GUIDED BY GOODWILL, A LOVE FOR HUMANITY, AND THE IDEALS OF A BETTER TOMORROW: OUR GOAL IS TO ENSURE A BRIGHTER FUTURE, BY OFFERING CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, PROGRAMS, AND COMMUNITY-CENTERED INITIATIVES, WHICH ARE DESIGNED TO ENRICH AND WHOLISTICLY IMPACT THE LIVES OF CHILDREN (AGES 0-12YRS), AS WELL AS THE ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH THEY GROW.
Bottles-N-Backpacks had its start in a place where most great companies begin, in the minds of great people. Its purpose, however, is one that was birthed in the hearts of two loving parents, Kier and Deata McLemore. As of present-April 2014, Mr. and Mrs. McLemore are the proud parents of 5 beautiful children (3 girls and 2 boys), but they are eagerly anticipating that number to be “baby-bumped” up to their 6th child before the close of November. Prior to their youngest daughter being school age, you would often hear them joke about how, when the center first opened, they were their own best clients. Several years later, with mostly all of their children well beyond kindergarten, the consistent theme of this wife and husband ran child development center has been, and continues to remain, that every little person who walks through their doors will be viewed and cared for as their very own.
Originally pursuing a degree in Business Management, Mrs. McLemore soon discovered that her passion to nurture and teach far outweighed her interest in accounting, spreadsheet development, and analytical projections. It all started one day at the kitchen table while helping their oldest pair (but back then, their only two) with homework. As Mrs. McLemore sat and watched her children struggle with grasping the concepts of their assignments, it became clear that the lacking of comprehension was rooted in the fact that every child’s learning style tends to differ and was also due to the small amount of time that was going into their academic development. However, as time progressed and with their mother’s input, it was definitely apparent that the light bulbs had come on and were shinning brighter than the sun at high noon. The overwhelming sensation of joy that Mrs. McLemore experienced from her children’s progression, combined with the smiles that were left on her little one’s faces, left mom with no other logical choice, but to switch her major from Business Management to Elementary Education. Thereafter, the McLemore’s took a leap of faith, opening up their home and the very first Bottles-N-Backpacks location to the community in 2004 and have yet to look back.
Mr. McLemore’s travels, on the other hand, are slightly different from his better half-as he would say. With a corporate background in both Automotive Design-Engineering and in Marketing & Sales, if you were to ask him back then: “Can you picture yourself in front of a group of preschoolers teaching the lesson of the day?”, you might have gotten a look that could rival Superman in a laser beam eye-starring contest. If it didn’t involve logical thinking, calculating sizes of sheet metal, or any other left-brain function for that matter, he’d rather explain quantum physics to a squirrel than to entertain any topic or activity outside of his immediate interest. Fast forward several years, several children, and a ton of life experiences later and you end up with a foreign object-Mr. McLemore as a completely different person; a reversal of 180°. It was his decision to step away from his corporate affairs in 2009, so that he would have more quality time with his family, which he believes was the primary catalyst for his significant growth. To this day, he often brags about how he’s learned so much more from the children at the center than he could ever teach them in a lifetime and how blessed he feels to play a contributing role in creating a brighter future for society as a whole.
Today, Bottles-N-Backpacks is a family oriented business that concerns itself with the health, wellbeing, and improvement of the households that we service and the communities where we reside. Due to majority of a child’s influence coming from the home and environment in which they grow, for us, it is essential that the programs, services, resources, and any opportunity for greatness that is offered here, is-in some way-extended throughout these other contributing factors of their development, as well. Therefore, we strongly subscribe to the old adage that: “It takes a village to raise a child”; and in order for the children to be strong-mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, the village must mirror the same. This philosophy not only remains the driving force that our brand rest upon, but it is also our pledge and commitment to building a better tomorrow.