Brandi Simpkins And The Success Of Her Rising Empire, B. Lynn Group
IndustryPlug had the pleasure of sitting down with the founder of one of the entertainment industry’s most sought after image agencies. Brandi Simpkins, CEO of B. Lynn Group, manages the careers of the entertainment industry’s most talented wardrobe stylists, makeup artists, and hairstylists. With a client base of high profile celebrities, such as Jay-Z, Rihanna, Jamie Foxx, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Hudson and even President Obama, Brandi’s business has quickly soared to new heights. Today, Brandi is featured on her own reality television series, “House of Glam” on the Oxygen Network.
Brandi, tell us how you got your start in the image consulting business.
I got my start in the business by representing my best friend Crystal Streets, who became a wardrobe stylist upon graduating college.
Tell us a little more about the B. Lynn Group and the services you offer.
The B. Lynn Group is an image agency providing glam (hair, fitness, makeup, and wardrobe) services and consultations. The bulk of our clientele is celebrity and entertainment- based.
You have a very unique business. Tell us about your business model and how you’ve been able to attain so much success.
We believe in implementing an organic approach with clients. We don’t impose our services on people, we allow them to decide for themselves if our agency can suit their needs. This system has contributed to the success of my business.
Seems there was a void in the urban sector of image consulting when you first started out. When did you realize this could actually be a profitable business?
When I learned that there was both a market for these services and a lack of resources. After doing research and learning the market, I created and implemented a platform to begin my business venture.
There are very few African-American women doing what you do, the way that you do it. Would you say that any part of your upbringing helped you achieve success in your business?
Yes. It’s funny because back in elementary school I formed an all- girl group called, “The Ladies of Elegance” with a few friends. We would sing all of the EnVogue songs for talent shows. I would book them for talent shows, which was a perfect role for me in the group because I couldn’t sing. In high school I was always called on to run campaigns. People have brought to my attention that I have been doing this all along; we just haven’t called it that. It was just designed by God that the opportunity fell into my lap. It is almost as if God took my talent and created something for me.
So you now have this amazing show, House of Glam on the Oxygen Network. Tell us how this amazing opportunity came about.
I recognized the branding power of reality television. My guy had executive produced a few shows and I would always tell him I needed a show. He brought it up in a meeting with someone who, it turned out, wanted to have a meeting with me about my show. I said, “what show? I was only teasing!” It was about a two year process. My decision to do “House of Glam” was more of a branding tool for me.
Tell us more about the show, and what you’d like us to grasp from it.
You will see that I’ve done things differently in every area of my life. I wanted to show a non-traditional family and a non-traditional business that works. I work from home not in a huge office building. I hope that they see that I have done things differently but that it still works.
Has the show helped the overall image and brand of B. Lynn Group?
The show has played a role in providing our audience with a better understanding of what we do on a day-to-day basis. My clients have been part of the fashion and music industry for over a decade and now our viewers can put a face to the names behind the iconic artists we’ve had opportunities to work with.
What are some words of advice you can give to a young stylist who’s looking to make it in the entertainment industry?
The best tip I can give anyone is to intern; assist and learn on someone else’s expense, that’s the point of an internship after all! People complain about working for no money. The success stories are about people who have been working this industry for years before you knew their names. There are no short cuts to this. If you do take a short cut, someone will defraud you so fast and you will lose credibility.
What are some words of advice you’d give to a young entrepreneur who has a business concept in place, but doesn’t know how to execute or make it a profitable business?
I would advise anyone looking to become an entrepreneur to do his or her research before investing into a business model/concept. Things are often easier said than done, so it’s important to equip yourself with the necessary resources to execute a job correctly.
Any future business endeavors for you in the future?
I recently opened a children’s creativity center in NJ. I have been so blessed by the creative world and I wanted to return the favor by helping to cultivate a new generation of creative minds.
As for the B. Lynn Group, I never do too much planning because with the crew, the road always has great twists and turns. I just try to stay focused on overall growth, but I let them point the direction.