Brian and Dominique Reighard Brooks are continuing the iconic legacy that E.E Ward Moving & Storage still holds to this day. The company is renowned for being the longest continuously operating black-owned business in America, conjuring an incredible 138 years, this powerhouse of a business is standing strong as it continues to make history. The Brooks are sigils for success and completely undermine the cliché that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure as their company and marriage go hand-in-hand, both presenting success. It is important to acknowledge such feats and what better time to do it than Black History Month. E.E Ward Moving & Storage managed to overcome the most volatile of landscapes, politically, economically and socially, throughout their history, so we must ask: where did it all begin? And, what ingenious tactics and strategies were taken to maintain a successful company for such a duration?
The Foundations for Success – From Wagons to Riches
Success doesn’t come overnight, success doesn’t come easy, in fact, success is usually something so sporadic and so out of the ordinary that you don’t know you have it until you look back at what you have achieved. Well, this is just the case for the foundation of the longest continuously operated black-owned business in America. This esteemed company was officially launched in 1881 by John T. Ward and his son William Ward. This father and son dynamic duo kick-started the, legacy to come moving and storage company, using just two horses and a wagon. The company was successfully navigated for years on end, but in 2001 the Ward family had no family succession plan for its future. It was this moment when Brian Brooks took the initiative to purchase the business, unaware of the incredible path that laid in front of him, from Eldon W. Ward.
Transform and Thrive
Brian and Dominique Brooks had not only taken the responsibility for the continuation and the success of E.E Ward Moving & Storage, but they had taken the reigns of obligation for the continuity of the company’s legacy. However, the 21st century was to go through its own paradigm shift, digitalisation and technological achievements were to kick start the century and it was something that’s the Brooks would later adopt into their business to help continue the success. Upon purchasing the company, Dominique was quick to learn the ins and outs of logistics, she used her versatile mind in combination with her passion to help Brian drive the company to success. Dominique had always been a woman with many talents, she made the decision to use her unique set of skills to increase the brand image of the business. She intelligently used her social media knowledge, via networking and production and marketing techniques to ensue robust development and laid the foundations for years to come. Brian and Dominique’s skill-sets went hand in hand, working together in perfect harmony to build a business for the future.
“When we triumph, it makes the win 10x better because I am winning with my best friend and partner.” – Brian Brooks
Climbing New Heights & Reaping the Rewards
Due to Dominique’s unique abilities to navigate amongst the online world, she was, and still to this day, an icon to the e-society. Using her background in fashion and marketing, in addition to the constant networking that she undergoes, Dominique released a clothing line ‘1881 Apparel’ proving that it is possible to transform and succeed in different industries. Her entrepreneurial mind-set, passion and desire for success provided her with the perfect platform to perform in multiple aspects of business. Dominique’s achievements embody a perception that can and will inspire others to reach their goals, to attain their dreams and to fulfil their visions.
“Intuitively we know when it is time to recalculate our route. Regardless of the industry, regardless of the endeavour, I sincerely believe you can find success in life by fusing your talents, life experiences and connections – and a lot of hard work.” – Dominique Brooks
With great sacrifice, comes great reward. Brian and Dominique Brooks have dedicated a copious amount of time, effort, resources and pure hard-work to ensure the success of E.E Ward Moving & Storage, of 1881 Apparel and of all challenges that they face. Henceforward, their adventure did not go unnoticed, E.E Ward Moving & Storage has been at the heart of many awards. They have rightfully received: OMSDC MBE Supplier of the Year Award, 2018 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics and the 2019 Award for Community Service sponsored by Medical Mutual and Smart Business. These are only a few awards that this significant empire has brought about and I am confident that their list of accomplishments will grow as their company grows for years to come.
Success is a Mind-set
“We tend to limit our potential with virtual barriers when the goal we are really able to achieve is far beyond what we first imagined. Do not underestimate your ability to reach beyond.” – Brian Brooks
From taking a company that holds such a legacy such as enduring the U.S Civil War, the Great Depression, two World Wars and 26 presidential terms is no easy task. But not only to provide success, but to envisage a future that encompasses a widespread audience, giving back to society and spreading the legacy of E.E Ward Moving & Storage is simply incredible. From partnerships with NASCAR Hall of Fame Richard Petty, to establishing 1881 Apparel and Dominique even had a successful modelling career, being the face of Carol’s Daughter. The Brooks really are an inspirational couple and prove that, with the right frame of mind, you can pivot to different industries and success will follow if you have enough belief. The Ward family legacy could not be in better hands, it has been preserved through patience, discipline and the ingenious strategic manoeuvres into the correct industries. America’s oldest continuously operated black-owned business shows no signs of slowing down and the legacy envisages a successful future. It is an exciting story to behold and one of which that you will want to follow to see the great heights that the Brooks will reach next.