To be a woman who makes “Pretty” moves you must first understand the gift you hold within and next understand how to utilize it.
A Mother, Self-Discovery Coach, Author, and Philanthropist – Neda Renee was born and raised by a “village” in Omaha, Nebraska. She left her father’s home two days after graduating high school to figure life out on her own. While homeless for three years, she depended on her aunts and older cousins to provide a place to lay her head or get a good meal and some guidance as she worked on learning how to become stable as a young adult.
In her late 20’s, Neda Renee became an entrepreneur opening up her first official business – Salon TreVon. At her salon, she had countless conversations with moms who were having challenges with their daughters and their behaviors. Wanting to share her secrets of success with these girls, Neda Renee found that she had a passion for guiding girls as her aunts and cousins did for her.
Now with over 20 years of experience providing self-discovery and personal development coaching, Neda Renee has her eyes set on sharing her proven method of ‘remembering one’s authentic truth’ around the world. Over the past 14 years, the organization she founded, Project DIVA Int’l (www.projectdiva.org), has delivered relevant programming, emotionally stabilizing skillsets, economic literacy, and foundational career pathways to girls in 6th through 12th grades. Focusing holistically around academic, social, emotional, career, financial, and wellness behaviors, her organization has sustained a less than one-percent teen pregnancy rate, a 100% increase in financial knowledge, and a 99% graduation rate during a time when public schools in MN are failing them.
As a 2018 Bush Fellowship alumni, she is inspired to ensure Black girls in middle and high school, nationwide, have access to the resources and connections needed to actively pursue the lifestyles they envision, making healthy financial decisions, as they partake in hands-on experiences that allow for them to create streams of revenue before they graduate high school. Neda Renee currently resides in St. Paul, MN, and is blessed to have two sons, Lavone and Trenton. In her spare time, she is a student pilot in pursuit of her private pilot’s license. She will eventually be instructing girls toward their private pilot’s licenses, inspiring them to join the world of STEM through aviation
Outside of entrepreneurship and writing, Who is Neda Renee Kellogg in five words?
I am infinite, non-judgmental, unconditional, explorative, and fun!
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship and coaching?
I learned early on that I didn’t like taking lunch at a certain time! I didn’t like someone else telling me how much they would be willing to pay me for my time, either. I enjoy children but didn’t find the idea of traditional teaching in schools fulfilling. I’ve always desired to live a lifestyle that affords me access to all the things I feel like trying. Experiences such as flying planes, riding horses, sky diving, traveling globally -privately- and eating the types of food I enjoy – to name a few.
My first go at entrepreneurship was my hair salon in Omaha, NE called Salon TreVon (named after my sons). I loved owning my salon, yet I was young and didn’t know the value of having a mentor in my industry to help me understand how to position myself to make a profit. During the time I owned my salon, I started a girl’s group that was held as an after-school program at Monroe Middle School, in Omaha, NE. My goal was to guide girls in 7th and 8th grades to know that they were not alone in having to navigate school systems that were blatantly failing them.
I fell in love with working with the girls at Monroe Middle. I liked building developmental topics to talk about in my way, on my time, and with relevant information that the girls could use immediately in their lives – because they could relate to it. This was the beginning of my self-discovery coaching career that has led to my 15 years of rockin’ with Black Girl Magic in the non-profit industry in MN.
How did your years in the salon industry prepare you for the season you are in now with Project Diva International?
My years in the salon industry prepared me by giving me a foundation to know that:
- I was disciplined enough to create a marketing strategy, 2) I was charismatic enough to enlist a group of industry artists and provide a classy and ‘full of potential’ platform for them to thrive, and 3) I was a visionary able to grow an idea into an experience for others to be served. It also taught me that I had the ability to understand the language of economics for myself and my business.
The salon industry affirmed for me that even though I didn’t have a college degree, I was still capable of sharing my brilliance with my community. The beauty industry is where I was able to show up myself. The moments through intimate conversations over the shampoo bowls, during their blowouts or while women waited for their services, is where I found my love for holding space and speaking life into others along their journeys. I haven’t veered from this spark and am enjoying growing more and more seasoned as the vision continues to unfold!
