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MEET COURTNEY BRAND, HOUSTON BLOGGER, PR MAVEN, AND SPIRIT ANIMAL.
Our Chick Chat series is all about sitting down and getting to know certified boss chicks making things happen in their respective fields. After our last trip to sunny SoCal to meet amazing artist Reina Koyano, we head back home to Texas for a heart-to-heart with our favorite Houston gal.
Courtney Brand, a 26 year old H-Town stunner and one of our many spirit animals, is a PR Strategist by day and a rising lifestyle blogger by...some days and most nights. From an eye-catching IG feed to a website we L-O-V-E, the lady behind TheBWerd.com took some time out of her work/life/travel schedule to give us a little insight into what inspires and drives her, why her style is secondary, and what #Chickspiration means to her.
HER LIFE STORY IN CLIFFSNOTES
"My upbringing was a very humble one. Although I grew up having everything I wanted, my parents were divorced and my mom worked twice as hard to make sure we didn’t go without. On my dad’s side, my grandmother was an entrepreneur. She owned two home health care businesses, a beauty salon and something similar to a dollar store - all before Google. It was her that had the nice cars and the pretty home. She’d pile her grandkids up in her Lincoln and take us shopping at Macy’s (back when it was Foley’s) every single weekend, so that’s where I saw success and style coexist. She was goals AF. From a very young age I was seeing women take care of business without making excuses or needing anything from a man. They were strong, they were upfront about what they wanted and they didn’t waste time going about getting it. Those traits are certainly embedded in me. "
ON MERGING HER BUZZING BRAND WITH HER LIFE AS A FULL TIME PR MAVEN
"PR is a tricky concept for those who don’t work in the field, but all in all it’s how your audience views you. I’ve learned to control that message to my benefit both for an engineering firm as well as for myself. The difference is I’m the brand and my thoughts are my product. The same way I’d want our firm to be viewed as top-notch, successful and credible is how I’d go about creating that perception for myself. Ironically, I’ve also noticed that people appreciate that I have a “real job”. It’s made me a real person in their eyes, instead of a pretty Instagram girl that you can’t quite figure out. It’s made my advice credible, since I use the same advice to grow a multi-million-dollar company 40 hours a week and it’s also created a connection for other normal working women on social media platforms."
CARRIE BRADSHAW MEETS MARY JANE PAUL...IN H-TAHN
"Honestly, when I finally got around to launching The B Werd there were a few things that pushed me off the ledge; but style was never one of them. I had naturally grown a small following on social media based off of how I dressed but I never wanted a fashion blog. My friends encouraged it for years based solely off my “straight talk no chaser” advice and conversations. I wanted a Carrie Bradshaw column meets Being Mary Jane’s topics. I wanted to talk real life, real work, real struggle and real success with women who are walking the same path as me. I incorporated style solely because people are attracted to it. When you feel like you look good, you’re more confident, you perform better, it adds value all the way around. Social media success is based off of aesthetics, so I use that to lead them to the words. My apologies for the manipulation, but it works! Ha!"
ARE YOU DIDDY? ARE YOU OPRAH? ARE YOU BEYONCE?
"So often we stand in our own way and I did that for so long by telling myself I didn’t have time to do x, y or z; or I didn’t know how to do x; y or z. I had to get real with myself, cut the excuses and tell myself, “Courtney, you ain’t doing shit. You go to work, you write a blog, nobody cares. People make incredible moves EVERY DAY and you’re telling me those people are that much better than you?”
Are you a Diddy? Are you a Oprah? Are you a Beyonce? Or are you just a college graduate PR girl going to work everyday waiting to retire? I had to kick my thinking up a notch and push my limits. I had to wrap my mind about the fact that I’m only going to get back what I put out. Faking your hustle is like a hamster in a wheel, you’re moving but you’re not getting anywhere and that’s more exhausting than doing the actual work. You’ll have to do the work, in the mornings, some late nights, every weekend. You’ll have to lose your pride and reach out to people, make uncomfortable phone calls and get involved in things where you may not know anyone. Do it and make moves, or stay where you are."
YOU CAN TAKE THE GIRL OUT OF H-TOWN, BUT...
"I love being from the South; the culture, the food, the hospitality. But other than having a grill in high school I can’t say I’m much of a southern belle. People assume I’m from LA or NYC based off my Instagram and I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult. Lol."
COURTNEY'S SNEAKER ROTATION IN 3...2...1...
"Retro [Air Jordan] 1’s are the GOAT to me. I have at least 50 pairs of sneakers in my closet from high school that I don’t wear, but can’t part with. Stan Smith’s are my go-to for everyday wear. I’ve been into running shoes lately, even if I’m not running in them. Nike Flyknit Racers and my rose gold Nike Airmax Thea’s are getting worn out these days."
SHE'S A BUSINESS, MAN.
"Time is money. If you wouldn’t waste your money, don’t waste your time. Speaking of money, it takes money to make money. I’ve had to put my own money up on several occasions to be able to build. Domains cost, outfits cost, graphic designers cost. Don’t expect anyone to do anything free for you. Business is business, it’s not favors. Keep your personal money and your businesses money separate. When I had them together I couldn’t tell what I was spending and making and would treat money made off of my blog as an allowance instead of putting it back into my business. Lastly, relationships are everything. Be kind and encouraging, do what you say you will and don’t wait until you need something from someone to support them."
THE PASSION IN HER PURPOSE
"The part of my work I’m most passionate about is having the platform to inspire other women. Even if it’s something as small as sparking a thought within them, I’ve done my part. It’s so important for women to be 100% okay with and confident in who they are, understand that they can have whatever they want if they’re willing to go after it and be less apologetic about things that hold us back."
*MIC CHECK* ATTN: YOUNG LADIES
"Please, please, please, LIVE THE LIFE THAT YOU WANT. If you imagine yourself hosting a talk show, go about doing it. If you imagine yourself married being a stay at home wife to a wonderful husband and four kids, don’t stop until you get there. Whatever vision you have for your life can be made yours. I know because I’m living mine all of the time."
ON #CHICKSPIRATION AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HER
"Women uplifting other women. Naturally supporting them and wanting them to win. In the short year that I’ve been blogging I’ve had a handful women (Channing being one) reach out to me and let me know that they’re proud of me; that they’re there for me if I need anything and that they enjoy what I do. That kind of support is not only priceless, it’s necessary."