Veteran Sherrie Bryant Shares About Her Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Company

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Hi, Sherrie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hello, My name is Sherrie Bryant. I’m a veteran and woman-owned business. I served 31 years of service in the United States Army. I founded BLK ESSENSE, LLC, with one goal: to provide handcrafted and high-quality fragrances made from essential oils. BLK ESSENSE also has aromatherapy products and essential oils to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and promote calmness and relaxation. Our passion for excellence has driven us from the beginning and continues to drive us into the future. We know every product counts and strive to make the shopping experience as rewarding as possible. BLK ESSENSE, LLC is also heavily involved in community service within the D.C., MD, and VA Metropolitan areas. At BLK ESSENSE, LLC, we celebrate and embrace individuality, offering handcrafted fragrances and various quality aromatherapy products. Our essential oils come from India, California, and Michigan. ​We founded BLK ESSENSE, LLC, to provide a high-quality, smart, and reliable online store. Our passion for excellence has driven us from the beginning and continues to drive us into the future.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

Having the opportunity to be around like-minded women who aspire to success excites me about being a part of The Entreprenista League—a group of women eager to witness each other’s successes.

Supporting each other is such an essential part of The Entreprenista League! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

My father has a business and I assist him with the back-office operations. My father’s dedication to his work is admirable. When I was younger, while in the Navy, my father talked about owning his own business, which I listened to. Once he retired after 20 years of service, he started his own business.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

My desire to be an entrepreneur was apparent during my high school years in Florida. Fletcher Senior High School had a group called Future Business Leaders of America that I was part of. My major at Bowie State University was Business Administration, with a Management concentration, and I also had minors in Accounting and Marketing.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I began my business, I used the Sorority International Convention to promote my product as part of my marketing strategy. My website was launched two weeks before the conference, and I started vending at pop-up shops in Maryland and Virginia. I advertised in the Sorority’s Souvenir Journal and gave away free items. Upon the conference’s conclusion, I gave out the remaining free samples.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge I have faced is comprehending social media platforms and advertising. I became aware that algorithms are in charge of who and what views my ads. Understanding how the algorithm works on social media platforms was a difficult task. I can schedule my ads effectively now. My ads will be published during mainstream algorithm points on all platforms. Despite my best efforts, there are times when I do not get it right.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

The accomplishment I am most proud of to date involves having my product in a brick-and-mortar. I must generate enough revenue to place my collection in several more brick-and-mortar locations across the DC, Maryland, and Virginia Metropolitan areas.

A major accomplishment! Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I believe that work/life balance is essential. Being a worker of one, I’m struggling to manage the process.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Entering the retail business is hard work. It takes time to grow in the following areas: marketing, ROI, capital, branding, and obtaining assets.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Recently, I retired from The United States Army on December 23, 2023.

Thank you so much for your service, Sherrie! What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

I have plans to expand and invest in marketing, advertising, and branding in the future. I plan to investigate the best yet affordable companies with quality branding for my products. Once the branding is finished, I will prioritize marketing and advertising and sell my products in diverse geographical areas.

Learn more about the Entreprenista League and join today!

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