Isabella Barrett is a successful reality TV star who launched to fame after appearing in Toddlers & Tiaras and went on to become one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the USA by the time she was 9 years old. Now a teenager, she owns 5 brands and has dressed many of today’s top teen celebrities. Her fashion brand, House of Barretti, has appeared in New York Fashion Week twice, and has since branched out to include hair and skincare products. Most recently, Isabella has been filming for Amazon’s newest docu-series, Next Big Thing NYC, which follows eight teens on their quest to superstardom. Isabella is also part of the Young Entrepreneurs Association and has her first book coming out this year, titled Teen’s Guide to Business.
House of Barretti was founded by Barrett at the age of 9 in a mission to create luxury suits and custom apparel for the sophisticated teen and young adult. With luxury fabrics, a modern fit, and couture trims, House of Barretti has modernized the look and feel of the traditional suit. Its top-quality silk lining and active-length short and skirt options give a custom feel to the collection perfect for any teen or young adult looking to dress to impress in style and comfort. By 14, she had launched five businesses of her own.
We had the opportunity to speak with Isabella and learn more about her journey . Listen to the full audio interview below
Class of- 2018 graduated 2019 BA Public Relations minor Graphic Design
What inspired you to get started with music
I’ve always had a passion for music. My family always blasted music around the house. My first step into music was joining the children’s gospel choir at the of five. My vocal coach found me at church during my first solo and I began taking vocal lessons at 10 years old. I continued to grow in my art by being involved in extra curricular activities. I started writing my own songs at 13 without beats. I would just hear it in my head. While attending a performing arts high school, Lincoln Park I later met one of my producers, Rico Rich. I began recording songs at 16 and released my first EP at 18. By then I was a freshman at Howard. Entering Howard I majored in Jazz voice and changed my major to Public Relations the following year.
Most rewarding thing for you as an artist
The most rewarding thing for me as an artist is the honest feedback. When people I don’t know tag me in videos and singing my songs that makes me feel really good. I know that I’m doing something right. I always wanted my music to connect people.
If you could describe your style of music in three words, what would they be and why?
Three words to describe my style of music is soul, passion, and energy. When I sing I sing from the soul. My dad would always say “That girl got soul.” Passion, because you can hear how passionate I am about what I’m singing in my songs. I’m not singing just because I can. Lastly, the energy is always there. I’m a vibrant person with a lot of personality. Without a visual you can feel it. If you only heard my music and never seen my face that is what you’ll get.
How did your HBCU experience impact you as an artist ?
My HBCU experience impacted me so much. I walked in one way and came out another. I was good, but it made me better. The lessons that I learned outside classes were the most impactful. I’m so glad I went to Howard University and people will always know that. So many of the greats came out of Howard, and as the saying goes ‘if you can make it out of Howard you can make it anywhere.’ I’ll never take no for an answer, and ’ll never make excuses for myself.
Who are some of your musical influences?
My musical influences are Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Monica, and Missy Elliot. Honestly, the list goes on. Those are definitely some of my favorites. If we’re talking about writers that’s another conversation.
Where do you see yourself musically in the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months I can hear my music in constant rotation on radio stations. I see myself performing for larger crowds. I can also, see myself having songs written for other artist. I have a great pen.
To learn more about Saneit and stay updated on her upcoming music releases, Follow her social media profile below
It all started off with the way beats an instruments sounded to me. I started off as a heavy producer. Then I eventually found a talent in rapping. I love to use words to paint a picture over a nice beautiful beat
Most rewarding thing for you as an artist
The most rewarding thing for me as an artist would be gaining trust from listeners so that I can help them feel better through my music, while at the same time helping them have a good time. Gain a substantial amount of income from it as well. I want to be better than great and be one of the best ever.
If you could describe your style of music in three words, what would they be and why ?
Unpredictable- because the way that I write my music, you’re never gonna know what I’m going to say or how I am going to say it. That also keeps the listeners from being bored and intrigued throughout the entire song.
