We're shining the spotlight on the journeys of Black women entrepreneurs who have fearlessly pursued their dreams and are carving their own paths to success. From the hustle and grind of their daily routines to the moments of self-doubt they've overcome, these women serve as a source of inspiration for aspiring Black women entrepreneurs. Let's jump into it!
Inayah Baaqee, Owner at Chrysallis Lab Career Consulting, LLC | Oakland, California
When did you realize that you wanted to become an entrepreneur, Inayah?
Inayah: My desire to become an entrepreneur reached its peak at the start of the COVID pandemic (2020). There was a demand for financial sustainability and career growth that really inspired me to commit to launching my business.
Francine Sweet, Owner at World of Cosmetics Paints | Wake Forest, North Carolina
Francine, how about you?
Francine: I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur at the age of 16.
Victoria Campbell Osborne, Founder and Owner at The Scented Webb | Kansas City Metro, Kansas
What's your story, Victoria?
Victoria: Following my mother’s cancer diagnosis, my employer at the time, forced me to choose between my mother’s care and my employment, despite being a stellar employee and posted prominently on the company website. As I sat at the hospital with my laptop on my lap working, I realized I never wanted to be in that position again. All my hard work was for naught if I never had the freedom to love my family and be myself.
Personal freedom and autonomy can be a strong motivating factor for entrepreneurship. Traditional employment structures can sometimes limit our ability to live authentically and prioritize what matters most to us. Entrepreneurship can create a path where you are able to have the freedom to pursue your passions, care for your loved ones, and lead a life aligned with your values. Entrepreneurship can truly be a powerful vehicle for reclaiming control over our lives and creating fulfilling careers on our own terms!
Diving deeper into their stories.
Chrysallis Lab Career Consulting, LLC - providing resume writing support to early career professionals and career-changers
"I’ve always had a passion for mentoring, counseling, and teaching but my desire to offer career support to early career professionals grew when I found myself struggling to form a professional identity and find opportunities after finishing graduate school. My experience was extremely discouraging, but I gained a lot of career development skills throughout the process that I would like to share with other career-oriented young adults entering this job market," said Inayah Baaqee.
Chrysallis Lab Career Consulting, LLC provides resume writing support to early career professionals and career-changers seeking to maximize their opportunities for obtaining job interviews in order to manifest their full career potential.
A Chrysallis in nature is defined as the middle stage of a butterfly’s metamorphosis, between the larvae (the caterpillar) and the adult stage (the butterfly). Symbolically, a chrysalis symbolizes a transitional state. Using this framework as the basis of my work, the Chrysallis Lab serves as a transformational space for early career professionals. I believe that offering customized resume and cover letter writing services can essentially transform one’s career, by
expanding career prospects and presenting the most polished applicant.
We design eye-catching resumes tailored to meet industry standards and maximize our clients’ career potential, captivating cover letters that highlight our clients’ unique skills and strengths and market them as the ideal applicant, and easy-to-use customizable job search templates designed to ease our clients’ job search and leave the best impression on hiring professionals.
We also offer a 1-hour long virtual beginner-level interactive workshop teaching the basics of resume writing for groups.
For many qualified applicants, securing well-paying jobs with competitive salaries is nearly impossible in today’s economy and so many Black young adults are ill-equipped to successfully navigate the process. Excluding systemic barriers outside of our control (e.g., implicit bias in hiring and recruiting), there are steps we can take to support young adults during this process. I wanted to make career development support and consulting more accessible to my peers and community.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Inayah: A typical day in my life as an entrepreneur consists of developing and sharing content to establish my brand and grow my social media presence. I'd also spend time transforming resumes and cover letters for my clients. This process is interactive and can take up to two weeks per client. Additionally, I spend time holding 20-minute career consultations with prospective clients.
Did you have any fears about venturing into entrepreneurship?
Inayah: My greatest fear before stepping into my role as an entrepreneur included a lack of confidence regarding my ability to attract clients and see financial success. My business is still in its first year, so I am still navigating many of these fears.
What does your support system look like as an entrepreneur?
Inayah: I regularly reach out to my team of entrepreneurs and business mentors. This includes my web developer, business coach, Society of Professional Resume Writers and Coaches, Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, SkillUp Coalition, and various Black women entrepreneurs and resume writers.
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Your support system sounds rock solid, Inayah! We love that you have prioritized and built a tribe that can support you along your entrepreneurial journey. It's important as entrepreneurs to always seek out and nurture relationships with individuals who can provide the necessary knowledge and encouragement to propel our businesses forward.
