Stephen and Staci Nelson spent more than a decade trying to have children. Now a decade removed from those struggles, they have six children and an ever-growing, full-service event and creative business.
When Staci and Stephen Nelson made the decision to become entrepreneurs, it was after a lot of years of struggle and heartbreak.
“The first 11 years of our marriage we had 17 miscarriages and spent thousands of dollars on in vitro,” Staci said.
Then came 2011. The pair were in the process of adopting when Staci became pregnant.
“We got pregnant and then we adopted a 3-year-old at the same time,” Stephen said. “It takes 11 months to adopt and nine months to conceive. And then, when we were at the courthouse adopting our son and holding our newborn, the judge wheeled his chair around to show us two more babies, our son’s siblings. So, that very day we left with two more.”
The Nelsons grew from a family of two to a family of six almost overnight.
“Once we had the quads, if you will, it made zero sense to have my wife keep working,” Stephen said. “You are just working to pay for daycare.”
Out of that necessity, a business was born. The pair now run Stephen and Staci Everything Creative LLC, a full-service creative agency that coordinates every aspect of an event from catering and rental needs to videography and photography. It’s a one-stop shop.
Staci started on her own while Stephen worked during the first year, but Stephen quickly realized the company had the potential to fill a void in the marketplace.
“In 2011, we accidentally made $75,000 with this as a side hustle,” Stephen said. “And a lightbulb went off.”
That was 10 years ago, and now the company serves clients like Flourish OKC, Hobby Lobby Legacy House, Quail Creek Country Club, Oklahoma City Country Club and serves mayors around the state.
“We’ve been plowing and plowing and plowing, and now we can finally pick our heads up and look at this space we are creating,” he said.
Stephen said being a Black-owned business owner comes with lack of access to established networks that come easier to non-minority groups.
“It’s been a beautiful maturation of the past 10 years,” he said. “But, the opportunities are slim. And we, as people of color, don’t truly get these same opportunities easily. Where it took us 10 years, it may take a person who is Caucasian just a phone call. We see the networking that’s done, and it’s like their life is planned for them. We do not get those opportunities, and it is just now that we are getting those opportunities. We go to their homes now and we do those events, but it took us 10 years to get there.”
He said because of investment from others like Joanne Davis, OKC Black Chamber of Commerce president, and Gene Hopper of the Mettise Group, they were able to build the knowledge base and networking circle to help gain the audience they needed to grow.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” he said.
For the Nelsons, whose family is now Mya, 14, Stephen Marcus, 14, Ethan, 11, Aden, 10, Braxon, 7 and the baby Naomi, whom they’ve dubbed “the final prophecy,” they say their story is one of God’s blessing and guidance.
“I am in awe of God because I prayed for certain things and this is something we prayed for,” Staci said. “And to see it flourish the way it has – I am in awe.”