BRA Is All About Supporting Women!

BRA Is All About Supporting Women!

As any of our readers can tell, Jejune loves women supporting women! So, when we heard about Business Relationship Alliance (BRA), we couldn’t pass up sharing her with you. Founder, Carrie Murray, comes from a diverse background of wanting to advance women’s rights, starting with fighting domestic violence, and now focusing on advocating and supporting women entrepreneurs with her beloved BRA. To learn more about BRA, how you can join, and more about their events, please read further in our exclusive interview.

What inspired you to start BRA?
What inspires me are passionate, creative people looking for connection and community. I love surrounding myself with these types of people, it fuels me. When I get professional women together and they start connecting, learning from one another and push each other up, I get so very excited. Everyday provides me with new opportunity to grow and learn something new from the people I’m surrounded by, and I am really passionate about the advancement of women as business owners and entrepreneurs.

Where is BRA based?
BRA Headquarters and our flagship chapter are based in Los Angeles. We also have an online forum known as the Business Boostier.

BRA is exclusive - what does it take to become a member?
The women who make up the BRA Network, are business owners and entrepreneurs.

The only major disqualifier from being in the directory is if a women works in direct sales or in multilevel marketing. Although, I can absolutely appreciate their hard work, and respect their hustle, they are already provided with so much support coming from their immediate sales team.

What are some of the perks to being a member?
A BRA member pledges to always:

  1. Value collaboration over competition.

  2. Hire from within our network first.

  3. Price competitively and never undervalue yourself or your fellow business owner.

  4. Share your knowledge, advice and skills with other members, no matter your level of experience in your field.

Some additional perks include, social media promotional campaigns that showcase a specific member and her business, this includes a blog post on the BRA Website but also inclusion in our newsletter. Discounts on events, workshops, panels and free access to webinars and our online support forum.

Photo credit: Bree McCool

Your members seem to come from all different disciplines. Are there any one or two that you feel like BRA focuses on more than others?
Certain fields seem to gravitate towards the experience we offer, specifically business owners who are B2B, but we have women business owners that run the gamut and include a primary care physician, financial advisors, realtors, architects, authors, producers and more.

How often do you have events?
Monthly! Our events vary in size and scope from intimate accountability groups to large scale luncheons and charity events. We also host an online calendar of community events that are available for all business owners, BRA Members or not, to submit their events and promotions. The calendar is a valuable resource for us all.

What is your next event?
Cocktails and Conversation, an evening fireside chat with a woman who offers her expertise and knowledge to the group. On May 30th, we are hosting Areva Martin, Esq author of Make it Rain. In Make It Rain! Areva breaks the silence to reveal what insiders know about the power of media appearances to revolutionize a business and brand and get your core message out to the people who need it most.

This event is open to the public, really anyone looking for inspiration and connection to a community of fabulous women!

Are events only open to members?
Some events are only open to members, but many are open to anyone interested in what the event offers. Our last event, Women on the Rise (our luncheon benefiting Dress for Success), was attended by over 100 BRA members, but it was also heavily attended by other people from the LA community at large, including influencers, media and women looking to network and connect with like-minded people as well as alumni from the Dress for Success program.

Photo credit: Bree McCool

Where do you currently have chapters?
Our flagship chapter is based in Los Angeles and we’re looking to expand soon in the Bay Area, Orange County and Ventura County. Our longer term goals include even further expansion with chapters in major cities across the country and ultimately globally.

Please give an example of something one would learn from one of your CourseSets (another adorable play on words)?
A set of courses open to all, our Winter CourseSets included four weeks of workshops where one built on the next. Using the cohort model, attendees met every week for four hours and delved into different topics essential to the emerging entrepreneur. We offered courses in Branding Clarity, Social Media Marketing, Email Funnels, and Finances. Other topics included Public Relations, Building Partnerships and Collaborations and Human Resources.

Why is it so important to collaborate with female entrepreneurs?
When our entrepreneurs work together, it advances all women everywhere, through workshops, panels or webinars. We are stronger together than we are as any singular individual and we create a much more powerful force in the world when we collaborate. It’s also a fundamental belief of our Network to view each other as collaborators and allies instead of as competition, and that makes for a much more supportive environment in which we’re all more likely to flourish and grow.

Why is it so important for women to work together?
When women work together, we help propel women business owners forward. BRA members always aim to hire within our network first to keep the money flowing between us. In this way, we’re doing our part to support small business and women-owned businesses.

What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur?  
No (wo)man is an island. I surround myself with talented, capable, knowledgeable women who are experts in their respective fields to help me be the best I can be at what I do. I don’t really believe in the term “solopreneur” because no one is actually ever in this alone. No matter what form your assistance takes, whether it’s a husband watching the kids for a couple of hours while you create more product to sell, or you have an investor in your business, or you hire someone to come and clean your house, all of those people are on your team. And doesn’t it feel better to know you’re not in it all by yourself? It doesn’t mean you take any less credit for the empire you’re creating with your bare hands, from scratch, it just means you don’t have to ever feel completely isolated or alone in your journey ever again. You have people on your side. Take stock of who they are, because it’s important to recognize assets where we have them.

What is the biggest thing you have learned from starting BRA?
Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Rome wasn’t built in a day. All those cliches were written for a reason. It takes time! Don’t stress when you haven’t reached six figures in your first quarter of being in business. Each business will move at its own pace and will grow based on a variety of factors - some of which aren’t in your control.

Please let us know the best ways our readers can get involved.
To get involved with BRA you can visit our website, get added to our mailing list to receive our newsletter, look up our facebook page, and, if you’re in the LA area, consider joining our private facebook page for the LA chapter! That way you can stay up to date on all things BRA and fabulous.

To learn more about BRA, please check them out via the following platforms:
Instagram: @bra_network

Photo credit for cover shot of Carrie Murray: Kathy Schuh

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