Entrepreneur Brittney Bogues on her growing business, life in an ‘NBA kid’
Brittney Bogues is an entrepreneur, the daughter of an NBA legend, and a domestic violence survivor and advocate.
What is happening: Bogues, the founder of public relations and marketing firm Bogues Group, spoke with Axios about life as a business owner, her work as a domestic violence advocate, growing up with Steph and Seth. Curry, some of her favorite places in Charlotte and her goals for the future.
Why is this important: Bogues uses its platform to advocate and uplift others both professionally and personally. She is also one of a growing number of black women business owners across the country.
By the numbers: Charlotte ranks 16th nationally for black-owned businesses, which make up 3.8% of businesses in the region, according to a 2022 LendingTree analysis. 23% of the region’s population is black.
- Additionally, black women have 35.4% of Black-owned businesses nationally, which is above the national average for the total number of women-owned businesses companies to 20.9%.
Here is our Q&A with Bugs.
Editor’s Note: Answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
1. Tell us about the genesis of Bogues Group, which you founded almost four years ago.
When I started this company, I was committed to providing customized solutions to people who had a clear vision of what they wanted for their company’s communication and event needs.
My previous company taught me two valuable lessons: the importance of implementing and refining systems and building a team of experts who complement your skills.
- Leading with these two lessons enables Bogues Group to continually grow and deliver quality work that makes an impact for our clients and our community.
2. You’ve shared in previous interviews that you’ve been an entrepreneur for over a decade and your first business failed. Tell us about this experience. What made you decide to try again as an entrepreneur and what lessons did you learn from your first adventure?
Although I gained valuable experiences working for others, I felt stifled, unable to exercise my creativity, and unhappy before becoming an entrepreneur.
Lessons learned: I prayed and put in my two weeks notice to continue with my business. I knew from my first company that I needed to have a clear brand identity, a unique selling point and to have systems in place.
- I also learned the importance of automation and delegation, so developing a strong team in areas I wasn’t was of paramount importance.
During my journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve noticed a pattern among all the other entrepreneurs I’ve met along the way: we fail, but we don’t become stagnant or discouraged. Rather, we use it as a lesson that we incorporate into the next project.
- I had to become and continue to be self-aware and really be real with myself by honing in on my strengths and tackling weaknesses head-on.
3. What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women of color who face disproportionate challenges compared to their white counterparts?
There are so many barriers that women of color face, including lack of financial resources and social capital.
- However, there are a variety of programs and events you can sign up for or attend that will help you combat these issues.
- I recommend looking for online programs like the SBA, NXT CLT, and other business accelerator programs offered by the city and/or nonprofit/private organizations. They help you grow your business and often offer grants as well.
- Additionally, making a plan to attend 1-3 networking events will help you build genuine relationships and can open a variety of doors. I’ve developed great relationships with key community members and business leaders who have become mentors I can contact and tap into their brains on a variety of topics.
Find an ally or mentor: With minimal social capital, finding an ally or mentor in your industry or field who is willing to speak your name in rooms where you are not is essential.
- Explore what they are doing, how you can be an asset to them because we all have something to offer, and what you can achieve by researching free and paid events to attend and network.
4. In 2017, you wrote an article for the Huffington Post chronicling your journey as a survivor of domestic violence, saying having a famous last name didn’t protect you from pain. You have also worked with Safe Alliance to educate other survivors. Has sharing your journey helped you heal, and what advice would you give to other survivors who are reluctant to share their story?
Sharing my story lifted a burden and a weight that I had been carrying for too long. In addition to sharing my story, learning about the cycle of violence through my work at Safe Alliance, and going to therapy have all played major roles in my recovery.
- The icing on the cake was the countless people who privately shared how my story helped them begin their healing journey.
Advice for those who have never experienced domestic violence: Don’t judge or be shamed/blamed.
- Instead, offer resources and educate yourself about this public health issue.
Tips for survivors: You’re not alone. One in three women is affected by domestic violence.
- Know that there is life after abuse, national confidential hotlines that offer 24/7 support, and local organizations like Safe Alliance and Dove’s Nest that are available for free or at very little cost.
5. Many Charlotteans know that your father, Muggsy Bogues, was an original Hornet. Tell me about your childhood memories growing up in the NBA environment?
I have so many good memories!
- Game nights at the old Coliseum, playing with my brothers, Seth and Stephen Curry [current NBA players and sons of former Hornet Dell Curry] in the rear family room.
- Putting on our pajamas in the car so we could go to bed immediately after a game when it was school night.
- Go to Carowinds and get harassed because my dad was with us.
- Family dinner in Toronto with Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady.
- Going to All-Star every year and meeting other NBA kids and feeling like a mini reunion seeing former teammates and their families.
Whenever I remember my childhood, I realize how it always felt like family, even when my dad or other teammates were traded. It’s a special bond.
6. Let’s talk Charlotte. What are your favorite restaurants, neighborhoods, cafes and places to work out?
I love the growth I see in Charlotte!
Favorite neighborhoods: Cotswolds, NoDa and South End.
Workouts: I am a creature of habit. I have seen wonderful results (down 60 pounds) from the work I have done with West Kept Secret and Hilliard Studio Method, as well as lifestyle changes.
Bakeries and cafes: I’m obsessed with Sunflour Bakery (they have the best matcha pastries and lattes), and other great bakeries/cafes are Blue Bison Coffee and Not Just Coffee, so I have to practice.
Unmissable restaurants: Fin & Fino, Soul Gastrolounge and Leah & Louise.
7. What does your perfect weekend in Charlotte look like?
Friday: Girls night out, order a Chinese from The Boading and a sweet and savory charcuterie from Babe & Butcher while watching our favorite shows.
Saturday: A fun day at 1501 S. Mint, then dinner at Eddie V’s, with a quick stop at Infused or a Hornets game/concert.
Sunday: Work out and plan your week with a matcha latte from Sunflour Bakery. Then dinner with my family.
8. If you have friends or family who are visiting from out of town, what Charlotte experiences are must-do’s during their stay?
Accommodation is one of my favorite things to do so I would first suggest if they are not staying with me, to stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
- Then I’d suggest the R-rated Comedy Bus tour. It’s a fun way to see the city, and it’s BYOB.
- There are so many amazing dining options, but my go-tos for out-of-towners are: Red Rock Cafe or 300 East for breakfast, lunch at Belle Helene, drinks at Dot Dot Dot or Idlewild, dinner at Leah & Louise or Fahrenheit so you can see our beautiful skyline. Chef Rocco is the best!
9. Settle this debate for our editorial staff: Mountain or beach for summer vacation?
You ask someone who hunts in the summer, so I would have to say the beach for a vacation.
- Although, being a winter baby, I do enjoy a ski trip to Aspen or Beech Mountain once in a while.
10. Last but not least, what is the next step for Bogues Group and what is the next step for your personal journey?
For the Bogues Group: [We’re] expand in the CBD and Cannabis industries, helping established brands who have a passion for educating and growing their audience, in addition to launching our first product, The Complete Brand Builder, created to help entrepreneurs/ independents to build and develop their brand from A to Z.
For my personal background: Love and travel top the list, along with the pursuit of new business ventures.