Blogging the News

Entries Tagged as 'BK Success of the Month'

An intimate conversation with marketing maven Karen Civil

December 16th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on An intimate conversation with marketing maven Karen Civil

Karen Civil is in a league of her own. From heading the marketing campaign for Beats by Dre, to maintaining rapper Lil Wayne relevancy during his incarceration to now headlining her Be You, Live Civil tour, Karen Civil is sure to be a legend in her own right.

I had the pleasure of attending Civil’s tour here in NYC for the December 11th tour date. HerAgenda owner Rhonesha Byng and Alleynyc event space in Manhattan hosted the event. Although, slated to start at 7pm the actual conversation did not begin till about a quarter after eight. Guests were becoming restless and almost turned around to leave the event, but the anticipation on meeting and hearing entrepreneur Karen Civil share her jewels on success kept them there. 


Fellow entrepreneur Rhonesha Byng sat alongside Karen Civil on French like couch on stage to conduct the interview. It was over 100 attendees, both male and female and we all became enwrapped in Civil’s presence upon her walking onto the stage. This is when all the magic begins.

Civil was asked an array of questions. Some were your usual: how did you get started? What advice can you give to others aspiring to be entrepreneurs? How long did it take for you to become successful? These were all great questions but they were also cliché due to the fact that you can find the answers to these questions online just by googling the Haitian native from New Jersey. What we wanted and needed s badly to hear was the jewels of success that she had to share. Civil told an interesting story of how she met an actress she wanted to meet and interview. Jewel no.1, “lie if you have to.” Civil had bought some marketing materials and pretended to sell them online to gain the attention of a potential client. To my demise and her expectation it worked. She soon received a call from the actor’s attorney that led to her having a sit down with the actor and later forming a work relationship. Jewel no.2, “overwork what is expected of you.” Civil says whenever she was hired to do something regardless of the tasks she always overworked. She didn’t do just was expected she went above and beyond. Jewel no.3, “don’t listen to what others have to say about you, validate yourself.” This has to be the best piece of advice I have ever heard. When following your aspiratiosn you always seek validation to those you feel are experts in the filed or someone who may have more experience than you. Civil tells us to “know your self worth.” She says that she’s been told “no” by plenty and often criticized but she did not allow that to stop her. She always believed in what she was doing and knew that one day it would pay off. She chuckles and says “I know my ideas are great, my ideas are creative.”



Tags: BK Success of the Month

Roundup: Entrepreneurship in the News

November 19th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Roundup: Entrepreneurship in the News

Underserved aspiring entrepreneurs get creative in seeking start-up funding. (WBEZ,Chicago)

Large businesses come together to support struggling entrepreneurs from underserved communities to help start and grow their businesses. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offers keen advice for entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their business. (Venturebeat)

Most new entrepreneurs all make the same common mistakes. Many of which are can be avoided. (businessnewsdaily)

Former “Shark Tank” investor Kevin Harrington educate small-business owners on aggressively using social media and the biggest marketing mistakes commonly made. (businessinsider)

Tags: BK Success of the Month

Yes to the Sketch: Becoming a Pantora Bride with Designer Andrea Pitter

November 10th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Yes to the Sketch: Becoming a Pantora Bride with Designer Andrea Pitter

IMG_0865Fabric enthusiast, Brooklyn girl, and six years of experience, Andrea Pitter is our November feature for Brooklyn Success of the month. An acronym for her birth name Andrea Tora Pitter, Pantora Bridal is birth to a successful business. The young African-American designer sits with such poise and grace. Her professionalism is displayed effortlessly. She’s what some may call an “old soul.”


As I sit in awe of several beautiful bridal gowns all hand-sewned by the designer, I cannot help but to notice intricate details that each lace, bead and crystal is stitched with. “You should be the elevated version of yourself,” Pitter tells us of every bride on their wedding day. Words of wisdom from the mature designer just flows continuously as she continues, “when you get married you are half of you and half of someone else. That person should elevate you. You elevate each other.”


