“I am focused, and I don’t let anybody sway me from my dreams and the goals that I have…”
Lenesia Cooper, is all about transporting good times and she’s done so to tremendous success. The entrepreneur with a drive to deliver used her background in IT and engineering to successfully start her GoGo Party Bus business. After moving to Atlanta in the 90s, Lenesia tenaciously began building a legacy for her children, and after at first seeking to own a banquet hall, she pivoted to transportation.
The woman who loved throwing parties realized that Atlanta’s party bus business was lacking and she saw an opportunity to create a safe environment for celebrations on the go. Cooper started small and used a van to throw children’s parties as a side project while she continued her full-time career in IT. Soon, word-of-mouth about her business spread, and Lenesia expanded from a van to a bus, one that was perfect for birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, and more. Now ten years later Cooper’s business has national franchises and her experience enhancing GoGo Party Buses have been featured on television shows including “Little Women Atlanta” and “Braxton Family Values.”
For Women’s History Month, BOSSIP recently chatted with this Black female entrepreneur about GoGo Party Bus and the keys to success for Atlanta’s largest party bus business even amidst a global pandemic.
What makes GoGo Party Bus unique? What is the experience like?
Anybody can celebrate occasions [on the bus]; birthdays, weddings, divorce parties, and so forth. All of our buses have dance poles and from the soccer mom to the housewives, they let loose. That’s the first thing they do, they run to the pole and start twirling on it. So I think they’re engaging in word-of-mouth referrals about the experiences they’ve had on the buses and that has helped tremendously. It’s extremely fun and we’re basically the designated driver so people can have fun responsibly. I think all of us like to have fun and not worry about driving, we’re just celebrating life.
What advice can you give black female entrepreneurs, especially for Women’s History Month? Was it difficult to start this business? And how do you keep it going?
It wasn’t difficult to start a business but I had to learn the business I didn’t know anything about transportation. There are certain laws and requirements and there are only three insurances nationwide that insure party buses. So it wasn’t too difficult, but it was a learning curve. When I first started, it was mainly white male-dominated, there weren’t too many females and especially not Black females. So I tried to reach out to some folks and they were not helpful at all but I was very persistent. I learned on my own and I didn’t take ‘No.’ So if someone told me to go left, I would go right, and I still do that to this day. I am focused, and I don’t let anybody sway me from my dreams and the goals that I have. So my advice for women is to stay persistent and to stay focused. And also relationships, maintaining and building relationships. Along the way I had drivers and people refer me, they saw the drive and they told people about GoGo Party Bus. So be persistent.
What’s next for GoGo Party Bus in 2021?
I started franchising GoGo Party Bus in different cities so by the end of the year we’re looking to have 10 franchises of GoGo Party Bus. We just signed on to Philadelphia so that’s encouraging and then I just bought another bus. We’re going to do a booze cruise bus, we’re going to have a DJ and we’re going to drive around the city so people can hop on and hop off.