Halle Berry on Black Female Entrepreneurship: 'We Have Something to Say, and We Have Something to Offer'
The actress — who launched her wellness community, Re-Spin, earlier this year — is set to speak at the virtual #BrownGirlSwap Black Beauty and Wellness Summit later this week
Halle Berry has been tapped to empower and educate Black entrepreneurs during a virtual (and completely free) summit, launched by Black-founded beauty and wellness brand BROWN GIRL Jane and Black-founded-and-led beauty and personal care brand SheaMoisture.
The #BrownGirlSwap Black Beauty and Wellness Summit, which takes place on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, will set a new precedent for traditional business conferences by being free of charge and easily accessible. The event will act as a valuable networking space and offer valuable business advice from Black leaders in the beauty and wellness industry.
“We are supporting the next generation of beauty and wellness leaders and they are Black women,” Berry (who entered the entrepreneurial space earlier this year with the launch of her multi-faceted wellness community Re-Spin) said of the event in a press release.
Other notable speakers include influential Black leaders from across the beauty and wellness space like singer-songwriter Jill Scott, AARMY co-founder Angela Manuel Davis, Unilever COO Esi Eggleston Bracy and Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler.
“Access to expertise and community have long been out of reach for most Black-owned businesses,” Jane Malaika Jones Kebede, CEO of BROWN GIRL Jane, said in a press release. “We created a new type of conference, targeting areas that have traditionally impaired Black businesses, removing roadblocks to enable countless female entrepreneurs for generations to come.”
CEO of SheaMoisture Cara Sabin added, “Thought leadership is no longer top-down. Community and collaboration reign supreme and insights will become actions from this conference.”
Ahead of the summit, Berry spoke to Tai Beauchamp, Chief Brand Officer of BROWN GIRL Jane via Zoom about the importance of fostering the Black beauty and wellness brands and why she decided to “lean into entrepreneurship” after finding so much success as an actress and director.
"We’re living in a day, a time, an age where we can actually do this. You know what? 10 years ago? Not so easy. 20 years ago? Kind of hard. 30 years ago, 40 years ago? Impossible in many ways. There were only a few who were doing it," the Catwoman star said of launching Re-Spin.
"So, we’re doing it now because we have to do it. Because it’s our right to do it. Because we can do it. Because we have something to say, and we have something to offer. It’s about knowing our worth and knowing our value."
As for why she wanted to be part of #BrownGirlSwap? "We have to support each other," Berry told Beauchamp. "We have to uplift each other. And we have to remind each other why we’re here, and that we have the right to be here."
The John Wick actress also compared the challenges of entrepreneurship to the challenges faced by Black women, explaining that most successful companies were founded by someone “with a strong perspective, someone who has drive, someone who has fortitude, someone that has tenacity, someone that won’t take no for an answer — and that, to me, describes the Black woman.”
“The fact that we’re still here, when we weren’t really [engineered] to be here. But we’re still here...We have a lot of work to do in this field of creation and being entrepreneurs and telling our own story through our own lens for ourselves,” she concluded. “For so long, we’ve been sort of seen through the eyes of others. But it’s time that we take the reins and we allow ourselves to see ourselves through our own lens. We put out products and we tell stories and we control the narrative because we can now. Finally, we can.”