Brown Women Corner

The Brown Women Corner celebrates us

Our stories, moves, hustle, accomplishments, beliefs and drive.

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AngieStar Photo & Visual

Shout out to one of Become SHE's photographers, Angela Mejia! 

Angela Estrella Mejía is the eye behind AngieStar Studios. Her love for photography really stemmed from the love of culture and urban city living in Chicago; From the architecture, public transportation, and diversity in people: art, food and music--The inspiration to capture all the beauty was endless, and in 2010 she launched AngieStar Photo. From that point on she’s been featured in galleries, has been published and featured in both print and online media, has traveled to different cities capturing food and culture, and consistently shoots portraiture, editorial, weddings, and events of all kinds. Her unique perspective and artistic flare truly sets her apart from others. What started as a passion to illuminate culture and inner city life turned into a career that continues to flourish today. 

1. Talk about the biggest failure you've had with your business. What did you learn from it?

The biggest failure I had with my business was discounting work for close friends and family. I had to learn that true supporters will value your true value. 

2. What three (3) things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

First is, know your worth! You will radiate and reflect this in your work. If you truly value you, others will also. Second is, think outside the box. With social media and amazing camera phone technology, everyone and anyone can be a photographer nowadays, but your unique approach and perspective will set you apart. Lastly is never stop having fun with it. Business can get you wrapped up in deadlines and monetary negotiations, but never forget what led you to this passion. Remember there's energy in everything you capture, it's not just about a pretty picture, it's about capturing an essence and moment in time that can never be replicated, your love behind this will always shine. 


Janessa: Multitudinous Entrepreneur

Janessa is the creative force behind the Robbin Patrice brand. renaming her company after her mother (Patrice) and aunt (Robbin), made her want to be even more of a creative force as an entrepreneur. mostly known for handmade jewelry, which one could refer to as wearable art, Janessa now has put her knowledge of hair to work and created, Uzuri (Swahili for beauty) a hair and body care line. As a world traveler, going abroad a few times, she then started Luxperience Travel to encourage other black millennials to travel. As the founder of Essie's Closet, Janessa expresses her art by styling people while handing down "no holds barred" relationship advice & opinions on world affairs--Just like her grandmother Essie did.  

The Robbin Patrice brand allows us into all of who Janessa really is, from jewelry designer to travel, to keeping your head on straight, to looking good while getting ahead!

1. Talk about the biggest failure you've had with your business. What did you learn from it?

The biggest failure I had with my business were two things quite honestly. 

  • Not researching how to properly do business with those who owned boutiques that wanted my jewelry in it. It ended up being a success for them and an extreme loss for me. It still has soured me to this day. 
  • Another failure was understanding that opinion will keep you from checking a bag. I used Facebook to voice my opinion on politics, race, relationships at one point. My opinions, I assumed, would change the mind of the masses or enlighten them. I learned that opinions on politics, relationships etc won’t grow a brand. In fact it does the opposite. Consumers only want to consume a product not your opinion. A difference of opinion will keep you from checking the bag. 

2. What three (3) things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

  • You find out who your friends and quite frankly, the definition of family too. Don’t let their lack of or little support stop you or Sour you. 
  • Don’t ever be outworked by people who are in your industry. Always stay on top of your marketing and what’s the newest technique or style. Be the brand, you’re your best customer. 
  • Say no. Say no to those who want a freebie or feel like you should just give them something because you’ve known them for a long time. Recognize that all money ain’t good money, the goal is to check the bag and not chase it

Just Tea

When Tahirah isn't planning her next adventure she's curating events and experiences with innovative brands from around NYC. Her company Just Tea is a boutique space where concepts, thoughts, creating visually stimulating experiences for others and a vivid vision are shared. Her transformative vision for revolutionizing brand identities and consumer impressions inspires her enterprise.

Her experience working in luxury and international sales has given her the opportunity to develop strong critical and analytical abilities that allowed her to venture into her own consultancy. Having worked with clients like Roc Nations; Young Paris as a lead stylist, she' styled him for men's fashion week and The BET awards. Tahirah was also given the opportunity to be head of the wardrobe for AT&T's activation booth during the BET awards and 2017 Essence Festival.