She humors us as she recalls moments of the brides fittings. they are often accompanied with their  bridesmaids and of course the mother-of-the-bride. “Moms try to pin [the dress], fluff the trains (she chuckles to herself) I just tell them relax, enjoy it.”

Every experience with her brides are different. The process begins with an appointment that includes a very detailed questionnaire. Information like budget, date, type of event, are all pertinent in Pitter designing the right style dress for the bride to be. then there’s the fitting. All appointments are by appointment only so that she can provide the ultimate experience. All curtains are closed so that no passerby’s are able to look into the storefront and distract the bride. It is a very intimate setting. Some brides cry and some are just completely thrown away by Pitter’s ability to capture their vision and make their dream dress into a reality.

Although the young designer says, she’s “not sure” where Pantora Bridal s going she’s “taking it all in stride,” she currently service brides locally and internationally. She’s faced countless moments of failure and advises any aspiring entrepreneur to “just start.”

Pitter likes her experiences with her brides. Brides “comeback and want anniversary dresses. They stop in to say hi.” “they are Pantora brides. they are family.”

They are Pantora Brides

To see more of Pantora Bridal by Andrea Pitter click here They are Pantora Brides and be just as thrown away as her brides.

Tags: baruch · bk · BK Success of the Month · bridal · brooklyn · entrepreneur · Fashion · gowns · Media · multimedia · success · video

Entrepreneur builds a beauty empire

October 20th, 2014 Written by | Comments Off on Entrepreneur builds a beauty empire

IMG_8964Our Brooklyn Success of the month is none other than the beautiful Chyna Russell. She is the founder and owner of The Dollhouse beauty bar and Dollhouse Cosmetics. A Brooklyn native who grew up in a single house home in the gritty streets of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Russell is determined to take over the beauty industry.

With determination, passion and a hard work ethic, Russell prides herself on being a person who has faced many adversities and overcoming obstacles. Russell motto is, “if I focus on all the things that could go wrong I would have never been where I am today.”

The Dollhouse beauty bar have been in business for over two years, and have captured the attention of celebrities such as reality stars, Tara Wallace, Yandy Smith, and online personality Blac Chyna and a host of others.  The dollhouse host’s monthly makeup classes that include gift bags with cosmetics from the dollhouse makeup line. The class attendees consists of makeup artists, aspiring makeup artists, and everyday women who just want to learn makeup application techniques. The classes offer beginner and advanced techniques for all levels. Russell also host other events in the neighborhood as a way to give back to her community. It also serves as a venue for private events such as children’s parties and business networking events.

Russell saw a void in the beauty industry and decided to open The Dollhouse and her timing couldn’t have been more precise. The Dollhouse opened right before there was a booming trend of aspiring make-up artist’s. There are no neighboring beauty bars within the vicinity of Russell’s establishment; this is how the successful make-up artist is able to stay on top of her game.  Her products are top quality and her clients says that they are just as good as Mac Cosmetics.

Since opening the dollhouse Russell have gain quite the notoriety on social media. Her instagram ha s over 40k followers who are very loyal to the brand. The dollhouse is not just limited to everyday women who are seeking to have their makeup done or learn makeup techniques but celebrities as well. VH1’s reality stars from the hit reality show Love and Hip Hop both New York and Atlanta have also gravitated towards the popular make-up bar.  Pop singer Elle Varner and up and coming hip-hop artist Nyemiah Supreme have also visited the dollhouse to have their make up done for video and photo shoots. Russell stated, “this is all a dream come true. Who would of thought a young black girl from the hood would reach the attention of so many celebrities when there’s so many celebrity make-up artists in the industry.” Her claim to fame has contributed to her  serving as the key makeup artist for VH1’s Mr. and Mrs. Jones with rapper Jim Jones and the newly hit hip-hop reality show Sisterhood of Hip-Hop.

Dollhouse cosmetics can be brought at and you can have your make-up done by the talented artist at 421 Marcus Garvey Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11233. You can call and schedule an appointment at (718) 450-8062.

Tags: BK Success of the Month · brooklyn · cosmetics · entrepreneur · makeup · success