All Articles Tagged "entrepreneurs"

Branding Tips For 2016: The Kimora Lee Simmons Way

December 31st, 2015 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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Moms, what will you do differently in 2016 with your personal brand and career? Are you ready to get uncomfortable by channeling your ultimate authenticity? Have you had enough of the same results each year and ready to start believing in your magic? I know I am.

Enter Kimora Lee Simmons, the hardest working mom in Hollywood. KLS is 40, a mom of four, newly married, a savvy entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, producer, top model, television personality and–most importantly–the ultimate #resetter as it relates to rebranding and challenging herself to push the envelope.

kls1images courtesy of

So, what is branding, anyway? Simply defined – branding is a consistent experience you (enter name), give off each time you interface with a person or client. Just think of yourself as a delish order of fries from McDonalds, it simply never lets you down no matter what. Can you say the same for your brand?

Just last year Simmons, our favorite brand mom, announced that she was ready for a new challenge and was going to shape-shift her brand by launching KLS Kimora Lee Simmons, a collection of clean, tailored and taut designer ready-to-wear (prices range from $500 to $2,400) that reflects a new phase of her life. “When people look at this they say, ‘Oh, this is Kimora when she was 12 or 13 at Chanel,’” she told WWD, referring to her teenage modeling days, when she was famously plucked from Missouri and put on the Paris runways. “I didn’t have on makeup when I was at Givenchy and Saint Laurent. I worked with the greatest people in the business and this is more back to that person.” Word.


Life is always changing – if we listen to self, commit to dreaming big and tapping into our inner power we can rebrand, redesign and press reset for the next phase of our life. 2016, here we come!

Let’s learn a few rebranding tips from KLS for 2016:

  1. Be authentically you! Enough said.
  2. Embrace change. Manage the ups and downs of your lifestyle (divorce, career, stress, family) with class.
  3. Upgrade your style for 2016. Define your signature look and work it like a rock star.
  4. Diversify your business portfolio. Create an international marketing/pr plan for your business/brand and go for it. Think huge and don’t be afraid to put your face on the product.
  5. Empower the next generation of entrepreneurs. It’s important to groom our children — teach them everything and make certain they understand the business.
  6. Claim it fiscally! It’s not how you start; it’s what you do with the knowledge you have. Start to make changes towards a better life financially.
  7. Make love to your thoughts. Each word, sentence and prose you utter will impact your outlook; make them strong, sexy, and righteous.

Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert and Brand Mom, provides entrepreneurs, corporations and mompreneurs with essential branding, marketing and public relations coaching. Follow Karen @thebrandnewmom.

Entrepreneur PreMadonna: LHHATL And Family, Part 2

December 17th, 2015 - By MommyNoire Editor
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by Nadine Graham

On Monday, we started our chat with Entrepreneur PreMadonna, best know as the woman who launched the Waist Gang Society, as she offers tons of wisdom, fun and learning from her journey. Check out Part 1 here and read along as we dive into balancing work and family, finding love and Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

MN: How hectic is your daily schedule? And how are your two boys dealing with it?

PreMadonna: I’m super busy from day to day. My sons are fine. They’ll be the wealthiest men in the world with a mama like me. They like it. It’s cool to them. So as long as they like it, I love it.

I make time for everything that needs to be made time for but I’m also showing them substance. A lot of young men don’t understand that. When we do what we do, they can see ‘Okay, I’ve seen my mom and my stepdad work hard, so that’s what I need to do.’ I think your kids should see the grind. I don’t think you should hold them all day. I don’t think you should take them to the park every single day. You make the time so that when they can go with you they appreciate it more. They appreciate life and everything about life. They can appreciate value and you putting substance in their minds. Like, ‘okay I can’t go to the park today, but when I can go to the park, I’m going to utilize everything! I’m going to get on the monkey bars. The slide. Because I know mama is not going to be here until next week again.’

MN: How do you maintain? Judging from Instagram, it seems like you cook everyday, even with everything you have going on.

PreMadonna: If I can’t find a babysitter, I’m putting them in the car with me. And I have to cook the way I do, because my kids have to eat. You can’t just feed them McDonald’s and Burger King all day. You have to give them their flavors so that they know how food is supposed to taste and they won’t just eat from anybody.

