We had the good fortune of connecting with Shauna Woods and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shauna, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m originally from New York; and my upbringing was between The Bronx and Harlem. Being raised in New York, in the 80’s and 90’s I was surrounded by a rich source of cultural influences that was there from as far back as I can remember. But it also came with a somewhat conservative upbringing, which I appreciate now of course because it provided me with a sense of discipline. At an early age, specifically 12 years old, I made my first $100 working on the weekends at my late grandmother Sylvia Woods’ culinary business Sylvia’s Restaurant the Queen of Soul Food. My parents and grandparents always taught me the value of making your own money and owning a business. Having an entrepreneurial spirit from my late grandmother Sylvia Woods, I knew from an early age either I was going to help run her business or have one of my own. She introduced to me the family business and the importance of being your OWN BAE (Building An Empire). I saw firsthand how a strong black woman can successfully run a business and build an empire.
What should our readers know about your business?
She’s B.A.E: Building An Empire was initially just a general concept for apparel; however, I saw the vision in taking my creation to another level. I wanted more and saw the long term vision in expanding my brand. I didn’t want to just limit myself and brand to just apparel, so while I was working in my home office, I would purchase wall decor to help inspire and motivate me. As I started rearranging my office and adding decor throw pillows, a light bulb literally went off! Boom, She’s B.A.E Apparel + Decor was birthed!
More and more women are taking ownership in starting a business and their personal lives; and I want my apparel and home decor pillows to be in the home and office of every SH.E.E.O. She’s B.A.E Apparel + Collection is designed to inspire women starting a business. It’s geared to uplift and motivate. She’s B.A.E is not only a brand; it’s a movement to inspire, challenge, highlight, and celebrate every woman with an entrepreneurial dream!
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.
Atlanta is a great city and it’s been called the Black Hollywood! And it’s continuously growing with so many fabulous restaurants to dine and events to attend to. Due to Covid, I haven’t attended any events but I’m a foodie at heart and coffee lover; and although I grew up in the culinary business and was around soul food all my life, for the past 6 years I converted to a pescatarian. What I love about the many restaurants that are emerging here in Atlanta, they’re also catering to a healthier side. So, I’m taking my out of town besties to a few of my favorite restaurants and cafes; for coffee we’re heading to Cafe Intermezzos or Urban Grind, for lunch, we have to swing by Slutty Vegan or Tassili Raw Reality Cafe, and for dinner it’ll be Roc South Crusine/Ms. Icey’s Kitchen and Bar.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh wow! where do I begin?! Well, my first shout out and praise is to God! With him all things are possible and endless. My biggest cheerleader is my mom Bettye; she always showed me what was possible. I’ve always had her as a guiding light [to show me] the possibilities are endless and there’s no limitation to anything I want to accomplish. She’s definitely been my biggest inspiration. She’s showed me the power of believing and what it means to keep going and to just conquer. My other shout outs and support system is my family, my significant other, and sisterhood of girlfriends. In starting a business, it’s extremely imperative to have a support system and a lifeline that no matter what, you can always depend on; that’s going to be brutally honest with you, help and shape your wrongs to make them right, and most importantly pray with and for you.