Fulfilling- Because of the sound of my voice is soothing along with my nice beat selections. I believe that I have a natural talent in knowing just want to say for all listeners ears to provide them with satisfaction on any topic of my choice
My music is powerfully,nonchalantly confident.
Disruptive – Disruptive in regards to doing things that the norm is not doing. The combination of my lyrics in the way that I write in between stanzas without having to yell speaks volumes.
Who are some of your musical influences
Kanye West, MF Doom, House Music, Jay Electronica, Common, Chance The Rapper, Instrumentals & almost ALL of the music from 70s 80s and 80s
Where do you see yourself musically in the next 12 months ?
I see myself 10 times bigger than what I am right now. I see my name being known in different states across the country. I see myself being very successful and working with some of my favorite artists in the industry
What are some of the obstacles you’ve had to endure and overcome we an independent artist ?
Some of the obstacles I guess would be doing a lot on my own. But, that’s initially mentally expected for me anyway because I understand that nobody’s going to do anything for me. It all starts with me. I can’t do anything without myself.
What is your take on the current state of hip hop music ?
Well hip-hop is about rap and soul to a nice beat. I consider today’s music to be filled with entertainers instead of hip-hop artists. There’s only a select few hip hoppers. There is an extreme lack of value in the content of today’s music
What can you your fans expect from you next ?
You can expect greatness. You can expect nonstop music. I won’t let up. More creative videos and music
To learn more about TMH High Chief visit his social media page below
Shelly Shelton is an author, entrepreneur and a 15 year veteran in Talent Acquisition with her full-time job. She also owns a full-cycle recruitment & staffing agency specializing in government, healthcare, construction, and transportation. Shelly is a well-known Powerful Women’s Empowerment & Corporate Focused Motivational Speaker, Accountability Specialist and Talent Acquisition Guru! Shelly coaches, trains, and motivates aspiring speakers, entrepreneurs, franchise owners, small business owners, students, and educators on how to create their special formula and strategy to success. She also teaches them how to speak their truth, how to use their story to catapult them to a new level professionally, and how to hire the right team to support in their growth in order to stay together.
Deeply Rooted is a lifestyle clothing brand created by Chicago, IL native Monique Atkins. Her unique character based clothing line has reached an audience worldwide and has been featured on a number of celebrities throughout the country. We had the opportunity to speak with Monique and learn more about the Deeply Rooted movement and the message behind the brand.
Tell us how Deeply Rooted came about
Deeply Rooted came about in 2007 when I was starting my love for drawing and painting. The inspiration came about after I realized what all races had in common which was BARING, STRUGGLE & PAIN. This slogan help me form my brand into what it is today. We all share the same similarities because we all go through pain and we all struggle and while we going through that we baring it we overcoming it.
Talk to us about the initial startup stages with your business career The initial startup stage of the my business was in 2007 at the kitchen table with my brother and sisters as well as my illustrator and one other person. We came together with design concepts and how the brand was going to reach the people. We thought by using the slogan mentioned in the first question and using the characters to represent us as a people. Each character has a characteristic that reaches some individuals.
What is the most rewarding part for you about what you do? The most rewarding part about what I do is to see my customers wear the clothing and post pictures without me asking them to post and them just showing me love thats the most rewarding thing.
What has been the biggest lesson about overcoming obstacles and failure that you have learned throughout your business journey? The biggest lesson about overcoming obstacles and failure that I learned throughout my business journey is to plan things out and I learned how to break things into collections it make things much easier and keep me organized with everything. I also learned how to stay focus on the mission and not try to follow the trends just stick to my brand and what it represents and I can win
Tell us about upcoming projects you are working on Deeply Rooted upcoming projects is us working on our new collection called The Warfare Collection: Checkmate, attending the first annual soul music awards and keeping our store up and going. We just opened a clothing store Oct. 10th in Chicago area. 7000 southwest hwy Chicago Ridge, IL 60415
Leave us with some words of advice you can offer to aspiring and current entrepreneurs Words of advice I can leave current entrepreneurs is one of our slogans “Don’t ask the struggle what it did to you ;ask what it has done for you” Also to trust the process and to lead by example.
What are 3 fun facts that most people don’t know about you Three fun facts that most people know about me is i have a sense of humor, I love making people laugh and smile and I am ambitious.
To learn more about Monique and the Deeply Rooted brand, visit WWW.DR07CLOTHING.COM andIG: @Deeplyrooted07
Business coaches are important for both established and aspiring entrepreneurs. There are various benefits of working with business coaches like better business outcomes, heightened confidence, and better leadership skills. If you are starting a new business, then a business coach can help you in defining your vision. They will help you in identifying resources and strengths.
Your coach will also help you in creating an action plan which will help you in overcoming potential roadblocks. Business coaches can also provide invaluable support to established entrepreneurs. They will help you in growing your business. Also, they will help you in creating strategies for tackling hurdles.
A business coach is similar to a personal trainer. They will help you in maximizing your strengths. Also, they will help you in accessing tools that will help you in growing your business. They will hold you accountable for the action plan that you have created. Thus, they are very important for your business success. In this article, we are going to talk about the essential qualities that you should look for in a business coach.
You should look for business coaches that are experienced. They should know about new markets, strategies, latest innovations, financial knowledge, and human resources. For example, your business coach might have worked in different management positions. This will ensure that they know a lot of things about your industry. They can help you in achieving your goals.
2. Understanding of small businesses
You should look for a coach that has worked as a manager in small or medium-sized companies. They might have owned their own business in the past. Thus, they will already know about the challenges that entrepreneurs face in their daily life. They should understand the emotional and family environment. This will ensure that they can guide you.
3. Analytical skills
Business coaches will help you in improving your business operations. They will also help you in overcoming various obstacles that you will face. Thus, you should look for business coaches with good analytical skills. They should have good judgment. Your business coach should highlight your strengths. They should tell you about the areas where you need improvement. Your business coach should also tell you that you don’t need their services once your business is top-notch.
4. Strong ethics
Entrepreneurs need to share a lot of things with their business coaches. You might even need to share your personal information with time. It is important to ensure that this information will only stay with your coach. You should look for business coaches that are a member of an organization. They should follow strong ethics.
5. Courage and confidence
You need to find a business coach that can tell you to take route B even if you like the first route. They should have enough courage to tell you about your mistakes. If they are always agreeing with you, then they won’t actually help you. However, they should choose the right time to tell you about uncomfortable truths. This will help you in taking the best decision.
6. Driven by success
You should look for a business coach that wants you to succeed. They should ask a relevant question from you. This will ensure that they will understand where your business actually stands. Your business coach will act as your guide. However, it is the entrepreneur’s job to execute their plans. They should get all the credit for business success.
You should ask for references when you are looking for a business coach. The best source of information is actually the experience of your fellow entrepreneurs.
Business systems and automations is something that a lot of entrepreneurs take for granted, but don’t realize how important they are to the overall success of the business. Automations specialist Tuella Sowu has made it her business to help other entrepreneurs create business systems that allow you to be more productive, and take your time back. Learn more about Tuella below and her company below.
Tell us a little about your business journey and what led you to entrepreneurship
My journey is a bit unconventional. I was a teen mom and didn’t want my son to spend most of his day in daycare. So I decided I was going to find a way to make money without having to put my son in daycare. I eventually became a personal assistant to a few entrepreneurs. That was 14 years ago.
Looking back, that was a key foundation to my business now. I still help entrepreneurs, but after 14 years of being an entrepreneur and serving them in one capacity or another, I’ve been able to identify a few places where I provide relief for entrepreneurs.
I focus on aiding entrepreneurs in streamlining their processes so they can reach their income goals by creating processes, implementing processes, and configuring automations in their business.
What are some of the pain points you’ve recognized a lot of businesses have with their business systems and workflows?
You would be surprised how many small businesses do not have a system or process in place. I find that most of the customers I serve have really just been creating a new process for every client. This leads to overwhelm and burn out. By the time they get to me, it’s TuElla just fix it, please. Having a system in place does a few things.. It allows you to provide the same level of service to customers as well as knowing what you are to do each step of the way.
What are some of the main benefits of someone hiring an Online Business Manager?
Having an Online Business Manager is key to any business that is growing or scaling. An online business manager keeps an eye on the business day to day activities, manages projects, operations, and the team, as well as consult on product development, strategic alliances, and annual and quarterly business planning.
Online Business Managers oversee that systems are running smoothly and efficiently while fostering the growth of your business.
You are also an online course creator as well. Many people may think they have to be an expert in a set amount of fields in order to create a course or share their experience. What are your thoughts on that?
Nope, You do not need to be an expert to have a course. If you can teach people how to create one thing you can have a course. If you have transformed yourself you can build a course on that transformation. I say if you have a desire to build a course you should.
What advice do you have for anyone on the fence about creating their first online course ?
My advice is to just do it. Stop overthinking it and start doing it. Often times people think that they have to be #1 in the world to have a course or be a millionaire to have a course. When in reality you just have to be able to take people from where they are to where you are.
Courses focus on transformation. The question you should ask yourself is can you provide a transformation for someone?
About Tuella Sowu
Tuella is a serial entrepreneur and Automation Consultant with 10 years of experience in her field. She reviews your current systems and processes and match you with the right apps and software, which eliminates unnecessary steps in your operations and giving you back your time.
Born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Alan M. Brooks is a 2011 graduate of Claflin University where he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Communications degree. It was after the completion of his senior project entitled “Struggles”, that he knew that film was what he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life. Before graduating, Alan entered his film into the Claflin University Great Work by Blacks student competition, where he was awarded for his work.
After graduation, Alan wanted to further his knowledge in film and television so he applied to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where he would go on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television degree in the spring of 2015. During his matriculation at SCAD, Alan entered the 100 Words Film Festival where his film “Peer Pressure” won the award for Best Student Film. Additionally, in 2016 his film “Wounded” starring the late Tommy Ford from the hit show “Martin” won the Audience Choice Award at the South Carolina Underground Film Festival and received rave reviews. Alan has had the opportunity to hone essential skills while at the Savannah College of Art and Design and has also picked up on some acting skills. He said in an interview, “I feel that a director should know how it feels to be on the other side of the camera.” He went on to say, “I want to do it all, from the creative process to the business process of filmmaking.”
Since graduating from SCAD, Alan continues to create compelling content in hopes that his films would impact audiences worldwide. Alan has gone on to direct over 20 short films, 2 feature length films, over 10 music videos for artist such as (JD McCrary from Disney’s “The Lion King”, Silento’, Joshua Rogers from BET’s “Sunday’s Best”, and Tray Chaney from HBO’s “The Wire”/Bounce TV’s “Saints and Sinners”) to name a few. Alan has also directed 5 commercials; one in which is a Chick-fil-A commercial where he was awarded a Telly Award in Directing, and received an Honorable Mention in the Southeast EMMY’S “Excellence in My Market Awards.” In 2019 Alan’s short film “The Portrait” was selected to premiere on Magic Johnson’s National Television Network ASPIRE TV during their Urban Indie Block; and his short film “Wrong House” was selected to premiere on Sean “P. Diddy” Combs” National Television Network REVOLT TV during a special 2 hour Hip Hop Halloween episode of Short & Fresh. One of Alan’s goals is to become a member of the DGA while continuing to tell universal stories to the masses.
Tell us how you got started in your field?