MN: So with Love and Hip Hop Atlanta… They threw you directly into the fire for your first show. How are you dealing with reality TV?

PreMadonna: It’s cool. It’s cool. I did exactly what I was supposed to do and what everyone else should be doing, which is: recognizing the platform and utilizing it. I’m going there to rap, I showed you what I do. Go ahead and broadcast your business… But I think people get confused when I say that because people literally broadcast their business. No, I mean broadcast your business like my waist trainers. Not how me and my husband sleep at night. It’s just a platform.

Whatever level you on mentally I feel that’s how you deal with it.

MN: I’d like to go back to your business. Can you describe your toughest experience while you were on the come-up?

PreMadonna: I remember being hospitalized for dehydration and exhaustion. I was working by myself and I’m not the type of person… When I was doing it before, I had to learn early on that, you know, you do so many things and no one can do it how you want it or up to your standards. I didn’t have the patience to deal with anybody doing something wrong. I had packages that needed to be shipped. I was shipping to Paris, Italy and Rome from my apartment.

I even had my kids helping me at times until they got ready to go to sleep so they knew how to work. And what’s so hard about your children putting a label on a package? So I was packaging a thousand orders, then dropping my kids off to school, and I was going to college at the time so I would be headed to school after that. I had a lot to do. I didn’t sleep much, but I don’t miss those days. I’m sleeping now.

MN: You’re to be married in a few months too, is that right?

PreMadonna: Yup. Waiting on the dress. That’s the most important part you know! [laughs]

MN: How’d you find love while building a business? Your life sounds like it was pretty full already.

PreMadonna: The thing about me and my fiance is that we started off as friends. We never stopped being friends. We’re friends more than we’re lovers actually and I think that’s what’s most important, next to everything else. Because when you’re friends, you can talk about anything. Love is a deep emotional state and sometimes people in love can’t see the benefit for the greater good that their relationship needs. So we never stop being friends. We joke, we laugh and truth be told when we were friends before, I didn’t even like him when I met him. He didn’t like me either. His first words to me were: ‘You so wild. You need to calm down.’ The side that you guys see in me now, this more mature side, he played a big part in me becoming this.

MN: So he didn’t like you and you…

PreMadonna: I didn’t like anything about him. We were two different people. I remember saying that I couldn’t stand his ass. Then one day I called him and we were just talking and I was asking him for advice about my guy friends and everything. We were just talking and talking and I don’t know where the switch came but we just clicked. We were only friends for maybe three months before then, but we were like best friends.

We were on the phone all the time and he would just listen to me and my crazy ideas. It’s really hard to find a man that’s not only going to listen to you, but support you. You have to understand that coming into a relationship as an independent woman is very, very hard. It’s hard to find a man as equally yoked as you mentally. And I’m not talking about financially speaking, you can find a man with more money than you, but they have to be mentally there with you.

MN: Talk about what it means to find a man who isn’t intimidated by your goals. When you two met, you were already raising two sons on your own, working on your music and building onto your business.

PreMadonna: It’s like if you have a car and you have a key, but the key is not the right fit for the car, then the car won’t go. You guys have to click. If you have ambition, you have to find someone else with ambition also. It’s not going to work otherwise. You’re going to drain him or he’s going to drain you. Because if he doesn’t have any ambition then you’re moving too fast for him. Or if you don’t have any ambition then he’s moving too fast for you. Everything has to be mutual.

Someone with ambition is not sane to the average person, so people will really think that there is something wrong with your ass walking around the house saying, ‘I’m going to make this! I’m going to be 500 million dollars richer one day!’ He’ll look at you like ‘What?’ It just wouldn’t work. And it would bring you down.

Check out PreMadonna’s Waist Gang Society products here and spot her on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop on Mondays at 8 pm EST.

Entrepreneur PreMadonna: Her Waist Gang Society

December 16th, 2015 - By MommyNoire Editor
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by Nadine Graham

PreMadonna found her niche without really even looking for it. The 20-something-year-old Miami native sort of fell into the waist training industry back in 2008 after the birth of her second son. The successful entrepreneur turned her door-to-door business into a booming multi-million dollar company, garnering the cosigns of everyone from the Kardashian sisters to Amber Rose.

