How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I started my public relations career with Max Clifford Associates working at the pinnacle of British media. From there I went on to launch Colorblind Cards and JH Public Relations. Colorblind Cards is best known for being the first publisher to secure a presence on the UK high street for black greeting cards. My biggest achievement was seeing the range rolled out across 100 branches of the retailer Clinton Cards in the UK.
Being invited to No.10 Downing Street to consult on a roundtable discussion on enterprise with the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was also a surreal and wonderful moment.
Has your race and gender had an impact?
My race and gender has had a positive impact because it served as the motivation for my business. I was looking for a greeting card featuring a black princess for my daughter and quickly realized the absence of any cards featuring people of color. On a social level, it was vital our children have access to simple products which reflect their identity and the business opportunity seemed glaringly obvious.
What can be done to encourage greater numbers of black women in Britain to start and grow businesses?
I’m witnessing scores of black women starting their own businesses at this time. If more women share their business story with the masses, the more women will feel empowered themselves and believe they can also do it. Visible examples of women making business work are crucial.