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Soaring Independent is a black female-owned home care cooperative in Dane County, WI.  Georgia Allen and Josezette Bridges are the faces of this co-op, striving to offer quality home care services to elderly people and individuals with mobility issues. After being fed up with low wages, high turnover and low-quality care, Allen and a group of colleagues  started thinking about creating a business of their own. With the worker-owned concept, they knew that would increase the quality of employees in their business and the quality of care for their clients.

What’s The #1 Piece Of Advice You Have For Black Women Starting New Businesses?

Network.. Network, and keep expanding your network. You are the value of your network!

What Is Your Morning Routine?

Georgia- Prayer, my daughter and I stand in prayer together, we affirm that the day is going to be moving in the right direction and our steps are ordered.

Josezette- Affirmations with my son and morning talk with my mother.

Has Your Product/Service Gone Through Iterations And Changes? What Was Your Strategy For Learning From Customers And Improving The Product?

Georgia- Where I started to where I am now is totally different. What I’ve learned in business is you have to be very agile, meaning you have to be receptive to the community you’re serving and the impact you can make.

How Did You Acquire The Necessary Capital Required To Scale Your Business And Get To This Level?

We are still in capital sourcing, one ordered step at a time.

What Area Of Your Business Did You Have The Least Experience In When You Started? How Did You Handle The Learning Curve And Ensure The Business Succeeded In That Area?

[Casual laugh]…..all of it. We were skilled in our niche, but business as a whole has opened up many learning opportunities. We thought it would be enough to just know  parts of business operations,, but that’s not enough. In regards to the areas we lacked we intentionally sought after mentors and advisers. In the areas we needed to develop, we attended several classes and programs.

What Advice Do You Have For Women Trying To Cross Cultural Lines To Grow Their Business? Can You Speak To This From Both A Race And Class Perspective?

Yes, this is something that comes up a lot. For me (Georgia), it was leaving a lower class and stepping into a higher class in a predominantly white industry and releasing the shame around holding that space while keeping my values & morals tied to the roots.

Tell Us About Your First Big Deal And How You Achieved It? (This Can Be A Retail Distribution Deal, Large-Scale Contract, Sponsorship Or Funding Round)

We received our 1st seed from Madison Cooperative Development Coalition in May 2019 which was a giant boost, not only to our mission, but to our network. Overall it was amazing for us to obtain mentors and business support.

If You Can Share One Message To Inspire Black Women In Business, What Would It Be?

Work together while not minimizing your network opportunity. And when the opportunity comes- TAKE IT. Challenge your norm. There’s so much to learn from different perspectives- don’t knock the opportunity to learn from them.

How Have Relationships Impacted Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Entrepreneurs About How To Manage Business Relationships? What Relationship Skills Are Most Important For Business Success?

Relationships have been monumental to our business and personal development. You will meet so many people along the way and you will learn how to check your intuition on how to being the right people into your circle. With every new relationship, even the person at the post office, plant a seed that will grow as a way to help support your business.

Can You Tell Us About A Great Failure Or Disappointment That You Learned Or Benefited Greatly From In Your Business?

There is no such thing as failure- there will be the outcome you desire or the lesson you will need to learn. Failure is stopping or giving up. Soaring Independent Co-op has had many disappointments in lack of partnerships and failures in securing the necessary capital to develop and efficiently operate our business. We always keep our eyes on what is unseen knowing what value we bring to the table and owning it takes many tries to perfecting a unique business model.

The post Sistahbiz Spotlight on Soaring Independent Cooperative appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Acknowledging that the quality of your video can make the difference between someone not being interested in your product or continuing through with your call to action in increasingly important.  95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously or based on how we feel. A recent study showed that there is a definite correlation between the quality of your video and a website’s conversion rate. While websites featuring low quality video convert at 2.6%, websites featuring high quality video convert at 7.6%.

The goal is to create high-quality content that drives traffic, engages audiences, and converts leads. Quality can be affected by many things. The equipment used, sound, visuals, lighting and editing can all affect video quality. In the age of technology, the tools to provide quality are more readily accessible than ever so take advantage of it, but also keep in mind that it takes more than nice equipment to make a good video. Take your video marketing to the next level by also paying attention to these key parts of your video content that help viewers perceive quality.