These days the head of the Waist Gang Society is also trying to kick off her rap career while starring in the latest installment of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta with her new fiance Buck, a major player behind-the-scenes in the city’s music industry. Clearly, waist trainers aren’t her only hustle. Although there have been many who’ve tried to duplicate her product, PreMadonna is already on to the next thing having found love, a prosperous business and a way into the hip-hop circle. Here, MommyNoire speaks with the young mother about what it means to be a busy business woman all the while holding it down at home.

MommyNoire: What got you into the business of selling waist trainers?

PreMadonna: I had two sons and after I had the second one my stomach was really big. I just didn’t like how I looked so I decided to come up with some products and I just figured it out.

MN: How did you start selling them to other women?

PreMadonna: At first, in Miami, I would just go to the doctors’ offices or walk around. I would stand outside of businesses and solicit. It was like a nine to five. I did it all the time.

MN: But for it to blow up the way it has…

PreMadonna: When I was walking around doing it, it was different. It wasn’t the internet, people had to see a physical presence. I was this lady walking around with waist trainers, outside of clubs or where ever else I knew that women were going to be.

It took three to four months from that point until Instagram came out. Instagram was new and I didn’t even have an iPhone. If you remember when Instagram first came out you couldn’t get it unless you had an iPhone. I had an Android so I wasn’t familiar with it. It was a little Metro PCS phone. I decided that I had to get an iPhone because I knew that there were celebrities and all of that on Instagram.

Once I got the iPhone I didn’t even know how to work it but that’s how I started. On Instagram. My first post was something like ‘Ask me how to lose 3 inches from your waist.’

MN: So you ended up relaunching the company then?

PreMadonna: I founded my company in 2009 but I revamped it in 2012.

MN: How did you know there was even a market for something like these waist trainers in this day and age?

PreMadonna: I had my son in 2008 and I had gotten tired of people asking me what I used or where I got it from without making myself some money. That’s how I came up with it. Because I would get harassed. So it was like, ‘Instead of me just telling you, why don’t I sell it to you?’ And it worked.

At first, two sales a day was good for me. I could pay some bills with that. I figured if I could sell five trainers in a week, I would be fine. It started to grow faster once I got on Instagram. Even in MySpace days, I was doing it then as well. It was just something I was doing it wasn’t a career goal at first. But once I saw the results and that it was really working I said ‘okay I have to take this seriously.’

MN: Now it seems like they’re everywhere though. Even at kiosks in the mall.

PreMadonna: Mine aren’t the same as theirs. We have independent resellers but mine are different from others in the market because we use different products and of course there are certain trade secrets that are undisclosed. If you get their waist trainers and then look at mine, there’s a difference in the “ingredients.”

MN: One of the criticisms is that they aren’t safe. They aren’t good for your back. So on…

PreMadonna: Well… How do I look? I’m sitting here, I’m not coiled over. I’m walking correctly. Actually, back in the day I used to have scoliosis so for people that say ‘it’s not good for you,’ that’s a lie, because it cleared out my scoliosis. It corrects your posture. As women we don’t stand straight up, we might slouch a little. Even as you get older, you know as you age, you might get that hunchback effect, but this waist trainer corrects it. It’s like standing in heels all day without having heels on. Its a medical garment. It doesn’t hurt.

MN: You have creams too, right?

PreMadonna: We have a slimming cream that when you wear it… Like, one is the lipo cream. You rub this one on and it helps you perspire more so you can lose that waist.

MN: Do you remember the struggle of trying to get your business off the ground? Seems like you’re far past that now.

PreMadonna: It took a long time. It did, but it doesn’t seem like it. When you’re doing something you love, the time really just went by, at first it was just like, ‘Okay, I need to pay some bills’ and then once I started to love what I was doing, of course time started to fly by. I love to make women feel good about themselves. I love making men feel like ‘oh my gosh, she’s tricking me with this.’ I made it cool to wear a girdle because if you remember, there was a time when women were embarrassed to even say they wore a girdle.