Tell us about your company Project Diva International.
The mission of Project DIVA International is to guide Black girls, ages 11-19, through a self-discovery journey, toward results.
Project DIVA International’s goals for its cohorts and school clubs are emotional and intellectual ownership, as well as economic sustainability. There is work that comes with walking through one’s day in confidence. There are levels of developmental habits needing to be created. We coach girls towards creating expansive mindsets that lead them to actively repeat the daily habits that move them successfully toward their visions.
As the light bulbs turn on and the girl’s habits connect to ‘wins’, our team nurtures the conversations that move a girl to gratitude and joy as she sees the changes within and around her. These conversations happen through our personal and professional development academies and clubs.
The beauty of girls consciously entering developmental stages that they track their behaviors for themselves is life-changing. They were opt-in with the expectation to get results. They intrinsically focus on their solutions as they remove obstacles, replacing them with conversations and actions as they pursue and execute successfully toward their visions.
Can you share your 2022 journey with us?
My 2022 journey has been one of personal and professional development. As the visionary for my life and our team, with each new level of growth (emotional, mental, and financial), my thought process and internal knower evolves and expands.
Personally, I have been focused on owning my brilliance out loud. This year I have chosen to have fun while showing up for myself. Choosing to pay attention to my feelings has given me a sense of peace internally to be ok with me in all my light. Words cannot describe the joy in me.
Professionally, this year I have been focused on hitting and exceeding our annual budget in pursuit of having a paid staff of six (6) experts. As we pace our scale effectively and efficiently, we are positioning ourselves for a capital campaign. I have been owning in 2022, that as the visionary, I pride myself in walking my talk. For the girls to know that they can accomplish their visions, I must show up an example – accomplishing mine. Words don’t teach, actions do, so, my 2022 journey is sharpening my focus on my self-discovery journey as I continue to lead by doing my work – both internal and external.
How did your business excel, what major moves are you proud of?
I am proud of the relationship we have built with our EOS Consultant, Shea Peffly, and Emily Kane Miller of Ethos.
We knew that in order to scale our organization we had to get the right systems for our growth in place. The work we do with Shea has brought us into alignment, helping us be on one accord with the direction we desire to go, solidifying that we have the right people in the right seats and ensuring we are passionate personally about what we are individually committed to. In bringing the vision to where we are ‘one band, one sound’ we have been more effective in our communication to our girls, parents, and the members which has and is increasing our retention, membership dollars and other fundraising goals.
As we have worked with Emily Kane Miller, CEO of Ethos, we are ecstatic to be able to get the measurements that we need without exploiting our girls. It is helping us centralize our data in one place, it’s accessible to all leaders needing the information and we are able to pull multiple reports that are more detailed than we ever have with other systems.
I am honored to be in a place where we are building long-term relationships with others interested in supporting our efforts for longer terms. As we position girls that are 11 years old to reach certain milestones at 17, we are now solidifying funders/donors who seek to follow developmental growth over a course of years, in all the girls our organization serve.
What is next for you in 2023?
2023 is my year to be in an unlimited flow of resources. Three experiences that are coming for me as I wake up to have fun doing what I love are: 1) I am focusing on meeting and exceeding our organizational budget goal which will continue to support the five experts, aforementioned, assisting in executing revolutionary, system-changing leadership. 2) I am solidifying our community partnerships and surrounding myself with real estate gurus (and the supporting experts necessary) who will walk our team into our state-of-the-art headquarters. 3) I am studying the business of aviation with the goal of our sisterhood having a for-profit arm owning a flight school.
I live a birthday lifestyle and I am so excited to spend the days of my life with others who love what they do. 2023 is gonna be a fun year being in the flow!
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A woman who articulates what she is choosing to accomplish as a lifestyle and then wakes up every day being the vision. This woman enjoys experiencing her thoughts turn into moments of ‘I chose this! 💛
LinkedIn: Project DIVA International
Join us daily as we feature 22 Women Making Major Moves in 2022, Read Part 6 of The Special Edition issue here: