Akasia Lee Nicholas has been through a lot. If you see her smile, you would never know. The founder of ADN Enterprises and native of Marrero, La., Nicholas often smiles through it all because the success she now experiences could not have happened without vision. A clear vision from God.
A mother of two, graduate of West Jefferson High School, and owner of two bachelor degree’s Nicholas would probably tell you the time and place of where she received God’s vision was totally unexpected. Nicholas, who in 1999 formed her first company A New Beginning of New Orleans, which provided services to individuals with disabilities, was closed down in 2009 due to Medicaid fraud. As a result, Nicholas surrendered to a federal prison camp where she would serve out a 42 month sentence.
It was during the time spent in the Federal prison camp where Nicholas began seeking after the face of God for hope and a better future; not only for herself, but for her family as well. After being transferred to the ‘shoe’, A segregated housing unit, Nicholas realized she needed God for direction after doing things her way for so long. “One night I was laying there in bed after serving two days in this tier. I woke up and I imagine I had to be crying because when I opened up my eyes, they were full of water and I said there has to be more to life than this.” Nicholas told blkpreneurship.com. The moment became perfectly clear as Nicholas turned over in her bunk, fell to the floor, and threw her hands up in the air as God spoke the word ‘Surrender.’ “God, I surrender. All to you. I’ve tried it my way. (God said) I need you to write the vision and make it plain according to Habakkuk 2:1-5 and Phillipians 4: 13.
Transitioning home from Federal prison camp, Nicholas found herself in a world completely different from the one she left in 2009. It became apparent, getting her life back on track became her next most important challenge. With two kids to support, Nicholas found herself on home confinement without a job while living with her dad for six months unsure of what was next. “At the time, we still had a house so my son was staying in the house after I got off of home confinement.” Nicholas explained. “We were basically living in there without a refrigerator in the house. We would eat at the restaurant. I would bring food home and we would warm it.”
In 2015, the promise God gave Nicholas in a vision began to manifest as she began to step out in faith and take God at his word. A job in the culinary industry only reinforced what was already made known as Nicholas launched ‘Let Us Cater for You.’ And as Nicholas began enjoying the manifestation of what God promised, her faith was shaken by the unfortunate and tragic loss of her son Devon Lee who passed away in 2019 as a result of his disability. Nicholas’ dark place at the time even made her begin to question God why had he (Devon) been taken away from her so abruptly. “You know what? What is the sense in even trusting God when my son was taken away from me so abruptly and without warning.” Nicholas stated. “I did everything you told me to do. I forgave. I asked for forgiveness. I sowed seed. I gave. And he (God) said, you will get the victory out of this too.”
Presently, Nicholas spends much of her time tending to four businesses while keeping her son’s memory alive by making sure Devon’s name is included in one of her newest business ventures ADN Enterprises. ADN, which is short for Akasia, Devon, and Nia, was an opportunity to carry on the legacy of Devon’s clothing line Fresh Society. “On the day that Devon died, he and I talked about bringing his shirts back and revamping his clothing line and that was something I really wanted to do because I promised that to him” Nicholas told blkpreneurship.com. “She (Kimberly DeLosa) said Akasia, why don’t you just form an enterprise and let Let Us Cater for You stand on its own because it is doing well after five years in business. We started the enterprise and underneath it we placed Out of Bounds, Akasia Lee’s Wine Down Wednesday, and Fresh Society, Devon’s clothing line.”
Nowadays, with the victory God promised Nicholas manifesting each day, remembering all that she has been through hasn’t changed her perspective one bit. In fact, in her autobiography titled ‘Out of Bounds,’ Nicholas shares the importance of opening up oneself in order to bless others. “It’s hard sometimes for people to discuss things they have been through, but in my case I know what I been through has brought me to who I am today. Allow me to allow my life to be an open book. But allow me to have the spirit of discernment of who I share it with.”
With everything Akasia Lee Nicholas has been through, God continues to get all of the glory for what he has done in her life.