Quantcast

This 33-Year-Old Entrepreneur Secures Her $150K Bag By Blowing Someone Else’s

"When it comes to my coins, I'm a saver, but when it comes to other people's coins, I'm a big spender!"

Money Talks

Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they spend it.

Brittni Mealy is the ruler of her own universe - the Unicorn Universe, that is. As the creator and founder of clothing brand Unicorn Universe, the fashion enthusiast and serial self-starting entrepreneur went from working three jobs at once to being one of the most sought after talents and businesswomen in the fashion and luxury lifestyle space.

The Detroit native was so inspired by her own accomplishments that she wanted to pay it forward with a self-help book, Rich Bi$h Energy: A Self Love Guide To Millions, which was released in early October 2020. "I wanted to do this book because in my personal life, I had to realize that for your business and brand to be consistent, it starts with knowing your worth and setting the standard for how people should treat you. You have to have your mind and energy right in order to have your business right," Mealy told xoNecole.

Rich Bi$h Energy is said to hone in specifically on the relationship between finance and business and the art of self-love, manifestation and self-discovery. Ultimately, Mealy's work of literature is the phrase "create the life you love" in an interactive book with healthy growth-stimulating activities and self-love mantras. Regarding the correlation between self-love and financial security, Mealy shared, "If your peace of mind isn't right, your money isn't going to be right. If you have toxic people or toxic energy around you, you can't perform at your best."

In this installment of "Money Talks", xoNecole spoke with the Unicorn University HBIC about the importance of celebrating the little wins, her exit plan of selling her brand for millions of dollars, and being a dancer at a nightclub to provide for her two kids.

On the most rewarding and challenging parts of establishing Unicorn Universe:

"The most challenging thing I've encountered during my business was actually believing in my brand and knowing that I could be successful at it. Something else that was challenging to me was putting a team in place. I've missed out on a lot of opportunities in business because I was trying to do everything myself. When I finally got out of my own way, and put a team in place, I was able to flourish."

On how much she makes per month:

"$150,000/month. I try to save as much money as I can with my business (around $20,000 a month). I don't have a set number to save."

On her definitions of wealth and success:

"I define success as any goal that you've set out to do and you accomplish it. I feel like that is a reward within itself. I don't think people give themselves enough credit for taking the little steps towards reaching their goals. Small wins count too! Wealth to me is when you build your business or brand up to the point where you've created generational wealth for your family."

On the lowest she’s ever felt when it came to her finances and how she overcame it:

"I remember I was working a 40-hour/week job and I had two kids at the time and I wanted to fix up my kids' room, and I wanted to fix up my kids' bathroom, so I went to Walmart to go shopping for the items, and I didn't have enough to get everything. That was my lowest moment because I felt as though I couldn't provide for my kids.

"I started to hustle, I really got off my ass and started to make things happen! I knew I didn't want to live the way I was living and I knew I wanted to do better for my kids and myself so I started putting 100 percent into achieving my goal of becoming 'overly financially stable'. I took $500 and ordered my first wholesale pieces, and that's when I launched my first-ever online boutique, and being that I already had an Instagram following, I started promoting my business every day and telling as many people as I could about my business, and surely orders started coming in!"

brittni-mealy-leg-extension

Courtesy of Niya Skyy/Skyy Level Media

"I started to hustle, I really got off my ass and started to make things happen! I knew I didn't want to live the way I was living and I knew I wanted to do better for my kids and myself so I started putting 100 percent into achieving my goal of becoming 'overly financially stable'."

On her biggest splurge to date:

"I'm not a really big spender! I don't make too many crazy purchases. I get gifted a lot of things, and I like to say, 'Don't worry about how I'm having it, just know I'm having it, if you know what I mean.' I've just been fortunate enough to have it. The most expensive thing I've ever gifted was a car for my best friend, it cost about $15,000 and it was significant because she really needed a car at the time so she could get her kids back and forth to where they needed to go. I couldn't stand to see her struggling so I had to step in to help her."

On whether she’s a spender or a saver:

"When it comes to my coins I'm a saver, but when it comes to other people's coins, I'm a big spender! I do a great job at saving my money, I've always been a good saver. However, I've been blessed to be in situations where I haven't really had to spend my own money, such as certain relationships where my partner has taken care of a lot of expenses, which allowed me to save my money."

