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Until Today...

Friday, May 16, 2008
Until today, neither my name nor my photo have appeared on the Web site or blog. As the creator and founder of, my goal was - and continues to be - to focus on the brand's mission: to celebrate culture, diversity and strong self image amongst Brown Girls across the globe; to create apparel that boasts positive images and messages; and, to ultimately relay stories about Brown Girls all over the world that speak to our similarities. My role, as I see it, is to gather and disseminate information and make my best efforts to not only live up to the empowerment messages that I've created, but to grow the brand to the best of my ability. It has never ever been about me. In early March, I saw an advertisement in Black Enterprise Magazine for its Entrepreneur's Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina May 14-17. I signed up as an attendee right away! More importantly, I saw that the Conference had an Elevator Pitch Competition that - were I selected to participate - would allow me to promote the brand in front of one of OBG's many global target markets - African American consumers. Winning the competition was not the reason I chose to participate; spreading the OBG message was what it was all about. It was a tough decision for me to "put my face to the brand" when submitting the videotape entry, and then ultimately when I was chosen as a finalist to participate. Because the brand message promotes the empowerment of Brown Girls of any and all cultural backgrounds, I didn't want consumers to see me and decide that this very important message was geared towards any one particular race or cultural group. Instead, I wanted to remain anonymous. I am, however, no longer anonymous. I participated (and was lucky enough to win) Black Enterprise Magazine's Elevator Pitch Competition (trust me, it was close and a huge surprise)! In fact, a large number of people can now associate my face with the OneBrownGirl brand, and as the winner of this fabulous competition, I will be fortunate enough to pitch the brand message yet again on MSNBC's "Your Business." (How cool (and un-anonymous) is that?!?!?!?) Until today, I thought that showing myself wasn't the best way to make this brand work. What I have come to realize, however, is that it is absolutely and positively okay for me to let you know who I am. I am an American of Bajan (and thereby African) and European descent. I, like you, am One (terribly proud) Brown Girl. Thank you for loving me the way I am. As you may well know, I love you crazy. Sincerely, Tracey Friley Creator P.S. The office is closed until June 2. I look forward to reading your comments once we re-open.


Anonymous on: May 17, 2008 at 2:34 PM said...

Congrats on winning the elevator pitch! It was so exciting and inspiring to see all of you present your companies.

I enjoyed speaking with you before the "Where's the Money" workshop and learning about your brand also. I definitely want to keep in touch and talk about possible advertising opportunities for your brand in my (upcoming) magazine, and of course, I will be ordering my own apparel shortly. Thanks again for being such an inspiration!

Anonymous on: May 18, 2008 at 2:35 PM said...

Wow, I can't believe that I am one of the first to congratulate you on the elevator pitch competition. I was there, and I was in your corner. Keep it up! And like you said, your brand is a CONCEPT! I love it and plan to buy the gift set plus spread the word about One Brown Gril!

Cheryl Isaac on: May 19, 2008 at 2:07 PM said...

I witnessed the elevator pitch competition and just wanted to say Congrats! I will go to your website and see if there is a contact email for you because I am having an event for young and women aspiring entrepreneurs in the late fall in Columbus, OH and would love for you to come and share your story and concept. I will also be happy to initiate a platform for sales of your material at the event as well.

There is definitely a market for your concept. Congrats again!

-Cheryl Isaac-

Anonymous on: May 19, 2008 at 7:21 PM said...

It was a pleasure meeting and dining with you at the BE Conference. You are one phenomenal brown girl!! And yes, it's okay to be known was the OBG behind the vision and execution. You inspire us all. Look forward to seeing in the upcoming issue of B.E. and around the world. Because Brown Girls Do Rock!! Thanks for the motivation. I promise to purchase when you return.

Usiku on: June 13, 2008 at 6:03 PM said...

Congratulations Tracey. I have similar feelings when it comes to putting my face on my book and website. I would like the messages in my poetry and short stories to speak without the interference that visual input brings. One poem that may be of interest, among many, to your audience is To Natural, My Love

Anonymous on: June 24, 2008 at 4:18 PM said...

Congratulations! I saw your elevator pitch on MSNBC. I thought you were great and had to visit your site immediately. I love the mission for your company and I thought this would be a great gift for my teenage daughter who is one beautiful brown girl (African American and Dominican). I will be sure to save your website as a favorite so that I may continue to visit in the future. I will also make sure to share it with my friends and family. I will be looking forward to your products being available in New York City. Thank you!


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