Align Magazine got a chance to catch up with serial entrepreneur and Millennial influencer, Mallory B., to discuss her world wind adventures as she follows her creative passions and trail blazes for other plus size women in the modeling industry. Here is what she had to say….
Lets start by give our readers some insight into your background. Tell us about yourself? Well, I was raised in Rocky Mount, NC and I am a graduate of NC State University. I established my career and adult life in Raleigh, NC in financial services and administrative support. I knew early on that I was a self-starter and was destined to be an influencer and entrepreneur as my blood lines both extend to business owners. I believe as business owners, we (my family) see the world a little differently. My eagerness to develop a career in fashion stemmed from my love of clothing and styling. As a clothing stylist and aspiring online boutique owner, I strive to build reputable relationships, long lasting customer engagement, evolve with the fashion market and offer top quality services for nominal rates for aspiring models, fashionistas, and people who need support modifying their style to fit changing careers, and other aspects of their lives. My family, faith, tribal community (Haliwa-Saponi) and hometown are the core of my rigorous work ethic and distinction.
We know that you have been a busy woman these past few years with your many business and creative ventures. Tell us about your organization and creative pursuits? I created The Doll House in 2014 which has recently been rebranded as Platform in July of 2018. I have been pursuing my dreams of being a fashion stylist and exploring my philanthropic goals by recently creating Beaucoup, Raleigh’s premiere Plus Size nonprofit support network for career development, wellness and service. I created this organization following my participation in the 2015 1st Annual Ms. Full Figured NC where I was awarded Ms. Congeniality. Additionally, I earned First Runner up in the Ms. Indian North Carolina Pageant in 2010 and 2011. My fun-loving spirit, determined mindset and care for my community and the fashion world motivates me to seek new heights in my career. I provide one on one consultations, ride along fittings, online shopping and fashion event coordination services.
That’s amazing, you have accomplished much so far! Has your journey been an easy one so far? I would say this journey has been anything BUT easy. It’s been memorable, rewarding, a tremendous learning experience, however the pace, finances required and sacrifices made along the way define what it truly takes to excel in your efforts to become a successful entrepreneur. One of the biggest learning opportunities I have had to embrace along the way was the concept of leveraging relationships while they are working with and for you only; nothing beyond equal share and investment/alignment in one another’s brand. I say that to say, if the partnership or collaboration isn’t positively serving all parties involved, it will not be fruitful. To build longevity, conversations and practices need to be had that put both parties in a winning mindset.
Those times when your friends are planning gatherings the week of a major launch, deadline, or required travel for the weekend and you have to miss out, that can sometimes affect your overall balance in life with work and personal lives. People don’t understand that, those moments, truly help sculpt the business person and adult we are to become as an influencer, model, entrepreneur. Going without proper rest is another thing many of us creatives are challenged with. Its’ tough being a working entrepreneur while trying to date, care for the household, managing a staff and provide quality time and energy towards multiple businesses. Early mornings, late nights and overall long days are a part of the process we sign up for in pursuit of building and empire and legacy for our families to thrive, and cultivate marketplace penetration in our respective industries.
“As a Plus Model, I’ve struggled with being forced to travel more than most for the growth, financial benefit and overall industry visibility my brand requires to continue operating efficiently.”Mallory B.
I completely agree; it is not easy being an entrepreneur. With all of that being said, what’s one thing we should know about your business? I want people to know that all of my businesses seek to educate, impact and connect in ethical business relationships and personal development.
And what would you say sets you apart from the competition, if any? The fact that I challenge the status quo and embrace my inner rebel, as historically I have been what most would call the underdog. I’m relatable, trustworthy and truly invested in producing favorable results and changing lives in the process.
What has been your fondest moment in your career thus far? I would have to say serving as the Face of Full Figured Fashion week in NYC. I was given the title in April of 2017 after submitting a video to be judged by industry professionals. Serving in this illustrious role, I’ve had the opportunity to meet bloggers, models, designers and influencers from around the world, while hosting events, engaging with FFFW attendees and promoting the brand rigorously via social media posts, shares, videos and viral snippets during events.
Looking into the future, lets say 5-10 years from now, where do you see yourself? I see myself as a multi home owner, traveling the world with my husband, and two children with several income streams and spending much needed self-care time with the ones I love most. Oh, and having a couple hobbies 🙂
That sounds like the life lol. Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life? I cannot minimize my response to one person, however I can say, my family pushes me to be the best I can be in the world at anything I do. I come from very humble beginnings and I carry that in my heart and mind daily when I am working diligently at being my best self. Being born to two parents who stem from large families raised on farms in Halifax County created a sense of urgency to ensure that I am adequately, respectfully and a true example for the children of those communities. Eastern North Carolina has everything to do with who I am, how I approach people and business and my humility.
Describe yourself as a child? As a child, I was creative, to myself, artistic, and into all things Barbie! I was her. Everything she ever wished she could be but in a chubby mixed race Rocky Mount raise young girl, lol. My mom’s little bestie, I was such a GIRL, in the truest sense. I loved playing dress up, doing makeup and hair. I was content with the smallest things; they brought me the most joy. I was talkative, social and begged for a sister, which I got when I was five, and another one when I was 10 years old.
Would you say, your current city a good place for your line of work? This is a valuable question, interesting that you would ask. After modeling and building businesses over the last 5 years, I would admit that Raleigh is not the best place for a model to build their portfolio and body of work with local designers. The pay just isn’t adequate enough to supplement your income. I find that most of the small businesses and brands want bartered services and don’t seem to have or be willing to create a budget for collaboration with many of the influencers that could truly elevate their businesses; they want you to work for free. As a Plus Model, I’ve struggled with being forced to travel more than most for the growth, financial benefit and overall industry visibility my brand requires to continue operating efficiently. In most cases, events like fashion shows and fashion demonstrations leverage local talent who lack experience for the sake of having a body to display their clothing versus a trained and polished professional who has the skills to actually sell the garmens. It’s a difference. I want to be in an area where the demand and industry is thriving and will allow me to do the exact same. I am ready to be in alignment within a community of creatives that consistently earn revenue to sustain their businesses.
This has been a very intriguing interview. You have a lot of valuable insight. Last question, what do you want people to remember about you when you’re gone? I want to leave people with the concept of working to create something that is bigger than you. Something that affects people you’ve never even met in an ethical, sincere and dynamic way.
Give one piece of advice that you can share with fellow Millennials Think, pray, research long and hard. Journaling and fine tuning my supportive network has helped me greatly during the pursuit of my ultimate career goals. Develop best practices for your health, physical and mental, your personal relationships and business goals. It helps you pace yourself without feeling overwhelmed too often and make sure on the way, you STILL LOVE IT! If not, drop it or reassess your approach. There is no one way to do something so if your initial strategy doesn’t work, think about tweaking the timeline or things that aren’t working that could serve you more efficiently. Work smarter not harder.
Facebook: Mallory B. Richardson