Updated: Mar 28, 2022
This March, we're celebrating Women's History by highlighting 9 remarkable Black Girl Ventures alumni doing extraordinary things in their businesses. It's been amazing to watch them grow their businesses beyond BGV, and to see them thrive on their journeys as they continue to scale has been humbling. We wanted to share some of their brands with you and remind you to support Black and Brown women entrepreneurs. It's incredible to see how far they've come. Here are 9 BGV Alumni who are thriving in business.
1. Brittney Perry Founder of PerryCo Shoes
Brittney Perry is dominating the sneaker game. With no background in fashion or design, she launched PerryCo Shoes. The sleek minimalist unisex look provides a genderless appearance that everyone can enjoy. Brittney has been featured on ShoutOut LA, Sneakers Made By Women, Complex Sneakers, and Business All-Stars. Common and Nathan Campbell have worn PerryCo Shoes from Insecure.
2. Tia Robinson Founder of Vertical Activewear
Tia Robinson is the founder of Vertical Activewear, a sustainable and size-inclusive lifestyle brand for yoga, dance, meditation, and activities that support your inner and outer well-being. Available in sizes XS-5XL, Vertical Activewear is made-to-order using bold designs, ecologically advanced fabrics, and manufacturing practices.
Vertical Activewear takes a "slow" approach to manufacture by using an "on-demand" production cycle to help curb the creation of unsold inventory that could end up in our oceans and landfills. Tia has been featured in Essence, ShoutOut Atlanta, Shape, The Strategist, and EcoCult. She's also the recipient of Beygood.
3. Pauline Idogho Founder of Mocktail Club
Pauline Idogho has created her lane in the ready-to-drink aisle by creating the Mocktail Club. She couldn't find healthy and sophisticated non-alcoholic options when she was expecting. Mocktail Club was also inspired by her international travels and quest to find healthy and enjoyable alternatives to alcohol; she began creating bold and daring flavors typically not found in non-alcoholic beverages.
Pauline saw a demand and decided to make her line of ready-to-drink non-alcoholic cocktails, Mocktail Club. Pauline was featured on Oprah's Favorite Things List in May and became one of the winners of the Black Ambition competition founded by Pharrell. Mocktail Club was featured in Rollingstone, Marie Claire Magazine, and Refinery 29.
4. Arielle Brown Founder of Bea's Bayou Skincare
Arielle Brown launched Bea's Bayou Skincare during the pandemic. She created a probiotic scalp product that drastically reduces scalp inflammation reactions such as itching, burning, dandruff, scales, and hair loss. With over 100 5-star customers reviews, Bea's Bayou is well on its way to being a household name. Arielle received a $25k grant from the Fund Black Founders grant. She's also been featured on Happi, Posh Lifestyle, and Beauty Blog.
5. Bridget Jones Founder of Chisel Tech Lab
Bridget Jones has been blazing the tech space with her business Chisel Tech Lab. This financial software company develops and sells software and related services for small to mid-sized businesses, local governments, and individuals. They aim to be the leading technology solution provider for businesses and software products. Bridget is also the founder of FinRoth, an online platform that helps founders gain market insights, develop easy-to-read financial models, understand their business processes, identify risks, and get capital.
Bridget received a nomination from StartOut. She has worked with Research and Development and Technology firms that support technology implementation and efficiencies, such as CATO Institute, SHRM, Black Lives Matter, Black Tech Week, other universities and foundations, Halcyon Fellow. She's a recent recipient of a 12-month Black Founder Empowerment Scholarship from Google through Startout's Growth Lab and is an Emerging Leader in the world of Business Performance by PayPal.
6. Dana Todd Pope Founder of FearlesslyHue.com
Dana Todd Pope is the Founder of Fearlessly Hue. She is a groundbreaking artist who has cracked the secret code of raising capital. Dana has won over $68,900 in grants and awards in the last year and a half. Dana was selected to participate in the Amazon Black Business Accelerator. The Amazon Black Business Accelerator has 15,000 businesses; 3000 of those businesses applied to the BBA Connect, and only 100 were accepted.
Dana's company, Fearlessly Hue, was chosen as one of those one hundred worldwide businesses to participate in the exclusive BBA Connect group. BBA Connect is a 12-month program where she receives mentorship, education, and guidance on thriving as an entrepreneur. She's also the winner of VISA and IFundWomen She's Next Grant Recipient and recently won the PullUp and competition through Black Girl Ventures. You can find Dana's art at Walmart.
7. Sherrill Mosee Founder of MinkeeBlue
Sherrill Mosee wanted one bag to separate and organize everything, but she couldn't find it. Most women carry more than one bag to fit all of their necessities. With no fashion design experience but an engineering background, Sherill went to work to create a prototype.
She founded MinkeeBlue an organizational fashion bag for busy women whose role changed throughout the day—from an executive to fitness enthusiast, daily commuter, and mom. Sherrill has recently crowned the winning entrepreneur on the premiere episode of USA Network's new shoppable series America's Big Deal and won a $100k major purchase deal with Macy's.
8. Sasha-Loriene McClain Founder of Black Girls Who Paint
Sasha-Loriene McClain is the Founder of Black Girls Who Paint. It's a safe space to support and empower Black women painters by promoting positive representation, sisterhood, and community, modeled after what Sasha-Loriene wanted as a young girl. BGWP is also a platform formed by a Black woman who paints that believes in increasing the visibility of Black women artists so young Black girls can see themselves in the art world.
In doing so, BGWP empowers Black women and girls to share their art and story. Sasha-Loriene is doing significant work in the community by awarding scholarships and micro-grants to Black women artists in need. BGWP has been featured in the Washington City Paper Sheen Magazine and has an Instagram community of 100k followers and a thriving membership platform.
9. Tracey Kennedy California Country Organics
Tracey Kennedy is the Founder of California Country Organics, a body care line that helps rebuild hair, skin, and teeth with high-quality raw, organic, unrefined ingredients. Since Tracey's appearance in the Black Girl Ventures pitch competition, she's been on a whirlwind! She was featured in Talk of Alabama, Shout Out Atlanta, and did an Instagram live with 98.7 KIIS FM. Then was a guest on the podcast Laundry Roominations.
Tracey was recently approved for a loan from a local Black small Business nonprofit called Urban Impact. She's set to pay off her house in full and plans to make some upgrades to improve product manufacturing. Lastly, Bridget Jones, who's also on this list, is now her Financial Advisor. Lastly, Tracey was a vendor at WakandaCon in Chicago.
Black women entrepreneurs are undoubtedly some of the most resourceful and resilient business owners out there. We hope you enjoyed learning about the journeys of nine notable BGV alumni. These women are pioneers and leaders; we couldn't be more proud to showcase them. We want to celebrate with them and let them know that we're cheerleaders in their corner cheering them on as they continue to pave their way in business. It has been a true honor to be part of their journey at BGV.