Just Tea is a creative consulting company that focuses on small business owners within the fashion + lifestyle industry. Not only does she shape the identity of others, Just Tea also takes form in product + marketplace. Expanding the brand into her own skin care + everyday objects line, she has created a one stop shop for other contemporary independent brands

1. Talk about the biggest failure you've had with your business. What did you learn from it?

I think the biggest failure I had with my business was the lack of consistency with my clients when I wasn't confident with myself. I allowed my negative energy to overshadow my brand, and then in which is reflected in my work. It affected my relationships with people. With my purpose. With my passion. I feared failure and the perception I left on others. I learned that if I really wanted things to come full circle for me, I'd have to shift my energy and my thoughts. Unlearn bad habits and get rid of the toxic build up within. 

2. What three (3) things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

  • Do your research. On roles, rules, finances, and all the people that have done what you are aiming to do. Study them. Find yourself somewhere in between and go for it.
  • Find a mentor. School doesn't teach you everything.
  • Trust the process. Trust me.

Dr. Carleah East

Dr. Carleah East aka “The Sapphire Woman,” is an
Author, Clinical Psychotherapist, Licensed Mental
Health Counselor and Psychology Professor. She
currently operates her private practice called
S.M.I.L.E. –Solving, Managing Issues w/ Love &
Enrichment. Dr. East promotes the strength of women
in her many empowerment seminars and workshops.
With laughter and love, she inspires women to
reclaim their power, embrace their truth, and design
their destiny.

1. Talk about the biggest failure you've had with your business. What did you learn from it?

My biggest failure in my business was paying for others to represent my brand. Taking the easy way out instead of embracing each step and set-back as a learning process and using that to propel me forward.  Nobody knows you or your brand like one can connect to others like YOU...and nobody can define you.  I made the choice to reclaim my power, embrace my truth and design my destiny. 

2. What three (3) things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

  • Always represent your truth (if you bow down once, you'll be expected to bow down again)
  • Don't be afraid to delegate (it takes a squad to build an Empire)
  • invest in self (take time to nurture and heal your Wounds)

Akosua Edwards

Akosua Dardaine Edwards has won awards for Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Trinidad & Tobago and Caribbean Female Social Entrepreneur of the Year from the Global Innovation Partners and Caribbean Center for Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods. She offers entrepreneurial and business support with a message of unconditional self-love and living a life in love and personal power. Akosua has published two books, "Nyabo (Madam)—Why Are You Here," and “What did I Learn Today, Lessons on the Journey to Unconditional Self Love."  In both, she explores self-love and transformation. "Daily Lessons on the Journey – A Journal" is also part of her work.

As a gender and entrepreneurship specialist, Akosua is the founder of the Enabling Enterprise Project which collaborates with women’s business support agencies, policy makers and women entrepreneurs worldwide. The program focuses on enhancement, empowerment, exchange of ideas and experience, and best practices for women’s enterprise and entrepreneurship. Capacity Building with a focus on Self Improvement is akosua's speciality. The NiNa Programme for young women is the first of its kind in the region and is currently in two schools and in the St. Jude’s Home for Girls. 

Akosua’s latest offering, Unveiling – Looking into the Mirror of Self,  a women’s retreat, was launched in 2017 with an emphasis on self-awareness and transformation.

Akosua has traveled throughout countries such as South Africa, India, Grenada, Kenya, Uganda. St Vincent and the Grenadines, Columbia and Trinidad & Tobago working with women and youth entrepreneurs. Being on the ground in communities to see "first-hand the impact of the beauty of the human spirit" is what drove her to begin working in rural communities and developing countries. With great joy, she looks forward to learning from each experience and connecting with those she meets during her travels.

1. Talk about the biggest failure you've had with your business. What did you learn from it?

I was promoting one of the new products to be debuted, the team was in place, one of the best teams assembled, the response from the marketing was positive, the excitement and vibe felt on point yet coming down to the wire and on the date of reckoning no one showed up, it was a total bomb. I was devastated, I believed that all the "t's" were crossed and best practice followed. Money was invested and spent, from a tight budget as well. What I learned from that was my own self-doubt and resistance manifested itself into reality. I learned that even though there is doubt that the faith and action put into the effort must, must, must over ride those doubts or the consequences will be shown somehow in reality. Do the work, have the faith and let it go.

I decided to relaunch with those lessons and the event/product was even better than I envisioned. Letting go is really a superpower.

2. What three (3) things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?

  • Do the work - the inner and outer work. This involves believing in yourself, doing a new thing even if it feels uncomfortable but knowing it will get you closer to your intentions. Know your worth and take responsibility
  • Be Authentic - show up as yourself every single time and love yourself through it all. 
  • Build a team around you with diversity,  and people with courage, love and kindness. it seems like soft skills but they make a huge and hard difference.