Small in statue but grand in determination, native Detroiter, entrepreneur, mother and wife Ebony EyeCU Evans is the mastermind behind the trendsetting business known as EyeCU (pronounced eye- see-you) Productions which includes EyeCU Reading and Social Network, EyeCU Publishing and EyeCU Apparel.
Unbeknownst to her, the idea at the helm of her businesses would manifest during the untimely passing of her baby boy, Mychael Javaughn Evans, due to sudden infant death syndrome just a few weeks shy of his first birthday.
Years later, after giving birth to a daughter, Essence, Ebony decided that it was time to pursue avenues where her creative talents, love for books and desire to be of service would be showcased. Having always found solace within the pages of books, Ebony decided to create a group that would go beyond reading and discussing authors’ writings.
She wanted to develop a circle of “sister-friends” where support, encouragement and promoting “literacy in the African American community with an emphasis on African American women” would take center stage, according to EyeCU Reading and Social Network's mission statement.
Surprised by the response, Ebony admitted to being “amazed at the number of women looking for unity. Even more surprising was when we hit the double digits in members. We genuinely support and care about each other in everyday life” she proudly stated.
This mutual support paved the way for the birth of EyeCU Publications. “One of the ladies, Stacye Lewis, who I’d known since I was younger, was a great writer. I just wanted her to take a chance and follow her dreams because I believed in her talent.”
Ebony’s belief was confirmed when she and Stacye decided to do a blind review of her manuscript with the other ladies. Dissecting it for weeks, authored under the pen name Kaylynn Hunt, the ladies were taken with the storyline and raw, unapologetic characters in Kaylynn's story.
Less than a year later, Kaylynn Hunt’s “Love with a Vengeance” was published followed by “Recipe of Deception”, "For the Love of You", “Catching Dreams” and most recently “Jesse’s Revenge”, available in paperback and e-book.
Fueled by her outgoing personality and belief in self- empowerment, EyeCU Apparel (available on-line and at Madd Gear Boutique in Belleville, Michigan) was created, not only to identify members of the book club but to spread joy and positive messages about self- acceptance, self- awareness, and preservation to the masses by incorporating Ebony’s captivating eyes and an open book in its logo. Daily, she sends witty words of affirmation to Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers (@EyeCUDoingit) such as EyeCU doing great things or EyeCU planning and perfecting as a reminder to be thankful and purposeful.
EyeCU Reading and Social Network can also be found participating in community service events that bring awareness to causes such as breast cancer and SIDS. In honor of their son, Ebony and her husband Mike formed Mychael’s Angels.
Keeping her promise to keep his memory alive, EyeCU along with family and friends supports organizations such as Tomorrows Child, a Michigan- based organization that provides services to individuals or families who have lost children or pregnancies to SIDS.
Blessed to be surrounded by like-minded individuals, Ebony EyeCU Evans believes that, “with God's continued blessings, I’m exactly where I’m meant to be and well on my way to the stars.” Watch out world, EyeCU Productions is catching dreams and becoming a force to be reckoned with in Metropolitan Detroit’s social, fashion and literary circles.
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Nakia "Ki" Plummer is a freelance writer, owner of Strategic Writing Solutions llc., consultant and educator from Michigan.