Dominique Brooks who is best known as a Fashion model and for being a cast member on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 10, Cycle 17 (All-Stars) is also the co-owner of the Nation’s Oldest African-American Owned Business, E.E. Ward Moving and Storage.
The company which was founded in 1881 survived slavery and is a provider of professional relocation services for corporate employee relocation, commercial office moves, and consumer residential moves. They recently partnered up with Richard Petty Motorsports and launched a new clothing line 1881 Apparel.
“I am proud of E.E. Ward’s story of surviving slavery, the U.S. Civil War, Great Depression, The Great Recession, two World Wars and 26 presidential terms. We are grateful to be recognized as one of the most reliable and charitable multi-million dollar moving companies nationwide,” said Co-owner Dominique Reighard-Brooks.
E.E. Ward has received multiple awards for its high level of service, philanthropic activities, and business innovation. Awards include OMSDC MBE Supplier of the Year Award, BBB of Central Ohio’s Torch Award (3 of them), Corporate Caring Human Services Award, Diversity in Business Award, and the highly coveted Agent of the Year Service Excellence Award from the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA).
Dominique spends her time outside of work giving back to her community. She partners with many non-profit organizations that raise awareness about issues faced by women, our wounded servicemen, and children; organizations such as Gary Sinise Foundation’s RISE Program, In Christy’s Shoes, Childhood League, Girls on the Run, and facilitating Dream Big Workshops for children in underprivileged areas. She has her own Fundraiser Laps For Learning which recently partnered with YMCA, it is a swimathon hosted by E.E. Ward Moving & Storage to help fund swim lessons and water safety classes for children in the Columbus, Ohio area.
How did you become co-owner of E.E. Ward Moving and Storage?
After my career in television, fashion, music, and modeling I felt a deep calling for me to evolve as a person. I knew in my heart it was time to change direction. I was approaching my 30s I wanted to explore, evolve, and use other gifts and talents that I knew were lying dormant. I believed that I could find success in other industries by fusing my talents, learned skill-sets, life experiences, connections and a lot of hard work. I love connecting the dots, being resourceful and I learned through adversity that I am equipped to do whatever I put my mind to. My husband purchased the company in 2001, and I became a partner in the company in 2014. We both saw an opportunity for me to enhance and evolve the EE Ward brand through strategic partnerships, philanthropy, expansion in other markets, and a new fresh marketing strategy. My experiences in media and entertainment gave me a great foundation to energize the EE Ward brand.
What are some ways that your company has given back this year for the Holiday season?
We are very aware of the needs of the communities we serve and always try to help with causes when possible. Our year-long fundraiser Laps for Learning which we partnered with YMCA, is a swim-a-thon hosted by E.E. Ward Moving & Storage to fund swim lessons and water safety classes for children in underprivileged areas in Columbus. Ohio’s youth drownings increase 119% during the summer months, and it is vital to help reduce this number. During the holiday season, we were able to support two organizations with delivery services. We partnered with a dental program KidSmiles and Lady Blue Jackets in delivering 6,500 dental hygiene care bags to vulnerable children that the Salvation Army serves. We were glad to help make this holidays season a happier and healthier time for those children in need. We also partnered with Childhood league, by spending two days picking up furniture and appliances from donors and delivering them to families in need.
Tell me about how you teamed up with Richard Petty Motorsports and launched a new clothing line called 1881 Apparel.
In the moving business, we have a saying that you never know where your next move is coming from. It was ever true when we moved a new hire on the management team for Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). 1881 Apparel was launched in 2018. The apparel line is inspired by the Ward’s family legacy of patience, discipline, perseverance, and service with dignity. John T. Ward was a fearless trailblazer who served many years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. E.E. Ward Moving & Storage is the nation’s oldest black-owned business, and I believe we can ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in today’s society by never forgetting this piece of American History.
What are other upcoming projects you are involved in?
The current big project I am focused on is the opening and set up our new location in Charlotte, NC. We are very excited about this new expansion location for EE Ward. Charlotte is an incredible city, and it is growing at a phenomenal pace. Our outlook is very positive for 2019.
Discover more about the historical E.E. Ward Moving & Storage now by clicking here!
To check out their new clothing line click here!
Connect with Dominique Brooks on Instagram!
All imagees by Clay Justice