MILLI MOGUL MOVES | Berlhey Narcisse, Founder of BEL MONIQUE Magazine

Remember, a real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.
— TONY ROBBINS
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January 2016, on a cold winter's day at work, Berlhey Narcisse realized she needed some personal time to reflect and requested some vacation time off (right away) thinking it wouldn’t be a problem -- but her request was denied. Unbeknownst to her company Berlhey already had a resignation letter typed prior to this, tucked away just in case she ever felt the urge to turn it in. In this moment, that urge was awoken. In that very moment of denial Berlhey found herself exploding with emotion and walked back to her office, printed and signed her letter of resignation and passed it in to her supervisor. Berlhey walked back to her office where she took a moment to wrap her head around what she had just done, but realized she was ready to take the risk and sacrifice her comfortable position and lifestyle for a greater passion. So, she took that much needed time off and traveled to California (her second home) to clear her head.

According to Forbes, “Young women are leaving their corporate jobs to be a part of something bigger. A shocking 86% of women surveyed in a study by REAL left their corporate jobs to start their own companies. In this survey, 43% of respondents said they left because they weren't following their passion, and 33% said they felt too restricted in their current corporate life.” (Read More of the Forbes article Here). Berlhey believed in being part of something greater -- something where she could give and feel confident that her work was actually meaningful and impactful to others.

In August 2016 Berlhey traveled to Las Vegas to attend internationally acclaimed multi-millionaire Marketing Strategist Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery Seminar, with the investment price of $10k per seminar. To many this price tag might seem a bit high, but to Berlhey it was an investment in a promising future. The seminar focuses on strategic innovation, creating an effective business map, financial and legal analysis, optimizing your people and processes and much more. After such a content rich seminar Berlhey came back ready to make her imprint on the world with her new found knowledge of business.

It’s the people in power who pass power on to others.
— Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Youtube

It's becoming more prevalent that millennials are realizing Corporate America is not the only path to take. Berlhey definitely realized her options and opportunities in this world, and made the conscious decision to gain some power of her own. After returning from her trip of reflection, Berlhey’s passion and interest in fashion led her to became a Fashion Stylist/Consultant, which was actually the path of inspiration to her newfound titles of Entrepreneur and CEO of BÈL Monique, a digital magazine that empowers and celebrates everyday black women through editorial experiences.

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For many millennial's like Berlhey, starting a business takes not only a mindset of endless pursuit, but one needs to find their “why.” While styling a photo-shoot for a few women in February 2016, Berlhey got the opportunity to witness the ladies in their natural state; giving high fives and positive praises to encourage one another during each one's turn in front of the camera. Berlhey was amazed by this sight which gave her the idea to host empowerment workshops for women of color with live photo shoots consisting of a full on glam team.

Launched in June of 2016, BÈL is now the only digital magazine, extended out to workshops and photo shoots, where everyday black women are the celebrities! (Read more on what BÈL Monique Magazine stands for HERE.) Berlhey held these workshops for almost a year before realizing she had all these professional photos and no place to really showcase them to the world. December 2016, she decided to create a magazine cover to highlight the women in a more public light. When she posted the cover online, the response was so positive it inspired her to keep the momentum going.

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Becoming an entrepreneur is a risk. But the reward, when successful, will always overpower that risk. Listening to Berlhey speak about BÈL with such passion and confidence made us even more excited to feature her! The BÈL Monique experience consists of a deeply spiritual journey, reconnecting women with both their internal and external beauty. During BÈL Monique's Winter 2018 model experience (consisting of the January - March cover models), January’s cover model (Carolyn Warren) shared her longtime battle with cancer during the workshop. 

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It is always important to tell your story.
— Berlhey Narcisse, CEO OF BEL MONIQUE

Due to the amazing and forever life-changing interactions Berhley experienced with Carolyn, she was able to realize her "why" on a deeper level than before, bringing a new sense of purpose to what she was already passionate about doing. After hearing Carolyn's heartfelt story in the space she had provided, Berlhey felt a deeper urge to provide a platform for women to do exactly what Carolyn had shed light on; owning and sharing their truths. Unfortunately Carolyn Warren was called to rest March 1st, 2018, but her spirit will always resonate with the BÈL Monique movement and mission. 

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In just under 2 years time, Berlhey has taken her brand from a reach of 0 to over 17,000 women across the U.S.

As we interviewed Berlhey, The Milli Blog gained some key takeaways that other millennials can certainly learn from:


What was one lesson you learned the hard way?

I AM BÈL tank tops. They were originally for marketing purposes but not to be sold. After putting them out, people loved them so much I made 200 units for sale… after announcing the tops were available for sale, there were crickets. I learned that even though there may be an interest in it, it doesn’t mean people will actually buy it. You have to test the market first. Every failure is a learning lesson.

What are the 3 biggest benefits to your audience?

Everyday black women have the opportunity to share their story in a way that has never been done before.

Black women have been deemed the least valued people in America, yet we offer so much in our contribution and diversity, I wanted to make sure that was celebrated. Our Editorial Parties are literally, and simply - a celebration of black women. In the midst of black women having to take care of everyone else, at BÈL, we take care of them.

BÈL provides space for entrepreneurs, specifically black women and brands that cater to them, and we do it in a way that truly highlights them.

What does success look like to you? Where is your finish line?

There’s no finish line, you just grow every single day. I love Earl Nightingale’s explanation, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” As long as you are progressively moving in the direction of your worthy ideal, you are already successful. Success stops, when you stop growing in your purpose.

What is one characteristics every leader should possess?

A balance of patience and assertiveness. Because I work with a team now, everyone learns and grows at their own pace.

What are your goals for the BÈL Monique Team?

I don’t ever want my brand to stop growing. If ever my team or I am comfortable, I’m going to switch things up.

What are your tips to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Make it a point in understanding revenue, profit over expenses, & profit margins. Don’t focus so much on money. A true entrepreneur creates value and quality... the money will always follow.

What do you do in your darkest hour?

I always reinforce myself with positive thoughts and actions, quitting is not an option.

How do you support your peers who are trying to walk a similar path like yourself?

I used to tell everyone to quit, and would say don’t do it, then go silent. I access their seriousness based on how they reply — It let’s me know if they really want it.

Berlhey has been able to create a platform for everyday black women who aspire to grow and become the best versions of themselves. As black women we admire and appreciate the efforts that Berlhey has made to ensure that we are seen and heard on equal grounds. Before leaving she mentioned something her pastor once said which resonates with her everyday: “The minute you think you know God, is the minute you no longer need him." We can honestly say that such powerful word will forever resonate with us as well. 

I don’t ever want to be comfortable... I’m still a baby in this. I never want to feel like I know it all in business, because at that point I’ll think there is no more room to grow, and I won’t.

On behalf of The Milli Blog, Thank You for providing Black women an inspiring and empowering platform to be noticed, valued, heard, and to live in our everyday truths. 

 

To Learn More About BÈL Monique

Website: https://www.belmonique.com/

Upcoming Events: I AM BÈL Editorial Party VIII

Instagram: Belmonique

Facebook: Belmonique

Youtube: BÈL

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