Last week, I sat down with Detroit native, Briahna Knowles who has proven that she is wise beyond her years. I met Briahna about 4 years ago and since then, I have had the chance to watch her grow and evolve into a young entrepreneur with a clear vision to help others. Not only has Knowles made a successful lifestyle change but she has established her own catering company, Marche's Catering Co. Briahna provides her clients with tasty, creative choices while providing tips and services that promote clean and healthy living. Let's see what Briahna is cooking up!
DS: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got to this point with your business.
BK: I'm 22. Born and raised in Detroit, moved out of Detroit when I was 16 and started going to a mixed school so you get a lot of exposure to different things in that kind of setting. My grand mother and grand father passed 6 months apart from each other 2 years ago. My grand father passed from colon cancer and my grandmother had heart problems since I was younger. Their passing opened my eyes to the fact that many people in my family either has diabetes, high blood pressure or are overweight; it shocked me that you can really die from things like this. That really geared me up to start meal prepping and losing weight. In addition to that, I've always wanted to be involved in restaurants in some type of way. I've had a passion for food since I was about 16 or 17.
DS: So is that when you primarily began cooking or being in the kitchen?
BK: I've always been in the kitchen. My mom always worked so I've been cooking meals for me and my siblings since 9th grade. My grand mother especially; she would have me doing different tasks in the kitchen. I just recent realized that I could make this into something that I could do for the rest of my life.
DS: So when did you get started on your actual fitness journey?
BK: My freshman year of college is when I got exposed to actually working out although I've always been active. I did PAL from 5 to 14 or 15, it was after that when I realized that I was gaining weight and I was trying to figure out what to do. Once I got into my own apartment by myself, that's when I began to break it down and I was actually able to lose weight. So I would say about a year and a half ago is when I really got focused on losing weight.
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DS: When did you realize that you wanted to establish your own brand?
BK: I've always known that I would be a boss. I've never been the type of person that likes to listen to people. When I have an idea, I go for it regardless of how the next person feels. It's always been branded in me that I was gonna own my own business; I just wasn't sure what it would be. I always like for people to know that I'm very hands on, very aggressive [not aggressive in a way that I'm always trying to take over everything] but I never wait for someone to tell me what the next move should be. I've always had that mentality since I was younger and I've always known that I wouldn't work well in corporate America, at a desk my whole life.
DS: What's your favorite dish to prepare?
BK: I'm still exploring food. It's so much to food that people don't know about so I don't ever think there's going to be a dish that's my favorite. You can be in the kitchen and just put something together and that's the thing I love about food too; it's so much creativity in food. I will say my favorites from my clients would be my seared salmon and the berry salad with poppy seed dressing.
DS: What is the ultimate goal behind your brand besides success?
BK: I feel like, I want to bring awareness to people. That's my biggest thing because so maybe people [especially in this day in age with technology] believe anything. It's so many people that reference social media for research and I want to develop a platform for people to know how food affects our bodies, our mental health and day to day lives. I also want to have a grocery store because there are no fresh markets within a 5 mile radius in most urban neighborhoods and that's so crazy to me.
DS: Who is your role model in respect to your brand and business?
BK: I would have to say my Grandmother. With anything that happened in our family, she was the problem solver and she was the business woman with a million dollar cleaning business for 23 years. Seeing how she hustled and got people involved, spread knowledge and exposed herself to so many different things, really influenced me to be a business woman. She showed me that I don't have to work for anyone for the rest of my life.
DS: What would you say is the hardest part about having your own business?
BK: I have to learn how to keep some of my ideas to myself. You may have all of these ideas and goals and people have such small minded views on life. So I think the biggest thing for me is making everything concrete so nobody can tell me no. If you know your vision, no one can tell you know.
DS: What advice would you offer to someone who is looking to launch their own business, start their fitness journey or continue their fitness journey?
BK: I would say with beginning a fitness journey, get prepared mentally because that's the biggest part about it. I knew what I was suppose to do way before I actually put in the work. Anytime I do anything, I mentally prepare myself for the negatives and positives. Also, always meal prep! Meal prepping saved my life. For anyone continuing, understand that it's a lifestyle change. Once you realize you are changing your life instead of going on a temporary diet, you will see better results. For anyone starting a business, I would say just believe in yourself. That's the biggest thing. You can make a business out of anything. It's all about presenting your business in a good way so that it will be established forever and not just for right now.
DS: What can we look forward to seeing from Marche's Catering Co.?
BK: I want to expose more people to opportunities so I'm thinking about establishing a class setting where people can come out and learn how to cook. I also want to reach a different demographic because everyone may not be able to afford personal catering services. With that said, I plan to start going to the grocery store and teaching people how to shop and what to look out for when they are establishing a healthier lifestyle.
DS: What is your mantra?
BK: Trust your struggle. If you trust that it's nothing else that can get in the way. You have to understand that you will go through shit in order to build yourself because if you don't go through it, you won't know what to do next or how to guide someone.
For more information on Briahna's journey and Marche's Catering Co., visit the links below and as always, subscribe and share with a friend to read more entries like this :).
Phone: (313) 673-6187