Read Part 2 of this interview tomorrow!

Check out PreMadonna’s Waist Gang Society products here and spot her on VH1’s Love and Hip Hop on Mondays at 8 pm EST.

Building Your Brand: Your Words Matter

October 22nd, 2015 - By Karen Taylor Bass
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You are stupid! That statement can defeat the strongest person and yet many people hear that about themselves from others daily. Stop accepting and receiving weak words. Words matter. The words we utter to ourselves and receive from others is crucial to take ones personal brand from defeat to triumph.

Start branding yourself with love, power, grace, gratitude, blessings, sanity, health and moxie. Forget about the negativity – you don’t need to incorporate those words – trust me – someone else will attempt to bring you down. Feel me?

As a woman, mother, wife, friend, sister and PR Coach – I try my best to use “action” words to empower all to do their best and believe they can do the impossible. Ask yourself, who is your cheerleader? Who feeds you supercharged words while allowing you to feel authentic and vulnerable? For most of us, we can’t find anyone to cheer us on, and that’s why we must start being our own number one cheerleader each day and moment.

Firstly, start using a new set of powerful vocabulary words. Secondly, repeat several times during the day a new mantra: I am powerful, blessed, uniquely authentic and believe that my big break is right around the corner. I receive God’s grace.

Finally, take a moment and pledge to shower yourself with unconditional love no matter what. Words and a positive attitude can change your outlook, thoughts and provide the breakthrough in life. Before you get out of bed each morning, tell yourself how grateful you are to be given another chance to live.

Assignment: Words matter. Take a moment and select four words each week to incorporate into your personal branding arsenal. Here are a few motivating words to get you started – beautiful, gifted, loved, divinely unique and imperfect. Say it, believe it, shout it, write it and practice each day. Words matter and you have the power to start a new vocabulary list celebrating brand you.

Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert and Brand Mom provide entrepreneurs, corporations, and mompreneurs with essential branding, marketing, and public relations coaching. Follow Karen @thebrandnewmom on Twitter.

Exclusive Interview: HGTV Host Egypt Sherrod On Her Career Path, Part 1

September 17th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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As the host of HGTV’s hit show “Property Virgins” for the past five years, with a new show “Flipping Virgins” on deck, it’s an understatement to say Egypt Sherrod knows her way around buying a home. She not only comes from a family of real estate brokers, she’s been an agent herself for years as the founder of the national real estate concierge company, The Egypt Sherrod Real Estate Group, where she’s helped hundreds of families achieve the dream of owning their own home.

Appealing to all property enthusiasts – from first home owners to long term investors – Egypt educates and mentors clients and viewers alike on their investments with genuine care and expertise.

Not your Momma’s realtor, Egypt is also an award-winning broadcast talent, known as the former host of NY’s Power 105.1 morning show and a range of other popular stations around the country, including V103. Giving her an edge that makes her stand apart from others in the industry, Egypt has mass appeal.

With all that she does, Egypt still found the time to sit and chat with Mommynoire about her life, career and future. We think you’ll be inspired, too.

Mommynoire: Tell us how you got your start in real estate.

I’ll try to make a long story short. I come from a family of real estate brokers, and so you can imagine thanksgiving dinners. When I was young I wanted to do something entirely different so I went into radio, which kinda explains my career path. But as I got older and wiser, I realized you have to do smarter things with that money and I grew up knowing that real estate was the foundation of wealth. When I was in my very early 20’s, with my savings, I got an investment property and flipped it. I was successful in doing that and I did it again, and again. A big part of what was going out the window was commissions I had to pay to real estate agents, so I decided to get my real estate license.

What happened next?

My intention was to sell and market my own properties after I flipped them, but I got bit by the real estate bug. I loved it and what was going to be just a side-hustle turned into a passion of mine, and it’s been both real estate and radio in tandem for many years, right in Newark, New Jersey.

And how did you get to Georgia where you now live and where “Property Virgins” tapes?

