SAVE THE DATE | WBDC 2024 Midwest Business Conference 9.12.24

Mekeda Johnson-Brooks
Chief Client Experience Architect of MJ Design and Company

What is the “Black-Owned Spotlight Series”? The Women’s Business Development Center is proud to celebrate the great business owners we work closely with. As part of our commitment to advocating for and amplifying diverse voices, we launched the WBDC Black-Owned Spotlight Series, where we will periodically highlight experiences from our community of Black business owners.

MJ Design and Company: Today we celebrate Mekeda Johnson-Brooks, Chief Client Experience Architect of MJ Design and Company. Located on the South Side of Chicago, MJ Design and Company helps organizations solve complex problems, tell moving stories, and build strong relationships. They define, assess, design, develop, and execute projects, programs, and experiences to help others reach their clients.


We asked: What inspired you to start your business?

Mekeda shared: I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. My grandparents ran their own business and I grew up working there on weekends. Seeing that there was a different path for me helped me to realize the benefits and understand that entrepreneurship could be an option for me as well. After working in a corporate position, I realized it might not fit the life I wanted to lead. Knowing that entrepreneurship was an option and having a template for it made that leap easier.


We asked: What advice would you share with new business owners? What lessons have you learned since growing your business?

Mekeda shared: Don’t give up! Always be open to opportunities and ask for help. Do work you love and that has meaning for you. While entrepreneurship is not always easy, it is very rewarding. Stay focused on why you started your business—whether it’s flexibility, better work-life balance, to make parenting easier, to expand family options and build futures—and use that as your goal setting guide. Remembering why you chose entrepreneurship, and building with that in mind, makes all the ups and downs worth it.


We asked: Are you a mentor? Tell us about your experience.

Mekeda shared: I am currently a mentor for Chicago Innovation’s Women’s Mentoring Co-Op. It is extremely rewarding to connect and support other women as they define new paths and grow.


Thank you, Mekeda, for participating in the “Black-Owned Spotlight Series.” We are proud to have you as part of our WBE network! 


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