Skip to main content

Another Tuesday, another new episode of Founder Hustle! On today’s episode of Founder Hustle Melissa is joined by another Bradley, Terri-Nichelle Bradley, the founder and CEO of Brown Toy Box. She is focused on closing the racial wealth gap through toys. She didn’t settle for just making dolls, rather she wanted to Black up the toy industry and disrupt the education space overall. She’s sharing the trials, tribulations and wins she’s faced on her mission to create the next generation of “did you know” kids.

Follow us on social media:

  1. Facebook: 
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram 
  4. Youtube:



0:00:05.8 Melissa Bradley: From New Majority Ventures in Kinetic Energy Entertainment. This is Founder Hustle.

0:00:12.2 Terri-Nichelle Bradley: I got my confidence from being broken down to nothing really.

0:00:15.8 MB: Yeah.

0:00:15.9 TB: And then building myself back up and knowing that emerging from that place.

0:00:22.6 MB: Yep.

0:00:22.6 TB: You know, I survived.

0:00:23.4 MB: The Phoenix Rose.

0:00:24.3 TB: Yeah. Phoenix Rising, right? And so if I could survive that brokenness, I can do anything.

0:00:30.2 MB: Anything, yeah.

0:00:32.4 MB: Welcome to Founder Hustle, a podcast series by, for and about the new Majority entrepreneur. I’m your host, Melissa Bradley, founder of 1863 Ventures and co-founder of New Majority Ventures. The road from founder to CEO can be both hard and rewarding. So, in each episode of Founder Hustle, I interview a new majority entrepreneur to find out what their journey really looks like. As a CEO, founder, professor, and general partner of a venture fund, I know how valuable good information and resources are for the new majority. Through shared tools, strategies, and life lessons, we’re here to enlighten, uplift, and educate anyone interested in this entrepreneurial ecosystem so that you too can go from founder to CEO. So let’s get started. Do you like toys? If so, you have probably heard of Milton Bradley, the makers of Monopoly and the Game of Life. Well, now meet another Bradley, not related to Milton or to me. Terri is founder and CEO of Brown Toy Box, the creator of STEAM related toys for everyone. She is focused on closing the racial wealth gap through toys. To do this, Terri didn’t settle for just making dolls, rather she wanted to Black up the toy industry and disrupt the education space overall.


0:02:05.2 MB: So your government name is Terri-Nichelle Bradley, we call you Terri.

0:02:09.3 TB: Yes.

0:02:09.5 MB: And you are founder and CEO of Brown Toy Box, why toys?

0:02:16.2 TB: Why toys? First of all, I’m a mom of four kids.

0:02:19.1 MB: God Bless you.

0:02:20.4 TB: All adults now, but…

0:02:21.5 MB: Oh, amen.

0:02:22.5 TB: I love that, but I just really wanted something, as when my kids were younger, there were always things that I wish that they had and I wanted really, in a nutshell, I wanted kids to be able to see themselves represented in play, right? Much bigger goals that we wanted to solve through my business.

0:02:39.7 MB: Sure.

0:02:39.9 TB: But, really it was kind of just disrupting the Toy aisle.

0:02:43.4 MB: Right.

0:02:43.8 TB: We wanted to see some Black kids on the Toy aisle, not just in packaging, but in products.

0:02:47.8 MB: Yeah. When I was growing up, ’cause my last name is Bradley, I used to say maybe Milton Bradley…

0:02:51.9 TB: Milton Bradley.

0:02:55.0 MB: Is related to… I could get some cash or something. But as I got a little bit older, I recognized, yeah I never saw myself on the toy. So, I figured we probably weren’t related. What has it been like though being a part of such a massive industry that has high barriers to entry?

0:03:09.4 TB: It’s been hard, but it’s also been exhilarating, it’s been fun. I love learning new things and I’m learning new things every single minute. It’s been also just been kind of cool to trail blaze in different areas…

0:03:24.8 MB: Sure.

0:03:28.1 TB: That I never see us represented. But I’ve also been welcomed in.

0:03:28.2 MB: Oh, good.

0:03:28.3 TB: So that has been… That’s been really interesting because sometimes, as Black folks, we go in with our guard up.

0:03:33.9 MB: That’s true, that’s right.

0:03:34.9 TB: Like there’s not… They don’t want us, that kind of thing. And I’ve really been welcomed in and so, it’s been an interesting journey and we’re just beginning.

0:03:42.2 MB: What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you as you’ve tried to enter the toy industry?

0:03:46.2 TB: I think the worst is you don’t know what you don’t know so we’ve burned through a lot of capital making mistakes, ’cause we just didn’t know there was no example. So, I served as that for a lot of people now.

0:04:00.3 MB: I’m sure.

0:04:01.6 TB: But I didn’t have anybody in the toy industry that I could go to and say, “What is this? Or what is that?” I think it’s also been always having to kind of explain the why. Explain why this is important, explain why Black children deserve to see themselves represented not just in dolls ’cause I do educational toys. So when people think about diversity and toys, they only think about doll. Well, what about this doll? What about this? We don’t do dolls, that’s not what I’m talking about.

0:04:27.8 MB: Thank God.

0:04:29.0 TB: Exactly, I feel like I’ve had to kind of fight to make people understand the why, but then even to get our people to support. And so, I think that’s been the biggest challenge.

0:04:41.3 MB: So why not dolls?

0:04:42.6 TB: Why not dolls? There’s enough of them.

0:04:42.8 MB: I know that’s right. [laughter]

0:04:45.2 TB: There’s enough of them, you’re right.

0:04:47.5 MB: It was a loaded question…

0:04:47.9 TB: You’re right.

0:04:48.3 MB: ‘Cause last thing we need is more dolls.

0:04:49.2 TB: This last thing…

0:04:49.9 MB: But you walk down a toy aisle.

0:04:51.0 TB: Yes.

0:04:51.4 MB: There’s a lot of stuff.

0:04:51.5 TB: There’s a lot… There’s a lot of stuff. And what I say all the time are dolls are important.

0:04:55.5 MB: Yep, yep.

0:04:55.7 TB: Like, it’s important. I love this conversation about little girls being able to see their hair texture, I think that’s very important. But then my question is, but then what? What else? And so I think for us, it’s been kind of interesting to kind of carve a space in this STEAM space.

0:05:12.3 MB: Yep.

0:05:12.7 TB: Right? We focus on 15 different STEAM themes. And truly the ultimate goal for us is to disrupt generational poverty.

0:05:19.3 MB: Wow.

0:05:20.7 TB: Our, the ultimate goal is for us to focus on these 15 different STEAM themes, where blacks make up less than 10% of the workforce, so we can get kids exposed early and to have them confident about exploring those… And confident and excited about exploring those things. But in terms of like the toy aisle, it’s just dolls. And so we wanted to… We said, “No, no, we wanna be in the educational space.” And so what that does though is it presents a lot of other opportunities. Because not only can we now be in the toy aisle in department stores and on, online retailers, but we can also be in schools, we can also work with afterschool programs and youth serving organizations, but we want these kids to be able to pick this up, see these characters that are represented, or… We’re doing replicas of HBCUs for constructive kids.

0:06:07.8 MB: Oh, right.

0:06:08.1 TB: Like, we’re, where are ways that we can Black it up.

0:06:11.2 MB: Yep, yep. I like that.

0:06:12.0 TB: And make sure that people really…

0:06:15.0 MB: I like that, Black it up.

0:06:15.1 TB: Really see themselves or do it in a way that’s very unique. And so dolls were just not of interest. Now, we will have plush of the characters because our first line, the Dadisi Academy, dadisi means curious in Swahili.

0:06:27.2 MB: Yeah.

0:06:27.5 TB: So we’re trying to get kids to stay curious. We always asked, well, you do a plush, and so, it’s never gonna be a focus on hair.

0:06:35.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:06:35.5 TB: But the kids all have little symbols that represent their different STEAM theme on their chest and as we have a line of books coming out for early learners, we want them to have their plush and then their books.

0:06:45.3 MB: Oh, I like that.

0:06:46.1 TB: So that’s gonna be really cool.

0:06:47.3 MB: I want a plush.

0:06:47.9 TB: And those will be coming out Q1s and you will have a plush, right?


0:06:51.0 TB: Oh, you would get a plush for sure. It’s been something that I would’ve never expect. Like when I go into certain rooms, sometimes I’m like… And I don’t have, I don’t believe in, what do they call it? What people… Women say they feel like they shouldn’t be in the room?

0:07:04.1 MB: Oh, imposter symptom.

0:07:04.5 TB: I don’t have, see I…

0:07:05.2 MB: I know that’s right.

0:07:05.8 TB: I can’t even think the name of it.

0:07:07.0 MB: I know that’s right. ’cause you show up…

0:07:07.7 TB: I couldn’t even think of the name of it.

0:07:09.3 MB: You would Black it up wherever you are.

0:07:09.4 TB: I’m gonna Black it up wherever I am.

0:07:10.3 MB: I love that though.

0:07:11.9 TB: I still sometimes am in awe like Terri, just two years ago, you were just struggling, you were just really fighting for people to understand what it is that you were trying to do, but it’s… But I’m very clear that without some helpful friends, I would not be here.

0:07:26.9 MB: Right. Where’d your confidence come from?

0:07:28.4 TB: Being broken. I got my confidence from being broken down to nothing really and then building myself back up and knowing that, emerging from that place, I survived.

0:07:43.3 MB: The Phoenix Rose.

0:07:43.9 TB: Yeah, the Phoenix Rising and so if I could survive that brokenness, I can do anything.

0:07:51.2 MB: Anything, yeah.

0:07:51.8 TB: And that’s where it comes from.

0:07:52.6 MB: I like that. Well, you, nobody probably would’ve predicted you’d be in the toy business. So you talked about these 15 STEAM themes, give me some of the themes.

0:08:00.8 TB: Gosh, we have marine biology…

0:08:03.6 MB: Oh geez.

0:08:04.4 TB: We have chemistry, we have coding, we have forensics, we’ve got robotics. Just, gosh, there’s so many. We’ve got architecture and engineering.

0:08:13.2 MB: And do you know all those topics?

0:08:14.2 TB: No, no, no no. I don’t know any of it [laughter] It’s so funny because, I don’t know any of them.


0:08:17.1 MB: Okay, you go girl.

0:08:18.4 TB: None, none. And people always assume that I was either a teacher in my previous life, I was not or that I was one of those fields. So, when we go into schools, I love to go into the elementary schools when we’re doing different programs or doing giveaways and that kind of thing, because they’re like, “I’m gonna be a marine biologist just like you.” I don’t have a heart to tell them kids. [laughter]

0:08:38.7 MB: You really I don’t even swim no, I’m just kidding. [laughter]

0:08:40.0 TB: I don’t really… Well, I swim enough to save my life, so there you go. But I don’t have the heart to tell, “I’m not a marine biologist.” But they get so excited and inspired. Let’s tell them…

0:08:48.2 MB: When they see it too.

0:08:51.5 TB: Yeah.

0:08:51.8 MB: They’re like, “Well, I can see one, I can be one”

0:08:52.0 TB: I see one and, but we always bring a Black person in that field…

0:08:56.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:08:56.8 TB: Into the classroom with us when we go in and do these in-class field trips for the kids around the different themes because we want them to hear from a Black person who has a backstory that’s not too dissimilar from theirs.

0:09:08.4 MB: Got it.

0:09:08.5 TB: So they can say, “Oh, he started in a community much like mine.” So for us, that school program is such an integral part of our business and I will never give that piece up.

0:09:20.0 MB: That’s cool.

0:09:21.2 TB: So We are, we can hit the affluent moms with Target and Amazon and all the other places, but I’m making sure…

0:09:27.3 MB: Go into those schools…

0:09:28.0 TB: That we get those kids in those majority Black serving schools.

0:09:32.1 MB: It really bridges a gap of, “Yeah, I buy a toy, but it has no context.” But when they say, “If I see it, I can be it.”

0:09:39.2 TB: Yes, absolutely.

0:09:40.3 MB: And now they can actually have a full on conversation.

0:09:42.4 TB: Absolutely.

0:09:44.3 MB: To say like, “Don’t do this” or “Do this.” Or “Hey, who knows, give me a call.”

0:09:48.0 TB: Absolutely.

0:09:48.5 MB: Whatever the case may be.

0:09:49.8 TB: Absolutely. And for us, the other piece of that, that’s really important is TO make sure that the parents understand the importance of STEM and STEAM.

0:09:55.1 MB: Got it.

0:09:56.4 TB: Because, I always use my own parents as an example. Like, they used to always say, go to college.


0:10:00.8 TB: But they didn’t go to college. So, that’s all I got, was like, go to college.

0:10:03.8 MB: I did the same thing. I was like, how’s it go? I don’t know, but you gotta figure it out.

0:10:07.6 TB: You gotta figure it out. So, my parents would tell me to go to college, but had no idea, no frame of reference because they didn’t go.

0:10:14.8 MB: I love that go, go do it, how?

0:10:16.5 TB: Go, go do it.

0:10:16.6 MB: I don’t know, go talk to somebody.

0:10:17.1 TB: And this is at the time… I’m old, so this is at the time where you had to mail away for catalogs, mail away for application, there was no online anything, Right?

0:10:24.2 MB: I’m with you, I’m with you.

0:10:26.4 TB: So I’d be like, “Okay, so then what?” And then I’ll be like, “Mom, there’s an application fee.” You better ask your counselor for that kind thing, so they didn’t really get it. So, that takes me to my business where I’m like, what we understand is if we don’t get the parents and it’s not really… So this isn’t our retail parent, but this is the parent from the schools when we go to schools.

0:10:45.3 MB: Gotcha.

0:10:45.4 TB: If we don’t get those parents to really understand the value of STEAM exposure, STEAM equity in their schools, all of that, then we’ll never really get the kids, because we need those parents to be willing to drive out to other places in the suburbs for these programs after school, wanna do all these simple things.

0:11:00.5 MB: Green biology, I gotta go find a damn ocean.

0:11:02.9 TB: I gotta go find a ocean or go to the Georgia Aquarium or the whatever aquarium in your town or whatever. And so we try to make it as accessible for them as it is for the kids.

0:11:11.1 MB: Gotcha.

0:11:11.5 TB: And consumable, because you… We and people start talking in all these scientific terms and all this… It’s really, really very basic and so I think we try to make it a lot more complicated than it is and I think that’s also a way to keep people out of it.

0:11:30.2 MB: Sure, it’s a gatekeeper.

0:11:30.1 TB: Yeah, it’s a gatekeeper.

0:11:30.2 MB: You scare me, I won’t do it.

0:11:30.2 TB: You scare me out of it. And so we want parents to be like, listen, we wanna have these classes in our kids… In my kid’s school. My kids deserve these classes and I’m going to advocate for my kids and that’s what we’re really trying to do that.

0:11:41.4 MB: Nobody who ever thought the toy maker would talk about all these advocacy and classroom. How long you been in business?

0:11:48.7 TB: So I started in 2017…

0:11:51.5 MB: Okay.

0:11:52.3 TB: But kind of…

0:11:52.4 MB: Okay. [laughter]

0:11:52.9 TB: I started more of a conceptually in 2017. 2018 we started as a subscription box and I knew immediately I hated the subscription box business. I was like, “I do not wanna do this.”

0:12:05.1 MB: Why?

0:12:05.6 TB: Well, one, it’s a volume business, right?

0:12:08.8 MB: Yep.

0:12:09.1 TB: So if you don’t hit those volumes, you’re just spending money. And then two, I am a social entrepreneur, so I’m like, “I want to only, at least I want 60% of my box, but really I want a 100% of my box to be from Black authors and makers and… ” That did not work.

0:12:24.3 MB: Right. [laughter]

0:12:24.7 TB: That did not work.

0:12:25.7 MB: It’s a lot product.

0:12:25.8 TB: That’s a lot of product.

0:12:26.1 MB: Sure.

0:12:26.6 TB: And when they were late… Our boxes were late, because I didn’t have the capital to order way in advance. So, I’d be a month out and it just… And we are not kind to each other online…

0:12:38.5 MB: That’s for sure. They blow you up.

0:12:39.1 TB: And so I got the business about that. So I was like, you know what, I want to go from a curator to a creator. Once I really felt like I understood the business and how to run a business, I relaunched the subscription box. Did that for a couple of years and then during the pandemic we were able to just kind of evolve. So, when the pandemic first started in March, everything got canceled.

0:13:01.0 MB: Sure.

0:13:01.8 TB: Right. So, everybody was trying to get technology, like laptops, Hotspots, that kind of thing. And what they realized were the kids that we were serving in the schools weren’t getting online. The hotspots weren’t strong enough for five kids or four kids in one household to be on. Their parents were the essential employees.

0:13:22.2 MB: Gotcha.

0:13:24.7 TB: They were out working and so they needed something else. Right? S, o then folks started coming back to us, which we knew they would, they’ll be back and they’re like, “We need something that we could put in these kid’s hands.”

0:13:32.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:13:35.7 TB: Something tactile. And so they came to us for our subscription box. That allowed us to start prototyping for the actual toy. So, to make that leap from being a curator to a creator.

0:13:42.1 MB: I love that, but a customer led journey.

0:13:43.7 TB: Yes, absolutely, absolutely. And a customer funded journey.

0:13:48.4 MB: Yeah, there you go. That’s the best kind of thing, you know?

0:13:49.5 TB: Exactly.

0:13:49.9 MB: That’s kind of…

0:13:50.4 TB: And so that’s what allowed us to be able to do that and so, while we were testing out, I pitched Target and…

0:13:57.1 MB: I just pitched them.

0:13:58.0 TB: I pitched… Actually what happened was I did the New Voices Target pitch didn’t do great. I got like fourth, which if it’s not first or last as far as I’m concerned.

0:14:07.7 MB: Okay, but it was out of 10, so that wasn’t horrible.

0:14:08.6 TB: It wasn’t great, it was like a C minus.

0:14:10.2 MB: Okay. So all perspective, all perspective.

0:14:11.4 TB: And so I was like, whatever, but I took… Listen, don’t give me a name. I’m gonna write it down, and so I took notes of who was on the call, who were the judges and then I saw… And then like the next month, I think I’ve reached out or something, and then the next month I saw that Supplier Diversity was having office hours, so I was like, “I’m gonna sign up for office hours,” and so for Target.

0:14:31.7 MB: Wow.

0:14:31.7 TB: And so I did that and from there, we would have conversations, I would send them decks and then they had a group that was really working on Black guys experience. This was before they made the big announcement of $2 billion commitment to Black community. And, they’re like, “We think you’re ready to pitch the toy team.” I was like, “Okay.” Melissa, I did not have a product yet. But I had concepts, I had a prototype, but I also knew all the people that I knew had went in Target had to repackage.

0:14:58.4 MB: Right ’cause it’s very specific.

0:15:00.3 TB: I can only do this once.


0:15:01.3 MB: So. I’m glad I didn’t have anything so I can get it right.

0:15:03.6 TB: Right, so I can get it right.

0:15:04.6 MB: Wow.

0:15:04.7 TB: And so we can co-design the box, so we can co-create that kind of thing.

0:15:07.7 MB: And I know they love that.

0:15:08.8 TB: Well, I don’t know if they knew all of that at the time, but I think people overshare sometimes. And so, we’ll have it when it’s time to ship. That’s all you need to know. And so, we pitched them, we finally got to the toy buyer, we pitched them on a Friday. I had the team that was supporting me on the call, and when we got off, they were like, “You did great, but you didn’t really talk about the product.” Now I’m knowing, they don’t know about product.


0:15:35.8 MB: They don’t know about product.

0:15:36.5 TB: Right, so the reason why…

0:15:37.0 MB: But I sold you on the vision.

0:15:39.2 TB: I sold you on the vision, the mission, who the audience is.

0:15:42.4 MB: I love that.

0:15:42.9 TB: How it fits in with guest experience, all of that ’cause I know that stuff. That I know that, but I didn’t have a product. And so they’re like, “Well, if you don’t hear anything, you can pitch again next cycle. It might be seven to eight weeks before you hear.” That was on Friday. Monday we get a call and the buyer says, “We want you in.”

0:16:03.6 MB: Wow.

0:16:04.0 TB: And I’m like, “Oh, great how many stores?” And they said, “Full chain.”

0:16:09.6 MB: Oh. Shit.

0:16:10.9 TB: Which was every single one and I’m like, oh, first it is a jubilation [laughter] and then it’s, “Oh shit, we don’t have any money.” And so that…

0:16:19.1 MB: Nor a product might I had.

0:16:19.9 TB: Well, I felt like I was…

0:16:20.4 MB: You had some ideas.

0:16:21.0 TB: I had ideas and I had my toy designer on board, so.

0:16:24.8 MB: Okay.

0:16:25.4 TB: We’ve been designing things, it wasn’t like we were just making it all up. But we didn’t have any money… What we didn’t have was money and so that just started us on that capital raising journey.


0:16:36.0 MB: It’s so crazy, I love it.

0:16:37.5 TB: Yeah, that’s my story.

0:16:39.3 MB: What inspired you to get started?

0:16:42.2 TB: So many things inspired me to get started. So, I always talk about this mountaintop moment that I had. It was after my mom had died and it was… I think I might have been fired from one of my dad… I’m a terrible employee [laughter] Like, I am a terrible…

0:16:58.4 MB: Know thyself. Know thyself, yes. [laughter]

0:17:00.1 TB: Know thyself. And I’m a terrible employee. And I was a executive at one of the largest global PR agency in the world and but I was hired to be a crisis management lead, but I turned to be the Black crisis management person. I was like, “This sucks. I don’t want… This is not what I was hired to do. Don’t deploy me every time there’s some… Somebody steps in it and says something about Black folks.” And so I think… And I was also going through a divorce during this time.

0:17:29.6 MB: Gotcha.

0:17:29.6 TB: And so I was a terrible employee ’cause I was like resentful, and I was like, I don’t wanna be the one with the torch, I don’t wanna be talking, I don’t wanna be any of those things about… So I gotten fired. And so I was going around Stone Mountain where I work out or, and I was really just kind of dragging myself on the mountain [laughter] And, I was asking God, I’m like, there’s gotta be something else. What is my purpose in life? Like, I’m clearly… I’m not anybody’s wife anymore, I’m not this, I’m not that. What am I? And what I heard was, “Look at your life.” And so I really just started thinking, and I’m a list maker… Anybody who comes to my office, they see like these big huge posted note.

0:18:09.5 MB: Oh Lord.

0:18:10.4 TB: I’m a beautiful mind all day… These big huge notes all around my office kinda stuff.

0:18:13.9 MB: Oh Lord, seems to be a theme. Okay.

0:18:15.4 TB: And so that’s what I do. And so I started writing it down and jotting at me Like I was… It was almost obsessive about trying to figure out, “Okay, what does he mean look at your life? What does that mean?” And I just started thinking about all the different things. Right? I thought, of course, as me being a mom myself, that is the grounding thing in my life.

0:18:32.3 MB: Sure.

0:18:32.9 TB: Right. It’s me being a mother.

0:18:34.9 MB: Yep.

0:18:35.5 TB: And so, I said, it’s gotta have something to do with that. It’s gotta have something to do with me… I was really obsessed at that time too. I was reading TechCrunch and Mashable about this leaky pipeline in STEM. And I was like, that sounds like some BS to me, [laughter] but, you know, it’s not a talent issue, it’s an access issue.

0:18:51.6 MB: Right.

0:18:52.3 TB: And then I really started even thinking about earlier, when I was in college and the most pivotal thing happened was, I love… And whenever somebody says that, “That little boy is bad.” I’m like, “Give him to me.”

0:19:03.8 MB: Oh boy.

0:19:04.3 TB: If the little girl is sassy, give her to me.

0:19:06.9 MB: Gotcha.

0:19:07.4 TB: ‘Cause I know I can. I love those kids. I love the challenged kids. Right? But there was one when I was in college that they labeled as the bad kid. Right? And so I worked at a rec center to pay for school. Unlike my child, I worked full-time to pay for school.

0:19:21.3 MB: But the goal is for us to do better so they don’t have to do what we did. That’s what they say.

0:19:24.6 TB: Amen.

0:19:25.0 MB: Okay. [laughter]

0:19:26.4 TB: And so [laughter] And so, but he used to always talk about bridges, right? Like I would spend all the time talking about bridges, and all this kind of stuff with him. But I had to leave because I had to take a class.

0:19:36.3 MB: Sure.

0:19:36.8 TB: I didn’t work with their schedule. And so I gave him a book on Bridges.

0:19:39.4 MB: Oh wow.

0:19:40.1 TB: And so his mom was like, “Thank you, but you know, he’s not really gonna be building bridges. Right?” And…

0:19:46.6 MB: Wow.

0:19:48.8 TB: I was like, “Why do you say that?”

0:19:49.6 MB: Wow.

0:19:50.7 TB: And she was like, “How many inns, do you know…

0:19:54.6 MB: Wow.

0:19:55.3 TB: That build bridges, I was so mad. I was so angry.

0:19:58.5 MB: That’s so unfortunate.

0:20:00.1 TB: At the time.

0:20:00.2 MB: Yeah.

0:20:00.7 TB: But the truth is, that was in ’91, ’92. It was like 2.6% civil engineers Black. ’64. In 1964, it was like 2.1 civil engineers Black.

0:20:13.0 MB: Wow.

0:20:13.2 TB: All that time it hadn’t changed to this date, it’s less than 3%.

0:20:17.2 MB: Wow.

0:20:18.0 TB: Black civil engineer. So, she wasn’t wrong.

0:20:21.6 MB: Right. Right.

0:20:22.7 TB: But she was wrong because she spoke death…

0:20:22.9 MB: Her expectations of data spoke to that, but she didn’t create an opportunity.

0:20:26.3 TB: Absolutely.

0:20:26.9 MB: Yeah.

0:20:26.9 TB: And you spoke death to your son.

0:20:28.4 MB: Yeah. Wow.

0:20:29.2 TB: You spoke death to his dreams.

0:20:30.6 MB: Jeez.

0:20:31.2 TB: And so, I thought about that. How many kids in my life had I experienced who had had death spoken to their dreams? And so that’s another reason why when I talk about getting the parents on board, it’s so important so that they can see it and so they can speak life to their children’s dreams.

0:20:48.7 MB: Wow.

0:20:48.8 TB: And so all those things started kind of coming at me and I was… Again, on my poster boards and writing lists and all that stuff, and I said toys. I was like, how do we change the trajectory of these kids lives? How do we make sure that kids like him have life spoken to them and they have access, and they have opportunities, and they have all those things. And that we can shut these folks up about this leaky pipeline in STEM and we can disrupt this, this abysmal projection… The projection for us for 2053, our network network…

0:21:21.6 MB: Zero.

0:21:24.2 TB: Zero dollars. Right?

0:21:24.3 MB: Yes.

0:21:24.3 TB: How do we disrupt that? Right?

0:21:25.2 MB: Yeah.

0:21:25.3 TB: ‘Cause that’s not about you and me, that’s about our kids. Right?

0:21:27.5 MB: That’s right.

0:21:27.7 TB: And so toys came to me…

0:21:31.1 MB: Wow.

0:21:31.6 TB: But then I didn’t know anything about toys. I was like, “That’s great, God, but what are we gonna do?” [laughter] So, what I will say is… And this sounds real preachy and evangelist-like type, but I will say that I truly believe now at this point in my life, that God will not give me the vision without the provision. Every time my back is up against a wall, a door opens or a window opens Or a crawl space opens. And I’m gonna climb myself through it and figure it out. I think the thing that inspired me was to live a more authentic life. And to stop pretending so much. And so I was like, “What would give me the opportunity to live my full self and be unapologetically Terri?”

0:22:16.7 MB: Yeah.

0:22:16.9 TB: And this is what I came with.

0:22:18.4 MB: What was the young man’s name?

0:22:19.7 TB: His name was Marcus.

0:22:20.8 MB: Where’s Marcus now?

0:22:22.0 TB: So, Marcus did 15 years in Nebraska State Penitentiary. So, I don’t know where he is now.

0:22:27.4 MB: Wow. I bet he thought about bridges while he was in there, though.

0:22:30.2 TB: I bet he thought about bridges. And I bet his mom probably thought about, what if I had done something. I hope she thought about what if I had done this instead of that.

0:22:39.5 MB: Yeah.

0:22:39.5 TB: Yeah.

0:22:40.6 MB: What’s your favorite game, or toy that you’ve created?

0:22:44.4 TB: The favorite, it’s like, what’s your favorite child?

0:22:46.8 MB: Okay.

0:22:48.2 TB: It just depends.

0:22:48.3 MB: Okay. Pick the one that you know. Alright. You created first, is the top seller.

0:22:52.5 TB: I think one of our newer ones is super cool. So Zoe, she represents zoology. And what I’m gonna say… I’m just gonna nerd out a little bit.

0:23:01.7 MB: Okay.

0:23:01.7 TB: But what’s super cool about Zoe… So we do STEAM kits for each of the characters.

0:23:06.1 MB: Okay. So. She’s a little Black girl.

0:23:07.2 TB: Okay. So all the characters are Black.

0:23:09.3 MB: Black, okay. Gotcha.

0:23:10.1 TB: They represent all areas of the Black diaspora.

0:23:13.4 MB: Okay.

0:23:13.4 TB: So, we created them with a global… Through a global lens.

0:23:17.7 MB: Okay.

0:23:17.8 TB: So they are from every part of the world, right? And so we have some Afro-Latinos.

0:23:25.5 MB: Okay.

0:23:25.8 TB: We have one from Queensland, Australia.

0:23:29.2 MB: Wow.

0:23:29.4 TB: We’ve got some from Africa. We’ve got some from South America. And we’ve got, of course some from the United States and Europe and everything. But Zoe is from Queensland, Australia. And she’s, her specialty is zoology. That’s her area of interest. And so her kit has like, they’re identifying… This, it sounds so weird, but the kids love it. The scat of each of the different animals. So they’re tracing the animal migration patterns.

0:23:54.6 MB: Wow.

0:23:54.9 TB: They’ve got these little scat cars, they’ve got these little clay stamps for them to make the footprints, they’ve got like a little charades of the different animals in there. It probably doesn’t sound as great as it is…

0:24:04.9 MB: Wow.

0:24:05.3 TB: But it is a…

0:24:05.3 MB: I’m excited. Personally.

0:24:06.3 TB: Fascinating kit.

0:24:06.5 MB: I’m excited. Wait a minute. I’m ready. I’m ready.

0:24:07.1 TB: I love it, right?

0:24:09.2 MB: Wow.

0:24:09.7 TB: And I want some little Black kid at Thanksgiving, Christmas to be… When all the family’s gathered to like, do you know about Giraffe scat? Or do you… Or I can tell you about… We don’t talk about that.

0:24:21.1 MB: That’s right.

0:24:21.5 TB: Right?

0:24:21.7 MB: That’s right.

0:24:22.1 TB: We don’t talk about that. And so we don’t talk about, binary coding and I’m trying to create kids that are the, do you know… Did you know kids. Right? The little annoying ones that got all the little fun facts…

0:24:33.3 MB: I got one of those.

0:24:33.9 TB: And they’ll just talk to you…

0:24:34.6 MB: I got one of those.

0:24:35.4 TB: Those are the best kids.

0:24:36.2 MB: Do you know why the clouds look that way? No. Did you know that the… Some animal in the sea? I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know anything about that.” Okay.

0:24:43.0 TB: But isn’t that great though?

0:24:44.0 MB: Yeah. It was exciting. It’s exciting. Timing is sometimes off [laughter] but it’s extremely exciting. It’s extremely exciting.

0:24:49.9 TB: Right?

0:24:50.1 MB: Yes.

0:24:50.2 TB: ‘Cause they’re like, they’re talking about things that… You can see their little…

0:24:55.0 MB: The antennas is just going. Yeah.

0:24:56.6 TB: Yeah. It’s just going. And I love it.

0:24:58.9 MB: So how long does it take to make that though? Like, if you’re not a zoo person.

0:25:02.7 TB: Yeah, yeah.

0:25:03.7 MB: What’s that process? How long does it take?

0:25:05.2 TB: So we work with a curriculum developer.

0:25:07.8 MB: Okay.

0:25:07.8 TB: And I have an amazing toy designer.

0:25:11.0 MB: Okay.

0:25:12.7 TB: And I will have the meeting… I’m like, “Okay, so this is what I wanna do.” And they’ll tell me, “Nah, it’s probably on track with what they would do.”

0:25:21.5 MB: It’s possible. Okay.

0:25:24.0 TB: Or, Well, what about this?

0:25:24.6 MB: Yeah.

0:25:24.6 TB: And then they’ll present the ideas back to me. Well, I’ll pick which ones we want to go in the STEAM kits.

0:25:30.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:25:30.6 TB: And then we go into production.

0:25:32.7 MB: Yeah.

0:25:32.8 TB: Or you know, there’s a process, but then we go into production.

0:25:34.7 MB: Sure.

0:25:35.8 TB: So it’s a lengthy process. Ours is probably shorter than most of the companies, we’re able to be more agile ’cause we’re so small.

0:25:41.7 MB: Gotcha.

0:25:42.1 TB: And ’cause we didn’t know what we were doing. Like, there probably [laughter] some things that we should be doing in between, but I’m like…

0:25:45.1 MB: It’s done. Let’s put it out there. Let’s go.

0:25:48.4 TB: Produce, let’s go.

0:25:48.5 MB: Let’s go.

0:25:48.9 TB: So, I think it’s usually about nine months to a year.

0:25:54.7 MB: Okay. Like you are birthing a baby, okay.

0:25:55.5 TB: Yeah. But what I hear is, it’s supposed to be like 18 months or something.

0:25:58.2 MB: So you had schedule.

0:26:00.1 TB: But I just think there’s a lot of inefficiencies that are built into some of those processes too, right?

0:26:02.2 MB: Gotcha, gotcha.

0:26:03.1 TB: And so being the decider, I think I cut through a lot of…

0:26:06.1 MB: Of course.

0:26:06.3 TB: Some of those things. Yeah. But it did…

0:26:08.1 MB: Did Terri say it was good? Terri, said it was good. Okay. It’s good. Okay, let’s go.

0:26:10.7 TB: Let’s go. Let’s go. But we do test, now we do test. So, that’s one of the benefits also having like the school program, is that we test with schools.

0:26:18.7 MB: That’s cool.

0:26:19.0 TB: We test with the kids, teachers and parents. Because those are the three that we needed.

0:26:24.1 MB: No need to do A/B testing on social media. Let’s just take it to our audience.

0:26:25.5 TB: Let’s take it to our audience, right?

0:26:26.5 MB: I love it.

0:26:26.8 TB: Right? Yeah.

0:26:27.2 MB: Yeah.

0:26:27.4 TB: Absolutely. Because what I find is, a lot of people say, yeah, I would love that. I would support that.

0:26:31.5 MB: Sure.

0:26:31.9 TB: And then, No.

0:26:32.7 MB: They don’t.

0:26:33.5 TB: Right. They don’t. So, I wanna see how toyetic it is. Do they… Is it very playable? Is it… Do the parents, like when they get down with their kids and they’re doing it, are they, is it like they are having fun?

0:26:44.5 MB: Gotcha, gotcha.

0:26:46.5 TB: And so those are all things that we’re really looking for. And then our job is to, then once we’re in production, is to figure out what is the marketing of these products gonna look like.

0:26:56.6 MB: Gotcha, gotcha. So it sounds like there’s a team that you’ve put together. How hard was it to get that team together?

0:27:03.3 TB: Do I have a team together?

0:27:06.2 MB: Okay. That’s a good question I mean, it sounds like there’s quite an effort to get these toys and boxes to market.

0:27:13.2 TB: Absolutely. I absolutely love my team. Okay. I do love my team. I think, again, we’re all just figuring it out right now. And so I think, the next thing that we have to do is really… We’ve already started putting in the processes, putting in some systems and all of those things. So that’s really super important. But I think the hardest thing about this business has been the team, building the team. And I talked to other founders that have transitioned to CEOs, and that has been the struggle, right? And the people that helped you start are not necessarily the people that you continue on with.

0:27:41.0 MB: Fair enough. Yeah.

0:27:42.3 TB: And so there’s been some transition there. But I think for me, it’s, I get it. Like, no one’s gonna be quite as passionate as me ’cause it’s my baby, right? And it’s my big vision. But, they got to be on board on this vision. They got to understand that we spell Black with a capital B. They gotta understand that we are unapologetic about who we’re serving and how we’re serving and why we’re serving, right? My team is that. And so the other things we can learn and they can learn as they go.

0:28:11.3 MB: Gotcha.

0:28:11.8 TB: I’m all about making mistakes. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.

0:28:15.2 MB: Gotcha. I like that. So if I were to walk in, what is the culture of your company look and feel like?

0:28:22.3 TB: Yeah. So we walk into our office, it’s a really warm, fun, friendly space, lots of colors.

0:28:28.2 MB: I’m thinking lots of toys all over.

0:28:30.4 TB: Lots of toys. We’ve got, we also use it kind of as a showroom. So people can come in and they can see exactly. ‘Cause it’s kind of hard to imagine sometimes, right? So they can come in and they can see the toys. But it’s like lots of colors, really our brand colors all over. But then you see like my people, they’re working, right? They’re working and they’re talking and we’ve got music playing in there.

0:28:48.5 MB: Got a mood.

