Featured on DearDopeChick

this week's dope chick
#deardopechick:
meet Keri Herndon-Brown

what makes you dope:

i'm a 43 year old woman who survived being raised in Harlem during the crack epidemic.

my daddy was a hustler during in the 80s in Harlem, so unfortunately after his untimely death, i grew up raised by a single mother.

i quickly realized that the odds weren't stacked in my favor so i learned to do the opposite of everyone around me.

i decided i wasn't having kids out of wedlock as a first in my family, i was headed to Howard University + was going to learn to hustle for my last name.

currently, my husband + i have been married for 19 years, have 4 kids together + run a successful six figure business for the past 13 years together.

i've learned to use the hustle i was raised with to win at this business game.

what are some of the challenges you faced in finding your dopeness + how did you overcome those challenges?

when my husband + i decided to walk away from his role as a educator + a...

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My Turn

 

Keri has been writing these blogs and sharing with many of you how to navigate the tricky waters of small business ownership for some time now. And I can guarantee she knows what she’s talking about, because she has been the backbone of our business success.

For the past 13 years, I have been out front in our business and that makes me more visible and susceptible to glory and blame. As most entrepreneurs will tell you, we go to bed at night worried about something, whether it be money, attracting clients, retaining clients, hiring staff, expanding, competition or the many other things a business owner must keep track of. Fortunately for me, I have not had to shoulder this on my own.

Keri knows most of my pain, but even when she doesn’t know, having her by my side to educate, inspire and comfort me, gives me the courage to tackle the hurdles in front of me and to believe in what’s to come in the future.

He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives...

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Connection and Communication  

Connection and communication are fundamental to all relationships, but particularly so for couples in business together. Shereem and I have to connect and communicate in order to be effective as spouses, parents, and business partners. Last week we took some time just to do that. We literally just sat in the bed together, watched this really cool show called “Working Moms” on Netflix, and talked. It was so good to be able to talk about a variety of things — some personal, some business — and even though we try to keep our business out of the bedroom, in this space it felt okay.

 

We were able to do this and not allow one aspect of our lives together to weave into the other. Don’t be mistaken, we are far from a perfect couple, but at this juncture in our lives with almost 20 years married, we understand that nothing will get accomplished if we don't connect. And that starts with communication.

So, as you go through the next week please try to...

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Why My Marriage is Working

To date, and I say that very intentionally, my marriage is working because my husband and I are teammates. I don't say "to date" to be facetious. I understand that marriage is difficult and like many couples, my husband and I have looked at each other over the past 20 years a few times and said, "Are we going to be able to make it?" But to date, today, we are okay.

 

 

I think we're okay, because we continue to respect each other as teammates and help each other to live our dreams. It's not easy. I'd be lying if I said that I'm always the best wife, and he'd be lying if he said he's always the best husband but, for almost 20 years we've been, what we call the "hyphenated hustle." We say that because yes, we are hyphenated, Herndon and Brown, but also because we hustle. Not just for money, but for happiness. To me, hustle means work. It means doing whatever you have to do. When it comes to making me happy or trying to, my husband hustles. When it comes to providing for our...

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He's Got Me

I wake up some mornings and I look at the man next to me, my husband, and I ask myself “how did he get here?” I don't really say that out loud, but I do ask myself “why am I married to THIS man?!!” He’s always snoring, sometimes had gas and takes up too much space in our bed. This can’t be the same man that I fell in love with 20 years ago, can it?

 

I ask myself this and then I chuckle because I know he could be saying the same thing about me. I mean, in his head, he thinks: “how did I marry this beautiful, well-put-together, loyal, dime-piece cook who's a nurturer for my children? Once upon a time, all she wanted to do was be in the club and dance until her feet hurt so I would can take her home to rub them."

 

My husband definitely won the wife lottery, but even when I'm jokingly looking at him and saying, "I kind of wish I married the Rock.”  I do still say “I love you."

 

Why do I love my husband?...

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