I got my start as a Film Director during my senior year of undergrad at the prestigious HBCU Claflin University. I was a Mass Communications major with a concentration in Television Production. My professor asked each student in the class, what do we want to do for our senior project, and I was the only student to say that I wanted to do a movie. I remember everyone in the class laughing at me because of my response, but I did it anyway. I shot my senior project on a mini dv tape, directed it, cast the film, and edited it all by myself. (Keep in mind that this Mass Communication program didn’t teach us how to make movies or write movie scripts, but focused more on news television production. That’s why everyone laughed at me.) That same film that everyone laughed at me got me into film school. Attending and graduating from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), with an MFA in Film and Television was the best decision I could have ever made. I learned so much about the foundation of film, television, and directing as a whole; and I feel that SCAD really helped groom me for this industry. Graduating from film school really jumpstarted my career, after submitting many of my short films and entering them in the festival circuit. I even won Best Student film at the 100 Words Film Festival for my film, “Peer Pressure.” I continued to freelance as an independent director, and I constantly aim to become better every day.
Talk to us about the initial startup stages of your career?
The initial startup of my career was very challenging because after graduating from film school, I had to move back home and landed a job working as a cashier at Chick-fil-A. I was so embarrassed because I had this fancy degree, but could not put it to use. I kept my spirits up and continued to research anything related to film every day. One day the franchise owner of Chick-fil-A found out I graduated from film school and asked, if I had a link to my work. Trust and believe I had a business card in my pocket. Fast forward, a few months later I was granted the opportunity to Direct a Chick-Fil-A commercial in which I won a Telly Award in Directing, and received an Honorable Mention in the Southeast Emmy Excellence in My Market Awards. After being hired to direct the commercial, I made my production company AMB Productions official and transitioned to Atlanta, GA. Since arriving in the Hollywood of the South, I have directed numerous films, commercial, and music videos. Some of the artist include, JD McCrary (“Lion King,” “Little”), Silento, Tray Chaney, Joshua Rogers (BET “Sunday’s Best”), and Jason Nelson to name a few. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to NEVER GIVE UP!
What is the most rewarding part for you about what you do? The most rewarding part about being a film director is the impact that my work has on audiences. Recently, I received a DM on Instagram from someone I didn’t know, and when I opened the message, it was a video attached of a woman full of tears. Her giving her testimonial after viewing my new film “Mr. & Mrs. Ellis” really touched my heart. This woman was so full and appreciative that I tackled a story that is centered around the dark issues of molestation and the effects of staying silent. Seeing and hearing how my film touched her in such an emotional way; really reminded me of how important it is to continue to use my voice and to stay true to the stories I want to tell. If my films impact at least one person, then I did my job and that is the greatest reward.
What has been one of the biggest lessons about overcoming obstacles and failure that you have learned throughout your business journey?
The biggest lessons that I’ve learned is that failure makes you better. I know it’s easier said than done, but failure is a part of the process and it pushes out GREAT things in each of us. I remember I submitted one of my films to over 20 film festivals, and I only got into 1 festival. I was so hurt because I thought I wasn’t a good enough director; but I later learned that rejections open doors in us that push out greatness, character, fortitude, and creativity. I may have been selected in one festival, but the response of audience members from that one festival was validating enough; reminding that I’m on the right track and making an impact. That experience has helped me overall in my business journey.
Tell us about upcoming projects you are working on? We just finished post-production for a Calvin Klein commercial I directed, developing scripts for an upcoming feature film, booked to direct a few music videos for national chart-topping artist, and gearing up for Season 2 of my show, “Director’s Corner: with Alan M. Brooks.”
Leave us with some words of advice you can offer to aspiring and current entrepreneurs?
I would tell aspiring and current entrepreneurs to make sure that you have a team around you that not only respects you, but understands your vision, doesn’t mind serving, who doesn’t want to secretly take your spot, and who displays the qualities of a true ride- or-die.
There are various options available to hone your entrepreneurial skills. If you are turning into an entrepreneur, then you might be looking for some ideas to hone your skills. In this article, we are going to talk about some creative ideas that will help first-time entrepreneurs in letting their juices flow.
YouTube is the new home of many young entrepreneurs. There are various opportunities available for entrepreneurs on this platform. You can use it for letting your creative juices flow. YouTube will allow you to shoot videos and edit them. You can showcase these videos to the entire world.
