Andria Mayberry also known as Ms. Berry in the world of entertainment is a mother, a woman of God, an entrepreneur, and author, and the CEO of Ms. Berry Cares Foundation and Cozi Essentials, an online boutique. She is also the CEO of Ms. Berry Enterprises, a successful management company. Mayberry is the ultimate boss and lets me tell you we believe so, it’s because, on top of all these roles, she still works her full-time job in which she has been there for 19 years!
Do you mind telling us about the inspiration behind your book?
The inspiration was because my son, Bryshere Gray (actor on Empire) does a lot of charity work. He was going around to homeless shelters, children’s’ homeless shelters, and detention centers and mentioned that he had ADHD. He shared with them the challenges he had through having ADHD and when I saw that he was dealing with the children, I felt like I needed to deal with the parents and I needed to educate them. We are the key. If we’re not properly educated, then we wouldn’t know how to advocate for our children. With that, I wanted to send the light of inspiration and encouragement and just talk about some of the challenges that I’d faced as a single mom raising two children, one with a disability and one without. Also, I am a survivor of domestic violence and I wanted to share how I got through it and how I got out. Once again, I wanted to share the inspiration and light to show that you too can get out of it, you don’t have to stay in it, even through your trials and tribulations, in keeping God first, you can get through it.
In the book, I share my experience of being my son’s manager and how I always developed him and taught him how to be the star he is by not putting him in a box. Although he wanted to be a rapper, I encouraged him to embark on some of the other talents that he had and then we nurtured those. I showed him the proper way of going about it and oversaw everything.
Last but not final, I wanted to explain the Me Too moment that I had being a woman in the industry as a manager and keeping my morals, integrity, and my character through trying to get my son to where he was. The disrespect, the myth of I have to do certain things just to get him to where he was, I wanted to share that so I could help women understand that with the knowledge, educating yourself, and constantly educating yourself, you don’t have to use those things to get to a certain level in the business.
Why is it so important for you to share the challenges you’ve endured in your life with others?
It’s basically for encouragement. Often times when I was going through challenges, I felt like I was the only one going through it. When my son was diagnosed, I felt like I was uneducated and I felt like I was a failure as a mom because I didn’t know what to do, how to help him, and when you see your children go through challenges, it can be very depressing. I share that in the book as well. I shared some of the resources on how I was able to get through it, I felt like it would be able to help people and that it would lead me to my foundation, Ms. Berry Cares where I’m educating and helping parents become better advocates. I held my first workshop at the beginning of this month and within that workshop, we talked about what ADHD was, what mental health is, and I had a certified therapist, adult and child. It was very educating and it was also support.
Can you offer your best piece of advice to our readers?
My best advice to you all would be first of all, whatever your faith is, you do that first! If you do have a child with a disability or even just want to go to college, the best thing that I would advise is to educate yourself on whatever they are trying to do. If they’re trying to get into the entertainment industry, educate yourself on it. Knowledge is power that is a true fact! Whether it’s medical or career-driven, just educate yourself and support your child. Be there, I worked two jobs but I still had to prioritize and I had to make them a priority because they didn’t ask to be here. Get resources and be there for them because we are the key.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
In the future, you will see a lot more of Cozi Essentials, I’ll be adding more pieces. You will see other acts and with Ms. Berry Cares, you will definitely see me advocating for parents more and I also do an event for parents called Moms Who ROC (ROC stands for raising our children) I give awards to moms in the community just to say thank you for all that you have done. There are different categories of awards and its also support. We do different panel discussions just to support parents who have different challenges. Look out for Moms Who Roc because I’ve already done two states and I am planning a couple more now.
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