3 YEARS IN - Birthday Blog

Pop the Champagne and que Beyonce, June is Be Rooted’s birthday month! In honor of our 3rd birthday, I wanted to reflect on why I started this company and what I have learned in the process. After 3 amazing years, Be Rooted is far from the little brand I started at the desk in my Charlotte apartment. Our brand has grown, our community has flourished and even through the ups and downs of establishing a company during the pandemic, I am grateful for every step along this journey of owning a business. 

It’s no secret that Be Rooted has some die-hard supporters that keep our brand growing and my ideas fresh. From the love y’all show on social media to the support you give in all of our Target stores- Be Rooted would not be who we are today without our community. When I started this brand, I never dreamed that it would take off like it has. While I feel so accomplished for all of the amazing things that we’ve been able to do during the last 3 years, I feel most excited about where the brand is heading in the next few years to come. As a business owner, staying inspired within the chaos of building and running a company is often tough. While I would love to sit and journal all of my crazy ideas all day, I find myself constantly trying to balance the logistics of running a company and managing a team. No one day is the same, and I am so grateful to all of the people who assist me day in and day out to make this company a success.

I started Be Rooted as an ode to inclusivity and representation in stationery and lifestyle products. Growing up, I was the girl who had a notebook for absolutely everything. Pretty journals and planners were my gift of choice and my infatuation grew as I got older. Planning, organization and journaling brought me so much peace during my teenage years and while I loved all of the products, I wanted to feel connected to the stationery brands that I was buying in the major stores. You see, I never felt seen or represented when I shopped for stationery products in the major retailers because none of the products highlighted other Black girls who also loved stationery and lifestyle products as much as I did. Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by “pretty” journals and planners that didn't feel like who I was or what I related to. Fast-forward to after I graduated from College, I knew that my calling was to create a stationery brand that featured girls who looked like me. I wanted Black girls to feel represented in the products I was creating so that they could receive the same feeling of connection and peace that I did within my own stationery obsession. What started as a Pandemic goal quickly grew into a flourishing brand that now sells a variety of stationery and lifestyle products in a few major retail stores.

If I had to reflect on 3 things I have learned within the last 3 years, I would say that:

  • Stay true to your vision- even if you do not see anybody else doing what you are trying to do

  • When I started Be Rooted, I was met with some criticism by “business experts” who believed that I could not create and sustain a profitable business by selling cool stationery products that featured Women of Color. When I would explain my vision for Be Rooted and our target customer, I was often met with skepticism about whether a brand that featured women of color would flourish within the stationery and lifestyle space. As I sit here and type this today, I am proud to say that not only has Be Rooted flourished beyond my wildest dreams, we are proudly sold in most major Target stores nationwide which is a major accomplishment for a brand that is under 5 years old.

  • Be clear on your why or else you will adopt someone else's

  • The mission of Be Rooted was always so much deeper than just selling pretty journals and planners. My mission to bolster inclusivity and representation for women of color in the stationery industry has always been authentic and because of that- I never felt like I needed to stray away from our brand’s vision and values. While I have often been tempted to branch into other lifestyle products that may have been more “profitable,” staying aligned with my original vision for the brand has kept me focused on why I started this company and who I started it for. Every product we create is mission aligned and purposeful and because of that, our brand has grown substantially within the last 3 years.

  • You can’t do everything alone, you are only as effective as your team and your community 

  • I don’t care how smart or talented you are as a business owner, you need a strong team to help you grow. Be Rooted would not be where it is today without the help and support of our team. From my family pitching in to pack orders, to my friends staying loyal to purchasing and sharing our products- I am so grateful to all of the people who support Be Rooted. My Creative team helps to keep me inspired beyond the logistics of the business and my logistics team keeps me grounded and focused on all of the goals we have ahead of us. Without a solid team, practicing self-care would be nearly impossible. 

    During the last 3 years, I have learned so much and I have grown personally and professionally in so many valuable ways. In the next 3 years, I hope to scale Be Rooted to an 7 or 8 figure company so that our mission of providing inclusivity and representation in the stationery industry can be fulfilled. I am truly so grateful for all of the love and support that you all have given the brand and I am excited to see what the future holds.

    Until next time