Truly, it was a holistic move. I’d been in New York City for a while, over 13 years. When I made the decision, I had already been thinking about it for a year but I was then pregnant and my Aha! moment when I was stuck in traffic, sitting in the same spot at the Lincoln Tunnel. And I said, once my baby is born, what if I need to get to my baby and I can’t? I love new York, but it was not conducive to work-life balance and I wanted a better quality of life. I was ready to start a new chapter in my life where I could have some level of balance. I got a offer to work at a radio station in Atlanta, so I went to the HGTV executives and they jumped for joy at the idea because they wanted to shoot elsewhere as well, and Atlanta was such a hot an popping place for real estate.

Sounds like it was meant to be…

Yes, in my first year here I got situated with my real estate business in Georgia, I was shooting the “Property Virgins,” and working on the radio all at the same time. We’re very happy here, but funny enough I find myself in New York two or three times a month.

Selling homes is hard, is selling homes on TV harder?

Ummm, no. (laughs) I jumped at the opportunity and felt like it was a gift from God to finally have a platform that shows all the different sides of me. People knew me from the radio, some people knew me as a real estate agent. So here was an opportunity to put my broadcasting experience together with my real estate experience to help empower people to become homeowners. Everything seems harder when people don’t know how to do it, but once they understand the process, it’s simplified.

Check in tomorrow for Part 2 of this interview where Egypt talks about being a mompreneur, managing her own household, and her tips from home buying as a parent.

24 Fab Work-From-Home Outfits

September 14th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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We work hard at looking pulled together Monday through Friday when headed to the office, but what happens when you work at home all week?

If you work from the comfort of your home office, kitchen table or couch, we know how tempting it is to slack off a bit when it comes to getting your style together. You’re not alone. We were there too at one time — sitting at the computer while rocking the same pants two days in a row and wearing a baseball cap to cover our hair sins.

It’s time for an upgrade and Mommynoire is here to help.

Being comfortable when you work at home is key because you probably have to run some errands in between and there’s always the after-school carpooling to get you out of the house. But you also probably have to hop on Skype for a meeting with your staff. There’s no reason we can’t be both cute and comfortable. Here are a few work at home outfits to step up your style game.



Bold Blazer: The blazer is a handy go-to piece. Ideally, you have a solid black to pair with everything and then something unexpected like a polka dot or floral print (above). A piece like this is easy to pair with boyfriend jeans and flats or amp things up with stilettos and some fabulous jewelry for a meeting or lunch appointment.



Jumpsuit/ Romper: This is the epitome of comfortable and chic. You’ll find many a celeb mama rocking this look on their “off” days and doing it well. The beauty of this piece is that it’s an outfit in and of itself so besides a few accessories you don’t really need to do much to look good in it. Your best bet is to find a jumpsuit that is slightly fitted but not too snug. You want to give off an effortless vibe and if you’re constantly tugging at the waist or pulling the ankles down you’ll just look like you’re trying too hard.



Loose pants: In a variety of bold prints and bright colors, you can easily update your work at home wardrobe to casual chic with a pair of these trousers. Paired with t-shirts, crop tops and lady-like blouses, these bottoms will have you feeling fabulously relaxed. The beauty of these pants is that they pair well with almost any shoe and can take you anywhere you need to go. We hooked them up with heels, but hello, Nike Air Max.



Dressy Joggers: In keeping with the working at home-yet-cute theme, these pants are everything a woman dreams of… We all know most of our sweatpants are totally unacceptable to be worn in public but these pants are begging to be taken out for an afternoon. They easily translate to an evening on the town as well. Paired with a simple v-neck or tank and sandals, you have the perfect outfit for an afternoon of coffee meetings and carpools. Add fun heels and a classic jacket and you’re off to dinner with your love!



Midi skirt: The perfect lady-like length no matter your height, these skirts are the ultimate for glamming up your work at home wear. They look stunning paired with a simple tee and statement jewelry for when you have work meetings or an event to attend, and can still feel super casual when combined with a lady-like blouse and strappy flat sandals.

Enter Our “Be The Boss” Contest For A Chance To Win A Free Makeover From African Pride

August 24th, 2015 - By Raven Carter
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Are you a woman who’s about her business or know someone who is? We want to hear from you!

