Released during Black History Month in the USA, She did that delves into the stories behind some of America’s most prominent black women-owned businesses today as told by their creators. Executive Produced by In Her Shoes founder Renae Bluitt, the documentary also explores the ways in which African American women entrepreneurs have created thriving businesses with little to no help from investors, and touches on the importance of taking control of your mental health.

I’ve picked out some inspirational quotes from almost all of the women featured including Myleik Teele, Luvvie Ajayi, Melissa Butler and Tonya Rapley. Read what each lady had to say below.

Renae Bluitt, Founder, In Her Shoes blog and Crush Media

“Before I took the leap into entrepreneurship I was working at one of the top PR agencies here in New York City, but I wasn’t there. I realised that I wasn’t gonna be completely happy with the work that I was doing until I had a little more control over the types of brands that I was doing PR for, the types of projects that I was managing, and the only way to do that was to really start my own consultancy and become my own boss.”

Denequa Williams, Maker, Lit Brooklyn

“I remember spending my savings and I was like ‘this has to work because you can’t go broke (laughs)’. And that’s the best time for something to work – when your back is against the wall. And, I don’t know, I just felt like all in or nothing.”

Lauren Williams, former Editor, Essence magazine

“We speak to entrepreneurs at Essence all the time and the constant thread that we’re hearing is that there was some need that was not fulfilled and they literally just picked it up and did it themselves.”

Melissa Butler, Founder, The Lip Bar

“I decided that in order for my business to give me 100%, I had to give it 100%.”

Tonya Rapley, Founder, My Fab Finance 

“There’s a lot of loneliness behind the scenes of entrepreneurship and each and every time a woman is honest about her experiences – the highs, the lows, the challenges, the successes and all of the murkiness in between – she is fuelling another woman to keep going and encouraging another woman to push beyond whatever challenges she’s facing.”

Lisa Price, Founder, Carol’s Daughter 

“A lot of time people will ask ‘Oh is there a moment where you wanted to give up, that you just said ‘oh I can’t do this’?’. And after being in business for over 20 years, there are so many of those moments because it’s hard and it’s scary and it’s very precarious and there’s so much that you discover as you’re doing it that you don’t know.”

Gwen Woods, Co-owner, The Crabby Shack

“It’s harder for us and it seems that most black businesses are doing it on their own. They are pulling their money together or digging into their savings and we want a piece of that pie too, so that’s what we’re trying to figure out. How do we get some of that money?”

Therese Kempf, Psychotherapist

“I think for black women entrepreneurs, where it requires so much of ourselves and so much of our time, having mental wellness and having a hold of our mental health is really important.”

Myleik Teele, Founder CURLBOX and MyTaughtYou 

“Most people are surprised that I don’t do non-business things outside of business hours that aren’t ultra pressing cash things. I do not do interviews after six o’ clock, I do not do meetings, and I don’t do them on weekends.” 

Sheryl Roberts, Owner, IndigoStyle Vintage

“I can’t do everything all at once so for me, I compartmentalise. It’s like, what is most important right now? Anything else that is not important right this second can go on the list.”

Kelli Coleman, Co-owner, The Ten Nail Bar

“It is really our responsibility to direct our dollars to support one another. To open businesses that we can support.”

Luvvie Ajayi, Bestselling Author 

“I’m a fan of nepotism at this point, especially when it comes to black women. One of my hobbies is defending black girls, and two, supporting black women and just black businesses in general because I think we need to prioritise that. If we are going to get on better footing we actually have to be very focussed about that.” 

Jessica O. Matthews, CEO, Uncharted Power

“There are 26 black women who have ever raised $1m for their tech startup. There’s a real missed opportunity in my opinion for women of colour, particularly black women, to take lead and solve the problems that we so intimately know.”

Yasmin Quiles, Founder, Pop! By Yaz 

“One of the obstacles that I face as a woman in business is thinking that you have to be an expert at something to be able to do it. I think it’s something that a lot of us are raised with – if you’re not schooled properly, if you didn’t go to college. And often times it’s really just a matter of having the guts to do it. So I think if you just empower yourself and others to just have a go at it often times you’ll find what you’re not only good at but passionate about.”

Myla Patterson, Mom-in-chief, SASS-E-Todds 

“This experience is meant to be a teachable moment, it’s meant to be fun and it’s meant to help them [her two young daughters and Sass-E-Todds co-founders] to garner life skills that will help them in the long term.”

Stream She did that on Netflix.

Posted by:Carly Lewis-Oduntan

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