Quantcast

Tracee Ellis Ross Is Proof That Patience Will Take You Places Hustling Can't

A successful business isn't built in a day.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Rome wasn't built in a day, and a successful brand won't come to fruition overnight. Just ask Tracee Ellis Ross, who has spent the last decade meticulously crafting her entrepreneurial footprint in an industry that is projected to be worth $2 billion in the next four years.

Entertainers like Issa Rae, B. Simone, and Amanda Seales prove that multi-hyphenate hustling isn't a trend, issa lifestyle and Tracee recently sat down with Entrepreneurand let us in on the secret to her entrepreneurial sauce: patience. Tracee explained that the birth of her business came after transitioning from relaxed-to-natural and being left with little-to-too-many options when it came to her haircare regimen:

"I literally started buying everything, to the point that my mother was like, 'Listen here, little girl, your hair products alone are going to break the bank. You need to get either a really good job or a really rich husband if this is going to keep happening.'"

Tracee explained that while her mother's advice had piqued her interest in entrepreneurship, she was still unsure of where to start. Luckily, having been raised by the Queen of Motown herself, the Black-ish actress had already picked up a few lessons on the art of being a boss:

"I don't know that I even knew the word or what it meant. But I feel like my childhood trained me to be a producer and a CEO. My mom is not a woman who sat somewhere and people did things. She is an extremely professional woman who has a sense of agency in her own life and a real work ethic — along with making dinner and waking us up for school and being glamorous, gorgeous, joyful, fun. So it just gave me that example."

Even after Tracee decided to take the leap and begin developing her haircare brand, she did so with virtually "no road map", proving that it's not just about what you know… it's about how bad you want it.

The actress said that after (unsuccessfully) working to launch her brand with not one, but two, major beauty brands, she refused to be discouraged and eventually stumbled upon a fashion collaboration with JCPenny that would ultimately fund the first stages of her business:

"I was like, 'Hold on, everybody. Hold on, team. Hold on!' First of all, how much money can I get and how can that fund the hair company? And then, there were so many extremely important opportunities for growth and to learn how I, my brand, whatever you want to call it, translates monetarily, what works, what goes into articulating my taste, point of view, vision into an actual thing."

With her newfound expertise, the dream that Tracee had envisioned 10 years ago had finally become a reality which should be a reminder to us all that sometimes, patience will take you places that hustling can't.

"I started trying the samples and the team congealed. And I was like, 'Oh my God; this dream is becoming a real thing.' And you could tell that we were trying to fly a plane that we were still building. But we were up in the air."

To read the full interview, click here!

Featured image by Instagram/@traceeellisross.

We all know what it is to love, be loved, or be in love – or at least we think we do. But what would you say if I were to tell you that so much of the love that you thought you’d been in was actually a little thing called limerence? No, it doesn’t sound as romantic – and it’s not – unless you’re into the whole Obsessed-type of love. But one might say at least one side of that dynamic might be…thrilling.

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

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba are gearing up for the second season of their podcast Coupledom where they interview partners in business and/or romance. The stunning couple has been married for three years but they have been together for a total of six years. During that time, they have developed many partnerships but quickly learned that working together isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Keep reading...Show less

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts