauce and OMG french toast. If the line is too long we will grab Lazo’s Empanadas for breakfast because the milk caramel, cream cheese and peach empanada is the Lord’s work. Before we make a few cameo appearances I must have a fresh cut. We would slide through my favorite barbershop Supreme Styles on Colfax, where I have cut my hair for the last eight years. We will “vigorously” discuss politics, patriarchy, womanism and the books we have been devouring. With my fade on fleek we would head over to my second home in the city Alchemy Ritual Goods. The owners Lalania and Flor are my dear friends. I love that on any day I will be greeted by a friend. It is a our version of Diagon Alley. Whatever magical, sacred, medicinal thing I need will be there waiting for me. If your spirit needs it, they got it. I would introduce them to the local healers who offer a variety of services there, in the donation based community clinic. I might get my whole soul gathered by St. Mariesse or heal my ancestors with Demi Ford. Right about now my guest will be ashy and lamenting about how dry it is here. We will zip down Park Ave to Akinte Express for some raw shea butter and miscellaneous Afrocentric drip. Having moisturized thoroughly, we will head to the heart of Five Points to visit my girl Fathima Dickerson, whose family owns and operates Welton Street Cafe. After Fathima and I spend an hour or two talking about her thesis and my dreams. I will order honey hot wings, fried catfish, yams, red beans and rice and greens prepared without pork (halleloo). We will need to walk off the wings and things we devoured. I would walk them down the street to another Black owned establishment that I have so many amazing memories tied to. My life has changed again and again inside Coffee on The Point. We would end our Five Points tour by walking around the corner to visit the range and my friends at 1770 Armory. A Black-Owned Indoor Simulated. Infrared. Firing. Range. (SIFR) the first of its kind in the state. As an outspoken Black woman in this climate being able to effectively defend myself and my family is a must. The gentleman at 1770 give me the tools and training to do just that. My favorite thing in 1770 Armory is the wall-sized big screen where we played a simulated shooting game, to practice shooting a moving target. More than anything it is a place in this city where I know I am safe and covered on all sides. Its been a long day but there is time for two more stops. A mad dash into Herbs and Arts. My friend Sara, will be floating around the store helping new comers identify stones. She always greets me with joy. We will share all the things her boys and my son are up to. We will talk about the source of all our light before we part. We will swing by The Argonaut for libations and leave with one bottle too many. Before they head out I will introduce them to the rest of the squad. Someone will inevitably have to pull one of us down from a table we decided to dance on.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to Suzi Q. Smith, my dear friend, consistent supporter of my dreams and evolution. She goes to God for me when life is war. Believes in me when I doubt myself. For the Black and Brown Denver community of healers, artists, brujas, prayer warriors, poets, light workers, women and men who have supported, encouraged, celebrated me and made this city my home, thank you from the core of my being. I am eternally grateful.