Light. Light is the single most important element that impacts the final result of recording videos. This is mainly why it is important to look into video lighting techniques. Lighting can make or break the quality of your video output by setting the mood and tone, highlighting specific objects or people to direct viewers’ eyes to an intended spot, and to adding color and texture to environments and scenes. Good lighting effects the video quality of all video production equipment so its important to have a well lit set to shoot your video.

Length of Videos. You’ve got 8 seconds to grab attention and only up to two minutes to hold your viewer’s attention. Different topics and posting platforms can affect the length of video appropriate for your product so make sure to research what video length is recommended or allowed for your platform of choice. Explainer videos may need to be a bit longer, but it’s best to get to the point and also be entertaining enough to make people want to watch.

Consistency. Content is nothing without consistency. Producing consistent content is one of the biggest challenges for businesses. In the a B2B Content Marketing Report, 50% of respondents named consistency as their biggest challenge. Businesses that produce engaging, consistent content  see some of the greatest benefits. Create a content schedule and stick to it. Viewers like patterns so that they can look forward to more content.

Sound. Sound is a strong trigger for emotion. It can have a significant impact on the listener, inspiring either positive or negative emotions. A new study by USC shows that audio quality influences whether people believe what they hear and whether they trust the source of information. They found that anytime something is difficult to process, people become distrustful. If you want viewers to become customers, it is important that they trust your product.

Tone & Mood. Tone is the author’s attitude towards the subject. The tone we use in our speech is similar to the tone a piece of writing. What kind of tone do you want your viewers to translate in your video? Is your tone serious? humorous? warm? informative?

While tone is the authors’ attitude, mood is how the viewer will feel after watching your video. If you want your viewer to feel emotionally moved and compelled to act, then you’ll want to write the video with that goal in mind. In the end, how the viewer feels after watching your video will either remove them from your target market or make them a client.

Whether you’re a vlogger or coach, need video to show of your new product, or use video to share testimonials about your business, video is is becoming increasingly essential to your digital marketing strategy. Make sure you are putting out quality content so that your time and money investments become beneficial to you in the long run.

The post Make-or-break aspects of a quality video appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Jeneba Barrie is Founder and Creative Director of Jeneba Barrie Nude Footwear, LLC. Her line is a first to fill the diversity gap in the shoe world, creating inclusive options for women of any shade. Jeneba Barrie is a luxury skin-tone shoe line with an objective of revolutionizing and redefining the meaning of nude shoes from beige to skin-tone colors that matches the wear’s complexion. Finally some nude heels we can all slay in!!! Here is what she had to say to all up and coming black female entrepreneurs in her Sistah Biz Interview:

What’s the #1 piece of advice you have for Black women starting new businesses?

My one piece of advice is to be confident and know why you started the business in the first place. Once you have the confidence and remember the “why”, you will be able to overcome hardships.

What is your morning routine?

In the morning, I get my sons (23 months old and 2 months old) ready for the day. I get ready for the day and begin replying to emails, calls and settle down to do more work on my business.

Has your product/service gone through iterations or changes? What was your strategy for learning from customers and improving the product?

My pumps are still in the pre-order phase. But we did 4 rounds of prototyping. We will be doing another round for lower heel lengths because that is the biggest request from potential customers.

How did you acquire the necessary capital required to scale your business get to this level?

My husband and I raised the money to begin prototyping. We then launched a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to raise capital for our first production run.

What area of your business did you have the least experience in when you started? How did you handle the learning curve and ensure that the business succeeded in that area? 

The area of business that I had the least experience in was finding manufacturers and tanneries in Italy (where the shoes are made). But I researched and was able to find a middle man that connected us to these factories.

What advice do you have for women trying to cross cultural lines to grow their businesses? Can you speak to this from both a race and class perspective? 

Of course! My product, in its DNA, is targeted at women of all skin tones and race. My advice is to be your authentic self and show how your product can make their lives better.

Tell us about your first big deal and how you achieved it? 

