From dorm room boutique to retailer entrance, this Peoria enterprise proprietor defies age limits related to entrepreneurship


Being a school pupil is tough, as is operating a small enterprise. And doing each on the identical time is just not a problem many are keen to tackle, particularly when your storefront doubles as your dorm room.

That is how Peorian BreAija Bryant first started her enterprise B2the9s Customized Designs in 2014.

“Going into my junior 12 months I made a decision to start out a clothes line, so I did all of the steps and have become a sole proprietor, obtained my resellers license and located distributors…did a whole lot of trial and errors and I took my enterprise again to Western with me after the summer season, and I did a boutique proper out of my single dorm room,” Bryant mentioned.

B2the9s is now a present retailer positioned in Northwoods Mall with a give attention to customization, in addition to a do it your self choice that permits prospects to craft significant presents for all events. The shop additionally provides clothes like clothes and jackets, in addition to Nationwide Affiliation of Coloured Ladies’s Golf equipment (NACWC) objects and paraphernalia.

“I’m considered one of three verified nationwide distributors that we have now, so I made a decision to make them a bit of part within the retailer for them to have the ability to are available in, seize issues that they want and go,” defined Bryant.

NACWC was based in 1896 and is the primary African American girls’s group in america. Bryant was one of many founders and vp of the chapter at Western Illinois College throughout her time as a pupil there.

Bryant discovered herself extremely busy throughout her faculty years at Western Illinois College. Along with being vp of NACWC, Bryant was additionally a full time cheerleader in addition to the social media consultant for the group, a theater pupil, and president of campus Lady Scouts. She beloved being busy, and continued to hunt out new alternatives.

“I had ideas of doing a enterprise as a result of I had a cope with my dad and mom that I might not tackle an element time job whereas there as a result of I did a lot, and I believed beginning a enterprise is sort of like a very good loophole,” mentioned Bryant.

That concept was placed on maintain after Bryant obtained some tragic information on the finish of her first semester sophomore 12 months.

“I got here residence, and the subsequent day considered one of my greatest buddies handed. It was extraordinarily laborious, so I made a decision to remain residence for the second semester…sort of reevaluated some issues with what I used to be doing and my life…I mentioned, you recognize what, whereas I’m residence, I’m going to make some changes earlier than I am going again to Western for the beginning of junior 12 months,” Bryant recalled.

From there, Bryant instructed her mom, who was additionally a enterprise proprietor, that she needed to start out her personal enterprise. Her mom shortly gave her the inexperienced gentle, and B2the9s was born that summer season.

“After I went to my dorm, my mother helped me set it up, and we set it as much as look mainly like a boutique. I had a crimson chaise lounge, I had mannequins…I beloved it. I put mirrors up all over the place so when individuals got here to purchase they might see what it appeared like…I introduced all my stock…I actually did my analysis…what was so nice about all of it was that I used Sq., and Sq. was free,” Bryant mentioned.

Inside the metropolis of Macomb, Bryant mentioned there weren’t any locations round to purchase stylish girls’s clothes for issues like cheerleading occasions, going out with buddies, or formals. This lack of choices shortly made her dorm room the recent spot for high quality, modern objects, particularly round homecoming.

“That’s sort of once I blew up…I had 20 individuals in at some point calling…individuals had been actually approaching any off time I had…I used to be nearly offered out and I had so many issues…I didn’t count on it to be that busy,” mentioned Bryant.

In fact, Bryant says as the start of the varsity 12 months calmed down, she undoubtedly skilled sluggish enterprise occasions as properly, however as a school pupil, something helped.

After graduating with a level in political science communications and theater, Bryant labored a collection of jobs at varied locations whereas sustaining her enterprise on the aspect. Years later, after having kids and being dissatisfied together with her work, she determined to take the leap, stop her job, and dedicate all of her time to B2the9s Customized Designs.

“I felt like one of the best walkability for advertising and the whole lot else was Northwoods Mall…I had seen the house in December…I went forward, put my deposit down. I obtained my keys in February, after which it was simply hit the bottom operating from there,” Bryant defined.

Coming soon
Bryant exterior her storefront in Northwoods mall

The shop had its grand opening in Northwoods mall on April sixteenth, 2022, 8 years after its dorm room launch. Whereas Bryant mentioned she beloved her faculty expertise and feels prefer it was the fitting path for her, though she isn’t working within the subject she thought she could be, she desires to ensure different younger entrepreneurs know that faculty isn’t for everybody.

“It’s okay to vary your thoughts. It’s okay to determine if I’m going to be a enterprise proprietor, which anybody can do, I’m going to be a enterprise proprietor…faculty is just not for everybody, and that’s okay…there’s different methods to stay your life and be completely happy and generate income. Simply do what you need to do, and entrepreneurship is an enormous a part of it. Small companies are ruling the world proper now. I would like them to know you’ll be able to achieve these talent units proper now. You don’t have to attend. There’s no age restrict on enterprise possession,” mentioned Bryant.

She mentioned this message is particularly vital for youths in Peoria to listen to.

“I really feel like typically they get down on themselves as a result of they really feel like eh, Peoria is a bit of little bit of nothing, and there’s Chicago, and there’s these locations and that place, and it’s not simply concerning the place you come from. It’s the way you make it higher…Peoria is rising nonetheless. We nonetheless have lots to supply, and you may be part of that,” Bryant mentioned.

In an effort to supply excessive schoolers within the space with a hands-on alternative to be taught these entrepreneurial abilities, Bryant is partnering with the Peoria Public Colleges Lights On program to permit college students to work in her retailer, whereas additionally incomes minimal wage. With Bryant’s mentorship, they will select to give attention to disciplines corresponding to signal making, t-shirt designing, operating a retailer, and extra.

Bryant mentioned the largest takeaway she may present to children who’re doubtlessly standing in comparable footwear she was in 8 years in the past, is to ask for assist.

“There are such a lot of individuals who have talent units, and it’s not a stolen talent set, or one thing that somebody doesn’t need to give to another person. I’ve so many issues that I self taught myself, and I want I might requested somebody or discovered a mentor to show me methods to do these items,” Bryant mentioned.

Whereas asking for assist or asking somebody to show you one thing new will be intimidating, likelihood is the particular person you’re asking goes to be thrilled that you simply considered them, and customarily, individuals are desperate to cross down any data they will to youthful generations with a view to assist a brighter future.

B2the9s Customized Designs is open Monday-Saturday from 11am-8pm, and Sunday from 12pm-6pm on the decrease degree in Northwoods Mall.



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