Dominique Reighard-Brooks balances family and business effortlessly
Former Fashion Model | Entrepreneur | Co-owner Of EE Ward Moving and Storage
Talk about your time on America’s Next Top model and your singing career that proceeded the show.
I’ve done three shows for America’s Next Top Model. I did America’s Next Top Model Cycle 10. I came back and did a spin-off show called Modelville, which I won and became the face of Carol’s Daughter. Finally, I was brought back to do ANTM Cycle 17 which I did not win, but I went all the way to the end. Cycle 17 was a fun cycle because they took girls from multiple cycles and put them in a house together. After that cycle, I executive produced an album called Send It All. There was one song on the album called On Top Of The World which explained my time on the last cycle on ANTM, and the power of staying optimistic with a positive mindset. Producing Send It All was exciting for me because it gave me the opportunity to express myself and learn as much as I could about the music industry and bring it into reality.
Were you knowledgeable about the moving and storage industry prior to becoming the co-owner of EE Ward Moving and Storage?
Yes, I was. I believe as an entrepreneur, your work-day never shuts down and it becomes a part of your personal life. Over the years, my husband Brian Brooks has always brought his work home and so did I. He’s been very influential in my career and I’ve learned a lot from him over the years and vice versa. Our experiences and entrepreneurial efforts broke me into the moving and storage industry
Was there an adjustment period from being a model to running a multi-million dollar moving and storage company while being a full-time mom?
Not at all. When you own your own business, you’re in the trenches every day. For me, it was something I was used to already. When I was working in the entertainment industry, I wasn’t at home as much as I’d like to be. The thing that’s always kept me grounded was my family. My success is my family, so I get to win in life and business with the best partner and children a girl could ever have.
Explain the history behind EE Ward Moving and Storage. Also, how does it feel to be the owner of such a prestigious company?
EE Ward Moving and Storage is the oldest African American business in the country. It was started in 1881. The foundation of our company was built on community service and respect for self and others. Eldon Ward was the last owner from the Ward family and he always said, Do what’s right, come what may. He’s given so much to our community and I feel a great sense of responsibility to always make that statement our foundation. What I’m apart of is much bigger than me because we care about people. Whether it’s our employees or our community, we’re always looking for ways to do more. We take pride in what we do.
Out of the various non-profit organizations that you partner with (RISE Program, In Christy’s Shoes, Childhood League) what life lessons do you learn with each volunteer opportunity?
Giving back to our community is the Ward way. It’s how my husband and I were raised. Eldon Ward was my husband’s godfather, so his parents were very philanthropic and so was mine. It’s our way of life. For example, recently we got a call from a church who was packing 6,000 bags and they needed 200 boxes. These boxes needed to be delivered to The Salvation Army to give to children who needed necessities. We sent our people out with no problem because when you see something that needs to be done, you must act upon it. This is something that we demonstrate on every level in our company. We are here on this earth to serve and it’s such a beautiful thing to be apart of storied history with my family and my community.