My first big deal was raising our first production funding through Kickstarter. I achieved this by preparing (over 8 months). I collected email addresses, told everyone on my social media channels, and asked people for commitments before actually launching the campaign. Preparing this way allowed me to raise well over $5,000 more than my original goal.

What advice would you give entrepreneurs about how to manage business relationships? 

Having a great relationship will always have positive impact on your business. Nurture your business relationships. Be kind but firm. Set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. Remember, it’s not personal. It’s business.

Can you share a failure or disappointment that you’ve learned from?

A great disappointment that I learned is that people will let you down. They will fail to keep their promises. Learning this has taught me to have less of an emotional and more pragmatic approach to running my business, and that is a big deal and helps alleviate stress.

If you can share one message to inspire other new or aspiring Black women in business, what would it be?

Keep going! Just keep pushing and stay true to you and your brand. You can never fail at being yourself.

The post Sistahbiz Spotlight on Jeneba Barrie appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Video is becoming a necessity in the marketing world. From Live Streams and Stories on Social Media to Website Introductions and Vlogging, video will help you to reach the next level. Statistics show that 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% view online videos every day. By 2020, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic-That is HUGE!

Here are some reasons that video is a must have for your marketing content:

1.Video Increases Sales

Video leads directly to sales. More sites are using video to explain their business, products and services. An article on Forbes shows that it’s all about psychology. Videos incorporate four elements that human beings are wired to pay attention to: faces, voices, body language, and movement. Studies show that 74% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product subsequently bought it.

2.Video Increases ROI

83% of businesses say that video provides good return on investment. Even though video production is not yet the easiest nor cheapest task, it pays off big time. We invest money daily into growing our business in order to see a return. Why not improve the odds of bringing some of those dollars back into your pockets?! Including a video on your landing page can decrease bounce rates and increase conversion rates by 80%.

3.Video Builds Trust

Trust is the basis of conversions and sales. The concept of content marketing is based on building trust with your leads and nurturing long-term relationships that eventually lead to sales. Effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.

4. Google Loves Videos

If you’re using video marketing effectively, you should see a real bump in SEO. Videos allow you to increase the time spent by visitors on your site. Longer exposure builds trust and signals search engines that your site has good content. Statistics show you are 53 times more likely show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website.

5. Video Appeals to Mobile Users

90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. Mobile users are twice as likely than TV viewers and 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices. With all the time spent on our phones, why not direct people to your product or brand?

6. Video Captures your Audiences

Every social media brand wants more ways to capture audience attention, and video is one of the most effective ways to do it. People love to connect with others in ways that engage the senses. Through video people feel like they are getting to know you. Through video they can see and hear you, learn your sense of humor. The hidden power of a good video: It grabs attention, engages the consumer, and helps them retain the information.

7. Video Encourages Social Shares
In the 8th annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report Michael Stelzner stated that 60% of the social marketers used video content in 2015 and 73% of the total respondents planned to use it in 2016. Social shares can increase traffic to your site, likes and follows to your pages and in turn bring bigger numbers to sales.

It’s not too hard to see why video is becoming so popular. Not only is video is beneficial for marketing but statistics show that consumers love it! Take advantage of  video and step up your marketing Sis!

The post 7 Reasons You Need Video To Market Your Business appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Author of Love My Body Again: 21-Day Meditation to Create Your Best Body Now and a certified health coach,  Austin created J.I.V.E. Juice to provided organic cold-pressed fruit juices and smoothies to support a healthy lifestyle. She turned to juicing, nutrition, meditation and exercise following a diagnosis of high blood pressure, eventually launching a growing juice delivery service throughout the Houston metro.

What’s The #1 Piece Of Advice You Have For Black Women Starting New Businesses?

Define your business and your brand and commit to it – everything you do should be consistent with your business’s identity. You simply cannot be all things to all people.

What Is Your Morning Routine?

Spending quality time to myself in meditation and quietness.

How Did You Acquire The Necessary Capital Required To Scale Your Business And Get To This Level?

Currently, all of my necessary capital is coming from myself. Do not be afraid to use your personal funds, 401K etc to finance your dream.

Has Your Product/Service Gone Through Iterations And Changes? What Was Your Strategy For Learning From Customers And Improving The Product?

