A beacon of hope for all lady bosses
Updated: March 18, 2023
Inspiration and Motivation She Did That, The Documentary
This story is the first piece in my Shero/Herstory Series (started in 2020) because it was truly inspirational and a great representation of the genius, resourcefulness, and resilience of female entrepreneurship in various industries from public relations to technology and they all just happen to be Black and women of color.
If you consider yourself a feminist, womanist, or just a regular woman who has a Girl Power attitude, you should watch She Did That on Amazon Video. It features over seven entrepreneurs sharing their start-up stories. These remarkable women give us the “how and why’s”, challenges, and triumphs from authors and bloggers, beauty brands like Carol’s Daughter and Jessica O. Matthews, and Uncharted Power, an energy tech company. Jessica’s story is rare but inspirational. She is one of the less than 1% tech start-ups owned by a Black woman and she raised $7 million in Series A funding.
The documentary chronicles how most Black women entrepreneurs, take a leap of faith to form and fund their businesses out of necessity with minimal help outside of their circle of family and friends. They simultaneously create much-needed financial opportunities for themselves and fulfill a need in their communities and beyond. In spite of minimal financial support (from traditional funding sources like loans or investors). According to Ruth Umoh from Forbes magazine, Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and generate $54 billion in annual revenue.
Our businesses thrive and survive through colorful collaborations and a dedicated collective of highly successful women and men who reach back and push us forward.
Reaching Back and Paying It Forward
I also love that it dispels the myth that women — Black women, in particular, don’t work well together, when in fact it’s other Black and brown women who support, patronize and promote Black women’s businesses. Our businesses thrive and survive through colorful collaborations and a dedicated collective of highly successful women and men who reach back and push us forward. Carol’s Daughter is a perfect example.
Oprah featured Carol’s Daughter on her show and Will Smith, Jada Pinkett, and Jay-Z invested $10 million taking Carol’s Daughter from a small community-supported brand to a national brand. The company was eventually acquired by L’Oreal where the founder, Lisa Price negotiated a deal to continue to lead Carol’s Daughter’s product development.
Lisa’s story also illustrates how Black men play an integral part in the growth and development of Black women’s businesses. Lisa credits her husband with helping to market and promote her products early on. Black men serve as patrons, fans, and investors — but most importantly, invaluable sources of strength and support as family members, friends, and life partners.
Another example of Black male support is Richelieu Dennis, CEO and co-founder of Sundial. Richelieu inked an unprecedented deal in 2017 with Unilever during its acquisition and created the New Voices Fund with an initial investment of $50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs. (Forbes) The Fund (now $100 million) was inspired by Richelieu’s grandmother Sofi Tucker and the foundation in her namesake also provides scholarship opportunities for women at Babson College. Now that’s female entrepreneurial empowerment on every level!
Some of the women and psychotherapist Theresa Kempf discussed the importance of self-care. This wellness strategy is a best practice and essential to the success of any entrepreneur. It’s imperative that Black women acknowledge and temper the Superwoman syndrome. One entrepreneur said it best, “just because we can do everything — doesn’t mean we should have to”.
Renae Bluitt from In Her Shoes is the executive producer. She and Lauren Williams, a former editor for Essence guides us through each woman’s journey. This documentary shows us the power of sisterhood and the beautiful fruits of our labor and businesses. There’s help and hope for women entrepreneurs. This documentary has something for everyone — it made me laugh, cry, and gleefully cheer, She Did That!
Below is a partial list of some of the businesses featured in this show that we all should support.
I am happy to report that ALL of these businesses are still open and thriving!
In Her Shoes Blog — Renae Bluitt
Awesomely Luvvie Blog — Luvvie Ajayi
My Fab Finance Blog — Tonya Rapley
Carol’s Daughter — Lisa Price, now L’Oreal
Lip Bar — Melissa Butler
Maker Lit — Denequa Williams
Pop Up By Yaz — Yasmin Quiles
The Crabby Shack and Side Piece — FiFi Bell Clanton and Gwen Woods
Cee Cee’s Closet — Chioma Ngwudo
Thank you for reading and hopefully, you’ll watch and support us as well!
#HerStory #WomenOwnedBusinesses #WomensHistoryMonth
© iWriteTee 2023 All Rights Reserved - Original article on Medium.com