Updated: Feb 25, 2020
When I first started my business, back in 2010-2011, I wanted to present BoojiBEE and myself to the public's eye as a brand and girl who had all the fashion sense. You know like the type you see all over social media who wear makeup daily, while having morning mimosa's. Appearing to live life with nothing but smiles & rainbows with not a care in the world. But over time that began to be draining, and in the midst, I lost myself and the honest vision God gave me to build upon.
This is when I first began BoojiBEE. It was actually suppose to be a clothing line. Active gear that was colorful and fun, fit for the booji girl next door. And this vision still lingers, but in the process of building that empire, I started college at U.C, and was working a call center job that barely paid me attention, so money was extremely tight, and eventually I stopped building into it. I had too. I had no more money to buy apparel and the cost of productivity was out of my budget. And although I had a boyfriend at the time who funded me, it was hard to get him to fund my "vision."
It's funny how that works. But anywho...
As time progressed, I launched another business in 2012-13 doing eyelashes (while still working that dead end call center job). I was a traveling lash-tech. I created a business where women booked me to travel to them and apply false eyelash extensions to their natural lashes. I did this for about 3 years. And that brought more income than BoojiBEE ever did, allowing me to open up my first brick & mortar called, "Last Minute Lashes." It was located right in the heart of Madisonville, on the eastside of Cincinnati.
But then I got board with it and wanted to do more than just eyelashes. So I decided to close down in 2015 and go to cosmetology school full time. Which I did, and in 2016 I graduated, got my license and here I am today.
But I noticed through my entrepreneurial ventures I never really had the room, or made the room to "be me". I always had to pretend that things were fine, and on the up and up. That business was "booming" and I was a successful entrepreneur that had the game all figured out. But It wasn't fine, and although I've had "successes" it's not the level I'm comfortable with, and business is not always booming. Entrepreneurship isn't some cake walk and although I was a girl who figured it out, it was still a process.
AND NO ONE CAN SKIP THE PROCESS...
But how can I show this side of me without being made fun of? Or being seen as a failure? How can I share with my followers, family & friends that ugly truth that no one wants to admit to? The late nights, the borrowing money, the bill negotiating, the arguments with my boyfriend because I quit my call center job to chase my dreams that he didn't care to take interest in. The raising children on a limited income because every dollar I get I re-invest in hopes of making more. The crying of tears because no one tries to overstand that I'm trying to change "my world", my horrible upbringing and the dynamics in my family that reads poverty, pain and prohibition.
The vision the universe put within me and made me feel I am a "chosen one". The times I go hungry because my bank account is overdrawn and I refuse to beg for help. The moments I wanted to commit suicide because the weight of change is heavier than staying the same. That time my middle son's dad told me, "you ain't shit & ain't going to be shit but a broke miserable bitch..."
WHY DON'T THE WORLD WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH? THAT IT'S NOT JUST MAKEUP & MORNING MIMOSA'S!
So now, I'm trying to integrate into my brand & business more transparency. I want to show girls all over the world, who want to be more than what their environment pushes them to be, that you can be "that" which you dream to be. But not without the process of "becoming" and not without sacrifice & non-believers. That a lot of their favorite social media "influencer's" are not what they appear to be. They don't want to show you "the real", because the real is so unappealing. Which is why you must be mindful of the "influence" you absorb. (That's another topic that I am definitely going to touch on).
Social media is huge in business and branding. So if they are wanting you to become a fan, a follower, a client or customer, why would they show their real life? Why would they show you themselves without makeup, lace wigs, and day to day REAL LIFE HARDSHIPS? Why would that model share her struggles with depression or her eating disorder? Why would that trainer show you that fitness is more mental and it's extremely hard if your not focused? Oh and the "big butt" trend... WHY WOULD THEY TELL YOU THEY HAVE NO CLUE AS TO WHAT'S IN THOSE SHOTS THAT GAVE THEM A BIGGER ASS? Or that their thirst for a fatter butt caused them a bad bacterial infection and they wish they wouldv'e never done it?
I mean look at K. Michelle. She actually shared her horror story.
Because no one likes themselves and sometimes being yourself can be unappealing & damaging to your "online image, brand and/or business."
It takes a whole lot of "balls" to share your challenges with complete strangers. Now, I'm not saying upload pics of your empty fridge, or past due bills online. (although that's the reality of a lot of us). But for me, being "real" and transparent can actually inspire others. Seeing that "I'm human too" and "I am late on bill payments too" and "I cry at night too", can make a huge difference in the lives of so many. I want my followers, clients and fans to know this shit ain't easy. That what I'm pushing forward to do costs a lot (and it's not always financially) and the passion you see isn't made up, it's real because I'm real!
I never wish to be something I'm not. And through building my businesses (BoojiBEE & Booji's Smoothies) I always want you to get the real me. I know I'll lose a few of you along the way, and that's ok. Because I only desire real support from real people!
If you enjoyed this blog, please comment below (if you feel comfy) and share on your own social media pages. I'm always interested in knowing what you guys feel or think after reading my thoughts. It helps to create better content and a bigger following based on authenticity!
Stay blessed, stay positive and more importantly, stay TRUE TO YOU! Keep trucking guys, we totally got this!