ENTREPRENEURSHIP, FOOD/DRINK, COMMUNITY, INTERVIEW, HOLISTIC HEALTH, SENSUAL, WELLNESS
(TO EXPERIENCE THE FULL INTERVIEW, CHECK OUT THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SATISFY'S SPR VOL 1 ISS 1 RELEASE HERE)
Not too long ago 26-year old, Bria Vincent was a graduate student studying school psychology. She was working as a case manager in between having odd jobs as a waitress, bartender, sales associate and eyelash technician. Like many 20-somethings finding their way, she was busy, overwhelmed and not progressing in the way she wanted to. But she always had a positive outlook and energetic spirit. In an attempt to improve her physical health, to manage stress and elevate her mood, she began juicing. She started to share her juicing journey online and caught the attention of her friends who wanted to learn more and join in on the process. Bria began juicing for her friends, got great feedback and felt fulfilled in helping them to achieve their health goals. She felt like juicing for others aligned with her helping nature, and she decided to start a small business selling juice bottles to family and friends. She soon gained the attention of classmates, neighbors, and online acquaintances. Before she knew it, she was selling 1000 bottles of juice a week...all out of her kitchen! She decided to get a store front, as working from home became too taxing.
What motivates you to work?
I’m a perfectionist. I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) mixed with a little anxiety. My name and reputation is important to me. When I opened my juice bar, I didn’t want to have the stigma attached to me that I was an unprofessional and inconsistent Black business. So I don’t use me not "feeling like it", as an excuse for why I’m not coming into work. I feel like what I sell and give out here, the advice, the knowledge, it's me living up to what I wanted to do with my psychology work. I’m a people pleaser, and I know I need to make my family proud. My mom had me at a young age, and I want her to feel like it wasn’t for nothing. I have a brother who is in jail and I try to make up for that. That’s my main motivation. I also have 2 younger siblings who are in school. They’re smart and well behaved children, but I’m her favorite, and I want to make her proud.
What examples of black female entrepreneurship do you look to for guidance or inspiration?
There isn't anyone in particular that I look up to for business purposes, but I stalk a lot of juice bar pages, to see how I want my brand shown. My Godmom was a perfectionist, she passed away and is my inspiration. Philly also has a lot of female entrepreneurs that are doing their thing and inspire me to go harder at my craft even though we are in different fields. In the most humble of ways, I look up to myself. I believe I’m a good person and always work to build myself up.
What does providing a juice bar for the community mean to you?
It means a lot. I want it to be accessible. I want it to be exceptional. I see that in most Black communities, people do not have access to healthy life-giving foods. I know when I don’t eat well, I don’t feel well. How do they expect us to be happy and vibrant, when we don’t eat good? I like when someone who comes in and doesn’t know what a beet is, comes back and tells me that they feel energized and clear. That does something for me. I feel like I made juicing cool to a lot of community members and to my online following. I know I’m helping people to be a little more health conscious and that makes me feel good.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as a business owner? The best decision you’ve made?
I’m impulsive and move off of impulse. Certain decisions I could have thought out more. But as a business owner, your mistakes are learning lessons. So I’m not too hard on myself about those decisions. The best decision I’ve made is believing in myself. I know that sounds cliche. With the store, I didn't think I was going to pull it off. As I reached each hurdle and crossed it off my checklist, I was proud. When it came to the health department application, I thought I was going to fail. It was extensive and cumbersome, but I did it. (continued in full interview)
What is the ‘Juiced by B’ Experience?
Even though I can’t perfect everything, the team and I do a really good job with providing a clean and quality experience. Everyone is greeted when they walk in and there is an explanation of products. We’ve established so many regulars. I’m in a good mood most of the time, and I’m a talker. The staff is nice and bubbly, and we provide a friendly family experience. We always want the customer to return and get the same service, and I want them to feel like we appreciate their service, because we do.
(TO EXPERIENCE THE FULL INTERVIEW, CHECK OUT THE DIGITAL OR PRINT VERSION OF SATISFY'S SPR VOL 1 ISS 1 ISSUE)