This week, we sat down for a quick Q&A with Jeneba Barrie. Check it out
About – Jeneba Barrie is the Founder and Creative Director of Jeneba Barrie Nude Footwear, LLC. Jeneba Barrie is a luxury skin-tone shoe line with an objective of revolutionizing and redefining the meaning of nude shoes from beige to skin-tone colors that match the wearer’s complexion. Before launching her namesake shoe line, Jeneba worked exclusively as an attorney. She has been licensed with the State Bar of Texas since 2014.
Jeneba received her Bachelors of Science degree in Political Science and Communications from the University of Houston (UH). She attended the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at the Louisiana State University (LSU) where she received her Juris Doctor and a Diploma in Comparative Law. She is also a published author and her topics range from environmental issues to humanitarian rights.
Jeneba was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. She relocated to the United States at the age of 8. She is married and is the mother of 2 sweet boys. On her spare time, she loves and cherishes spending time with family and friends, dreaming up new shoe designs and enjoying a day at the spa.
CCNBMBAA: Are you happy and what would you change?
JB: I am very happy with my life, career, family, and friends. At this point, the only thing I would change is to have enough capital for my business so that it will become my full-fledged occupation, rather than a part-time work.
CCNBMBAA: What are some of the mistakes you wish you would have avoided?
JB: In starting my business, we were very careful to research everything and make sure that we have all the information needed to make decisions or draw conclusions. Therefore, there have not been any business mistakes. Fingers crossed, we will continue down this path.
CCNBMBAA: How did you know when you had the right idea?
JB: I knew I had the right idea when, after a while of going back and forth as to whether to start my business, others began drawing attention to the absence of my idea on the market. When I saw this, I knew that my idea was not just something that only I have thought of. I knew there was a need in the market, and I wanted to fill that need.
CCNBMBAA: How did you handle adversity and doubted?
JB: I handle adversity by just always remembering why I wanted to own my own shoe line in the first place. No matter how tough it gets, I always take a moment to reflect upon the reason I wanted to fulfill my dream and all of a sudden, it’s just one more step to climb. I doubted myself for 8 years. I originally thought of the concept in 2011 and between then and 2018, I kept asking if it will be worth it or whether now is the time, or will I be successful. I finally just pulled the trigger with the nudge of my husband. As an entrepreneur, I constantly struggle with self-doubt, but I do not give in to the negativity. I focus the why and how and press forward.
CCNBMBAA: How do you plan on growing your business?
JB: I plan on getting involved in as many trade shows, conventions, and speaking events as possible. We are going to develop new styles and take the pulse of the market to ensure that we are producing what the customers would like to wear. We also plan on being flexible, when needed. We also plan on applying to as many grants, pitch competitions and other forms of funding.
CCNBMBAA: How did you build your team?
JB: I like telling people that I had a pre-made team around me. My team consists of people that I know and trust. My husband is my partner in the business and my sister is my personal assistant. My web developer and social media assistant are also known and trusted. It’s all about trust, and I was fortunate to have these individuals around me who I trusted and who also cared about the direction of the brand.
CCNBMBAA: How can I be a good leader?
JB: A good leader listens, leads by example and is open to constructive criticism. A good leader motivates and encourages those around them. But, overall, a good leader is kind.
CCNBMBAA: What is your approach to Marketing?
JB: We currently spend 80% of our budget on marketing and advertising. We isolate our demographic and reach them through targeted advertising.
CCNBMBAA: Do you plan on Retiring?
JB: I will consider myself “retired” when I am no longer practicing law. When I am running my business 100% and I can call myself my own boss and can no longer call another person my boss, then I would consider myself retired.
CCNBMBAA: Did you experience failures? If so, what did you learn from them?
JB: We are a new company, so it is wonderful that we have not experienced any failures. We plan, strategize and confer to help prevent failures.
– Jeneba Barrie Founder & Creative Director www.jenebabarrie.com | (832) 335-1232 (c) Instagram: @jeneba_barrie | Facebook: @jenebabarriefootwear