Three Black Female Entrepreneurs Tell Their Story And Share Hustler Tips

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 18:  DJ Olivia Dope spins at the No Basics Brunch presented by Legendary Damon and Ty Hunter at Corner Social on April 18, 2015, in New York City.  (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Three Black Female Entrepreneurs Tell Their Story And Share Hustler Tips

DJ Olivia Dope, CEO of the Matte brand Briana Wilson, and Beauty by Jackie B. CEO Jacqueline Barimah talk building their businesses from the ground up and share advice on how to keep it together.

Published September 18th

CEO of MATTE, Briana Wilson

Follow on IG: @mattebrand & @eenahsanairb

Wilson started the MATTE clothing line, known mostly for bodysuit designs but also featuring minimalistic, must-have basics, several months after her move to New York City. The brand has maximized its social media exposure and showcases a diverse range of designs that are worn by models such as Draya Michele and Karrueche.

  1. How were you able to carve out your own path and begin making money? 

    BW: I consider myself half of a creative and half of a businesswoman, and I think this has really helped me versus someone that might be strictly one or the other. I was always interested in doing new and creative things, but strategically. I started MATTE BRAND in August 2014, and by October 2014 I was selling custom Halloween costumes. It was perfect because we created costumes that made the customer feel unique and the timing was perfect so we sold out. I’m always trying to think of how I can get people to buy what I sell.

  2. What steps did you take in order to promote your business/brand?

    BW: I speak all the time about how our generation is so lucky to have the internet! To this day all of my promotion has been unpaid internet promo. Once I decided to start the brand, the first thing I did was create the @mattebrand instagram handle. I built the following by staying consistent with the content creation.

  3. What do you bring to the table that makes you stand out from other women who are in the same industry/field?

    BW: I continue to push myself and think outside of where I am at the moment. A lot of people would think, you can’t sew, so you can’t have a brand. Manufacturing is something people would think is too expensive to get into, but I pushed myself until it was a reality. I’ve never sewn anything in my life. I do this in most aspects of my business, push myself until what I want is real.

  4. How do you stay inspired every day to keep hustling?

    BW: I set money goals, and they keep me on track. It’s just very easy to measure how you’re doing, when you need to do more and when you need to set a higher goal!

  5. When did you realize you needed to quit your day job and invest fully in your dream?

    BW: I actually was fired from my job (as a waitress) about a year before I started my business. In that year I moved from Texas to New York City, and it was never a goal of mine to find another job. I decided after I was fired that I needed to work for myself. I think sometimes the issue with people starting new businesses is that they aren’t willing to take a pay cut or a change in lifestyle. I’ve seen people start businesses and quit because the business can’t support their lifestyle in the time they expect. For me, I had no money before I started MATTE BRAND so all of the money I made was good enough for me! For the first six to eight months that I had MATTE, my rent was $650. At that point, that’s all I needed to make!

  6. How do you overcome setbacks and unexpected hurdles along the way to being successful?

    BW: I try to remain in the moment. Honestly it’s usually not that bad, and all in our minds. I know what the “bottom” feels and looks like, and I’m not afraid of it. I know how to find happiness in myself, pick myself up, organize my thoughts and move forward.

  7. Where do you see your brand/business in the next six months?

    BW: In six months, MATTE will be a million-dollar company with multiple retailers! Physical retailers have been a goal of mine for a while, and I’m so excited for the customers I’ve connected with online to be able to shop the brand in person!
Official DJ for Saweetie, Olivia Dope

Follow on IG: @oliviadope

The Brooklyn-native DJ is one of the most sought-after female urban DJs on the East Coast. Her talent propelled her from New York house parties to major concert arenas across the nation.

  1. When did you realize you had a knack for DJing?

    OD: I realized I had a knack for DJing when I made mixtapes for friends and they wanted me to play at their house parties. 

  2. What do you bring to the table that makes you stand out from other women who are in the same industry/field?

    OD: My transparency about my journey allows me to stand out. I’m not ashamed to say I was once homeless chasing my dream. I always knew I would come out on top and for people to watch it all unfold, they feel they can relate more. 

  3. What is the key to connecting with other businesses and brands and building out your network?

    OD: Understanding that there is no difference between the CEO and the janitor. Everyone is treated with the same respect. And that also includes yourself. Never disrespect your brand by trying to be something you’re not. 

  4. What’s your advice to other women who are trying to build from the ground up on their own?

    OD: Believe and manifest your goals. It WILL be a difficult journey, but having your own is absolutely worth it. 

  5. Being an entrepreneur is cut throat, and you have to take on major responsibility. What are some ways you’ve learned to protect your neck and your brand/business?

    OD: Learn the power of “no." Not every opportunity is a good one for your brand/business. Trust your intuition wholeheartedly. 

  6. How do you overcome setbacks and unexpected hurdles along the way to being great?

    OD: Once again, understanding not every opportunity is yours. Sometimes failure is just a setup for an even greater opportunity. 
CEO of Beauty by Jackie B. LLC

Follow on IG: @beautybyjackieb

Beauty by Jackie B. LLC is a beauty studio located in Dyckman, NYC, specializing in full body waxing, individual eyelash extensions, and vajacials. 

  1. What do you bring to the table that makes you stand out from other women who are in the same industry/field?

    JB: When Beauties (clients) visit me, they are actively choosing a service that is experientially focused. I believe that the best results are created from exceptional experiences that are not only shown through the quality of service, but also in the education of the service itself. Each Beauty leaves the studio feeling and looking like their best selves, while being aware of the process that got them there. 

  2. How do you stay inspired every day to keep hustling?

    JB: Reactions and progressions! Women leave my beauty studio feeling better than when they entered, and being a part of that is rewarding. Also, witnessing the progress in my work motivates me to continue to do better.

  3. When did you realize you needed to quit your day job and invest fully in your dream?

    JB: Aside from receiving calls from Beauties who wanted appointments during work hours, I was just tired of the same routine. I realized that the only thing stopping me from running my business full time was the fear of change. Making my dream of working for myself a reality was so close, and all I had to do was take that leap.

  4. What’s your advice to other women who are trying to build from the ground up on their own?

    JB: Speak your dreams into existence and don’t keep them to yourself! You never know how someone you meet can help you achieve a business goal. Try to get over the idea that everything has to be perfect before telling people about the things you are going to accomplish.

  5. Finish this sentence, “In order to be a hustler, you have to _____”

    JB: Be resilient. Set goals and find ways to achieve them without excuses. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but growth comes from building yourself back up.

 

Written by BET Staff

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