We have made changes with logos and branding to better position ourselves amongst our competition. Making sure that we stand out.

Tell Us About Your First Big Deal And How You Achieved It? (This Can Be A Retail Distribution Deal, Large-Scale Contract, Sponsorship Or Funding Round)

My first big deal was when I got a call that Whole Foods was interested in having my product in the new store they were opening in Houston. Because I already had things in place, the transition was not bad. Be ready because you never know who’s watching you.

If You Can Share One Message To Inspire Black Women In Business, What Would It Be?

If you have a dream, do it. Don’t allow fear to steal your dreams. Oftentimes, as women we want to have every detailed worked out and know the beginning to the end. Sometimes, you just have to jump and allow the pieces to fall in place.

What Area Of Your Business Did You Have The Least Experience In When You Started? How Did You Handle The Learning Curve And Ensure The Business Succeeded In That Area?

Manufacturing and production, I reached out to someone who was already doing it. When you don’t know, ask!

What Advice Do You Have For Women Trying To Cross Cultural Lines To Grow Their Business? Can You Speak To This From Both A Race And Class Perspective?

Networking is the key to crossing cultural lines. You have to make sure that your marketing/advertising accommodates all races. And that the problem you’re trying to solve is not subjected to just one race.

How Have Relationships Impacted Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Entrepreneurs About How To Manage Business Relationships? What Relationship Skills Are Most Important For Business Success?

In business and in life, you have to work closely with others to build your way to success. Your relationships should be about valuable, be able to share advice and learn from each other.

Can You Tell Us About A Great Failure Or Disappointment That You Learned Or Benefited Greatly From In Your Business?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s ok to delegate the work. You can not do everything!

The post Sistahbiz Spotlight on Tamala Austin appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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If you want to take your food or beauty product to market, you probably know the difference between creating your goods at home and being in a commercial facility. When creating your products in small batches in your kitchen, you can sell your products locally, such as at a flea market or a local boutique. Selling your products online is another option.

But if you are looking to scale your business and get your products into the hands of more customers, then you will need to create a lot more of what you’re selling.

This is where contract packing (better known as co-packing or contract manufacturing) comes in. Co-packing involves a company taking your product (e.g., a facial cream) and packaging it so it can be sold in stores.

 Co-packing can involve manufacturing the product, putting price labels on packages, creating specialized packaging, and building displays for your products. Co-packers can do this all at significant savings of time, effort, and cost.

 If you’re wondering if co-packing services would be a good fit for your business, then consider some of the following reasons.

Reasons for Using a Co-Packer

Besides wanting to grow your business, there are other reasons why you’d want to partner with a co-packer.

  • Your business is already growing. Demand for your products may have significantly increased and you may be finding it hard to keep up with your sales. A co-packer can create more of your product in less time.
  • You have laws and regulations you need to follow. This is especially important for the food industry. You may have regulations from the USDA, the FDA, or other certifying bodies that help you not only legitimize your business but help keep your customers safe. A reputable co-packer knows all these regulations and by taking on the packaging for you, you can focus on other things.
  • Your side hustle has now grown into a full-fledged business. Like many other small business owners and entrepreneurs, you may still be working full-time as you’re growing your business. That means you are using your free time to create your goods. And, if your business as grown, then you may find yourself working all the time.
  • You want to focus on other things. Maybe you want to focus on marketing your business. You could be simply tired from producing the product yourself. If you want to focus on the sales side of your business and have another company take care of the manufacturing and/or packing, then hiring a co-packer can help free up your time.
  • You need a commercial facility for production. This is especially important if you are creating food products. Because of those laws and regulations, you may be in a state that has stringent laws for home baking. Or your state may even require that you must cook or bake in a commercial kitchen. Finding one to rent or purchase can be challenging. A co-packer can have all these facilities and more to help scale your business.
Choosing the Best Co-Packer for Your Business

Selecting the best co-packer for your business needs can be a make-or-break decision for several reasons, including that you’re handing off some if not all of your production work to a third party. So how can you find a co-packer that works best for you? Here are some things you should do.

