According to the National Association of Education Statistics, black women are the most educated segment within the U.S. population; as such, it shouldn’t be surprising that black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States as well.
This past weekend I was invited out to PUSSY POWER a dope event that put the essence melanin into the air with a dab of #motivation–put on by brand Architects She’s The Brand. The dynamic duo strives to bring creatives, especially women of color together. She’s The Brand encourages the continuous creation of dope shit and the flourishing of woman black-owned businesses.
Teshelle on why She’s The Brand puts on these events b.k.a. doing it for the culture…
Black women are often misrepresented and that comes alot with society and the way we’re often portrayed. Being able to have an event where we showcase them doing positive things and not what people “expects” black women to be doing is important. We wanted to provide a platform for women to reach out to other black female entreprenuers and consumers.
Our brand and our events are all about women supporting and celebrating other women. This particular event was about building us up as black women as opposed to tearing one another down. I love this…this is what our brand is about.
While black women are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., it’s no easy feat. Being black and of the female gender has put black women at odds. In comparison to their entrepreneurial counterparts, black woman gain less access to resources and are taking less seriously in their entrepreneurial efforts.
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She’Neil Johnson owner of BASE BUTTER, a natural product line that represents the natural beauty of women of color, speaks on some difficulties she has experienced in the cosmetics lane.
(Underrepresentation) drives BASE BUTTER’s mission. It’s because there aren’t many products by US for US. (When) there are…they don’t speak to OUR needs. However, I feel like it’s slowly growing and changing. The big players in the cosmetic brands that are taking over don’t have people who know out story or can relate to our experience. They are looking at us as dollars but not neccasarily value.
On social media bridging that gap
We dont have access to a lot of capital…We can’t put a commerical on TV so how else can we spread the word about our products and get the word to our community?—it’s through each other. Social media is bringing us closer together.
BASE BUTTER wishes to inspire women of color to discover love and protect the beauty they were born with. I got to try out samples of awesome products which will be relaunching come August 26th so stay tuned and support their crowdfunding campaign.
In passing, I’ve spoken to some black woman entrepreneurs that often felt a disconnect with other black woman entrepreneurs. However, some female entrepreneurs have felt the love from others and wish for that support be reciprocated.
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I don't aim to be the best, or number one, because I know that is a false reality that does not truly exist. I do not try to be better, or greater than anyone else… I did not come to earth to compete with humans. I came to Shine MY light, for it is MINE & it is like NO other✨🐍 #KristelAsayEL #Art #handcrafted #selftaught #linkinbio
I got to chat with Kristel Asayel, owner of a handcrafted jewelry brand coming straight out of Brooklyn, about the so-called “crabs in a barrel” mentality that many say s prevalent within black entrepreneurship–specifically black women.
90% of my cientele are black woman and I can’t really relate to that (idea). I feel like that’s a misconception. I feel like those (black women) are hestitant because they dont trust themselves and have that whole crab in a barrel mentality–just not wanting to see someone rise above them. My customers are BLACK WOMEN and they show me A LOT of love.
On avoiding the misconceived hurdle
I show love and I keep my prices reasonable…I handcraft my pieces with love and you can’t deny that. I show love and it’s geniuine–and that’s what I get back…I want my brand to represent trumph, strength, and perseverance. I’ve experienced a lot as a black woman coming out of Brooklyn, NY…
We get shut out because people don’t take us seriously . We’re already not taken seriously…period so the same may happen professionally. Being creative and tackling that (issue) on your own is the answer. Like…it’s going to be hard but it’s possible.
I’ve applied for so many companies and I can’t get the job and I know I’m more than good enough. My agency allows me to create my own lane and express my (creativity). It’s difficult but you have to sometimes–especially when you don’t have a mentor to guide you. It doesn’t happen overnight so don’t give up. If you do give up–motivate yourself to get shit done.
It was very interesting to talk to women who are living and working through that struggles of entrepreneurship.
What are your thoughts on some of the struggles of entrepreneurship as it pertains to women of color?
For more inspiring events follow She’s The Brand on IG for news, updates and lots of motivation.