Kamaria Warren may only be 10 years old, but she already knows the power of doing what makes you happy. Along with her mother, Warren created Brown Girls Stationary (BGS), schools supplies and accessories for young girls of color. This Atlanta native started Brown Girls Stationary (BGS) to inspire young girls of color to be their own heroes, moving beyond the role of the sidekick. Warren believes that all girls should see their images in characters to feel beautiful and embrace their individual identity.
In 2018, Warren expanded the BGS brand by starting an academy to empower aspiring kid entrepreneurs, the Mini Ceo Academy. The Mini Ceo Academy is a membership website full of business videos for kids by a kid. CEOKID interviewed Warren to learn more about her future plans to empower, equip and encourage diversity through Brown Girls Stationary.
Tell us about Brown Girls Stationery. Describe your products.
Brown Girls Stationery is a business that my mom and I started because there were no products for brown girls. We carry backpacks, T-shirts, notepads, notebooks, bedspreads, blankets and shower curtains, umbrellas and party supplies for girls of color.
What inspired you to create Browns Girl Stationery?
I was inspired to create this business because I wanted brown girls to be represented. I wanted other brown girls to have characters that looked like them with their same interests.
Why do you think it’s important for little girls to see themselves in everyday items such as stationary? What do you hope little girls get from seeing and using your products?
I think it is important because it gives girls something to relate to. Girls are no longer afraid of what makes them unique. It is also important to see brown girls represented on school and party supplies because we deserve to have characters too. I hope that little girls are inspired to live out their dreams and to be okay with being themselves. I want them to understand that everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way.
We love your designs. Describe your design process. How involved are you in creating new designs?
The first step in the design process is for me to look around at my friends, school and the community to think about what I may want to put on products. The second step is to create a Pinterest board that has the colors I want to use, the outfit choices to help my mom and the illustrator to get a better feel of what I want. The third step is to send the design ideas to our illustrator. Once she finalizes the drawings my mom and I use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the full products.
Are you working on any new products or designs? Tell us about them.
I recently launched my new brand to inspire all kids to become entrepreneurs, Mini CEO Academy. I will have a membership website full of business videos for kids by a kid. I am also offering new shirts and backpack designs. We are also launching our Little Genius collection to include STEM related designs for both girls and boys.
Where do you see Brown Girls Stationary in five years?
In the next five years, I want to have my own store where I can print and design for other people. I also want to have my products in other stores for celebrities and other people to purchase. I want to take BGS on a road tour to see HBCU’s over the next five years.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced being a kidpreneur? How have you overcome those challenges?
The biggest challenge would be balancing my time between being a entrepreneur and a kid. Another issue that I face sometimes is dealing with racism. I try to overcome it by doing what makes me happy. I understand that people may not like everything, but if my stuff makes one girl smile then I’m happy.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received? What advice do you have for a kid who wants to start their own business?
My mom told me that she met Arsha Jones of Tees in the Trap and she said, “If you want to make $10,000, stop focusing on $10 an hour tasks.” When my mom told me that, I knew it was time to hire other people. Right now, I have about 7 employees to help with packaging and fulfillment. This frees up my time to enjoy being a kid, planning my businesses and designing with my mom.
My advice for kids who want to start their own businesses is to do whatever makes you happy no matter what people may say.
Learn more about Kamaria Warren and Brown Girls Stationary at https://www.browngirlsstationery.com/.