I’m so excited about this Being An Entrepreneur (Intro) Blog and VLOG segment! It has been a desire of mine to do more sharing of my setbacks and successes as an entrepreneur. And also share some of the questions I receive from others on their entrepreneurial journey. I know these topics apply to all of us, no matter where we are.
I started a few businesses over the last eight years. I have learned a lot. I have succeeded a lot. I have been set back quite a bit. I have been burned a lot and I have burned others (being completely transparent here…no one has it all together). It has been an upward series of failing forward. So I want to share more of that with you. Let’s talk more about what it is I do (for a living).
In 2009, I started my first company. It was a clothing company where I made clothing for women. I enjoyed it! It was tedious though. Like anything, if you are a one woman or a one man show it is close to impossible for you to sustain overtime. You NEED people. You need bodies. You need support. I did not know that in the beginning. So I did everything myself.
Fast forward to a year later in 2010, I started a nonprofit organization. As many of you may already know, I have a now 14-year-old daughter (Sania) who is severely disabled. At the time she was diagnosed with autism but have since regressed and the autism diagnosis no longer applies (read more about why and how here). At the time though, I had a desire to create resources that did not exist for individuals like Sania and I. So this nonprofit organization came to fruition which and was recognized by the IRS as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. That process was a tedious one in itself (which is a conversation we will explore in the near future).
Fast forward to 2014. In between the four-year time span I blogged a lot. I’m a creative soul who used my creativity as an outlet for me to (a) do something therapeutic and (b) share my therapeutic sense of ability with others. This also allowed me to learn a lot about entrepreneurship, essentially, because blogging is an amazing component of managing an operating a brand. Within the same the same year, I was contacted by my local city of Hartford’s (my hometown which is where I reside and love) economic development division to assist them with planning a major community friendly event. I chuckled in the meeting asking are you aware I am not an event planner? I was told yes but because they’d watched me execute successful events for my clothing company and nonprofit, they thought I could assist them with achieving the same goal.
What I hadn’t realized until that point was that I was really good at details…meticulous details, strategizing and execution. These were my areas of strengths. And I really enjoyed putting events together since 2009. That experience and realization opened me my world to event planning, which is what I currently do today. And I love it!
OK so backtracking a bit. In that space, the four-year time span from 2010 to2014 where I mentioned I blogged, I started Natural Hair Brown Beauty which became Brown Skin Women (this blog). BSW allowed me to share my experiences as a self-taught hair stylist. It was the execution of sharing the creative side with brown skin women as a result of chopping off my relaxed hair. I had a desire to embrace my natural hair and try to understand it in its natural state. This merge and focus happened in 2014 after incredible experiences working alongside J.P. Morgan and Chase for Dr. Kings I Have A Dream Speech 50th anniversary and March on Washington in Washington DC, as well as being a chosen volunteer for president Barack Obama’s first term. It was a great year that left me craving connection. So I expanded the blog applying my creative nature and event planning skill. Four years later, Brown Skin Women is a space that explores Natural Hair, Beauty, Wellness, and Entrepreneurship
Fast forward four years, Brown Skin Women is a space that allows me to explore natural hair, beauty, wellness and entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship component (learn more about the club here) is where I share all of what I’ve been taught, my areas of strength and weakness. This allows me to be strategic with providing step-by-step, in-depth strategies into how to complete something. For instance, creating Facebook advertisements, effectively creating a social media campaign, conveying your brands message to your target audience, creating a successful event and so forth.
So that is my entrepreneurial journey in a nutshell over the past eight years. I don’t want to die with the information I have, I want to give it back because it should be given back. I didn’t have a mentor until 2014. Until that point I had to figure things out on my own. My mentor was an older God send who owned a series of companies, made a lot of money and was really good at what he did. He taught me a lot of things that made my journey easier. He helped me realize I needed to do the same for others, but on a larger scale (group mentoring) because I’m only one person. A number of people following me since 2009 have asked me for support, but to single-handedly give my undivided attention to them is difficult to do (and unrealistic). I wouldn’t have enough time to do much of anything else. But I do have this VLOG outlet, and I’m excited about it.
My Being An Entrepreneur segments will allow me to dig into each area individually and talk about what it looks like. Sharing all of the amazing perks that came as a result: being unafraid to chase my dream and placing healthy boundaries around my desires, sharing how I did that with you and step to take with gaining features in major magazines and on television.
You can look forward to these videos about once a week, sometimes less/more often depending on how busy life gets (what I am going through, growing through or doing that may become more of a priority). They will always air on my YouTube channel here. And from time to time I’ll also transcribe and blog about them here on BrownSkinWomen.com. So be sure to subscribe so you can be the first to know about when new posts are alive.
Oh and I’ll happily accept feedback, so if you have any questions you’d like for me to answer, comment below :).
See you soon! Xx