By Victor Ochieng
When Tawana St. Paul drove in a luxurious taxi for the first time in New York City, she knew from that very moment that she wanted to start her own taxi and limousine business. Paul, a 10-year-old immigrant girl from Grenada, West Indies, couldn’t hold back that dream and she set on a path to making it a reality.
“I liked the luxury feeling, and I always have an entrepreneurial vision,” said Paul, now a successful 26-year-old business professional.
For many people, such a feeling may have simply been dismissed. But that’s not what Paul did.
St. Paul would later join Mahalia Jackson Middle school, where she studied before attending Medgar Evers College high school in Brooklyn.
Her inner drive and strong support from family, including her loving mother Sophie St. Paul, a New York school teacher, propelled her to follow her dream and pursue an undergraduate degree in arts and architecture at The City University of New York. After the first two years at The City University, however, fate would see her take a different path.
“So many people in college were dying around me, even my best friend died; I left college and went into the ministry of the Brooklyn Assemblies of God.”
Even though this made her spiritually strong, it cost her family support. She later abandoned the ministry to follow her dream. She joined one of the biggest transportation companies in Brooklyn, where she worked for five years, gaining the experience she needed to run her own company. It also reenergized her drive to start her own taxi and limousine company.
In addition, it showed her the business’ high level productivity.
“Sales increased, and after seeing the volume of funds and the way the industry operates, I [knew] I wanted my own company,” St. Paul echoed.
She even made time and took classes at the CUNY Continuing Education Program in Queens, New York, fully completing the program.
St. Paul founded All Access Transportation Group, Inc. in 2013. She serves as the CEO of the Brooklyn-based transportation company.
She strives to provide customers with ultimate comfort, reflecting back on how she felt when she enjoyed her first taxi ride in NYC.
“I really want to bring luxury in the transportation industry. Affordable and clean transportation, a well-dressed driver,” St. Paul noted.
St. Paul isn’t overly weighed down by the challenges she faces, neither does she downplay new ideas and customer feedback.