Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tiffany Griffin, Co-Founder of Bright Black, located in Durham, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is Bright Black, a social enterprise that uses scent to share positive stories about Blackness. Because I absolutely believe that it is possible to live in a world where racial equity is the norm and consumption is meaningful, Bright Black has launched a line of modernized scent products that allow mindful consumers to learn, connect, and spark change in the community with one another.
Tell us about yourself
I am a social psychologist by training who left academia to work on The Hill (US Senate) in Health Policy. I was then recruited to work in the Obama Administration, helping the Executive Branch operationalize, program, measure, and monitor resilience in international contexts. I left the Federal service to start Bright Black in 2019.
I am a passionate and compassionate, future-focused entrepreneur with a mission to change the consumer products and goods space and to leverage the private sector for widespread social change. I am motivated by the power of entrepreneurship to create and sustain opportunities and fuel positive change.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishments fall in the bucket of social impact. I've engaged in strategic collaborations with partners such as Michelle Obama's When We All Vote, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and the NBA. I've also upheld our value of cooperative economics by donating a sizable proportion of net profits to organizations and initiatives working to improve conditions across the Black Diaspora. I've grown our team to six individuals and have created a safe, caring, purpose-driven organizational culture built on mutual respect and humanity. This is what makes me most proud.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are so many hard things!!!!!! As a Black female entrepreneur, I have traversed challenges related to race, gender, as well as the intersection of the two. These include limited access to capital and funding, lack of representation, as well as stereotypes, and other biases. While daunting, these challenges motivate me to succeed so that I can help others in the future.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be honest and open with your customers. They'll respect you for it.
- When times get really, really hard (and they will!), try to remember why you started and determine whether that motivator is still relevant. That has gotten me through MANY rough days.
- Create a small community of trusted peers with whom you be completely honest and vulnerable and with whom you are ready to support as well. No one gets to be an entrepreneur like another entrepreneur.
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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