Anyone whose pursued a career in entrepreneurship will tell you, it’s not for the faint of heart.  While being one’s own boss is ultimately rewarding, the road can often be filled with stress and uncertainty.  Knowing the challenges of owning and running a business, Entrepreneur Tamika Price, Owner of Standout Style Boutique, wanted to form a support system for fellow women entrepreneurs.  Price created Brown Boutiques– a collaborative membership group for women of color in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries.

We spoke with Price about Brown Boutiques- their purpose and why you should join.

How would you describe Brown Boutiques?

Brown Boutiques is a collaborative resource group.  We are women of color that support each other’s businesses. We understand that it’s not just about us.   As entrepreneurs we need a community. — It’s a really good thing to have a community to understand your struggles, and to really just have that sisterhood that meets business support.  We have fun together, we joke around, we talk business, we talk strategy, we keep each other accountable with our goals.

So, what was the inspiration behind Brown Boutiques?

I really had the idea for Brown Boutiques years ago.  When I was at my other location for my boutique before I moved.  I didn’t know exactly what I wanted it to be though. I just knew I wanted to have a group of women where it’s not just “hey girl, let’s get together”, but have structure behind it-where we’re really creating value for the members.   And everybody wants to be part of a community.  We want to be a part of something and we want to be a part of people who are not only similar to us, but can also bring out the qualities we might not have in business.

What type of events have you had thus far?

We’ve had collaborative expos where you can come and shop all of the Brown Baddies-that’s what we call ourselves-to where we will collectively rent out a space and share the cost of the event.  It makes it easier to go all out because it’s 25 or 30 of us involved.  We do monthly meetups.  The meetups can be anything from educational entrepreneurial training, for e.g.- marketing strategies, get your legal questions answered.  We are having a small business attorney come in, and we’re also having a Baddies at the Beach.  Business is great, but we’ve also got to learn to unwind as entrepreneurs. With the unwinding it helps you get to know your fellow Brown Baddie.  That’s when the walls can come down- when you can be transparent. Sometimes you just need someone to listen.

Truth.   A lot of people don’t necessarily want to say, “I’m struggling”.

But you also may not find out about resources that are there for you either.  Because closed mouths don’t get fed. Literally.

So what do your members say? What’s the feedback that you’ve gotten as far as the best thing about being a member? 

I was getting feedback last night and they’ll leave reviews on our page.  They love the support.  They love the business training.  And they love the accountability.

What does BB membership offer? What are the highlights?

The first thing that always comes to mind are the collaborative opportunities, the supportive environment and accountability.  We have accountability buddies in the group.  Any baddie that wants to be held accountable, we set them up with a partner. It’s good because we have different industries.  So, it’s like we treat our group like a focus group for each other’s business.   A lot of us are our own target markets. There are a lot of collaboration opportunities because everybody is either in fashion, beauty or lifestyle.  Everybody knows those go together like peas and carrots.   Having the events together makes it easy.   There’s been a lot business that’s been bounced from within the group- a lot of business.  We shop each other’s stores.  We use each other’s services.

Anything you’d like to add about the Brown Baddies and why people should join? 

Any woman of color that’s looking for a cool group of women to be around, to learn with, to grow with, build with, and not go about this road of entrepreneurship by yourself- definitely join us.  There’s so much value that’s in the group.  And family and friends sometimes don’t get it.  So, if you’re around a big group of women that understand the struggle and understand what you need- and can help you find resources- it’s a win-win.

Learn more about the Brown Baddies of Brown Boutiques at http://www.brownboutiques.com

 

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