On her savings goals and what retirement looks like to her:

"Eventually, I would love to sell one of my brands for [millions]. That's my exit plan. I would like to sell my Unicorn Universe USA brand because it's become so popular now. We have dedicated shoppers that purchase anytime we drop a new collection, and it's turned into really a whole unicorn cult, where our customers really feel like they are a part of our unicorn community, so I definitely see that brand continuing to grown. I plan to sell the brand when by time I turn 40 hopefully."

On the importance of investing:

"I reinvest into my own company, because I know I have a strong enough following that I can always bet on my business! I also invest in stocks. My top two grossing stocks are Tesla and Zoom. Eventually I would like to get into real estate and invest that way."

On her intentions behind multiple streams of revenue:

"My intentions behind having multiple streams of income was because when one business gets slow, I always have a Plan B! Thankfully, I have three businesses that are all successful, but at least when one of them gets slow I know I'm not going to starve because I still have other income coming in."

Brittni-mealy-straight-forward

Courtesy of Niya Skyy/Skyy Level Media

"Scared money doesn't make any money! I used to be nervous about investing large amounts of money into my business or spending a lot of money on inventory, but if you want your money to grow, you have to spend money to make money which is why I always invest back into my business."

On unhealthy money habits and mindsets:

"Scared money doesn't make any money! I used to be nervous about investing large amounts of money into my business or spending a lot of money on inventory, but if you want your money to grow, you have to spend money to make money which is why I always invest back into my business. After I started making money from my business and believing in my business, I became more comfortable with taking more risks in my business, and once I did that, everything started to go up from there."

On the craziest thing she’s ever done for money:

"I wouldn't say that this is crazy, but I did use to be a dancer in the strip club. I just remember dancing for $5 [per] song, and that was one of the lowest times of my life, but I had two kids to support so I had to hustle. I started dancing simply because I needed the money, and I needed money fast! I've always known I could dance and have a nice body, and I heard how easy it would be for me to make money so I decided to dance. I'm very open about me being a dancer before and I don't regret it because I did what I had to do to survive at the time."

On the worst money-related decision she’s ever made:

"Being scared, being timid, worrying about if people were going to support my business, instead of just focusing on my business early on in my career. I finally decided to trust my intuition after seeing that I was really, really good at designing. I kind of always knew I had a talent for fashion, but once I started getting custom pieces made and people loved them, I knew it was time to take that big step and move in to designing and honestly me trusting my talent changed my life!"

On her budget breakdown:

How much do you spend on rent?

"$4,500/month."

Eating out/ordering in?

"$2,000/month."

Gas/car note?

"$200 per month [on gas]."

Personal expenses?

"$5,000 per month."

For more information on Brittni, follow her on Instagram and shop Unicorn Universe.

Featured Image Courtesy of Niya Skyy/Skyy Level Media

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

The queen of everything Ms. Naomi Campbell, known for being a pioneer of every single element of what it means to be a super model, is now a mommy! She surprised fans with the news, accompanied by a photo of baby girl's tiny feet back in May, captioning the photo:

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Nothing says, "I wanna spend a little bit of quality time with my man" quite like a well-planned out date does. And personally, I agree with someone I was talking to recently who said that the traditional dinner and a movie can get kinda old, pretty fast, mostly because it's so predictable and typically lacks creativity.

Keep reading... Show less

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less

Joie Chavis has been fitness goals for many of us since she danced her way into our hearts a few years ago. She is a mother of two, one being kid superstar Shai Moss, and a fitness influencer, as owner of Joie In Life fitness brand. She also has her own YouTube channel, where she showcases her daily life as an entrepreneur and mom, a channel that has well over 140K subscribers.

Keep reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion is such a breath of fresh air. To me, she represents women that are unapologetic about doing what's best for themselves. In a world where women, *cough* Black women *cough* are so policed--from hair, to behavior, to reactions--she shows up as a superhero, inspiring and representing a young generation of women who are authentically themselves. And not only that, they're women who don't stray from getting what they deserve.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts