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Meet Peppur Chambers of Brown Betties in North Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peppur Chambers.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I began Brown Betties in LA in 2005. Our first show was at Masquer’s Cabaret which was next door to Joan’s on Third in Hollywood. The brand started as a 1940s burlesque dinner theater show about a woman looking for love in all the wrong places. This cabaret, or pocket musical, was performed by the stilettoed Brown Betties, four sultry, sassy, sophisticated Black women. Our show became a beacon for women who wanted to tap into their sultry selves in a positive and beautiful way.

The show ran until 2011 and today Brown Betties is a lifestyle brand for women where I offer workshops and produce content that empowers women.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not always!While I was running my show, I would often lament that I wished I’d had a business degree or an MBA and maybe with that knowledge, I would have known how to make my business something more financially viable. (I have a marketing degree, which was incredibly helpful.) Producing theater can be an uphill battle that doesn’t always offer profitable margins – that was a huge struggle and often the source of not feeling like I was a success. To that end, as a business owner, as someone with ambition and goals and dreams to do something, you must be strong mentally and to understand success comes in multiple forms. (And, if you need an MBA, go get one!)

Ultimately, believing in yourself consistently and with conviction is your greatest ally to overcome any struggles that come your way.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Brown Betties – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
As performers, the Brown Betties were unique because we were the only all-black show doing what we were doing — the tease of burlesque with a sophisticated story that spoke to many. I’m proud that our love story was universal, and I think that is what attributed to our longevity.

Our road was not easy, by any measure. For one, we were venue-challenged for our entire existence until we traveled to Atlanta and performed at a venue called Paris On Ponce that had a vintage aesthetic, had an adequate stage, seating for over 100 people, had lights and sound and served food! Dinner theater as a model is no longer popular (as it was in the 40s and even the late 70s) and finding a venue that served all of our needs was insanely hard and often expensive to produce. Yet, we persevered. I believed in the show, I believed in my cast and I believed in my brand. But it was hard! I never had enough money to do the show to my full vision.

Today, I hold true to the core of the brand: to empower women. I produce intimate workshops (pre-COVID) and I am writing “The Brown Betties Guide: Knowing Your NO” which is a guidebook to help women find their voice, find their way to say no. This has been a part of my personal journey and I hope to inspire women to do the same.

I am most proud of the Bettie Bond…fifteen years later and the women from the show are still friends today; we are now married with children and without.We are quite close, and that means everything to me.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that LA is a town of opportunity. I believe that if you have a vision and A LOT of perseverance, that you can do just about anything.

What I don’t like is that it can be insanely costly to do so! To rent a theater, to get supplies and resources you need, to hire staffing and crew, to promote and market your work — all of that can be prohibitive.

Again, you can find a way, but it just might cost you! This is NOT a reason to not get started nor to quit.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Founder Peppur Chambers (L) with some of her Bettie sisters.

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