Meet Aeshia DeVore Branch, Supermom and Founder/CEO of Pretty Girls Sweat & Founder/Executive Director of Teen Diaries Foundation Inc.
Aeshia created Pretty Girls Sweat to combat the increasing childhood obesity epidemic and to change the narrative of young girls and notion of "sweat". She's partnered with Nike, Essence Magazine, celebrities and fitness personalities to spread the Pretty Girls Sweat message to girls across the country and she's just getting started.
The brainchild behind Pretty Girls Sweat & Teen Diaries Foundation is sharing her BEHIND the BRAND story and how you can get involved and support Pretty Girls Sweat because you know what…pretty girls do sweat!
Name & role
Aeshia DeVore Branch
Pretty Girls Sweat LLC - Founder / CEO
Teen Diaries Foundation Inc - Founder / Executive Director
What inspired you to start PGS?
When first lady Michelle Obama launched the Let’s Move campaign in 2010, I immediately felt compelled to support the fight to end childhood obesity. I was not only shocked by the alarming childhood obesity rates in the US ("more than 23 million children and teenagers in the U.S. are obese or overweight") but I wanted to dig deeper and learn why and how this became an epidemic. As a former high school athlete, I learned the importance of teamwork, accountability, hard work, focus, friendship, and fun — all attributes that contributed to the woman and mother that I am today. All girls should have that experience (including my three daughters), even if they don’t make the school’s basketball, volleyball or track teams. So Pretty Girls Sweat gives all girls the opportunity to be empowered through fitness and as the initiative grows and continues to erase the negative stigma sweat holds, we hope to make eating healthy and staying fit the new norm — the cool thing to do.
What's a typical day in the life at PGS- Pretty Girls Sweat HQ?
8am - Check email and then scan Instagram to thank our new followers as well as see which content is connecting most with our readers. We aim to serve.
9am - Edit all new content submitted by our college ambassadors and send them feedback.
9:30am - Break a sweat! Whether it's a group fitness class, a jog around my neighborhood, or quick workout DVD, I've got to get my sweat on. This is the time where I am truly free from stress and sets the tone for the rest of my day.
11am - Start posting content on our online platforms to give our audience some motivation during lunch time. Eat and scroll - that’s how we roll!
1pm - Host a virtual meeting with our interns to discuss new campaigns, share and receive feedback, and answer questions.
2pm - Review our online orders, package them, and ship them. Our customers are our priority because they help us fund free fitness programs for teen girls. We get them their merchandise ASAP.
4pm - Scan social media, research potential partners, and publish evening content.
5pm - Switch from work to mommy mode to prepare a healthy meal for my two youngest daughters, help them with homework, pack lunch and get them ready for bed.
9pm - Until - As an entrepreneur, work has no boundaries. I lead conference calls with our reporters, ambassadors, and executive Think Tank monthly, host an online radio show (BlogTalkRadio.com/TDradio), complete company reports, and scan social media for more inspiration.
What has been your biggest successes thus far?
Working with Nike, Essence magazine, and the Hollywood Trainer Jeanette Jenkins to further our mission to empower teen girls through fitness. These mega brands exposed our programs to students in different areas of the country, helping us make a greater impact and expand our audience. To say I am grateful would be an understatement.
Conversely, biggest failure?
Being so passionate about helping teen girls and not treating the brand as a real business. As we continue to grow, I have learned so much along the way and as a result, are better prepared to take the movement and mission to the next level so its legacy can live on beyond me.
Top three things you wish you knew when you first started
1. Do not be afraid to ask for help and advice.
2. Learn how to code or partner with a web developer if you’re creating a digital business.
3. Step outside of your comfort zone!!! This is tough, but necessary. Challenging yourself can help you perform at your peak. Take risks!
Top three tools/apps/technology you can't live without
1. My Macbook (I am overly protective of it!!!)
2. My iPhone for social media (clearly you see where my loyalty lies - LOL)
3. My iPad (where I do most of my reading. It’s like school in my hands!)
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Pick a career that you love so much that you will do it daily for free because you will be working long hours and in the beginning, working for free. So enjoy! Also, do your research. Know your market, get familiar with your competitors, and create a sound business plan. Be fearless, get organized and be your own cheerleader. You can do it!
Who's your professional crush & why?
I have many… Mara Brock Akil, Tracey Edmonds, and Kimora Lee Simmons because they manage to juggle business, family and fashion with ease. My sheroes!!!
We're in the last quarter of 2015, so what's next for PGS?
We are currently planning 2016 so many of our new partnerships and events can’t be revealed as of yet. But we are relaunching PrettyGirlsSweat.com on 1/1/16, testing our Pretty Girls Sweat program out in a high school next year, bringing on three more college chapters in the Atlanta area, and continuing to grow the unbreakable sisterhood that has female students flipping the ingrained negative stereotypes that sweat holds.
Follow Pretty Girls Sweat on social media!
Instagram - @PRETTYGIRLSSWEAT
Twitter - @PRETTYGIRLSWEAT
Pinterest - /PRETTYGIRLSWEAT
Facebook - /PRETTYGIRLSSWEAT
YouTube - /PRETTYGIRLSSWEAT
Pretty Girls Sweat is bomb right?! How do you plan to get involved and support with PGS?
Share in the comments below?