0:28:55.0 TB: And we’ve got a mood, right? And they get to pick which music we’re listening to for the day. I said, well, I was going to… My big Post-it paper. So, we’re right across from Georgia State University. And so I said, I want to put a big Post-it on the window that says Dance Challenge at three o’clock. And then we’ll see what kids are out there that wanna dance. And then we’ll dance. And then my team were like, we didn’t do any.

0:29:12.9 MB: Why do we got to dance?

0:29:13.8 TB: Why we got to dance?

0:29:15.2 MB: Why we dance?

0:29:15.6 TB: But I just wanted to be fun.

0:29:17.3 MB: Did you do it?

0:29:18.2 TB: No, ’cause they don’t want to do it with me.

0:29:19.9 MB: Oh, okay.

0:29:21.3 TB: And I’m not a good dancer. You know that. I am not a good dancer.

0:29:22.5 MB: No comment.

0:29:27.3 TB: But I just thought it would be fun. Right? We’re going to do that dance contest.

0:29:30.1 MB: We’ll be back with more Founder Hustle after the break. Welcome back to Founder Hustle. Here’s more of my conversation with Terri Bradley. When you think about that hiring process, what is the best lesson you learned other founders and CEOs should know?

0:29:48.7 TB: Don’t hire your friends. Do not hire your friends. I lost a 20-year friendship just because our expectations weren’t aligned. I was clear about my expectations. But I think a lot of times when people think of startup, they think it’s gonna be sexy and fun and it’s all…

0:30:04.5 MB: Oh, it’s not.

0:30:05.3 TB: The things that they see on TV. Most of the time it’s not.

0:30:07.5 MB: It’s messy.

0:30:08.9 TB: It’s messy. It’s long hours. It’s hard. Right? And so I think when, particularly in this case, when my friend came on board, she thought it was gonna be this glamorous thing.

0:30:21.2 MB: Gotcha. She was like, wait a minute, you want me to try to read these stickies? You want me to cut paper?

0:30:27.2 TB: You want me to be here sometimes on the weekend? You want me to sometimes… I mean, like the work is the work.

0:30:32.7 MB: You want me to carry boxes in my car?

0:30:39.0 TB: You want me to put boxes in my car. Right? Or have to go do warehouse visits and that kind of stuff. And so one, I would say never hire your friend. Two, have very clear expectations. Document things. Right? I don’t believe in saying we are a family. Right? I think that’s a way that… Two things happen with that. I think it’s manipulative for a lot of employers when they’re like, “Oh, his this family. And then they want you to do a lot more and go above and beyond because you’re supporting this family.” But then I think it also allows employees to be lazy.

0:31:02.5 MB: Gotcha.

0:31:03.4 TB: Because they think, “Oh, well, we’re family.”

0:31:05.3 MB: Right. It’s all good.

0:31:06.6 TB: You’re like mom to me. I’m not your mom, right? And so I think I want to have a really positive, good, fun, energetic, inspiring place to work. But I will fire you. Right? And I think that’s important to be able to fire fast. I think it’s… Otherwise, it’s cancer to your team.

0:31:24.8 MB: So it sounds like you want to have fun, but there’s some boundaries of accountability, for sure?

0:31:26.0 TB: Absolutely. Absolutely.

0:31:30.1 MB: How does that go over?

0:31:35.7 TB: You know, I mean, I think I’m clear. Right? So I mean.

0:31:36.7 MB: Do you write them down? Can people see them?

0:31:39.2 TB: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We talk about it. We have weekly team meetings. We talk about performance, then we talk about where we are with things and accountability. And we do a lot of big kudos to folks.

0:31:48.0 MB: Gotcha.

0:31:48.8 TB: Right? It’s got to be… I believe in sticking carrot, I’m old school. Right? And so but I want to do a lot more carrots.

0:31:54.8 MB: Gotcha.

0:31:55.2 TB: But there is accountability. And…

0:32:02.6 MB: Performance reviews.

0:32:06.3 TB: Performance reviews. Right? Deadlines are deadlines for a reason. I think a lot of times people… Even employees, they think of a startup like Instagram. Right? What they see on Instagram. And it’s not that.

0:32:12.1 MB: People dancing around. Having fun.

0:32:12.4 TB: People dancing around. Never… You know, we are in the office, so, that’s a thing. Right? And here’s the real truth. You can’t do all the things that I do. Right? And I think that’s been a hard thing for people who… The younger folks that want to do what seems glamorous. And so…

0:32:30.8 MB: They’re like, yeah, I want to sit there and talk about the scat. And you’re like, but you can’t even spell it. You don’t even know what we’re trying to create.

0:32:38.7 TB: Well, well, even like, traveling. Right? When you’re younger, you think it’s really glamorous. But it can be taxing. It can be very, very taxing. And I think they saw that we all went to a big toy trade show, which was amazing.

0:32:48.7 MB: Sure.

0:32:49.9 TB: You know, I had to…

0:32:50.2 MB: How many other Black people were there?

0:32:53.2 TB: There was one other big exhibition.

0:32:57.2 MB: Wow.

0:32:57.3 TB: Right. And so we ran into each other in the bathroom and talked for like 20 minutes.

0:33:00.2 MB: Wow.

0:33:00.7 TB: It was great. But that’s another moment where I take pause and I’m like, “Look at where you are.”

0:33:06.0 MB: That’s huge.

0:33:06.1 TB: Look at what you’re doing. I think, that my team was exhausted, so you understand…

0:33:11.2 MB: They thought like oh, we going, we gonna hang out, we go have dinner hang.

0:33:14.1 TB: We gonna hang out, exactly.

0:33:14.6 MB: We’ll we talk to some people.

0:33:15.9 TB: Exactly.

0:33:17.0 MB: And they didn’t know, that you’re there before it opens?

0:33:18.6 TB: Yes.

0:33:18.8 MB: You’re setting up the place.

0:33:20.5 TB: Yes.

0:33:20.8 MB: Yep.

0:33:21.0 TB: And your other work still has to happen. [laughter] So when you leave the booth, you need to get online or do whatever else you need to do ’cause…

0:33:27.3 MB: You gotta fill some orders, customers service.

0:33:28.3 TB: You gotta fill orders, you gotta respond to this, you gotta do that. And so I think it was good for them to travel. I think it’s also good… Part of my work, part of my job, I think is to not just create opportunities, but create experiences for my team. It’s funny, it made me laugh a little bit. I sent them their per diems and they’re like, “What is this?” [laughter] I’m like, it didn’t dawn on me that they…

0:33:51.4 MB: Had never known.

0:33:52.6 TB: Had never traveled.

0:33:52.6 MB: Gotcha.

0:33:52.7 TB: And so when I said, what’s your per diem? They’re like, yeah, but what is that? Do you want me to go buy something [laughter] or do you want to go?

0:34:00.1 MB: So you could eat.

0:34:00.1 TB: So I’d explain that, so you could eat while you’re here. And so it’s those things to give these young Black folks these experiences. It feels good.

0:34:07.5 MB: That’s cool. You said you started this and didn’t really know, but you knew that there was a vision that you got on the mountain. So what’s the end goal?

0:34:16.4 TB: End goal is to be… I really hate when people say the Uber of, this of, but I’m gonna have to use it. The Disney. Be a Black Disney, there’s so many opportunities for global expansion, for content, for the toys, for online games, for games for all those things. It’s a completely white space right now. And…

0:34:38.8 MB: And the population’s changing.

0:34:41.6 TB: The population is changing.

0:34:42.8 MB: So a lot more young people are people of color and we wanna see ourselves.

0:34:45.0 TB: We wanna see ourselves. And I think… But retailers are understanding.

0:34:48.5 TB: Sure.

0:34:49.1 MB: That they’ve always had diverse customers, but never inclusive product offerings. And so we are filling that space. We’re different in that we are educational toy focused… Education focused. And so we’re helping fill that space for our customers, our retail customers. But ultimately, as our core focus, our Black children, there’s a representation. I can’t tell you how many times I did a Black and brown founder funder event and all the brown folks came up to me like, when are you gonna do this for us?

0:35:24.1 MB: Wow.

0:35:24.4 TB: When are you… I mean, I always get that. When are you gonna do this character? When are you gonna do this for us? When are you… We have a new line called College Builds: HBCU edition. They’re like what about the HSIS?

0:35:34.1 MB: That’s right.

0:35:34.2 TB: Hispanic Servant’s Institution. I’m like, “Let me get my foot in,” and it’s funny because you end up being this thing for everyone and it’s a lot of pressure. But the big goal is we wanna take on everybody. And I say it all the time we’re not trying to get acquired, we’re not trying to scale and sell. We’re trying to be at the… We wanna be that Milton Bradley.

0:35:57.4 MB: Just keep going.

0:35:57.5 TB: And that doesn’t mean…

0:35:58.0 MB: We got the name. You ready? Terri…

0:35:58.8 TB: I’m already ready.

0:36:00.5 MB: We’re not related, but…

0:36:00.5 TB: I’m all ready.

0:36:01.1 MB: I know you more than I know Milton so here we go.

0:36:02.2 TB: So there you go.

0:36:03.0 MB: There we go.

0:36:04.8 TB: There you go and you say that we are related.

0:36:05.8 MB: See? But when you talk about that, ’cause when you first said that to me a while ago, I was like, “Wow, that’s pretty powerful.” But when you think about an exit or wherever you wanna be, you’ve gotta a reverse engineer that. So I wanna talk about capital for a second ’cause you… Congratulations you’ve been successful in raising capital. But unlike a lot of other founders, you’re not out there trying to get a whole bunch of venture capital and all that kind of stuff. So, talk a little bit about your fundraising journey and the intentionality behind that.

