We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittney Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittney, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
For hundreds of years African Americans have faced trials and tribulations. From slavery to segregation to states and agencies having to pass laws that allow black men and women to wear their hair the way it naturally grows from their scalp. Laws shouldn’t have to be passed in order for people to be able to look the way they were born in the workplace, African Americans shouldn’t have to conform to the European society.
My business is about empowerment and awareness. Racisim is a sensitive topic in the United States of America. It’s something that many feel no longer exists. However, every time we turn on the news there are black men, women and children being shot and killed by police for sleeping in their beds in their own home, sitting on the couch watching television in their own home, playing with toy guns at the park, or getting pulled over for a warrant and being shot instead of tasered. This is the life that African Americans live.
My brand focuses on empowerment shirts and accessories for women and African Americans as a whole. Empowerment and awareness shirts are underrepresented in retail for African Americans so my brand provides something that we want and need. Our children need to know that it’s okay to be black and they need to know that black is beautiful. Our little girls need to know that they don’t have to have light skin or straight hair in order to be considered beautiful or to be accepted. Our children need to be comfortable in their own skin and if they can wear a pair of earrings or a shirt that has an image that resembles them it makes it that much easier to prove to them that they are worthy.
Many people have an opionion about the way African Americans are treated but many are scared to speak up. My designs allow anyone no matter their color or gender to be vocal silently if that makes sense. How they feel is being expressed through my design from my t-shirts, to my earrings, to my mouse pads. I offer custom designs as well as designs that I’ve already created. My business helps spread awareness about the social injustices African Americans experience on a daily basis. If more people recognize that African Americans are regular people and are not a threat to society, the events that keep transpiring can dramatically decrease.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been in the United States Air Force Reserve as a Personnelist for 12 years. I also have been working for the civilian government for the past 5 years and in my most recent position with the USDA I am a Financial Administrative Specialist. My civil service career started in Kaiserslautern, Germany where I lived for 6 years with my family.
I am most proud of my time in the Reserve and the education I’ve received. I am a certified Phelbotomist and Tax Preparer. I have 2 Associates degrees in Business Management and Human Resource Manaement. My bachelors degree is in Human Resource Management and my Masters degree is in Management with a specialty in Criminal Justice. I was a mother and working full-time when I received all of my education and I was a single mother when I earned the certifications and Associates degrees. Today, I am enrolled in the Paralegal Studies program at Auburn University. I want to have a more indepth knowledge of the law which help me in my business today and future business endeavors.
Professionally I’m not where I want to be but I’m on my way there. Living overseas for 6 years set me back a little because jobs were very scarce but I did gain a lot of experience. The road thus far has been anything but easy but I am determined to get to the place I want to be. I have been passed over for promotions more times than I can count in my military and civilian career but I’m still working hard because eventually I’ll get to where I want to be. Patience is key when trying to accomplish anything and I have learned that I need to be patient in my career journey.
My brand is a reflection of me. My brand focuses on empowerment and I am the definition of empowerment. I’ve accomplished so much and still have the desire to accomplish more. Any woman can look at me and know that no matter what they’ve been through they can still work and make their dreams come true. Being vocal is only one way to voice your opinion, actions is another. Whether I’m vocal or not my resume, accomplishments and actions speak volumes.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My family and I just recently moved to Maryland from Germany so I don’t have many recommendations here. However, I’m from Tacoma, Washington and can give recommendations there. If my bestfriend were coming to visit me in Washington I would take her Frisko Freeze to eat a good burger, Round Table Pizza, just about any teriyaki restaurant, Ivars for fish and clam chowder, and Marcia’s for breakfast. I would take her to the waterfront on a Sunday afternoon, Nate Jackson’s Super Funny Comedy Show, Pikes Place Market, Marysville shopping outlets, the Seattle aquarium and Snoqualimie Falls.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to Akea Collins for granting me the opportunity to be a part of this discussion. Without her mentioning me I wouldn’t have know about this or received the invite.
I would also like to give a shoutout to my husband Antonio Lee who supports me in everything that I do and helps promote my business.
To all of my family and friends who make purchases from me without asking for a discount, I appreciate them and would like to give them a shoutout as well.