Greetings! I am Dionne Williamson, founder of UPward Design For Life Corporation. I am a social entrepreneur who is serious about the business of serving my community.
I have a desire to help others in a way that will have a lifelong impact on their lives and the community as a whole. I always tell my kids to use their gifts and talents in a way that will make this world better. So I am practicing what I preach by using my creative talents, organizational skills and love of community service to help furnish/decorate residences, for individuals and families making a fresh start at rebuilding their lives.
I believe everyone deserves a comfortable, clean and safe place to call home. I want to help people, who are taking the necessary steps to make a fresh start in their lives, by providing furnishings and accessories that have been donated and/or refurbished, to turn their residence into a home. So not only will individuals begin a fresh start at a new life, but the furnishings will too!
As the National Sales Director and Certified Diversity Meeting Professional, at Visit Buffalo Niagara, I have worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for over 14 years promoting Buffalo as a convention and tourism destination. I have worked with a variety of clients from very different backgrounds and have traveled across the country to promote Buffalo's hotels, convention center, attractions, cultural institutions and the resurgence that is now taking place, in our great city. My efforts have contributed to the economic development of the city of Buffalo and Erie County.
Tourism is big business, however; convention attendees and tourists come and go. What about the people that call Buffalo home? I want to do more for those who live here and are in need of the basic necessities. Because I enjoy doing community service, having the opportunity to change lives one home at a time is the perfect way to use my gifts, for a greater purpose.
So why did I establish UPward Design For Life? I am more than familiar with living paycheck to paycheck. I am not proud to make that statement as I have made many financial mistakes but looking at it from a positive perspective, not having disposable income and a very, very tight budget has taught me to be extremely creative in my design style.
Additionally a short-lived sales position, in a prominent furniture store, opened my eyes to the kind of design I did not want to do. Designing floor plans and furniture layouts in a way to convince someone to spend more money than they really needed, in order to increase sales, was not at all in my heart. I knew then that I wanted to design for a much greater purpose than just dollars and cents. I work better when I believe in what I am doing and I believe in UPward Design For Life!
I have been a' can-doer' most of my life. After returning from U.S. Army Reserve training, I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree, in Business Administration/Management, from Medaille College. I have served on various non-profit Boards, currently a volunteer ambassador for the Family Justice Center and Child & Family Services and am also no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship. I owned and operated a handmade greeting card business for several years and pursued other entrepreneurial endeavors. I participated in the University at Buffalo School of Management-Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program and earned my Interior Design Consultant Certification from the New York Institute of Art and Design.
I am profoundly grateful to my parents who have instilled in me a strong work ethic. It is because of them that I have a hands-on approach to all I do and am never afraid of getting my hands dirty.
It's time to make a difference!
"If you're gonna do something, do it right or don't do it at all." - Juanita McQuiller