0:36:27.6 TB: Because as I said we’re not trying to scale and sell. That means we had to be very intentional about how we brought people into our business.

0:36:33.6 MB: And manage your cap table.

0:36:34.5 TB: And manage our cap table. So right now, a hundred percent ownership.

0:36:37.5 MB: Love it.

0:36:39.1 TB: We were able to raise through debt. I’m a firm believer in this, if you won’t bet on yourself, why should anybody else? And I am so confident in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and the partnerships we’re building, we’re gonna get there. And so really, and this isn’t ’cause I’m talking to you, but there are five women that made this happen. If it wasn’t for Melissa Bradley, if it wasn’t for Grace Fricks, if it wasn’t for, Latresa McArthur and, if it wasn’t for Dr. Eloisa Klementich from Invest Atlanta. There were women that were so intentional about… Vicki Saunders from SheEO. You all may… And I’m not unique. I had this product, I had PO’s in hand, I had all of this.

0:37:27.3 MB: That’s right, that’s right.

0:37:27.8 TB: And I could not get capitalized. And I know that that happens to so many other Black founders. But I had five very intentional badass women around me that made sure that I got the capital that I needed. No, I know that wouldn’t happen if I didn’t have PO’s in hand. You’re like, “You gotta bring some to the table.” [laughter] So I had…

0:37:46.5 MB: We do need to at some point to get repayed.

0:37:49.5 TB: We gotta know how to get our money back.

0:37:49.6 MB: But PO’s can still go sideways.

0:37:51.1 TB: And PO’s can go side ways.

0:37:52.5 MB: So I think there was a level of trust on both sides.

0:37:54.3 TB: Absolutely. And I think also it came from, having a track record of at least building… Solidifying my relationship.

0:38:02.4 MB: Yes.

0:38:02.4 TB: Building relationships.

0:38:03.6 MB: Yep.

0:38:03.8 TB: And then just being who I say I’m going to be. Doing what I say I’m going to do. And so we’ve had a very non-traditional… And I always think about all of these announcements like, second Black woman to get a million dollars, like 12… And the fact that we’re still counting and we haven’t made it to 50 yet, is crazy.

0:38:21.8 MB: It’s challenging. Yes.

0:38:22.7 TB: And I’m like, “Well, we’ve gotten over a million dollars. But it wasn’t through VC.” And so, I think it’s a very unique way.

0:38:31.1 MB: Yep.

0:38:31.7 TB: To build a business and we will end up having to take in some equity, but we are gonna make sure that capital looks really right.

0:38:36.5 MB: It’ll be relative.

0:38:37.2 TB: It’s gonna be relative. Because we need to be able to exit those investors.

0:38:40.8 MB: Exactly.

0:38:41.2 TB: And make sure that they see their upside in…

0:38:43.1 MB: Sure.

0:38:43.5 TB: In the investment. But still, at the end of the day, the goal is to create this, I mean, I know, Sara Blakely just sold to Blackstone but what she did, with Spanx…

0:38:56.6 MB: Yeah. Right. It’s huge.

0:38:57.7 TB: I use that as my North star.

0:39:00.3 MB: You say debt and most people go, “Oh, I don’t wanna owe nobody.” So how did you overcome that? Because I know a lot of Black and Brown folks who be like “That’s the last thing I wanna do. I don’t wanna owe anybody anything.” But that is the nature of the game.

0:39:10.5 TB: But why… Help me understand that. I don’t understand that thing.

0:39:14.2 MB: Well, ’cause I may have to speak for myself. I grew up where we had nothing. We were poor. And I watched my mom rob Peter to pay Paul and it was just like…

0:39:23.1 TB: Me too.

0:39:24.3 MB: Man, you can’t ever get out of that. And I think in it as Black people and our desire to be independent and say we got this, you lose some of that when you feel like you owe somebody.

0:39:35.8 TB: Yeah. But…

0:39:37.3 MB: I’m just saying, I think that’s the historical burden that we carry.

0:39:37.5 TB: No, you’re right, You’re right. I think that…

0:39:38.3 MB: That we always, we’re tired of owing people. We were chattel, we were slaves, we were always owing somebody. You have to buy your life back. Well, that’s just bullshit. So I’m not saying it’s rational. But I think there’s a weight that we carry of, if I owe somebody something, then that’s just gonna mess up my ability to be free. And let’s be honest, for a lot of time we’re still trying to be free.

0:40:01.0 TB: This is absolutely true. But I think the opposite… I think we have made raising sounds so sexy.

0:40:06.0 MB: Yeah. It’s not. [laughter]

0:40:08.6 TB: We have made it sound like, “Oh, I wanna be the 38th Black woman to get a million dollars. And then I’ve got friends who have, they’ve gotten $100,000 and given away 10% of their company.

0:40:17.5 MB: Wow.

0:40:18.5 TB: And I’m like, for $100,000? And so I get the not wanting to owe anybody.

0:40:23.5 MB: Sure.

0:40:24.5 TB: But what do you… And this isn’t about, I just wanna own 100% of my company.

0:40:27.7 MB: Sure.

0:40:28.1 TB: That’s not it at all. I would like to have folks in the business that can help me scale the business that have, not just the capital, but have the knowledge to help me to be able to…

[overlapping conversation]

0:40:36.8 MB: Sure. And understand the industry. Yeah.

0:40:38.4 TB: Understand the industry, have a roll index that they can use on our behalf. So I’m all about that. I believe that anybody who’s in your business should see an upside to your business.

0:40:45.8 MB: Absolutely.

0:40:46.8 TB: But I do think that we have… I don’t think oftentimes controversial statement, but we even understand raising capital.

0:40:54.6 MB: Oh no.

0:40:55.5 TB: And so we think, well, I just saw this and this is what somebody else did…

0:40:57.1 MB: We saw the White guy do it and look at his success. How do I get that?

0:41:00.4 TB: Exactly. And I wanna… And I love Jay-Z and I quote Jay-Z all day. However, the whole, I have 1% of a billion versus… That’s a cute little tagline, but you are probably not gonna have… Let’s look at what most companies do. It’s not gonna get to a billion. You’re not gonna be a unicorn.

0:41:17.9 MB: That’s right.

0:41:18.0 TB: And so now you own 1% of $100,000?

0:41:22.7 MB: Which is more than you’ve put in, in blood, sweat, tears time.

0:41:26.1 TB: Right. And so just think about when people are trying to… They’re going after VC, what that really means, have they thought about what their exit needs… What they want it to look like? So, when I think of Tristan with Bevel. And so he came and we had a little round table with him and I asked him, I said, I asked him two questions. I was like one, “Why did you position yourself as a tech company…

0:41:52.3 MB: Sure.

0:41:52.4 TB: When you’re clearly consumer product.” He’s like, “That’s the only place that was giving out money.”

0:41:55.7 MB: And remember he grew up in Silicon Valley.

0:41:57.6 TB: Right. Exactly. And so then he also said that, he’s like, “People always give me a hard time about selling P&G, but there was no way I was gonna be able to pay that capital.”

0:42:06.5 MB: That’s right.

0:42:07.0 TB: So I had to sell it.

0:42:09.0 MB: That’s right.

0:42:10.3 TB: And so I don’t think people think about that part.

0:42:13.5 MB: Sure.

0:42:14.2 TB: You getting $1 million but you have to pay that back.

0:42:16.1 MB: Well, most people don’t think three to five years out to begin with.

0:42:18.9 TB: Well, there’s that.

0:42:19.7 MB: ‘Cause as a founder, you’re so busy with your head down. You’re like, “I can’t even think that far. I’m just trying to make month to month, quarter to quarter.” So I think even your positioning of like I’m standing on the mountain, this is my vision, and then instead of saying, “Okay, step by step by step,” you’re like, “No, no, this is my angle. Now how do I just reverse engineer to get there?”

0:42:35.9 TB: And that’s what I did.

0:42:37.7 MB: And those are two… One side is very bad or good, but they’re very different approaches that lead you in different ways. And I also think the difference is, you didn’t say it, but I felt it, which is you are very clear about your value and your worth. And so you are very clear that if somebody gives you a million dollars, that does not necessitate a 30 to 35% equity stake because you know what the value of this company is. And I think that’s really hard in this scheme of Black founders because people underestimate us, undervalue us. There’s no precedent or proxy and the few that have made it through, “Oh, those are the exceptions.” That’s a big deal.

0:43:11.4 TB: And I’m really curious too. I would love to talk more to… And most of my friends are entrepreneurs. But it’s very interesting because I’m wondering, and I love listening to Bea Dixon talk all the time.

0:43:23.1 MB: Honey Pot. She’s killing it.

0:43:23.8 TB: I’m trying… She says, “I’m trying to sell this company.”

0:43:25.2 MB: That’s right.

0:43:25.8 TB: And I appreciate that because she knows what she wants for her exit.

0:43:29.4 MB: That’s right. She’s got all those investors. She really doesn’t have much of a choice.

0:43:32.8 TB: She does not have much of a choice, but she was very… But I think she took on all those investors because she was very clear what she wanted at the end.

0:43:37.1 MB: Absolutely.

0:43:39.8 TB: And so, and for me, I’m the opposite, but I’m also very clear what I wanted at the end. I just wish that as Black founders and CEOs, we really thought about that before we take in a single dollar to our company. ‘Cause once you start…

0:43:53.0 MB: It’s hard to get off hard rat race.

0:43:54.0 TB: It’s hard. Yes. The Godfather, once you in, you can’t get out.

