Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Daughtry.
Hi Andrea, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Just about ten years ago, I was going into my 3rd year in college frustrated and BROKE. At the time, I was coming out of a recording contract with an Indie Label as a gospel singer, working 3 to 4 jobs, and feeling completely unfulfilled. I was too smart for most of the jobs I was taking on – retail merchandising, store management, food service, customer service, etc. and I felt I was wasting a lot of time by pouring into corporate entities that simply didn’t care about me. I was determined to learn more about business, thus I appreciated the positions I took on making sure to implement much of the structure into my own entrepreneurial journey. Stepping away from college ignited my love for fashion and natural skincare. I had been raised on the importance of natural remedies, cleansing and drinking distilled water before it was “trendy”. I wanted to see more representation in Natural skincare for black and brown individuals thus leading into the creation of @ButtahBabez/ “Buttah Babez” in 2015. I created a formula for organic whipped shea butter that wasn’t too oily but also penetrated the skin in all the right ways to combat eczema and dry skin issues. I infused them with essential oils that were known to aid with common skin issues that people of color faced daily. All the while, my fashion world completely exploded after beginning pop-ups on Virginia State university’s campus. My grandmother in Miami had donated thousands of pieces of Deadstock Vintage jewelry from her collection spanning over 40 years. It was heaven for a small budding business and helped to expedite my financial stability at a very young age. I began showcasing vintage finds from local thrift stores alongside the jewelry pieces all over the country frequently traveling to Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. During this time period, I started to reimagine vintage pieces in a more modern way, often hiring local designers to help me navigate my ideas. I’d soon begin to design pieces myself to offer my customers while creating strong relationships with black seamstresses in multiple cities.
As my popularity grew, I started to style individuals for photoshoots in Richmond, Virginia (My hometown), which quickly progressed into my work being featured in Teen Vogue, Essence, W Mag, AfroPunk, and Ebony Mag just to name a few. My love for wanting to support other black-owned businesses the way I’d been supported created the platform known as @HandMadeInRVA. I curated safe spaces for Black and brown folks to showcase products from their small businesses while offering performance slots to local artists at the events. Hand-Made In Rva Started in 2018 after having not-so-nice experiences at other pop-up events that lacked representation and positive environments for black people. Hand-Made In RVA is now comprised of over 400 Black Owned Businesses and has taken a short break to navigate the recent pandemic. In April of 2019, I Launched and Trademarked “For The Fem In You”, a platform celebrating and empowering women all over the world that are often overlooked in their communities. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA VCU) and Studio Two Three graciously sponsored the first few events I had that honored local artists and community activists who rarely received recognition. There was so much joy in being able to give women their flowers while they were present. The programming of “For The Fem In You” also includes cultivating a safe space for women that focuses on wealth and overall wellness. The soon to be Non Profit is fundraising to acquire a 20,000 Sq. Ft dream space in the heart of Los Angeles.
Upon moving to Los Angeles more permanently in June of 2020, I established myself in the Leimert Park community by creating healthy relationships with the businesses there and taking it back to my days of good ole pop up shops to reach new customers. My “Protect Black Women” shirt became a staple and Nick Cannon would soon sport it on his Instagram stamping my presence here in LA. The Leimert Park community has completely poured into my business and made my transition to Los Angeles much easier. The doors that this community has opened for me are immeasurable, and I’m even more elated to soon be able to reciprocate the energy in my future endeavors. As far as Music, I dropped my first solo EP back in 2015 called “HI8TUS”, I’ve since been writing and recording music in hopes of future placement in TV, Movies, and other Productions. I firmly believe that music is supposed to heal so don’t exactly create “commercially appealing” music but instead focus on timeless works that can be enjoyed for generations to come. When people ask how I would describe my sound or inspiration, It can be described as the baby of Sade, Anita Baker and Toni Braxton w/ a dash of the Clark Sisters. I can’t exactly stick myself into one genre, I just create what feels good and what I want to hear in the moment. I’m excited to currently be creating in LA with some notable folks and can’t wait to release some much needed therapy for your ears.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ha! The road hasn’t at ALL been smooth. From running into racist venue owners when trying to offer safe spaces for Women and Men of Color to navigating unhealthy relationships with men who predominantly control the music industry, it’s been an EVERYDAY battle. Every city that I’ve traveled to has had the presence of Misogynists, Narcissists, and racists who have been a pure thorn in this whole process. As a young black woman in America, it’s been difficult to venture into male-dominated industries/spaces without resistance. I’ve made many uncomfortable and willingly will do it again to make sure women of color have a seat at the table and are given the resources to create their own.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
It’s a balanced mixture of Business and Artistry. @Andreashopsforyou – Styling and Personal Shopping with access to Dope Jewelry, Accessories and Clothing. @ButtahBabez – Organic Skin and Hair Care products @handmadeinrva – Black-Owned Business Platform @ForTheFemInYou – A Women’s Empowerment movement (Soon to be non-Profit) @Dreasmusick – Just Music…
How do you define success?
Success is finding the balance in prioritizing mental health, financial literacy, and maintaining healthy relationships with family and friends.
- Natural and organic Skin and Hair care ranges from $8 to $25.
- Wardrobe Styling – $1000 per Day or $500 for Half Days
- Styling for Photoshoots – $1,000 per day or $500 for Half Days
- Jewelry, Accessories, And Clothing Range from $20 to $300
- Email: owner@IamAndreanicole.com
- Website: www.buttahbabez.com
- Instagram: @andreashopsforyou
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaShopsForYou
- Youtube: https://youtu.be/GluShx1B7lo
- SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/dreasmusick
- Other: www.ForTheFemInYou.com
Justin Ifill-Forbes Eden Life Studios Dexter Martin