BE Next 2009: Where Are They Now?

Young, fearless business leaders staking their claim

barackawearNOW

Today, Lorielle and Brandon Broussard remain a dynamic duo. Also recognized as Black Enterprise BE Next Award nominees this past year, the two are now working on a licensing deal to take their t-shirt line nationwide and possibly worldwide. Products would include Barackawear umbrellas, coffee mugs, and other paraphernalia. “[Barackawear] is a brand that can be around forever, not just for a season,” says Lorielle. “And that’s what we’re planning this time.”

The response from Barackawear customers remained solid well after the election, so much that with inventory running low but popularity still high, the Broussards shut down production on Barackawear this past fall to gear up for the upcoming 2012 election.

And after realizing that their passion for YOTOWN had waned, the Broussards stopped production on the clothing line in October 2009. “The hardest thing is realizing when to stop,” admits Lorielle. “YOTOWN was something we liked but it wasn’t necessarily something we loved.”

Drawing upon their entertainment backgrounds, Brandon and Lorielle are currently putting their energy and enthusiasm into Purple Stuff TV, a sketch comedy Web-based series. So far they have produced 20 sketches. “We’re hoping to get it on the air after the third season in January 2010,” says Lorielle. “We got an investor [for Purple Stuff TV] based on our success with Barackawear.”

Lorielle and Brandon’s tip for young entrepreneurs: “Follow your gut and love whatever the project or product is that you’re putting out. But do know when to quit a project because you don’t want to waste your money, time, and energy. And above all be fearless. Because the world is a scary place and stepping out on your own is risky.”

Check out our behind-the-scenes footage from Black Enterprise magazine’s January 2010 BE Next cover shoot here.

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BE Next 2010: Blazing a Path to Success

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