Name: Gracelyn Fraser
Company: Brown Sugar Beauti
How did you come up with the concept for the Brown Sugar Beauti Expo?
I worked as a credit analyst for nine years and always wanted to work in the beauty industry but did not want to go the traditional route of becoming a hairstylist or makeup artist. In 2010 I decided to create a beauty blog to reach out and connect with fellow beauty enthusiasts. As I started building my brand and going to more beauty events, I noticed that most events were limiting themselves to natural hair, skin care or hair extensions. I started thinking about a career and I knew that I wanted to host my own beauty event that catered to everyone. That is how the Brown Sugar Beauti Expo was born. The first event turned out over 38 vendors and 500 attendees, which garnered us a feature on Essence.com.
What advice can you give someone looking to leave corporate America and start their own company?
When you are working during the day you cannot give 100 percent of your energy to your business. You will have to put all of your time and energy toward your business on nights and weekends. It’s a balancing act, but you have to stay focused on your vision.
What upcoming events are you working on?
My plans are to expand past Houston to other cities. Our first stop will be in Chicago were we will host a pop-up beauty lounge in July and then on to Charlotte [North Carolina]. The third annual Brown Sugar Beauti expo will be held in Houston toward the end of the year and will feature new talent, new vendors, new sponsors, and our celebrated “beauty goodie buffet.” Instead of distributing a gift bag at the end of the event, the attendees can take a vendor bag and pick out what they want at the “beauty goodie buffet.” It has become one of our most popular stations at the expo and we acquire more products every year.
Take a look at the 2014 Brown Sugar Beauti Expo pics below.
For more information, visit http://brownsugarbeauti.com.