Tell us about yourself and your business journey:
I am 32. I was born in New Orleans, La. I go to school full-time for Business Finance. I work a full-time job and own 3 successful businesses. Eyelash 4 Me-2, Cascade Pop Up Shop, and I am also a radio host for Hits 92.3 Atlanta. My journey was not easy. Growing up I did not have anyone laying down a foundation for me to be successful in life and I had to learn the hard way. Being a single mother of 2 and struggling at the time I saw myself not doing the same thing for my girls. I felt like I had to do more so that I can set them up for success in life.
I started my first business of Eyelash 4 Me-2, where I hand make and design my own line of mink lashes. I didn’t think it would be successful . In Atlanta everyone sells lashes but it became a hit and was featured in 7 magazines. I started setting up on street coroners, hair stores, anywhere you could think of. Then I started my first popup shop where small business owners can join me in an open parking lot to help push our products to the public. It also grew and I now have more than 30 business owners from all over that join us with a live DJ to spread our brand awareness. That led me to being hired at Hits 92.3 Atlanta to be a radio host where I interviewed those same business owners to help them reach a larger audience.
Which black history figure has inspired you the most and why?
I would definitely say Rosa Parks. Her determination, courage, and will-power to not not get off the bus was a powerful movement on her own. Despite the odds stacked against her, she never gave up and fought for equal rights. That is very inspirational to me because that's what I'm doing. I do not want to give up and I am fighting for my right to make a difference in the world and my community.
How have your efforts impacted the black community?
My efforts in starting Cascade PopUp Shop and doing Build A Brand at Hits 92.3 ATL have impacted my community a lot. Small business owners now feel like they can do more and their brands have a voice now because someone cares and is out there trying to help them grow. They don't feel alone or feel like they don't have support. Because of my efforts more kids are starting businesses to reach their dreams. When I look at the face of an adult or kid after they make a sale it brings joy to my heart and it's at that moment I know I have impacted them.
What is next for you in 2022 and how can readers connect with you online?
I plan to expand Cascade PopUp Shop and perhaps take it on the road to help inspire others and encourage more entrepreneurs to start a business. I also plan to go to Shelters for kids that had a rough upbringing to start a small business to that they have more to look forward too
Readers can connect with me on Facebook/Instagram @ Kristen Build A Brand and Hits 92.3 ATL I also have a youtube page called Build A Brand w/ Kristen
Describe the legacy you plan to leave behind for generations to come:
My legacy is for children of all backgrounds to know they too can become business owners despite their difficulties in life and that yes it is possible for them to open the doors to their own future. I want my legacy to be known for the hustle in me is also in everyone if that just lights the candle to their dreams.