Not familiar with Brooklyn Buttah? You might want to get acquainted. With names such as Ebony.com, XONecole and Caribbean Life under her belt, it’s no wonder Alley Olivier chose to channel her entrepreneurial spirit and Brooklyn swag in establishing herself as a digital influencer and founder of BrooklynButtah.com.
I got the opportunity to sit down with the tanned-skin girl boss for a transparent conversation, and by the end of our interview I could sum up Alley in one word. Passionate.
You’re the founder of this dope online destination for millennials, called BrooklynButtah.com. Tell us more about what that means to us and yourself.
BrooklynButtah.com is a digital lifestyle magazine catered toward multicultural millennials, entrepreneurs and creatives with a pop culture flare. I’ve been heavily involved in pop culture reporting ever since college. I studied Journalism at Temple University and decided I’m going into entertainment. That’s kind of like the dream for everyone right? But then I was doing pop culture and then things started getting repetitive – the gossip, and rewriting news that was already out there. I realized my friends are all entrepreneurs and people are coming out of college and creating jobs following a passion purpose. That’s what inspired me to find something deeper and related to real people.
In speaking of real people, starting last year, Brooklyn Buttah evolved from solely online to successfully hosting all types of networking and creative events. How do you see Brooklyn Buttah further evolving?
March 2015, for Women’s History Month, I hosted my first pop-up-shop. I wanted to give an entrepreneurial space to brands who could only rely on Instagram to connect with their audience. I believe that human interaction is so much more important for customers. So I did about five different pop ups for multicultural entrepreneurs – one of my favorites was the Father’s Day Cigar and Cognac. For Women’s History Month this year we had about seventy-five women in Therapy Wine Bar for Ladies Wine Out which was like a never ending happy hour sampling all kinds of wines and beers by female entrepreneurs. Then I decided to bring Buttah Chats this summer, which is a networking happy hour. I love the idea of bringing real people to real places to talk and build connections.
You mentioned your background in journalism at Temple, but in addition to that you’ve written for XONecole and Caribbean Life. What are some things you’ve taken away from those experiences to becoming an entrepreneur?
My background is really the foundation for how I created the site. I was working for Caribbean Life Newspaper when I decided to really focus on Brooklyn Buttah. I was working with strict guidelines and I knew that I wanted my site to have more of a magazine vibe but still well researched, opinionated writing. I know people are like “You’re running a blog. I’m sixteen and I can run a blog too. Why do I need a degree?” The degree is just a piece of paper that says I am “trained to do something,” but I’m able to take the creativity that I learned from my classes to create something bigger. I rely on my training heavily for different interview ideas and things that I’m pretty sure I could have learned on my own, but I spent those four years really honing in on them. That’s what I love about my background. I had a lot of really great professors.
I studied Communication as well and can definitely relate to not seeing that immediate return out of school when you don’t have a job lined up. What are three things you think are important in establishing yourself as a digital influencer?
Be authentic in knowing who you are and you’re not actively looking at other people’s pages or brand to build your own because it’s not you. So establish yourself, knowing who you are first before going out there and trying to take the world by storm. That’s something I had to learn. Digital influencers surround us and it’s easy to think you need to follow the trend, but you don’t need to follow those same exact steps
Patience. Without patience there really is no progress because everything with digital media is a slow process, as much as everything is instant.
And lastly, as much as you need patience, you need determination. You have to be determined to be able to look at a zero balance and be like happy hour is a dub, how do I get these coins, and how do I convince myself not to run away?
Absolutely love those tips! Establishing yourself as a digital influencer undoubtedly takes a lot of patience and determination, but I also strongly believe it takes balance. So in closing, how are you taking care of yourself while building your brand?
A must for me is writing monthly letters to myself. Sometimes I’ll write them twice a month depending on my stress levels. They’re reminders of “this is what you did last month…this is where things have been a little fuzzy for you. don’t lose your head…these are things you’ve already accomplished…”
Again, looking on Instagram, it’s so easy to double tap everyone else you see out here “winning” and then you feel like crap. When you allow all of that to get in your head, because I love to write, I have to write it down.
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