There are also a lot of methods to make money from YouTube videos. You can find many famous vloggers on YouTube platform. Many brands are actually shifting to the Influencer marketing. This will ensure that vlogging is actually a legitimate career choice. Famous vloggers like Logan Paul and Roman Atwood are already millionaires. They have created their entire business around YouTube platform. You can earn money via YouTube ads. Also, you can sell your merch to your fans. Thus, vlogging is a serious career option now.
All you need is some video editing skills for creating content. People that want to become entrepreneurs can use YouTube for showcasing their talent to the world. You can leave an actual impression. YouTube will force you to push your creative boundaries.
If you already have a family business or you are heading a team for the first time, then you can become an officepreneur. This will ensure that your team can enjoy the healthy work environment. You need to create a healthy work environment for your entire team.
Millennials want to enjoy their life first. After that, they want to do their work. Most companies are recruiting millinnials now. Thus, you need to ensure that the internal work environment is perfect for them. You can manage the designing part. Make sure that your office environment is healthy for your employees. Your employees should think that they have become entrepreneurs when they are doing their work. This will ensure that they will give their best. It will eventually help you in increasing your business overall productivity and revenue.
You can’t create a career by playing poker. However, it can actually help you in becoming entrepreneur. This hobby will help you in honing your endurance and leadership skills. You will learn to deal with pressure.
Poker players need to build everything by themselves. It can teach you various valuable lessons. You will learn about the nuances of the business world. Even the best entrepreneurs can’t teach you these lessons.
Poker can actually become a stepping stone for you. You can learn a lot of things about entrepreneurship by playing poker. It will eventually help you in becoming a better leader. You can learn about important things like stress management, psychological aspects, and perseverance. The skills you will gain from playing poker can be applied in the real world. You can apply these skills when you are building your own business.
These are some hobbies to leverage your entrepreneurial skills. You can become a vlogger and show your creativity to the world. It has become a serious profession. You can also become an officepreneur. It will help you in motivating your staff and team members. You can also learn a lot of things by playing poker. These skills will help you in building your own business.
Author Ebony Davis is a single mother of a boy named Prince, who recently published a book, “Gift of Pain”. Helping single mothers recover mentally and emotionally from an abandoned pregnancy.
An abandoned pregnancy occurs when the child’s father has decided to not be a part of the pregnancy with the mother. Ebony’s sister encouraged her to write and publish her first book. While Ebony began writing her story is when she discovered the process and power to heal. Leaning on the expertise and encouragement of her sister, Ebony was able to persevere and seal her deep wounds. The book, “Gift of Pain: Persevere Through an Abandoned Pregnancy”, is a story about a young woman who once had aspirations and planned to attend law school until she became pregnant. Who became a single mother months before entering graduate school.
This book provides readers with an inside look in the unfiltered good, bad, and ugly surrounding the vulnerable experiences of an abandoned pregnancy. With an opportunity to be inspired no matter the circumstances when faced with emotional distress. There is always a gift in everything that we’ve experienced. It can be challenging to re-live some of the memories that were suppressed, certain incidents that had taken place. There were times that Ebony had to simply set the pen and paper down, walking away. Until she remembered who she was writing the book for, to help individuals overcome.
Being a huge fan of Desiree Lee, Ashley K. Pittman, James Cornelius, Latrice Ryan, and Celicia; They have all played an intricate part in Ebony’s life, providing her with inspiration, wisdom, and tools to help other to improve life decisions.
Author Ebony Davis is currently in the process of launching a health and fitness apparel for women. Soon, spots will be made available in December 2020 to participate in the mentorship program. She is also excited to open the doors to the non-profit organization. It is important for Ms. Davis to influence authors and individuals to commit to the process of healing. “When you do it with love, inevitably will create a recipe for success. Remain grounded and rooted in the word of God and keep it close to your heart.” -Author Ebony Davis