Q&A: Tobi Brown, Founder of Curated Brilliance®
1. In a few sentences tell us a little about your business — the clients you serve and the services you provide.
Curated Brilliance® is a high-touch consultancy that supports entrepreneurs, event producers, and influencers. We partner with our clients to create impactful marketing and communications messages, meaningful events, and collaborative partnerships that allow all parties to grow through collaboration. Curated Brilliance provides customized solutions to each client, since each business we serve has a unique value proposition and ideal audience.
2. Describe the moment you decided to start your business and what was the inspiration behind it?
The idea for Curated Brilliance® came to me initially on a sleepless night in 2015. I had a sense that there was a life transition coming and that I would need to be prepared to create a vehicle whereby I could serve others, leverage my skills, and earn revenue. For the next 2 and a half years, I operated in fear and grappled with doubt that I should take the risk. I wasn’t the only person benefiting from my stable paycheck. At some point, after I experienced a life-threatening health scare, I decided that I did not want to experience the regret of not listening to my inner voice about becoming an entrepreneur. I have experienced both regrets and failures in life. Regret, by far, is worse.
3. All great businesses, at their core, are providing solutions to life’s challenges. What challenges does your business aim to solve for your customers/clients?
A lot of clients are so close to what they are creating that they do not talk about it in a way that is objective enough for others to understand the values of what they’re bringing to the marketplace. I am able to come in and provide objective guidance on messaging, brand story, images, and all the ways that the product, service, or event experience is presented to its target audience. So, by the power of words, images, messaging, etc, I make it easier for my clients to get a yes from their ideal customers.
I also recognize how challenging it can be for really great ideas to get in front of the people who are willing to pay for them. Even the best wordsmithing doesn’t result in significant conversions if it’s not delivered to the right audience. This can be especially challenging for new business, or those with small advertising budgets.
I help to connect small businesses with influencers who can highlight products, services, and events to their audiences. Fortunately there are some people with larger platforms who are willing to offer reasonable rates to showcase what small businesses owners have to offer. Cherie Johnson, who a lot of people know from her acting jobs on popular TV shows like Punky Brewster and Family Matters, is someone who has over 139,000 followers and frequently highlights small businesses and entrepreneurs on her platforms. I negotiate influencer agreements as part of my services. I worked with an IP Attorney, Ozelle Martin, to craft a comprehensive contract that I use to create influencer marketing packages.
4. What does being a founder/entrepreneur mean to you?
Trust. I trust myself, my abilities & gifts, and the internal pull that I experienced to step into this space. I have to remind myself that I’ve known that this, entrepreneurship, is my path since I was a little kid. I will walk in this thing I feel called to do, because I don’t want to get to the end of my life and regret not occupying the space that has always called to me.
5. We know that founders of color face a number of challenges in not only creating but successfully operating their own business. As efforts are made nationally and globally to address racial inequity across industries, what role do you believe founders of color can have?
To be ready to articulate your value proposition, to demonstrate the impact that you may have made already in the lives or businesses or your clients. Charge your worth. Learn to pitch. Treat your little business like a big business. These are things that I’ve learned from Monica. I’d also add that founders must learn to work together to leverage each other’s strengths. Support each other. Recycle some dollars within a group of trusted alliances who offer complementary services that allow your clients to experience greater levels of success. The right, carefully vetted collaborations can be the tide that lifts all boats.
6. Is there a founder of color, historically or present day, who inspires you? And why?
I am inspired by every founder of color who has grown up in an environment of socio-economic disparity, institutionalized bias, and workplace discrimination and STILL decide to attempt to build a wealth creating vehicle for themselves, their families, and their communities. The faith, boldness, and intestinal fortitude required is inspiring.
7. What’s your one piece of advice to someone who dreams of becoming a founder/entrepreneur?
It is far better to take action on your dream than to be immobilized by fear. At the end of the day, I think it’s regret, not fear, that makes us wish that we had made different choices.
Learn more about Curated Brilliance® by visiting their website: curatedbrilliance.com.