VoyageATL Interview

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Radford.

Brittany, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have always been the type of person who genuinely wants to see people happy. It could be the Cancer in me, but I love happy feelings! I’ve been in fine dining for roughly nine years and have grown to enjoy giving a fine dining experience to each and every guest. It’s just something about knowing you have a chance to provide an impressable experience to numerous people and witnessing the joy they have when receiving it. Father’s Day 2020, I was thinking of things I could get my pops and nothing really was coming to mind. Then it hit me, I could make him a gift box! It would have different products inside that go together to create an experience. He’s always working and constantly on the move so ideally, I wanted to make him one to help relax for at least one day.

Since we were at a climax in the BLM movement and small businesses were suffering from Covid-19, I decided to go one step further and make the box people of color driven. It will give people a chance to support Black-Owned businesses, keep the dollars in our community, and ultimately grow. With so many minority businesses, I couldn’t just settle with doing one box. I needed one for different themes. Which birth the concept of ESSIEREE. The name ESSIEREE pays homage to my grandmother, who adopted and raised me at the age of two after my mother passed. Through the years, I’ve enjoyed her many forms of expression when she discovers something new. Her readiness and eagerness to learn about new items, recipes, businesses, and concepts led me to create a platform to help people discover emerging excellence.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Far from it. Since I’m still in the start-up phase, I am constantly learning new laws, terms, and information. Not to mention the emotional wave and the additional fees that come along with a business. Mental hurdles have been obstacles I’ve faced since starting my business. Being overwhelmed to the point where I just sit and shed a tear or two because I can’t see a clear path discourages me. I’ve wanted to walk away so many times but realized that I’m further than I was when I started. The first couple of obstacles didn’t stop me neither will this one. It’s not supposed to be easy, if it were everyone would be doing it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can pivot at a low point once you remember your why. Take the obstacles as they come, learn from them, and move on.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Birthed from Covid-19, ESSIEREE was founded in 2020. Trillions of dollars are spent from the African- American community, yet a small percentage ends back up in the community. I curate people of color products and handpick items I deem to be beneficial for each themed box. ESSIEREE is a one-stop-shop to support people of color, keep the dollars in the community, discover new brands, and experience emerging excellence! A box of ESSIEREE chosen products will surely provide you with a quality experience and introduce you to new brands you can follow and support. My desire to help support minority businesses sets me apart from others and it’s what I’m most proud of.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The E-commerce industry had already begun to take off, but due to the virus, it has definitely seen a greater spike. Online shopping took over 2020 and has not looked back. It’ll be a constant growth but eventually, everything will be done online from the convenience of your home. Which will also lead to more e-commerce businesses. I say give it five years, brick and mortars will not be officially gone, but online purchasing will definitely be much higher.

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Article Credit: VoyageATL