When blogger-turned-businesswoman Christina Brown launched her website, LoveBrownSugar.com in 2009, little did she know it would evolve into a game-changing digital destination with multiple spinoffs: BabyBrownsugar.com (launched in 2013) and BrownGirlsLove.com (launched in 2014).
Then in 2015 Brown fused her passions and expertise to launch Power Day, an annual networking event held each January for millennial Black women. The daylong event in New York City is filled with motivational panels and guest speakers dishing on their own personal and professional journeys and the many lessons they’ve learned along the way.
“It’s a day of networking, skill-building and empowerment for women of color,” says Brown. “We have honest conversations about building brands and businesses and we emphasize the importance of collaboration over competition.”
Ahead of this year’s Power Day on January 5, we caught up with Brown to learn more about the event and her own journey as a mompreneur.
ESSENCE: What inspired you to launch Power Day?
Christina Brown: In a span of a year after finding out I was going to be a mother, I quit my job, began consulting, launched two new platforms and managed to grow my business while being a new mommy. When I decided to quit my job and work on my brand full-time, I started to got lots of questions from other women who wanted to do the same thing. So I would answer them based on my expertise. And when I didn’t have an expertise in something, I connected them to my successful friends to answer questions for them. Eventually I decided to produce an event series for women like me to connect, share best practices and learn from each other. That was the start of Power Day back in 2015.
What has been the most challenging aspect of launching such a multi-tierred event?
Funding is by far the hardest part. I absolutely love what it represents and what it means for so many women to attend. But pulling together the event in NYC is really expensive and challenging. So we really rely on our sponsors and partners to offset costs.
What do you hope Black women will get out of this experience?
I hope the women who attend leave the space feeling like they can take on the world. I want them to feel confident and hopeful about what they can accomplish in 2019. And I want them to feel like other women have their back. They are not in this alone and that they are supported by their sisters.
What does “Power” mean to you?
Power means confidence. It means influence. It means having the ability to change the atmosphere just by nature of being you.
Given your experience, what three skills do you feel every budding entrepreneur needs to succeed at launching a business?
Tenacity: entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, you have to have the ability to get knocked down and get back up. The ability to network: you can’t build in a bubble, so relationships are really important. And lastly, confidence: in order to demand what you deserve and charge what you’re worth.
As a mompreneur, juggling entrepreneurship and motherhood, what advice do you have for women considering this career path?
Get help. Don’t assume you can do everything. It takes a village to raise a child and to build a business. So if you’re planning to do both, make sure your village is vast and strong.