  • Ask for referrals from colleagues or other fellow producers. Whether you meet through a local industry group or at a local farmer’s market, you can find fellow producers and colleagues in your industry to ask about their co-packing experiences as well as how they handle production in general. This may be a win-win for you both if they receive a bonus for referring you.
  • Check out industry websites. If you’re in the beauty industry, websites like GCI Magazine can help you find a good co-packer. Cosmetic Business has a directory of co-packers (and other industry businesses). For food and beverage, sites like Cornell University’s Food Venture Center has a list of commercial kitchens and small co-packers. There are even sites like PartnerSlate that can help match you with the right co-packer. The agriculture department in your state can also link you to the best co-packer for your business (like this one from Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture). You can also request a quote from Contract Packaging Association who can help to match you with the right co-packer.
What to Consider When Choosing a Co-Packer

Every business has different needs, so you need to find a co-packer that can deliver exactly the services you are looking for.

One area to explore is how much help you need to produce your goods. For example, you may just need a co-packer to package your products. Another business owner may need an end-to-end solution from sourcing ingredients, manufacturing the product, storing and shipping the product. Make sure you first know what you want and how fast you want it.

You’ll want to assess a co-packer’s quality and safety records. What methods of quality control do they have? How will they manufacture your goods? What kind of equipment do they use? What are their policies and procedures on safety? What do their other clients have to say? Do they have the right certifications to produce your product?

Co-packers have their own individual minimums, or the lowest number of goods produced on a run. Find out what a co-packer’s minimum run is and make sure you know how many goods you can sell. You don’t want to go too high or too low. Otherwise, you can end up with too much inventory or not enough to justify the expense.

Ultimately, your relationship with your co-packer comes down to trust. You are trusting them with your formulations or recipes, and to create them with greater ease and efficiency. So you’ll want to make sure that your co-packer has great communication processes in place (e.g., who will be talking with you or your business team? How available and transparent are they about the production process?)

One Final Thought

Although co-packing your products can be overall a more cost-efficient process, you have to have enough money upfront to pay for these products. And that’s different from creating your goods as you go. So as you’re exploring if co-packing is right for you and your business needs, you’ll want to assess your financials, see if you can afford to scale or consider financing options.

Finding a co-packer can be a stressful and challenging process, but it’s one that’s well worth your while. To help you with that search, we have a list of beauty and food co-packers who can help take your product and business to the next level.

Not ready for a co-packer just yet? Read this post to discover ways to produce more in less time and manage home production like a pro.

The post Guide to Finding and Working With Co-packers appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Emmy Award winning journalist Tamara Banks is a pillar in the Denver community and our Sistahbiz Spotlight for this week. We appreciate her light, depth and commitment to truth and justice. She has been making waves as a Black Female entrepreneur, creating transformational social change through excellence in journalism.

Tamara is a former anchorwoman for WB2 News, and has been featured on numerous news networks including PBS, CNN, ABC News, HDNet’s World Report, BBC, Al Jazeera America, FOX News, as well as on a number of radio stations and newspapers over the past 20+ years. The shift to freelance journalism and consulting is one that requires boss moves and Tamara dropped a few of those gems in this interview for sure.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you have for black women starting new businesses?

Believe in yourself! That doesn’t mean you can’t have moments of self doubt, butterflies, or an uneasy stomach. Just don’t let them consume you. Get your prayer warriors and support team behind you and keep moving forward! Get a mentor or a few mentors.

Has your product/service gone through iterations and changes? What was your strategy for learning from customers and improving the product?

I’ve learned to do as much pre-planning as possible for a client needing a video produced. The flip side is I’ve learned how to manage a client’s expectations. This is not always easy since clients will sometimes change their minds in the middle of a production.

How did you acquire the necessary capital required to scale your business and get to this level?

I put money aside before I stepped completely in to the freelance world.

What is a strategy (or two) that you use to ensure that you meet your annual goals?

I have to write my goals down.
Secondly, I put benchmarks in place to stay focused and on track.

How do you recharge and restore and how often?

I don’t recharge and restore often enough! But when I do I spend time laughing with my BFF’s. I also meditate, and EVERY DAY, several times a day I pray, thanking God for all of my blessings.

