Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Debraca Russell, Founder of Beneby Perfume, located in Tampa, FL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

L Investment Group is a company that symbolizes the love for life. My customers are people who enjoy the aroma of elegance, class, and sophistication wrapped in caramel, lime, mango, and orange. People that use perfumes and colognes to travel the world with one spray.

Tell us about yourself

A Bahamian decent born in sunny South Florida, I love all things cultural. After a study abroad trip to Italy, France, and London, I knew my love to fragrance would be one of my business ventures. I love scents that captivate and invoke emotion. Scents or aromas can bring you back to the happiest moments in life. Personally, the smell of sweet potato pie reminds me of family reunions at my grandparent's house. The laughter and fun of family is what I hold dear. Those memories are the foundations I use to build on in my life.

In 2019, I had a dream. In that dream, I remember hearing the name Beneby and immediately smelled a warm scent that made me feel safe. I heard the crashing of waves and felt the warmth of the sun. When I woke up, I remembered, "I needed to make this dream a reality". Several people have asked, why the name Beneby for my fragrance. It is personal for me. The name Beneby is family. It is one of my favorite Uncle's last names. He was an amazing man that taught me so many life lessons. Each day I am motivated by my desire to leave a legacy of love, charity, and faith just like my Uncle. As a follower of Christ, I work each day to ensure I am able to bless others in various ways. I believe you should leave people better than you "found them."

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment would be starting a business in the middle of a pandemic that is striving and doing well. As my second business, I am able to navigate other pitfalls I didn't avoid when I started my first company. I understand the importance of having your legal documents together. I value every second spent with my bookkeeper and my accountant. They help me manage the business and keep me profitable. As a Florida State alumni, I hope to create a relationship where I can be a role model for graduating Noles that want to enter into this industry as well.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

My biggest struggle is a life struggle of knowing when to hold them and when to fold them. I love to help, give, and encourage, so naturally, I get attached to people on a regular basis which can be exhausting. I know there have been instances where I stayed too long and drained myself emotionally. I am still learning how to separate wanting to help vs. the reality of knowing when to leave.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Research the industry you want to enter. Seek guidance from a business coach or mentor in that specific field. I KNOW every coach cannot fit every industry, so find one that knows your industry so they can give you the tips, tricks, and nuggets that will save you time and money.
  2. Be flexible with your goal setting and path to success. There will be unexpected hurdles that arise that could delay or alter deadlines. Do not be so rigid that you overwork or stress yourself about minute things.
  3. Celebrate every little win. Enjoy the journey for what it is. If you get your first sale in 30 days, celebrate that win and move to your next goal. No accomplishment is too small to celebrate.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Shameless plug for my fragrance Beneby. Visit the website and order your bottle today. This scent is a blast and a tribute to the warm sunny beaches of the Bahamas.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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