What inspired you to start your business?
I use to run a nonprofit organization raising money to help low-income women in college pay for childcare so they can earn their college degree. I was inspired by the young moms, carrying their baby bag and book bag. I was motivated because I also carried two and three bags to work; my purse, laptop bag and lunch bag.
What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
I’ve faced many challenges, the most damaging was getting 30% defective bags at the launch of my business. Instead of giving up, I liquidated the damaged bags, slowed down, visited factories to discuss the problem, and ordered smaller manageable quantities nearly 12 months later.
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Don’t rush in things, spend time researching, learning, networking.
What three traits define you?
Motivated, Dedicated, Perseverance
How has being a WBENC-Certified WBE helped your business?
The network is amazing. I’ve been able to connect and meet with people just by being a Certified WBE that I may not have met on my own.
What do you love about being a business owner?
Being creative, flexible and inspirational.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
How do you define success?
Happiness. Doing what you love, while making a living at it.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
1. Be patient. 2. Be consistent. 3. Enjoy the journey.
If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Honestly, there are many times I’m subconsciously thinking about MinkeeBlue when I’m sleeping. I love watching old predictable movies at night to help clear my head. I also enjoy working out and being outside on sunny days.
What are you reading or listening to now?
I listen to “How I Built This” with Guy Raz.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to become the first African-American woman astronaut. That was before I’d ever fly on a plane.
What do you like about your workspace?
I enjoy co-working space at the String Theory School in Philadelphia. The space is designed to engage high school students with small businesses residing in the building. I get to work with student interns on different projects that help promote MinkeeBlue while teaching them entrepreneurship.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I... pray and think about how I’m going to solve the problem.
If I could go back in time, I would… tell myself to launch my business with a smaller order of bags.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my laptop.
The best thing that happened to me last week was… I pitched to a female Angel Investor who understood my product.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… connect with other like-minded people.
MinkeeBlue Travel/Work Bags are designed to solve a problem—eliminate the need to carry two or three bags. With a MinkeeBlue, women can now take items normally carried in her purse, lunch bag and laptop bag, and organize them in one MinkeeBlue bag. Whatever is needed for her busy day—shoes, laptop, umbrella, purse essentials, phone, lunch, sweater, snacks, files—it’s all in the bag.
MinkeeBlue features a 2-in-1 patent pending bag with an adjustable divider. When the divider is in the closed position, it creates an upper and lower compartment, separating items from the top and bottom. When the divider is in its open position, the travel bag becomes an open tote bag. MinkeeBlue’s functionality and versatility is what sets it apart from other brands.