0:44:00.0 MB: What [laughter] I had the whole Godfather image. What is it that you’re most excited about right now?

0:44:09.0 TB: I’m excited about a few things. What I’m most excited though about is, we’ve just got a new licensing deal with Nickelodeon. So, we’ve got that going on. They’re already talking to us about a second licensing.

0:44:18.8 MB: I love that.

0:44:20.1 TB: Let’s get the first one done. Let’s be decent and order.

0:44:22.3 MB: But I appreciate your patience.

0:44:22.9 TB: I appreciate… Yeah. And that exactly that…

0:44:26.3 MB: Nickelodeon is a big ass company.

0:44:27.4 TB: Yes it is.

0:44:29.4 MB: How’d you get there and what is this licensing deal?

0:44:32.0 TB: So one theme that you’ll always hear from me is about relationships. The year before I had joined Women in Toys. All right. And I’d serve on their executive DEI board, I do all those things. I talked to them about what it means to be Black, all the fun things, but… And so, but I made a really great relationship there and she was leading consumer products for Nickelodeon.

0:44:56.3 MB: Wow.

0:44:57.4 TB: And so she’d asked me the year before about, let’s work together. I really wanna work together. I had no money and I had no idea how to make a product.

0:45:05.6 MB: Common theme, but shit happens. No money, but shit happens.

0:45:09.0 TB: Exactly, but shit happens. So, I said, this isn’t a good time. I think sometimes you have to know when to say…

0:45:14.3 MB: Absolutely.

0:45:14.3 TB: Not no, but not right now.

0:45:14.6 MB: That’s key. That’s right.

0:45:15.4 TB: And so I passed on it and then so she came back to us again, this time last year actually. And she was like how… I really wanna… I want you to work on our Blaze property. So, Blaze is their hottest preschool property.

0:45:28.8 MB: Wow.

0:45:29.6 TB: It’s all about Monster Trucks, but it’s also all about STEAM. They’re like, we think you’re the best at doing that for us. So, they do a lot of collaborations with toy companies and so, for example Melissa & Doug, they do collaboration with Blue’s Clues. So when you go on a Target and you see their stuff, it’s like very clearly Melissa & Doug ’cause they do wooden toys, and then it’s very clearly Blue’s Clues.

0:45:52.0 MB: Blue’s Clues. Yeah.

0:45:52.8 TB: So for us, it’s like, well, what’s gonna be our very clearly Brown toy box? ‘Cause all we had were a few STEAM kits in Target at this… Well, and we didn’t have that at that point.

0:45:58.7 MB: Wow.

0:46:00.2 TB: And so we’re gonna do STEAM kits for them around their Blaze property.

0:46:04.4 MB: Wow.

0:46:05.8 TB: So just like ours, will have a book in there with the activities. And then they’ll have some hands-on play that are all based on learning. So, we’ll be talking about velocity, we’ll be talking about torque and all those different things. And in our books, in our STEAM kits, we always have two Black trailblazers in that. So, of course one of each of going to be… That we put in there are gonna be Black.

0:46:26.8 MB: I love that.

0:46:27.6 TB: I don’t know if they’ll approve that yet, but…

0:46:28.5 MB: Putting it out there.

0:46:30.0 TB: We’re putting it out there. Why would they not?

0:46:30.8 MB: Right. Right.

0:46:31.9 TB: And so we were able to secure licensing with Nickelodeon to do their Blaze property. And it’s such a big compliment, right? Because one, we’ve never done a licensing deal before. And so we are learning on the fly. They’ve made some really… They’ve got some supplier diversity goals that they’ve gotta hit. And that they’re really committed to.

0:46:50.9 MB: That’s good.

0:46:52.7 TB: And I appreciate that them helping us along like, ’cause they know this is our first one, so they’ve been helping us along, but that they put their biggest preschool property in our hands.

0:47:00.6 MB: I love that.

0:47:01.6 TB: And so that’s super super cool. And so we’re gonna knock it out the park.

0:47:05.7 MB: I love… Kudos. That’s big time. Big time.

0:47:08.3 TB: Thank you. We’ve got that going on. We’ve got the new college builds product line coming out, which is going to be amazing. And so we’ve just got so much amazing things happening for us, and it’s just making sure that we meet the moment. And that I don’t say yes to everything, but the things I say yes to, I wanna do it really, really well.

0:47:31.7 MB: Sure. Sure.

0:47:32.1 TB: And so, I’m excited about the quality of the new products. When we first started, when we first launched… This is… We’re just on our one year anniversary since we were a toy company.

0:47:42.6 MB: Wow.

0:47:43.8 TB: One year.

0:47:44.9 MB: Wait. Let me… One year and you already working with Nickelodeon and selling in Target and all that. Okay.

0:47:53.2 TB: I mean, we gotta work. Gotta work. And so, but the first line of toys, if I’m gonna be 100% honest, weren’t the best to me. And of course you’re gonna always be your harshest friend. But no, there were some…

0:48:04.5 MB: That’s sounds good to share.

0:48:05.6 TB: There were some quality issues. So the beauty of it was, our first step back, we got a national deal with Target. The curse of it was, our first step back. We got a national deal with Target.

0:48:16.8 MB: National deal with Target. That’s right.

0:48:17.5 TB: And so where you would usually be able to make tweaks and fix things and do those things.

0:48:21.5 MB: But that’s a margin business.

0:48:24.7 TB: Yeah, and our first step back, if there were some things that weren’t great, it was on a national state.

0:48:28.9 MB: That’s right.

0:48:29.1 TB: And so now I’m excited that we have an opportunity to show the new thing. And we’re just gonna keep getting better and better and better. I’m never one that believes that we need to wait until it’s perfect. I know as women, we do that all the time. I’m like, we’re gonna wait and I’m gonna just keep testing, I’m gonna keep testing. Girl, you’re gonna test yourself back into a full-time job.

0:48:45.4 MB: That’s right. [laughter]

0:48:46.0 TB: And so I’m like, just… I’m gonna just…

0:48:48.0 MB: Well, just gotta do it.

0:48:52.1 TB: Do it. And I don’t really read anything on social media. And that’s not because I… In the dark, it’s just not my thing. I’m not like all… I’ll post and go. So, if someone says something mean to me, I would never know.

0:49:02.6 MB: Gotcha. That’s good though. Avoid the distraction.

0:49:05.7 TB: And I’ve got people around that’ll say, “Hey, we need to look at this or look at that.” But I don’t really engage on social media in that way. And so I kind of have a thick skin because of being so broken and coming back and all of that. And so I’m like, I would rather test, I would rather fail, I’d rather do all those things than not try.

0:49:25.8 MB: So tell me about the College Build program.

0:49:29.2 TB: It’s so cool.

0:49:29.7 MB: ‘Cause you’re excited about it, so I wanna be excited.

0:49:32.0 TB: Yes. So these are replicas of college campuses. So it’s called College Builds and there, we starting with the library of each campus. So, we have the license, like with Howard.

0:49:42.2 MB: Nobody ever thinks about the libraries. [laughter]

0:49:44.9 TB: You know right? But because they’re universal, they’re all the same. And there’s one on every campus. And of course there’s a stadium, but we’re talking about education. So why would we start with the stadium?

0:49:53.3 MB: I’m with you. I love it. I love it.

0:49:54.3 TB: And so they’re constructor kits, so they are… We got seven licenses. So again, our second license that we have. So, we’ve got licenses for Howard and Jackson State, and some of the others. And so we are building those… We’re building their campuses. The kids get to build their campus. They’ve got like architect notebooks and drafting. So, all the things that a junior architect would need. And they’re just really cool. And depending on what the actual library on the campus looks like, that is the intricacy of the build. And so it’s just really cool. And then to get HBCU alums reaction when they see it. HBCU alums are kind of, they’re a little crazy. I love them. [laughter], they’re all my people. I love them…

0:50:35.4 MB: I’m not touching that.

0:50:36.7 TB: But they are fanatical about their true universities.

0:50:40.1 MB: That is true. That is true.

0:50:40.3 TB: And that when I think crazy I mean like fan… And I love them.

0:50:42.4 MB: They’re all in.

0:50:42.5 TB: And when I talk to our COO, who is a White man, and I talked to him about HBCU, he’s like, “Yeah, that’s very niche.” I’m like, “You have no idea what… You do not know.”

0:50:50.6 MB: You got that Right.

0:50:52.3 TB: How fanatical and how…

0:50:52.9 MB: And competitive.

0:50:55.3 TB: Competitive and how supportive folks that are about their University.

0:50:58.6 MB: The fastest selling line of polo clothes was when the Morehouse Spelman collaboration came out. Those things were gone gone in less than an hour.

0:51:07.6 TB: Exactly. Exactly.

0:51:07.9 MB: Ain’t no way we hit him.

0:51:10.2 TB: And the funny thing about that is, it’s not all just Morehouse Spelman.

0:51:13.6 MB: That’s right.

0:51:14.3 TB: It’s like folks that love HBC…

0:51:14.7 MB: That Jackson State.

0:51:17.4 TB: All of it. And so all of it. And so I think I’m really excited about that one.

0:51:20.6 MB: Okay. I might wanna get this Myself.

0:51:23.0 TB: And it’s a way to… Again, put Black culture center stage in a way that hasn’t been done.

0:51:29.3 MB: Sure. But also change the perception. Right? Because I think it was so funny, I was watching school days with my kids and they were like, “Well.,

0:51:35.4 TB: Talk about Good and Bad hands.

0:51:37.3 MB: Right. Well, that and the steps shows And so what a great way to say Yes. HBCUs are known for their social work, well, I mean, they’re social activities but there’s also academic excellence.