MadameNoire is providing two women a chance to win a makeover by African Pride for sharing their story of their journey to becoming a boss with us. To get your name in the running, upload a video of yourself or a family or friend you want to nominate to Facebook or Instagram explaining how this person is a boss why they should be picked for the makeover and be sure to use #BeTheBossMN hashtag. Then send an email with the following:

– subject headline: #BeTheBossMN Contest Entry
– Link to your video on FB/Instagram
– headshot of the person nominated
– Full name
– Age
– Location
– A short paragraph explaining why the nominee should win the makeover

When uploading your videos to Instagram and Facebook, please make sure the privacy settings are public or we will not be able to see your entry.

Check out the video above for more details and good luck!

Nomad Life: 15 Careers You Can Do On The road

July 9th, 2015 - By Rich
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These fifteen careers you can do on the road will have you working and traveling in no time! Take note that they span across the fields of technology, education, art, writing and medical.

Nomad Life: 15 Careers You Can Do On The road

Bold & Brave!: How to Step Up Your Game & Shine at Work

June 9th, 2015 - By Kay Hudson
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Let’s talk about standing your ground and understanding your worth. There’s a saying that “fortune favors the bold.” This is especially true when it comes to finding your voice, living your purpose, and answering your calling.

Just like you, many of my coaching clients want to know how to be more bold when it comes to work. I am telling you like I tell them, you “got” this.

This is your time. Today is your moment.

Stop waiting for a seat at the table to lean in. I am the daughter of immigrants, the many times great descendent of African survivors. If there is no seat at the table, I am building my own. I invite you to do the same.

You have everything it takes to succeed. In my Spiritpreneur School podcast, I have the honor of interviewing powerful women entrepreneurs who are making their mark in the world. These women are gurus in diverse fields but they have one BIG thing in common. They are each bold, brave, and courageously brazen in their own ways.

Here are 5 ways that you can be more bold and brave to shine at work:

(Please note: After reading this, please take action)

  1. Stop being half-assed.

Always do what you say you are going to do. If you are procrastinating, you either don’t really want it or don’t believe you deserve to have it. Are you late? Sloppy? Unprepared? Making excuses?

Step your game up. Make the commitment to go for it. Success doesn’t happen in a day. Create a plan and make it happen. If you need more knowledge, get it. Rock what you’re doing so that you are irreplaceable. Instead of talking about it, be about it.

  1. Cultivate a courageous attitude of success.

You are the only one who can decide your worth. Yes, of course you have fears. You are human. Most of us fear success or failure. This is no excuse to continue in a state of mediocrity.

If you are at a company or have clients that you feel don’t know your worth, realize that you chose them. You created the situation you’re in. See yourself as a winner and a victor, rather than a victim.

If you need to create an exit plan, do so. Meanwhile, treat your current situation as if it is the best gift on earth. Approach it with gratitude. Expect things to work out for you. You want to be aligned with things working out for the best.

  1. Speak up for yourself.

Speaking up for yourself doesn’t mean being nasty or defensive. Speaking from a place of “why me” or “I never win” is coming from a place of victimhood. Whenever you are standing in your victimhood, you are not standing in your power.

Know that no one can take from you what they didn’t give you. What I mean by this is that no one can take your worth from you. A queen is dignified, gracious, and knows that she wears the crown.

Be clear in your yeses and never be afraid to say no. Whether you’re asking for a raise, new title, be decisive, clear, and bold.

  1. Believe that success is a choice.

So is fear. Have a success mindset. Make choices based on the outcome you want.

If you want to be an executive, dress and carry yourself like an executive now. Act as if you are right now the person you want to be. This is different from a “fake it til you make it” mentality. instead, act as if.

  1. Always have a clear and bold mission statement.

Have a clear mission statement and personal brand whether you work for someone else or yourself. Instead of being jealous and envious of the success of others, create your own.

Rock on! Success looks good on you.