What area of your business did you have the least experience in when you started? How did you handle the learning curve and ensure the business succeeded in that area?

I’m a creative… I get bored with numbers and had no experience in bookkeeping. I had to learn how to do at least the basics. And when I was able to afford it I hired a great accountant.

What is your morning routine?

1. I thank God for another Day and ask Him whom I can bless that day.
2. Read my daily devotional.
3. Read the news headlines.
4. Go for a run.

Tell us about your first big deal and how you achieved it? (This can be a retail distribution deal, large-scale contract, sponsorship or funding round)

Every job I have been hired for I felt was a “big deal” because I knew it was a right where I was supposed to be. With that said, when I got my anchor/reporter contract I felt I was really on the path I wanted to be on. Later, each time I’m able to work for a national or international network I’ve landed a “large-scale” contract in the TV journalism world.

What advice do you have for women trying to cross cultural lines to grow their business? Can you speak to this from both a race and class perspective?

First and foremost, be yourself. If you wear your hair natural then wear it that way when you give a presentation, pitch a story to network, or approach a client. Just like any relationship, you need to be authentic from the very beginning. With that said, meet potential clients where they are. In other words, find something you do have in common like sports, activities, family. This will make you relatable to (almost) anyone. Again, don’t hide your light!

How have relationships impacted your business? What advice would you give entrepreneurs about how to manage business relationships? What relationship skills are most important for business success?

Relationships are the key pillars of success and those strong relationships are built on a foundation of integrity. This looks like keeping your word, following through, and calling your client regularly just to see how they’re doing. Much of my work now comes from referrals from people who trust me and my work.

Can you tell us about a great failure or disappointment that you learned or benefited greatly from in your business?

One of my shows was cancelled with no real explanation. I was surprised but not shocked when I learned the money for the show would go toward someone else’s. But, I learned that other doors were opening… bigger, better doors… once that one closed! I needed to leave that job but hadn’t. They blessed me by discontinuing my contract!

If you can share one message to inspire black women in business, what would it be?

It’s important to find your passion and follow it! Get the support and resources you need. Ask questions. Get a mentor(s). Be thankful for the good and tough times.

The post Sistahbiz Spotlight on Tamara Banks appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Black culture has always been a leading influence in the fashion and design industry. Black-owned brands are growing in number and popularity. If you’re a melanin woman who loves to dress to impress from head to toe, why not get your fleek on with linens designed by our very own?!  Below are 7 up-and-coming clothing and apparel lines made by Black Women Fashionistas :


1. Sweet Knowledge Clothing
Leslie Antonoff, a Howard University Alum created this brand to allow HBCU students to represent their school and show school pride through her clothing. Attending an HBCU ignited a fire of school pride in her spirit that she wanted to share with the world. She wanted to sport her school spirit on and off campus and so started her company. Sweet knowledge offers several different styles that can fit just about any students’ taste. Like the old adage says – “The Blacker The College, The Sweeter The Knowledge”. A sweatshirt or a tee could be anything but when you’re rocking SKCC – it is sure to be SWEET.



2. Christian Omeshun
Founded by A’Shontay Hubbard, This brand was created for the, “ambitious, curvy woman who stops the show with her charismatic sense of style.” She recognized a gap in the market for fashionable clothing for curvy and plus size women and began this line shortly after attaining her degree in fashion. She was determined to create a clothing line for the plus size woman with a flare for fashion.

3. Nubian Skin
Nude bras and hosiery are basics in eveeery womans wardrobe. The lack of skin tone options for women of color ignited the idea for this brand. Founded by Ade Hassa, Nubian Skin is a collection of lingerie and hosiery for women of color. Her brand focuses on different shades of nude to embrace and accommodate the different beautiful shades of black. Just about every skin tone of Ade Hassan, decided ‘it was time for ‘a different kind of nude’.



4.Cierra Lynn Collection
Cierra Lynn’s line strives to promote self-love through fashion. She turned her love for art into a business, designing stylish wardrobe filled with uplifting, customizable phrases. Known for her unique style, celebration of individuality, and colorful brush strokes Cierra Lynn has become a force in the fashion industry.


