We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Willis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brittany, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

My “why” was the impetus behind going into business for myself. After a decade of giving all of the best pieces of my professional and personal self to corporations, I slowly began to fall out of love of chasing a dream with ultimately, a dead-end path. Sure, a traditional 9 to 5 career provides you with stability and financial provision but as my “why” became more and more clear to me, that began to erode the rose color glasses with which I once looked at my career. My “why” was rooted in pouring those 40, 50, 60 hours a week into me, something that I owned, could grow and even pass down to future generations. My “why” began to look like investing in myself rather than investment time for a solely a paycheck.

Finally, between college, graduate school, and the professional background, I was primed as a resource to enable others to grow their careers and/or start-ups. I find it so rewarding when I am able to leverage my background and experiences to help others achieve their goals. I am able to do this through formal and informal consultations, although as of late, I have almost exclusively turned my business consultations into formal client engagements.


What should our readers know about your business?

I started my entrepreneurial journey because I recognized that I was the asset. After a decade of Fortune 500 experience, successfully developing and managing corporate retail accounts valued at more than $300 million, I came to recognize that I was the common denominator for the success my work was bringing to my employers. I founded Eight28 Enterprises, for the purpose of inspiring, empowering, and facilitating entrepreneurial and professional excellence.

My company, Eight28 Enterprises comprises my small business and franchise consulting arm (Eight28 Enterprises Consulting) as well as my most prized entrepreneurial endeavor, my franchise location of PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans.

The power of franchising had long been a business model that peaked my interest but it was not until late 2019 that I had the epiphany to unite my interests of owning a business and my love for coffee, particularly the PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans brand. I officially joined the PJ’s family as a franchisee in early 2020, right before the coronavirus outbreak began to swell into a full-blown global pandemic. Naturally, this caused me to question not only timing but entrepreneurship altogether. But my willingness to proceed was rooted in faith and steadfastness knowing that coffee, the second largest commodity in the world, can weather stay-at-home orders. I saw it in real life with drive-thru coffee lines wrapped around buildings, out into the street and even in the overall franchise system numbers during the toughest points of the lockdown.

As a twenty-year PJ’s Coffee patron, I was intimately aware of the brand’s product superiority. Combined with a powerful heritage, proven model of success, and appreciation for expanding the brand, I knew that my desire to enter into franchising would be best partnered with this franchise as I played an inaugural role of expanding the brand into Dallas, TX.

What sets me apart from others:

My authenticity and graceful tenacity. In my quest to inspire, empower, and facilitate entrepreneurial and professional excellence, I am maniacal about remaining authentic and transparent on both the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship and the small business ownership experience. I am not interested in only sharing the glamourous side of this, with pictures where a hair isn’t out of place or coffee never spills on the back counter. That would rob me of the opportunity to truly allow others the access to real time knowledge and information that is critical to assessing and preparing to enter into business for themselves. Eight28 Enterprises Consulting is rooted in a a mixture of expertise, approachability, and learned experiences that my clients would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I recently hosted my best friend in Dallas and our itinerary went as follows:

Lunch on the Patio at 400 Gradi
Tour of Bishop Arts (+ a sweet treat at Emporium Pies)
Dinner at Vidorra – Addison

Morning Coffee at PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans – North Dallas
Brunch at the Biscuit Bar – Frisco
Pedicures at MiniLuxe – Plano
Cookie Society
Shopping at Legacy West
Late Lunch @ Legacy Food Hall

Katy Trail
Breakfast Snooze A.M. Eatery – Uptown
Cake Bar – Trinity Groves
Tour of Deep Ellum
Stirr Rooftop for late lunch/drinks

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am very grateful to the entire North Dallas (Farmers Branch/Addison) community for their enthusiasm and support in my PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans franchise location. It has been my life’s joy to delight customers daily and to create these community relationships.

On a very personal note: I dedicate my success to the Beaulieu women, who bore the burden of ensuring freedom and access for those that would come after them. Their sacrifice to ensure equitable experiences for Black Americans and persistence on the ability to unlock access via education have propelled my path. Their baton is in my hands.

Website: www.eight28enterprises.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eight28enterprises/

Image Credits
James Willis Photography Tamara McNeil (Hair) Jamie Dionne (Makeup)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.