0:51:48.8 TB: Yes.

0:51:49.1 MB: That has come out of Tuskegee.

0:51:52.1 TB: Yes.

0:51:53.3 MB: And the A&Ts And so let’s start with the library.

0:51:54.1 TB: Absolutely.

0:51:55.7 MB: I love that.

0:51:55.9 TB: And what I think it also does is, it helps kids to be able… So you’ve got this constructor kit, and you’ve got the campus, and we will add on additional bills.

0:52:05.6 MB: Okay.

0:52:06.1 TB: For the low-low price of whatever.

0:52:07.5 MB: I love that.

0:52:09.4 TB: [laughter] Right? And so we’ll be able to add on to those. But it’s planting planning seeds…

0:52:11.8 MB: That’s right.

0:52:12.5 TB: For those kids, right?

0:52:13.4 MB: That’s right.

0:52:13.5 TB: Like this is I can…

0:52:15.4 MB: One, A to go to college.

0:52:15.8 TB: One, A to go to college.

0:52:15.9 MB: And then B go to an HBCU.

0:52:15.8 TB: Or the HBCU, exactly. Exactly.

0:52:16.5 MB: Yeah. Which is happening now. I mean…

0:52:19.3 TB: Right, absolutely.

0:52:20.7 MB: Number of kids major athletes.

0:52:21.7 TB: Absolutely.

0:52:23.1 MB: Are gall going.

0:52:23.2 TB: Are, selecting HBCUs while college enrollment is going down.

0:52:27.1 MB: That’s right.

0:52:28.0 TB: Enroll to other places.

0:52:29.5 MB: That’s right.

0:52:29.9 TB: HBCU is up.

0:52:31.2 MB: It’s up.

0:52:31.8 TB: So, you know, I just dropped my baby off to an HBCU, so.

0:52:31.9 MB: Yeah. That’s exciting. That’s exciting.

0:52:33.3 TB: And she, and actually that school is one of the builds that we’re doing.

0:52:37.5 MB: Oh, wow.

0:52:38.5 TB: Which we’d already obviously done the build.

0:52:40.2 MB: Gotcha.

0:52:40.3 TB: Before she had selected the school, but I’m super excited.

0:52:41.4 MB: Gotcha.

0:52:42.1 TB: So North Carolina, A&Ts is on that list.

0:52:43.0 MB: All right. Now the A&Ts.

0:52:45.8 TB: Yes.

0:52:46.5 MB: You call yourself a social entrepreneur. So, they teach that they class, many people. I always have to say social entrepreneurship does not equal nonprofit. What’s social entrepreneur mean to you?

0:52:56.7 TB: I’m using business for good, using business to change the world. Right? And so that’s what it is for me. It’s like I do not think that revenue and good have to be mutually exclusive. The only way that we can have sustainable growth and impact is if we make money.

0:53:19.1 MB: Right. That’s true. In the capital society kind of have to make some money.

0:53:21.9 TB: They have to make money. So the only way to I can put people to work on this part of the business and the other part of creating the impact through the toys and the things that we’re making is, if we create a sustainable business. So we can be here. Right? We can talk all we want to, but if we don’t make enough money, then we go away. Right? And so we’re not able to make that impact. So, I think a lot of times there’s this misnomer like, it’s gotta be either or. Yeah. And it’s both and… Yeah.

0:53:45.2 MB: But I also like the fact that you are very clear. The change you want to create is disrupting poverty and creating intergenerational wealth.

0:53:54.5 TB: Absolutely.

0:53:55.0 MB: Which is a long game.

0:53:55.6 TB: It’s a long game.

0:53:56.6 MB: So you can’t be in and out in three to five years with some venture capitalist having an exit.

0:54:02.1 TB: Absolutely.

0:54:02.2 MB: So I like the correlation of like mission, the change you wanna see. What has been the biggest change this business has had, on you personally?

0:54:10.1 TB: Gosh, I think it has built my confidence. It has built my fearlessness. I’m always… I mean, I’m and let me qualify.

0:54:20.4 MB: And as far as, I know you were always that way, but I hear you.

0:54:22.4 TB: But also qualify that I’ll be scared. I’m gonna just do it anything.

0:54:27.1 MB: Sure, sure.

0:54:27.4 TB: Right. I’m scared it’s not… It’s my…

0:54:28.5 MB: Well, fearless doesn’t mean you’re not afraid.

0:54:30.1 TB: Exactly.

0:54:30.7 MB: If you’re gonna do it anyway.

0:54:30.7 TB: Right. Right. I’m gonna do it anyway. Right? And so I might fail, but it’s going… I’m gonna have a good time, I’m gonna have a good story. Right? And so, but I think it’s changed me in that I’m just so driven besides my kids, there was nothing in my life that I was so like driven about. I was like, I’m gonna raise good people. Rebellion was not tolerated in my house. [laughter] but I’m gonna have some real… I’m gonna raise really good people. And so that was my passion, right? I was a parent first and then it’s the business. Now, what I will say is I have put myself on the back burner for both, right? And so now as I just had turned 49 last month and I’m looking at 50, I’m like, yes, what do I do for myself now? Right? So, you have given all of yourself to this business. And you will continue to pour into this business, but then what is that mix of, how do you put yourself back on the priority list. And so I went on Amazon and I ordered a couple books, ’cause I used to love to read and I haven’t done recreational reading in forever. And so I just… For, I’m gonna say, let me start with just reading. I think sometimes we think it’s gotta be these huge big things…

0:55:37.3 MB: Yet, you have a spa day.

0:55:38.8 TB: Yeah. Let’s… I’m like, come on. And I don’t wanna talk about how that all that whole self-care just feeds into capitalism. [laughter] I’m not gonna talk about that. Right? You know this whole self-care stuff. I mean, that’s a movement. It’s kind of like Valentine’s Day, right? That’s a moneymaking movement. We’re all going to spas now, we’re all doing… Get outta here with that. I’m gonna read a book.

0:55:56.7 MB: I like that.

0:55:57.5 TB: I’m gonna sit on my front porch on my swing and read a book.

0:56:00.5 MB: What’s the book you’re reading now?

0:56:00.9 TB: The Violin Conspiracy. So, I’m only 40 pages in. But I follow this platform and she only talks about Black literature. And so she was kind of really excited about this book and I was like, well, she’s excited. I wanna read it too. So I’m about 40 pages in which requires that at night I take my laptop outta my bed and I actually set it down and I read my book.

0:56:22.7 MB: Amen, laptop should never be in your bed.

0:56:25.8 TB: Well, my laptop has, I call it the guest side of my bed.

0:56:30.7 MB: Here we go.

0:56:30.8 TB: And so that’s where it sleeps right now. But I’ve gotten better about taking it out and putting it in the chair next to my bed.

0:56:37.2 MB: Oh good. Okay. Progress.

0:56:38.2 TB: Yeah. It’s a progress.

0:56:38.4 MB: Progress, progress.

0:56:38.8 TB: It’s in the room, but it’s in the chair next to my bed.

0:56:40.9 MB: Okay. I’ll look forward to it being not in the room.

0:56:42.6 TB: Right. It’s gonna be too. One day. Okay.

0:56:44.3 MB: I am honored that you joined me for this conversation.

0:56:48.1 TB: Thank you, thank you.

0:56:49.2 MB: Every time I see you, you are happy and excited. So I am excited for you and for Brown Toy Box. Thank you.

0:56:53.5 TB: Thank you so much, Melissa.

0:56:55.1 MB: I appreciate you.


0:56:56.7 MB: Love Terri Brown Toy Box and kudos to her for making Oprah’s favourite things list. I so appreciated her sharing that she spent a lot of money trying to learn the business. She reinforces the need to find mentors and coaches to help you in your entrepreneurial journey. It is, after all, a team sport. I’m so grateful to Terri for sharing about the brokenness of many Black folks and showing her resilience. When Terri shared the story about the Boy and the Bridge, I was reminded how important it is for us to think bigger than what we can see. As people of colour, we are often forced to accept the narrative of those in charge, which often causes us to lose ourselves. So folks, hang on to who you are. Find folks who will love and support you, as you should support yourself, and dream as big as you can imagine, not as big as others can accept.


0:57:54.7 MB: Thank you for listening to Founder Hustle. If you enjoyed this conversation, please subscribe and tell a friend. For more information about our guest, check out our website, There you’ll find all kinds of information, tools, and resources for the new majority entrepreneur. To stay connected, follow us on social media at We Are NMV or Search hashtag Founder Hustle. Founder Hustle is a production of Kinetic Energy Entertainment and New Majority Ventures. Our producer is Anne Kane, our social media producer is Misako Envela, and the show is mixed by Sonya Harris. The intro theme is Vuelta al Sol is by Tomás Novoa. The credit theme is Glide, by Columbia Nights, and the Yays are from Ratata by Curtis Cole. Founder Hustle was recorded at Clean Cuts in Washington DC. I’m Melissa Bradley, see you next time.

0:58:54.5 MB: Oh, here she come with a laptop.

0:58:58.0 TB: Here come the notes, here comes notes.

0:59:00.9 MB: Oh Lord. Yesterday she came in with nothing. Oh, they both coming. Oh Lord, have mercy.

0:59:05.1 TB: We’re doing our job.


Melissa Bradley

Melissa Bradley

Melissa L. Bradley is the Founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth and Co-founder of New Majority Ventures, a purpose-driven media brand featuring content that is entertaining, inspirational and actionable so that these entrepreneurs and their businesses survive and thrive.