Two years after receiving a $25,000 grant from Kansas City G.I.F.T., Damesha Cook’s small business is still on the move, picking up speed as she invests her own personal touch to build confidence and trust among clients.
“When people meet me and get to know my personality, it gives them a lot of comfort,” said Cook, founder and owner of Dash Delivery — a service that hinges on treating people like more than a transaction, she added. “This is not just some money. This is not just a job.”
That’s especially true for seniors and others to whom their belongings are a source of nostalgia and connection to an otherwise lost past, Cook said.
“Dealing with people 40 and up I say is all about patience and understanding what they need,” she explained. “You have people that move and have sentimental pieces that they’ve had since they were married, and they might have been a widow now. So, you have to put a game face on every day and understand that everybody’s story is different.”
Click here to watch a video announcement of Dash Delivery’s 2021 G.I.F.T grant.
In a world full of convenience-focused options, corporate competitors like U-Haul, and the ability for some people to DIY their own moves, Cook diversified her offerings — welcoming jobs outside the typical niche, she said.
And the opportunities are plenty: couriers for mid-week weddings, flowers and catering, at-home events, groceries, furniture purchases, and more, she detailed.
“These people are needing deliveries,” said Cook. “I don’t want to limit myself. If people call me and I can get the job done, I’m with it.”
Click here to learn more about Dash Delivery’s services.
Starting up the van
Cook launched Dash Delivery in June 2021, amid the turbulence of an ongoing pandemic — a risky move that would reshape her career.
“I was working at Children’s Mercy as a lab tech and I loved it,” said Cook, noting the challenges that came with pandemic pivots at work. “It was right in the midst of COVID, everything changed; hospital protocol, masks, even how the parents reacted with people in there with their children.”
“So, I started brainstorming what I could do to make money, but have it still be a service,” she said. “At the time, delivery was big because everybody was at home.”
Committed to the idea, she embarked on a quest to find the perfect vehicle for her new venture — ultimately locating a transit van that would become the heart of her business.
Naming it came easier.
“My oldest child’s name is Dash; it actually comes from my son. I was like, ‘Oh, Dash Delivery!’” said Cook, adding that the link to her son’s name added a personal and heartfelt touch to her business, reflecting the genuine care and trust she extends to her valued customers.
Through relationships she’s built since, Dash Delivery secured a contract with AAA, which Cook called a game-changer.
“I would like to majorly thank them for giving me that opportunity,” she said. “I was only in business for 30 days when they discovered me through a friend of mine.”
Her next move
One of Cook’s most memorable moments running Dash Delivery so far came when a client from Atlanta, Georgia, used her services. The client not only tipped generously but also imparted valuable advice.
“She told me to always wear my work shirt and work pants because you never know who’s watching you, so that was more of a teaching moment,” said Cook.
The encounter served as a turning point for her, emphasizing that attention to detail and professionalism go a long way.
Cook still sees room for improvement with her business, she said, mentioning one of her top goals is to secure her own office space.
“Right now I’m hopping around, I rent a storage unit. I would love to have more of a foundation; like a place where I would set my equipment,” Cook said. “I feel like it would help me become known and it’d give me more stability and exposure.”
Until then, Dash Delivery isn’t slowing down, she said, noting she doesn’t believe in hitting the brakes or taking short cuts.
“Don’t look for microwave success,” Cook said. “You can’t be scared of failing. Losing is learning.”