5. Malcom X Legacy
Created by Malcolm X’s daughters, Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak, this brand has the mission of global social activism. They hope the clothing line will keep his legacy and revolutionary spirit alive. Intended to honor the 12 principles of their father, Unity, Human Rights, Self-Sacrifice, Spirituality, Self-Determination, Education, Economic Independence, Self Defense, Anti Racism, Cultural Pride, Restoration, and finally, Justice, you can find everything from influential t-shirts to pillows and canvases!




6.Kashmir.VIII
Created by artist Kashmir Thompson, this brand is becoming a staple for Black pop culture. Her repertoire of black pop culture inspired paintings is gaining her a massive social media following. Celebrities like Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, Spike Lee, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tasha Smith have all been talking about her artwork, which has now been turned into a clothing brand. Kashmir is creating her own lane and owning it!



7. GLOSSRAGS
Glossrags, founded by Randi Gloss, is a clothing company dedicated to remembering those who died due to police brutality. Committed to create conscious consumerism, Names such as Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and more can be found on the t-shirts and sported to support the cause to end police brutality throughout the nation.


These and many more black female fashion designers are making their names known; bringing fierce talent and exquisite style to wardrobes around the world.

The post 7 Black Women Owned Clothing and Apparel Lines appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Black culture has always been a leading influence in the fashion and design industry. Black-owned brands are growing in number and popularity. If you’re a melanin woman who loves to dress to impress from head to toe! Why not get your fleek on with linens designed by our very own?!  Below are 7 up-and-coming clothing and apparel lines made by Black Women Fashionistas :


1. Sweet Knowledge Clothing
Leslie Antonoff, a Howard University Alum created this brand to allow HBCU students to represent their school and show school pride through her clothing. Attending an HBCU ignited a fire of school pride in her spirit that she wanted to share with the world. She wanted to sport her school spirit on and off campus amd so started her company. Sweet knowledge offers several different styles that can fit just about any students’ taste. Like the old adage says – “The Blacker The College, The Sweeter The Knowledge”. A sweatshirt or a tee could be anything but when you’re rocking SKCC – it is sure to be SWEET.



2. Christian Omeshun
Founded by A’Shontay Hubbard, This brand was created for the, “ambitious, curvy woman who stops the show with her charismatic sense of style.” She recognized a gap in the market for fashionable clothing for curvy and plus size women and began this line shortly after attaining her degree in fashion. She was determined to create a clothing line for the plus size woman with a flare for fashion.

3. Nubian Skin
Nude bras and hosiery are basics in eveeery womans wardrobe. The lack of skin tone options for women of color ignited the idea for this brand. Founded by Ade Hassa, Nubian Skin is a collection of lingerie and hosiery for women of color. Her brand focuses on different shades of nude to embrace and accommodate the different beautiful shades of black. Just about every skin tone of Ade Hassan, decided ‘it was time for ‘a different kind of nude’.



4.Cierra Lynn Collection
Cierra Lynn’s line strives to promote self-love through fashion. She turned her love for art into a business, designing stylish wardrobe filled with uplifting, customizable phrases. Known for her unique style, celebration of individuality, and colorful brush strokes Cierra Lynn has become a force in the fashion industry.


5. Malcom X Legacy
Created by Malcolm X’s daughters, Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah, and Malaak, this brand has the mission of global social activism. They hope the clothing line will keep his legacy and revolutionary spirit alive. Intended to honor the 12 principles of their father, Unity, Human Rights, Self-Sacrifice, Spirituality, Self-Determination, Education, Economic Independence, Self Defense, Anti Racism, Cultural Pride, Restoration, and finally, Justice, you can find everything from influential t-shirts to pillows and canvases!




6.Kashmir.VIII
Created by artist Kashmir Thompson, this brand is becoming a staple for Black pop culture. Her repertoire of black pop culture inspired paintings is gaining her a massive social media following. Celebrities like Angela Bassett, Issa Rae, Spike Lee, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Tasha Smith have all been talking about her artwork, which has now been turned into a clothing brand. Kashmir is creating her own lane and owning it!



