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When defined, the name ‘Okella’ can be described as a very likable, easy-going, and good-natured person who also possess a love for people. I, along with my family, and everyone else who ever came in contact with my grandmother, Okella, can attest to the fact that she truly lived up to her name.

Okella was known for her keen sense of humor, unmatched work ethic and an incredible ability to enjoy and appreciate life. She was one of the strongest women I've ever known and I want to do something to preserve just a piece of her legacy. She was a figure of strength, resilience, and care. 

On September 23, 2018, following the devastation of Hurricane Florence, Okella peacefully slipped away from us. Departing at tender age of 90 years old. Okella was the youngest and last surviving sibling of 20. Although gone today, Okella will never be forgotten. Before she departed this life, she performed one final astounding display of affection.

On September 12, 2018 (not knowing when she would return home) hurricane Florence caused Okella, my parents and my uncle to temporarily relocate to the Winston Salem, NC area, to escape the storm. Shortly after being away, we found out that she purposefully left her house unlocked back at home. Her thoughtfulness and foresight, allowed for her home to be used as a place of refuge from the storm. A couple, from Pollocksville, managed to find their way to the steps of her home after being rescued from their homes' rising floodwaters. They noticed her door was unlocked and they were able to quickly get inside and have a roof over their heads for the remainder of the storm. When we asked Okella if she knew her door was unlocked, she simply responded, "Yes, I did". This is who she was. She was always willing to provide shelter and help to anyone who needed it. And in this case, she had no idea who would need the help.

In addition to buying books for her great grandkids, to keep her mind sharp, she bought a lot of crossword puzzle books for herself. I decided to combine my love for her, books and jewelry and accessories. As a result, I have formed Okella's Book Club. Okella’s Book Club will showcase both trendy and statement jewelry pieces and will support programs aimed at increasing youth literacy. This is my way of sharing a piece of my family and me with you, and I hope you enjoy it. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to non-profit organizations and agencies whose agendas align with these areas.

In 2020, after considering the growth of the company, I decided to let Okella stand on it's own. On 9/8/2020, the name was changed to Okella. Rest assured, we still donate a portion of every sale to organizations aimed at increasing literacy in children.

A little about me: My name is Kim Freeman, the middle child of three children. I grew up in Jones County, NC in the little town of Pollocksville, NC. In short, Pollocksville is known as the town where 'everybody knows everybody'. It's a great place to be and it was a great place to grow up!

For my schooling, I attended and matriculated through the Jones County Public School. I earned a BSBA from NC Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC and went on to earn an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Ashford University.

Today, you can find me working in the field of Human Resources, as I have been committed to this field for the past 20 years. And in my time off, you can find me volunteering for Haven House Services in Raleigh, NC, and Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. I am also a member of the Johnston County Alumnae Chapter of  Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated!

~ Kim Freeman

CEO, Okella

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