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Meet Trailblazer Brionna Barksdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brionna Barksdale.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brionna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I got my first start with this business in the 8th grade – 2003. Attending Detroit Public Schools where resources were limited, I asked my 8th-grade science teacher, Mr. Evans, why we never took any field trips, and his reply was that the teachers didn’t have time to plan them. I asked him if I planned them would we be able to go, and he got me the school guidelines for organizing a field trip. From that moment on, I became the unofficial field trip organizer for grades 5 – 8. I did everything from price and arrange buses, to creating permission slips, recruiting parent volunteers, and coordinating lunch – because at that age bringing or buying a lunch is a big deal! When I went to high school I used these same skills to coordinate fundraising trips to amusement parks to help different teams raise money. While attending Michigan State University, I became president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and with my team – we put on some of the largest campus events. I then entered a career surrounding event planning, which included an 8 Country engineering conference that I helped organize. My undergraduate degree is in Business Marketing and my Master’s Degree is in Public Relations, so I’m able to use those skills to help my clients better market their event through out of the box marketing and communication strategies.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, the road has not been smooth, but learning to adapt and being open to change has definitely helped. When I first started my business, I was living in Michigan. I started building a client base there and then my husband’s job relocated us to San Diego. I was able to keep my Michigan clients through building a small team in Michigan and doing all I could to work with them remotely. Once we relocated to San Diego, it took me a little while to figure things out, but I was able to get a few clients there prior to my husband being relocated 2 years later to Los Angeles. Now I have clients in Michigan, as well as Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, & some in the Bay Area. If I were to give any advice to women starting their journey, it would be to just start. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. If you wait for everything to be perfect, you may never start.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Premier Lifestyle & Brand Management – what should we know?
Premier Lifestyle & Brand Management is a boutique style establishment that specializes in Events, Marketing, Branding, and Client Support. We typically work with small businesses and small business owners to help them achieve their goals. What I’m most proud of as a brand is how we’ve grown as a company with our client base. Each client is very different, but our team has a very creative way of taking that brand to the next level. I would say that my team sets us apart from our competition. We have people experienced in many different areas, so if a client needs a new logo, website, social media help, grand opening event, and help gathering media to promote the event, we can do that all in-house very effectively.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
In my experience working with other women, I feel that many of them lack the confidence and competitive nature to take on leadership roles. I’ve talked with many potential clients who had great ideas but didn’t believe in themselves enough to just go for it. I am seeing a change in this recently but feel it’s still a barrier today.

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