Tell us how Brown Girl Enterprises, LLC started.
Gabrielle Scott: It started back in 2016, when we both started our own nonprofit organizations but we had not discussed our plans with one another until they came out. As we were both launching our organizations there were questions we did not know as new nonprofit leaders. We had to lean on each other a lot to learn the process of becoming a new nonprofit leader. So over the years, we realized this is a resource needed, especially in the Black community, and information that you can afford. We wanted to start something within our community, for our community, and by our community.
What services does Brown Girl Enterprises, LLC offer?
Lynn Douglas: We offer several different packages and services for our clients. Our #1 selling package is the “Nonprofit Set-Up” package. We assist future and established nonprofits from start to finish. We take all the guess work out of the process, we complete the paperwork for clients, included is multiple consulting sessions to educate clients on what we are doing, and we see you through to the date your nonprofit is fully operational. Also, we offer traditional consulting services and nonprofit e-courses for those wanting to work independently for sustainability.
What has been your inspiration when it comes to working with nonprofits?
Gabrielle Scott: Our inspiration is our personal nonprofit stories of success and failures. I feel being a nonprofit leader is not an easy thing and you need that support from others to continue going. Even on your greatest days you can still feel overwhelmed. That is something Lynn and I wish that we could have had and at times still do. We have each other and after 4 years of launching our own nonprofits we are still learning. That is the great thing about nonprofit work, you do it because you want to. You know serving your particular community is truly what drives you to be a nonprofit. We are here to support all nonprofit leaders.
What is your secret to balancing your friendship as business partners?
Lynn Douglas: The secret to “balance” is just that, balance. Gabrielle and I know there are certain times during the week or month that the bulk of our conversation may be about our business. There are also times and moments where we call each other to say, “Hey girl, let me tell you what happened today?” Honestly, it’s hard to explain it, it’s a chemistry you know, and we have been friends for the past 10 years. We have seen each other through every major life experience that anyone can go through at 32 years old. We know when it is time to do business or when it is time to talk about our friendship. We are very patient with each other and we extend a lot of grace or mercy to one another. There are times we both may be having a hard day but we hold each other up through it. We hold each other accountable and that’s what makes it work. We understand that we are business partners but we were friends first.
What are Gabrielle and Lynn’s beauty must-haves?
Gabrielle Scott: Ohh, I have lately been into Fenty Beauty products and I’ve heard so many great things about the Fenty Skincare line. All of her (Rihanna) products have been amazing from her concealers to foundations and I can only imagine her skincare line is going to be amazing. So for the past couple of months, I have been stuck on The Mane Choice and Carol’s Daughter for my hair and my kid’s hair products.
Lynn Douglas: My Top 5 are Urban Skin Rx, Fenty Beauty Foundation, Dr. Bonner’s fragrance-free pure castile soap, Honey Pot products that Gabby put me on too, and definitely The Mane Choice hair products. Ohh, can I add this too, my favorite lip pencil by NARS is “Train Blue” and it is really deep black, purplish color I wear from October to March. It is my favorite color!
Has COVID-19 affected your business?
Gabrielle Scott: I will say “yes” and “no”. One of the great things about having the type of business that we have we are able to take advantage of being a virtual business. It has not in that regard hindered us from meeting with our clients or offering services. I will say that it was pretty “hot and heavy”, in the beginning of the pandemic, as a new business and so much transition. We had to adjust our pricing because it is a pandemic where everyone cannot afford right now to pay the introductory rates.
What has been a “life lesson learned” from having your own small business?
Lynn Douglas: Honestly, when people talk about “life lessons” they come from a overcoming or hardship standpoint but the biggest lesson I learned was the power and freedom that exists in being a business owner. I just wanted to be stable and serve my 25 plus years to retire but then I learned how much more of an impact I could make with my business. I have really learned the value of entrepreneurship but to empower other Black people to own their own businesses. You don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.
Featured Image by AfroCurl Photography