We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney B. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My business, OneSeven21, started accidentally in my opinion. Back in 2018, I was enrolled at Full Sail University, working to receive my Master’s in Entertainment Business. Our final project and what we had pretty much been working towards was to create a business concept and plan from beginning to end. So I came up with the idea for a production/creative company that prided themselves on bringing your vision to life. OneSeven21 stood for start to finish and availability. I wanted to offer any kind of service you need, whether it was graphic design, production/music photography, videography, etc. After creating the business plan and learning the ends and outs of entrepreneurship, I decided to put this plan into action. I already had the skillset and the tools so why not. Once I created the Instagram page and the website, business took off.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love what I do. I am multi-talented. I am a graphic designer, a videographer and a photographer. I also recently launched a sunglasses line called XVII Shades (check it out!). But, I typically see most people who can only do one or two of those things but not all three. I just wanted to be able to showcase my skills. I can say, I wasn’t the most confident when starting out. I was always comparing my work to other people and beginning to feel as though I wasn’t good enough. However, over time I just kept pushing and believing. I strive to be the best I can be and I continue to challenge myself. I am constantly learning new things and staying up to date with the trends in my industry but putting my own twist on them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being from the DMV, PG County exactly, there is always something to do! So if my best friend was visiting for a week, we would for sure go to brunch. Our brunch spots are unmatched! There are multiple places that have good scenery so we would go to a few rooftop bars/restaurants. I would take her to try these bomb jerk chicken tacos from Jerk at Nite and steak and cheese egg rolls from Victory. We could ride scooters, go to museums and even try out a few new places. Depending on what she wants to do, we can find a spot and have a great time.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents, my mentor and my best friend Paris deserve recognition. My parents are both entrepreneurs so it’s in my blood. A family of hustlers is what I like to call us. I’ve watched my mom and dad hustle all my life and their drive and motivation is amazing. Queen, my mentor, and I had a right place at the right time kind of moment. She has instilled so much in me and she challenges me to better my craft. Paris sees something in me that I rarely see in myself. She constantly reminds me that I am THAT GIRL. She is truly an inspiration and forever appreciated. Lastly, my friend Kaneisha definitely deserves credit in my story. Her brain power is immaculate. She comes through every time personally and professionally. She is a key player on my team and I am forever grateful.
Other: XVII Shades Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xvii.shades/