Tamikia Alford grew up with a great love for computers. “I believe everybody is born with a gift, and my gift happened to be computers,” Tamikia says. “I’ve been programming since the second grade.”
Tamikia grew up in Philadelphia in a lower middle class family. Although they never really lacked any necessities, Tamikia learned from a young age that she could get nicer things with more money. “When you’re thirteen years old, getting five dollars every two weeks for allowance, you kind of want more money,” Tamikia says. “So I just went out and found a job.”
Tamikia realized fairly early on that no job is secure. “You can work every day of your life for someone else, but you can be sitting home tomorrow,” she explains. “Or the company can tank.” With that in mind, Tamikia has always considered all of her options. She spent quite a bit of time in customer support positions, including a position with AAA Emergency Road Service. “You deal with a lot of irate people,” Tamikia says about her experience there, and with her other technical support positions. “But for the most part, most people are nice and very appreciative, and I just try to stay lighthearted about it.”
While Tamikia was living in Philadelphia, her boyfriend signed her up for a real estate seminar. “We went to a three day training and everything, and basically I spent about $20,000 on the education that we never got,” Tamikia says. “The business never took off.”
A short time later, Tamikia’s father passed away. At the time, Tamikia was working at a very demanding position. “I was on call 24/7. I guess you could say my life was not my own,” she says, “tied to a laptop and a pager.” Along with this, Tamikia had recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. “Why am I 24 with high blood pressure?” she asked herself. “This shouldn’t be happening to me.”
During this difficult time, one of Tamikia’s friends invited her to a 90-minute StoresOnline preview. Tamikia was impressed with the Internet marketing tips that they taught, so she signed up for the all-day Internet workshop. “For the one-day training, it was only twenty bucks. I said, ‘Twenty bucks for two people? I just paid $1,100 to go through a real estate thing for two people.’”
Tamikia learned quite a bit about internet marketing from the all-day workshop, including eBay marketing strategies. “It just all made so much sense to me that I was like, ‘Why am I not doing this? I could be doing this.’” Tamikia decided to purchase six sites.
Tamikia had originally invited her boyfriend to the workshop, but he had turned her down because he was already failing in the real estate business. Tamikia says that his absence was a blessing in disguise. While she was working on her first site in the months afterward, he started seeing another woman. Tamikia broke it off with him and he moved out.
“I think, in a way, StoresOnline kind of saved me,” Tamikia says. “That’s what I had to focus on, when going through that hard time. Because it was, ‘I want to get this site up’.” Tamikia had chosen to sell soy candles and heart monitoring equipment, two things she was passionate about. She published her http://www.allnaturalelements.com/ before her boyfriend moved out, then spent the next several months working on http://www.healthyhearthelp.com/, the site she dedicated to her father.
Shortly after publishing http://www.healthyhearthelp.com/ , she moved from Philidelphia to Orlando. “Once I moved to Florida, things got a little hectic,” Tamikia recalls, “but the marketing that I had done on the sites were still working for me. So through all the transition and the move, the sites were still able to do what they were doing.”
Tamikia was soon very busy juggling a full-time job, full-time schooling (getting her Masters degree in Software Engineering), and her two Internet businesses. Despite this busy schedule, she has seen success, especially on Healthy Heart Help. “I think I grossed almost $10,000 in the last year,” Tamikia says. “Considering how much time I have to work with, that’s actually pretty good. It has a conversion rate of almost two and a half percent.”
While working at her full time job, Tamikia met Jackie Roberts, and it’s no surprise that they became friends. Jackie also grew up loving computers, getting her first computer at seven years old. After getting a Bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems, she went on to an MBA program with a focus on marketing.
So when Tamikia told her about StoresOnline, Jackie was immediately interested. “I’m very impressed,” she says. “It’s a quality product. They have a lot of different technicians on the back-end, working every day to improve the customer services, the quality of the product, and the tools and services that it offers.”
Jackie offered to help Tamikia with her sites. “I don’t ask for money,” Jackie says, “I just want the experience.” Jackie took on some of the work of marketing the website, and has learned much from the experience.
Tamikia says that the most important part of StoresOnline is how hard the merchant works. “You get out of this business, just like any business, what you put into it,” Tamikia says. “You can’t depend on someone to tell you what to do every minute of the day.” After discussing other companies, Tamikia says that she’s happy with what she has. “I paid for a product. The product works,” she says. “The rest is up to me.”
Visit Tamikia and Jackie’s Websites at