Abiola Abrams, the Midwife for Your Inspired Life, is the author of the award-winning “Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love” and founder of the Sacred Business Academy’s “Become the Guru Bootcamp” for business bombshells. Get Abiola’s free Self-Worth Kit at

Mompreneur: Designer Elizabeth Arthur Talks Kimimi Swimwear

June 3rd, 2015 - By Rich
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Ladies, summer time and beach vacations are approaching and you know what that means for many moms – swimwear shopping. For some, oh the joys of putting on that sexy one piece that showcases our curves – and for others, swimwear shopping can be a nightmare – simply because it is often hard to find sizes that compliment full-bodied curves. Here enters entrepreneur Elizabeth Arthur, the founder of Kimimi Swimwear, which is a fabulous line of beachwear attire that compliments every woman, in all of her diverse and butterfly splendor. I had the opportunity to chat with the mompreneur about her inspiration, her line, and most importantly the balancing act of being a mother and a business woman.

Designer Elizabeth Arthur Talks Kimimi Swimwear

Mommynoire: Elizabeth, you are buzzing in the fashion-world with your butterfly inspired swimwear line Kimimi Swimwear – can you give Mommynoire readers insight into your journey?

Elizabeth Arthur: I am from the Caribbean and I am always at the sea. When I used to shop for swimwear, I could never find the perfect fit.  There was always something wrong to me. So I decided that I wanted to make swimsuits that a woman of any body type could wear. And that’s why I related it to butterflies. I never saw a butterfly that was the same color. I applied that to women. We are not all the same, but we are beautiful in our own way. That is what inspired me.

Mommynoire: How long did it take you to get your swimwear off the ground? When did it become real to you that this is what you wanted to do?

Elizabeth Arthur: It was three years ago. Other than me being a business woman, I had a 9-to-5. I always wanted to have my own business. I always wanted to have my own thing for myself. I wanted to share my own ideas.

Mommynoire: What resources did you get to help launch it?

Elizabeth Arthur: In the beginning, I thought I could do it all on my own. Then I met a friend and he gave me ideas and advice about what I needed to do to get out there. After speaking to him and learning what my brother went through running a business, it helped me to create my brand.

Mommynoire: When you decided to do the line, were you sketching earlier? How did you choose fabrics?

Elizabeth Arthur: When I started – I did the typical go into New York City Fashion District. I was just finding fabrics on my own. I wanted to find the best stretch fabric for certain body types, because the plus size woman would not be able to wear certain fabrics. Actually, I would go to the fabric store and pick different swatches and take them home.  One step at a time I decided that I would find this manufacturer and I would see what he could do with my sketches. Once I found the right manufacturer, he just took my sketches and made it come alive.

Mommynoire: Once you got your swimwear line off the ground, what strategies did you use to put it out in the marketplace? Did you do fashion shows or did you reach out to your peers in the industry?

Elizabeth Arthur: Three years ago when I started, I did not know too much about launching my swimwear, so I decided to have a little fashion show, which didn’t go too well. It was the beginning and it was a learning process. With that experience, my friends recommended a publicist. They encouraged me to speak about what my goals were. Once I got in contact with the publicist that I wanted to work with, which is Syreta Oglesby, she helped me with another launch in the city. She helped me with social media – and things were good.

Mommynoire: Looking back, what are some challenges that you faced? And what advice would you give to our moms who are trying to pursue their dreams?

Elizabeth Arthur: One of the challenges that I had was getting my stuff out there. Truly, you want people to know about your products, because you love what you do. That was a major challenge of mine. I did all of my business out of pocket. I didn’t look for an investor. It is so challenging when you have to do everything out of pocket.

Mommynoire: What are some of the benefits that you are now enjoying now that you have launched?

Elizabeth Arthur: Some of the pros are – I feel independent. I am doing things that I know that I can take to the next level. It motivates me to do more.

Mommynoire: Where do you see yourself a year from now?

Elizabeth Arthur: A year from now I would love to see myself in small boutiques. I know you can’t start too large – you have to start small. I want to travel more now to the beach and see what opportunities are there.

Mommynoire: You are a parent. How is it balancing both of these worlds.

Elizabeth Arthur: It’s very tough, mostly due to the finances. You have a dream and you want to succeed, but you have to take care of your home and everything else. But once you set your mind to it – you can do anything.

Follow IG: @kimimiswimwear