By Shavonne Taisha
I had the fantastic experience of meeting with my big sis, and low-key inspo- Brittany Wilson, Founder and Creator of The Idea Girl Co. Brittany Wilson is a powerhouse-PERIODT. She brightens every space she occupies with her exquisite taste in fashion and food. Her medias are filled with tips to keep you highly motivated and prosperous internally and externally. Ofcourse both of us are proned to being sidetracked with glorious stories of risks and triumph. As we begun this interview I knew the pleasantries were leading up to a fireball of pure, necessary advice and love.
Shavonne: How did you come up with the name Idea Girl? What inspired you to create this platform?
Brittany: I am very multifaceted and multitalented, I’ve always been interested in art. As a fashion major in high-school, illustration is my passion I have been drawing since a tiny baby. I learned many different skills. I would do my friend’s weave, do my own nails, hair, style, design, create acrylics, I was an A+ student in chemistry honors, and math. I always felt like here was no job for me because I was good at everything. I felt boxed in, people always came to me for everything they valued my opinion, so I called myself the idea girl. I discovered quickly that I’m not the only Idea Girl thats why I’ve created the “Idea Girl Gang” for black women to link up. I had an epiphany that I would recreat a variation of the Black Wallstreet, and that is exactly what it is.
Shavonne: What advice do you have for women of color who are aspiring entrepreneurs/ are entrepreneurs?
Brittany: Do the work and do the research! You need to be educated on every facet. You can’t run to people or always ask people questions without looking for the answer yourself. Everyone wants a shortcut to success. You need too give yoursef the time and dedication to learn about your company. You need to learn finance and accounting. You can’t lead a herd of people if you dont know whwat you’re doing. Take the time to constantly learn for yourself, do some digging do some research. When was the last time you sat down and watched a tutotiral there are so many ways to learn. It takes discipline, wanting it so damn bad. It will all be worth it because it never ends. You’ve only progressed if you learned lessons or money. When you understand the value of hard work what it takes, what you’re willing to sacrifice, there is no way in fucking hell you can’t get what you deserve.
S: Who were your mentor(s) and how did they support your vision ?
B: My first mentor is my mom. My mom is able to has “time on me” and shares her experieneces with me and keep me from making poor decisions . She doesn’t want me to go through any negative experiences. I talk to her about business, or whatever it is and she helps make decisions. We weren’t always the closest but I cherish the relationship we have now that I’m older. Knowing you have someone who genuinely has the best interest for you. The next would be my bestfriend -She is 5 years older than me and she is the first female entreprenuer that I’ve known. She started a Brazilian hair company 7-8 years ago. She definitely shares insight, she’s an aries - and very forceful with what she wants for people and it’s always the best for them. It may seem like critiscism but she’s giving you crucial feedback. She holds me accountable and I’m allowed to be a better person because of her. She taught me balance, duality, and how to be direct. My peer mentor, Shaniel Johnson of Base Butter showed me how to get myself together as an entreprenuer. She showed me how to use apps to organize and taught me about wanting to explore and taking risk(s). My aunt is lowkey another mentor. She just doesn’t stop. She’s another aries. She keeps going and motivates you to keep going, no matter where you are --you get yours. Having women like that around me. I believe I’m unstoppable. I know anything i want to do, I’m capable of accomplishing. I know it may sound cocky but why wouldn’t you want to affirm that? Everyone should want to feel that way about themselves!
S: Do you have a support system and if so how did that group of people help in motivating you?
B: My mom, my aunt, and couple of best friends and family who are super supportive of what i do. So many women on social media that i don’t know in person i’ve been able to connect with through the power of social media. I feel like we’re one big cheerleading squad.
S: What were/are some of the challenges you went through on the journey to building your brand?
B: Whooooooooo! One thing I’ve learned, is to keep your personal relationships personal and keep your business relationships business. You can be friends with people you do business with, as long as you continue conducting your business in a professional manner. You want to make sure it’s an even exchange of energy. You need to communicate with your friend and set the parameters. If there’s anything your friend can do to make it worth your wild that will and could help you, then have them do that and contract it. Good Communication is the key to good business. Uneven energy exchanges results in resentment. Create boundaries between you your business and your friends. During that time learn that brunch and all the ke-ke is going to be done on an off day. It can’t be done on your business hours while you’re on the clock. I’ve had alot of fall outs when it came to business because I’d bust my ass for my friends. I’d want to do extra for them, and when it came to meeting deadlines for them the slack came on you. You don’t want to lose someone over business. Let your friend know--you can’t receive my services unless there’s a barter or a certain exchange. Take the time out to do research. I didn’t give myself enough time to do enough research.
S: Where direction do you see your platform going in the next year?
B: I see The Idea Girl Gang being a hub of everything creative business relate. It will definitely be a lifestyle brand, there will be events, video. There’s so much happening I can’t say too much there’s a lot happening off camera to bring an entire experience for 2019. I am not missing a beat it’s not starting next year it’s starting now. It’s not on the calendar. It’s being done now. No matter how small if it’s on my to-do list, it’s getting done.
S: How are you able to balance a love life while working on yourself and aspirations?
B: I make my love life work by communicating A LOT. We explain to each other when we need attention without being fearful. Communication makes it easier. We understand when we have to work, whenI may have a deadline. It’s just about having a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s time. We are always around each other because we’re into the same things so we work with each other. It works. You need to find someone who fits with your lifestyle. Make sure you respect each other. It’s about being honest, communication. If you’re clingy you need to find someone who’s clingy too, because if not you’ll be heartbroken. But listen -- Im not a relationship guru.
S: Do you have any regrets that you feel made your proccess a bit harder than expected?
B: Being too nice. Even beyonce said this “women naturally have the yearning to want to help people. There are times you need to help yourself. A lot of the times you have to decide that you need o make the best decision for your business. You can’t rely on people to make every business decision with you. It takes speaking up for yourself. Making these decisions and not feeling bad about them. Still be compassionate and still be considerate but let them know. Also, by not having a mentor in design I had to teach myself. I taught myself Illustrator in a year. I just picked it up. I knew how to draw but didn’t know how to do it digitally.
S: How has the Brown & Boujee Podcast transformed how you share your narrative?
B: It show how ratchet I am because it’s about duality. I’m not dumb feel me, I was in all the accelerated classes-I grew up in canarsie, people think it’s the nice part of Brooklyn but it’s still the hood. I didn’t have the easiest time in junior high-school and it makes you grow up to be someone else.
S: Thank you so much!!!!
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