1 | Tell me about your company… What does your company do?
Dope & Broke directs women to the best cheap, fashionable shopping websites, provides affordable alternatives to celebrity street style outfits, explores new trends and styles at a fraction of the price, offers exclusively picked clothing selections, and features budget-friendly lifestyle & beauty posts.
Basically, it’s a site that you could go on and order an entire outfit that looks just like the one Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner was wearing last week for $100-$200.
I want to wear new outfits all the time but I don’t have the funds to be spending $500 on a top like the clothes recommended in Vogue… and quite honestly, I’m not sure I would spend $500 on a shirt even if I did have the money.
It’s also a site you could visit to get affordable beauty product recommendations, read reviews about cheap, nontoxic skincare, get ideas for stylish work ensembles that you actually like, learn how to shop smarter at the grocery store, and discover other money-saving hacks that I wouldn’t post unless it would improve your life.
2 | How long have you been in business or developing your brand?
I launched Dope & Broke in March of 2016, so the site is a little over a year old. It looks COMPLETELY different than when I first started off.
You can probably guess that I did not have a lot of money to develop a website. I taught myself how to build a website by doing lots of research and viewing tutorials. I had an idea of what I wanted Dope & Broke to be but it was nothing like what it turned out to be today.
I knew I wanted to develop a website/blog but the blogging world is completely cluttered these days. Being a blogger is like the new celebrity. I knew that when I created a site, it wasn’t going to be about me personally, but rather a place where young, stylish women could go to look for inspiration. I also wanted it to be super easy to use so that if you wanted to just click and order an entire outfit, you could do that.
Now, Dope & Broke has turned into so much more than just affordable versions of celebrity outfits and I love that. The layout, the images, the menus, and everything else on the site has changed and evolved to look the way I had envisioned the site to be over time.
3 | What are some challenges you have faced being an entrepreneur?
Well, money for one. I use an affiliate links program that allows me to profit off of any purchases made from my website but I am still growing my business and my brand so this is not a feasible way to make a living at this point.
I made a decision to quit my job in a corporate workplace (more on that below) which I knew would be challenging but I was willing to put in the work if it meant I could do what I wanted, which was to develop my brand.
To supplement my income, I write pop culture and entertainment news for the Inquisitr. I write dozens of articles a week on the most buzzed about celebrity stories, popular movies, and reality television recaps and gossip.
Another challenge I have faced as an entrepreneur is honestly going to sound crazy… but I CAN’T STOP WORKING! Now that I work for myself, I have so much invested in what I am doing I feel as though I never stop thinking about work and there is always something more I could be doing. I have to remind myself to stop and take a breather every once in a while.
4 | How much has social media impacted your business?
Social media has definitely had an impact in the development of my brand and website.
Instagram is a great way for me to promote Dope & Broke’s articles on a platform that people use for inspiration on a daily basis anyway. I definitely am someone who goes on Instagram to look for new fashion, hairstyles, and makeup.
My posts go one step further than just a photo, all you have to do is click the link to my website and you can order the entire thing in minutes. I hate when you find an outfit you love on Instagram and then have to spend the next hour in an internet hole searching for anything remotely close to it.
I also use social media to connect with my readers and ask them what they think about posts because people are more likely to comment on an Instagram post than they are to scroll down to the end of a blog post and comment. That’s just the way it is.
I need to use Twitter more. My Twitter game was so good in college (or perhaps it was just all that booze talking?) I’m working on it.
5 | What makes you unique to other professionals in your space?
I like to think that I provide an entertaining aspect to the posts on Dope & Broke as well as inspirational and informal. I try to include relevant GIFs, my own dry humor, and keep paragraphs short so that the articles are an easy read.
There are so many blogs out there that are about a particular person and their sense of style or style diaries. One blogger wants to make a big name for herself (or himself) but I just don’t see the majority of blogs like that to be relatable. And honestly, no one really cares about you. Sorry, but they don’t.
Dope & Broke is not about me. It’s about the readers and it’s for the readers. I want to provide quality content that is fun for people to read but also super useful and will ALWAYS save you money.
6 | What advice can you give to your fellow millennial entrepreneurs?
Follow your dreams and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. It sounds so cliché. I mean, how many times have you heard people say that?
But seriously, if you don’t try something you will never know if you can do it. And most likely, you can. If you put your mind to something, make a plan, set goals, and perfect your craft, there is literally no way that people will not respect and appreciate your work.
And you can never truly be happy if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. Have confidence in yourself and your capabilities.
7 | Bossfidence is all about finding your bliss and building your confidence, how did you know that you needed to branch out from your comfort zone?
Like I started to say earlier, before I started Dope & Broke I worked in the corporate world. I went to an expensive, four-year college, got internships, made decent enough grades, and threw myself into a 9-5 job when I graduated. It wasn’t long before I was miserable, underpaid, and overworked and I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself.
I didn’t know that any other kind of life could exist. I was so stuck in my comfort zone, I was doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing and living a mundane life.
I began writing and developed a passion for it. I worked secretly on my idea for Dope & Broke as well as doing a part-time internship with the Inquisitr while I was still at my office job. I bust my butt for about six months before I finally saved up enough money and worked up the courage to quit my job. I knew it would be scary and I knew life would become unpredictable, but I took that risk and made that leap and it was the best thing I ever did.
My life today is so different than it once was. I’ve learned so much about myself, my capabilities, my strengths, and my weaknesses. I work hard every day, probably longer hours than I did at that stupid office job but I love every second of it.
8 | Who is your biggest influencer or inspiration?
One of the influencers who I’ve looked to the most for inspiration throughout my journey creating Dope & Broke has been Lauryn Evarts, the creator of The Skinny Confidential blog, which has now turned into an entire lifestyle brand. She also has a hilariously entertaining and informative podcast with her entrepreneur husband Michael Bosstick called The Skinny Confidential: Him and Her.
Lauryn is the ultimate inspiration for entrepreneurial women. She created her own platform to share her insights with boss babes across the globe. I can only hope that one day I can develop the Dope & Broke brand into something as incredible and influential as The Skinny Confidential is.
One of the things that I love that she says is that there is plenty of space to shine on the internet! Women and other bloggers should support one another rather than tearing each other down out of jealousy or spite. There is room for everyone to succeed on the internet and in life. I love to support other strong, independent women and throughout this process, Lauryn has always said this as well and it has stuck with me.
9 | Anything else Bossfidence.com should know about your company?
I have recently started accepting guest posts on Dope & Broke, which has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I’ve received an overwhelming response of writers and bloggers looking to contribute to the site. This has allowed me to expand the range of topics Dope & Broke covers even more.
If anyone would like to contribute a piece to Dope & Broke, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like I said, I love to support a fellow boss babe and I love love love some fresh ideas!
If you or someone you know is a millennial entrepreneur and you want to be interviewed, please email email@example.com