World of Cosmetics Paints - creating organic cosmetics and face serums
"I service women and men with my products and I am still creating more products daily to service the beauty community," said Francine Sweet.
World of Cosmetics Paints sells custom lipstick which is called lip paints because it has staying power. We make custom eye shadows, Rose Water Face Serum, CBD Lipsticks, CBD Hair Serum, Custom Foundations and press powder and mascara and we are going to start selling custom body lotions and shower gel in the near future.
What does a typical day look like for you as an entrepreneur?
Francine: My typical day starts off with me fulfilling orders that have come in. I like to create and have the products shipped within 72 hours from the order date. Then I sit down with my partner, Alex, to see what we can do next to bring the company to a global standing so everyone knows that there is an organic and vegan cosmetic company out here, where all cosmetics are custom-made for clients!
What does your support system look like today?
Francine: My support system is my family and friends. When I wanted to give up, they continued to push me and let me know that I have great products. They made sure I never stopped what I was doing with my products and constantly reminded me that I am not wasting my time building my business.
What were your greatest fears stepping into entrepreneurship?
Francine: My greatest fear was whether I could make this company work and how to get my products out to the public.
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Thank you for not giving up on your vision, Francine - no matter how difficult it's gotten! The uncertainty and doubt about the viability and visibility of our ventures as entrepreneurs can seem crippling and make us want to take the easy way out. But it's crucial to not let them paralyze us and keep us away from our dreams. As you continue to stay consistent in delivering value to your customers and learning new ways to market your product, success will come sis!
The Scented Webb - luxury fragrance and wellness brand
"We are giving Black and Brown people access to the joy and power of fragrance without them having to spend hundreds of dollars," said Victoria Campbell Osborne.
The Scented Webb is a luxury fragrance and wellness brand specializing in perfume decants, offering consumers niche and designer perfume at a fraction of the cost. We also sell fragrance and essential oils, handcrafted bath & body products, including scented body butters, sugar scrubs, and body, beard, and hair oils.
Luxury and happiness shouldn’t be something you have to save up for or that is kept under lock and key. While we sell fragrances, we also model what choosing and centering joy looks like. And that's why we go out of our way to provide the highest level of service and the most elite and exclusive fragrances to our customers.
Can you walk us through a typical day in your life?
Victoria: I begin my day with a practice called Morning Miracle, centering myself in my gratitude, health, intentions, and growth before I start my formal workday. A part of that includes visualization of what my day will look like — and doing affirmations to bolster and support me throughout the day. I schedule at least one opportunity every day to connect with other entrepreneurs. It helps me not only create community but not get caught up in my own head or feelings as I go through the day. I use Pomodoro as a work style and use my smartwatch to remind me to take breaks, drink water, and find joy. I wish I could say I have a definite work day, but I regularly work 15-hour days for my businesses (I have three). I’m working on including automation and support to change this.
What was your greatest fear before stepping into entrepreneurship?
Victoria: Truthfully? Failing and being financially ruined. I face those fears every day by recognizing my forward motion is how I make sure that even if I am not where I want to be on any given day, I am making progress forward. While I still am unsettled by the thought of not doing well, it’s no longer a fear — it’s a call to action and believing the universe is conspiring for my good.
What does your support system look like?
Victoria: Initially, it was not as robust as I thought it should be or imagined it. I’ve grown to realize it’s a multifaceted thing — I have different systems of support. My family and friends support me as a person; my entrepreneurial colleagues and mentors serve as safe spaces of encouragement, growth, and advice; my business community inspires and teaches me; and my competition pushes me to do better — or shows me the reason why I do what I do. All these things serve to bolster my number one support — myself. I’ve had to learn to pour into myself as much and as often as I pour into my businesses and others. It is so easy to get discouraged when pouring from an empty cup. I work hard to make sure I’m never on edge.
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Yasssss, Victoria! We love to see this kind of healthy balance in the lives of Black women in business! You are intentional about taking care of your mental and finding ways to "take breaks and find joy". This is just as important as running your business because you simply cannot perform optimally if you are always burnout. And the way you have reframed your fears as a motivator for growth and progress is indeed beautiful! Continue to stay grounded and the sky will be your stepping stone!
It is so refreshing to hear directly from Black women entrepreneurs who are building their businesses and going through experiences that other Black women founders out there can relate to. Their unique journeys all serve as reminders that you are never alone in your entrepreneurial struggle, and if you don't give up, it's only going to get better!
Thank you Inayah, Francine and Victoria for taking the time! We deeply appreciate you ladies and are confident that the world will know your names.
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