7. GLOSSRAGS
Glossrags, founded by Randi Gloss, is a clothing company dedicated to remembering those who died due to police brutality. Committed to create conscious consumerism, Names such as Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and more can be found on the t-shirts and sported to support the cause to end police brutality throughout the nation.


These and many more black female fashion designers are making their names known; bringing fierce talent and exquisite style to wardrobes around the world.

The post 7 Black Women Business Owned Clothing and Apparel Lines appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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Denise Burgess is President/CEO of Burgess Services, Inc., a Denver-based construction management firm. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce since 2010, and recently served as Chair of the Board. She has been listed in the Top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Colorado, a recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, the David E. Bailey Small Business Advocate Award, CEO of the Year 2017 ColoradoBiz Magazine and Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce 2017 Ascension Awards Corporation of the Year and Colorado African American Hall of Fame.

Yep, she’s the definition of a 7-figure boss, and it’s been a pleasure and learning experience to watch her in action. We appreciate her strategic, no-nonsense leadership, her commitment to supporting other sistahpreneurs and the way she owns her space. Check out our interview with her and take note, Sistahs, this is how bosses do it.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you have for black women starting new businesses?

Believe in yourself and understand your abilities. In other words: be honest about what you do know and what areas you need help in.

Has your product/service gone through iterations and changes? What was your strategy for learning from customers and improving the product?

It has because you have to fulfill the needs of the construction industry. It’s a technical industry with a variety of stakeholders.

It’s important to make sure both you and your staff receive up to date training in regards to business and the industry itself.

My strategy is learning “what’s next” and also looking at strategies from industries besides my own that may be incorporated internally.

Tell us about your first big deal and how you achieved it?

It was my first $1 million contract for the company. It was answering a Request for Proposal but it was really listening to the client on what they needed. It was also making sure when problems arose during the project – being responsive and solving the issue as quickly as possible.

How did you acquire the necessary capital required to scale your business and get to this level?

It’s a slow and steady process. Capital increases with your success but also decreases when the economy is challenging even more. It can be discouraging but consistency is the key.

What is a strategy (or two) that you use to ensure that you meet your annual goals?

Be consistent and know your financial numbers. Being an entrepreneur is a big risk and be comfortable with that idea.

How do you recharge and restore and how often?

I recharge everyday when I wake up. I keep a gratitude and goals journal. It makes a difference in how I approach my day.

What is your morning routine?

  1. I’m usually up by 6am.
  2. I write in my grateful/goals journal.
  3. Check my schedule, read a couple of newspapers online and have breakfast.
  4. Read any overnight/early morning emails.
  5. Compose emails. Make phone calls/text.
  6. Feed my dogs, get ready and go!
  7. (Try to get a load of laundry in if I can)

What area of your business did you have the least experience in when you started? How did you handle the learning curve and ensure the business succeeded in that area?

It would be accounting. I took accounting courses and made sure when I got financials were given to me by a CPA that I scheduled time with the accountant to review and understand.

What advice do you have for women trying to cross cultural lines to grow their business? Can you speak to this from both a race and class perspective?

When you own a business- all cultures and classes are potential clients. Make sure you are comfortable within because it shows if you are not.

How have relationships impacted your business? What advice would you give entrepreneurs about how to manage business relationships? What relationship skills are most important for business success?

Business relationships are very similar to personal relationships. They impact your life and can cause moments of joy, sadness and frustration. I think the inner voice or “gut check” is very useful in business relationships. If it doesn’t feel right – then you probably should avoid it. It’s harder when dollar signs are attached.

Can you tell us about a great failure or disappointment that you learned or benefited greatly from in your business?

Failures are the best teachers and when you are an entrepreneur-plan on it.

The one that I still experience are those moments of doubt. I have to catch myself when I’m negotiating a contract, hiring a new person or even changing a strategy for the business. I find the biggest failures and disappointments come from me doubting my decision. Over time it happens less and now I can catch it (most of the time) before I make a decision.

If you can share one message to inspire black women in business, what would it be?

You are a black woman in business but most importantly – you are an entrepreneur with a valuable product or service.

The post Sistahbiz Spotlight on Denise Burgess appeared first on Sistahpreneurs Business Coaching.

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