Ryan Beacher believes in the power of education.
A business owner and community investor who has lived in Gainesville since 2001, Beacher has built his own entrepreneurial foundation: e-commerce with Kids & Heirs baby clothing and accessories as well as the developing Legacy Visioneering LLC, aiming to provide financial education courses and webinars.
Beacher took business into his own hands less than a year ago when he was looking to lead his own company. He said he also wanted to build generational wealth for his new son as well as be another empowering figure for people of color venturing into their own industries.
“Kind of the idea where if you don’t have a seat at the table, build your own,” Beacher said. “You can now invite other people to the table who haven’t had a voice and teach them to do the same.”
Kids & Heirs operates through their shop website and as an Amazon seller. Visitors can read about the company’s mission as well as explore their products.
“Our kids are not just our kids and our children, but they are actually heirs to the legacies we create for them,” Beacher said. “A big part of our heart is wanting to help families understand, cherish, cultivate those legacies.”
Assorted apparel, accessories and a Kids & Heirs inflatable bed rails set are meant to be quality products for parents and their kids; parts of the company’s profits will be invested in Gainesville in the name of financial literacy, legacy-building and empowerment, Beacher said.
“Every dollar that somebody spends with us in part is directly helping to contribute to that cause,” he said. “We know there are a lot of great organizations in Gainesville that we hope to be a part of and support… Lincoln Middle School is a place that I’ve really grown a heart for and I have been in partnership with their administration.”
Legacy Visioneering is another start-up in the works that will follow the same mantra of Kids & Heirs in its goal of expanding personal initiative and generational wealth for underserved families. The goals have been set and the message is spread, but the website and its content still need to be created in the next few months, he said.
Kiara Hall, a 29-year-old UF religious studies alum and financial professional at Black-owned Heritage Wealth Management, has ordered from Kids & Heirs.
"I think Ryan's business is really inspiring and the different products he has are very trendy and stylish," said Hall, an Amazon user.
Throughout the past months of protests and a pandemic, Kids & Heirs has fared well on its digital platforms. With the general proliferation of online shopping due to stay-at-home lifestyles, Beacher said he has seen the company grow steadily even with small hurdles in importing, shipping and price fluctuations caused by COVID-19.
Recent protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, however, have affected him a lot more personally.
“For so many people that are in the Black community, events like the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, among others really hit hard because we know that that can easily be one of us or someone else that we love,” he said. “When I get pulled over, no one sees my degrees. No one sees any accomplishments… the only thing people see initially is the color of my skin.”
These occurrences have driven his role as a Black business owner and champion of education as a means of success and ownership. His whole life he has worked for diversity and racial reconciliation to build bridges as an entire community, he said.
“But I also want people to know that I want that to come in addition to and not at the expense of the advancement of Black and Brown people.”
Based on early reception and expansion, Kids & Heirs and future Legacy Visioneering is already looking to improve. Beacher said he is looking into international retail and physical products meant to better the experience parents have with their children. Ideas include a baby bath storage, kneeler and elbow rest mat for parents and also future STEM toy games.
He said he hopes to continue providing their products and message to those who can benefit from Kids & Heirs, especially Black families or families of color looking for self-making.
“For anybody that hears this or reads this, I definitely want to encourage people to continue pushing, striving, to never lose hope, to never forget how resilient we are, and the resiliency of the people that we come from,” Beacher said. “There is a quote I’ll leave you with, ‘Some people see things as they are and ask why? While others see things that never were and ask why not?”’
Contact Manny Rea at email@example.com.
This story is a part of an Avenue series called “The Voices of Gainesville” meant to spotlight black-owned businesses, black artists and black musicians in Gainesville.