V15. The Collective (of Us): BOLD Broads *Trina Morris of Style Root*

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Bold Broads highlights women founders and creative [read: BADASS] small business owners about how they really deal with the ups and downs of running a BOLD business. These women share honest wisdom and tough lessons to support you in collectively making good shit happen in your own women-led startup or small business. Meet Trina Morris of Style Root. Style Root is here to plant, cultivate and harvest brilliance- individually and collectively. We lead by example and believe everyone can be whole self-employed.

Let's meet her, shall we? 

1. STARTING A BUSINESS IS HARD AND SOMETIMES LONELY. WHAT THE F*CK MOTIVATED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Honestly, I started my own business to give myself a job. I’d been searching/interviewing for what I considered “the perfect fashion PR position” for months, and was unsuccessful. Finally, I took a chance on ME and decided to no longer overlook the power of my own ideas, business savvy and market demand. I launched Style Root Inc. on Feb 14, 2005, and nearly 13 years later, we are both alive and well.

2. HOW DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED TO KEEP THRIVING IN A CREATIVE SPACE WHERE EVERYONE SEEMS TO ONE-UP EACH OTHER?

I remind myself of all that I am balancing. When you live "whole-self employed" as I call it, you honor progress at an honest pace because its all soo layered and incremental. It's realizing that growth looks different every season. Sounds hippie, but I've learned to live more aligned with nature. I even created ROOTED, a seasonal yoga series to  share the practical approach with others. It’s a signature Style Root offering and I’m very proud of how practical and encouraging it truly is.

3. SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES ARE OFTEN QUIETLY SUPPORTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF WOMEN MENTORS, FRIENDS AND BUSINESS OWNERS. WHAT COMMUNITIES AND RESOURCES HAVE BEEN MOST PIVOTAL TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS SUCCESS?

I believe legal protection is what often separates the novice from the seasoned entrepreneur. Early on, NELP (Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project via City Bar Justice Center) was an extremely valuable resource. They incorporated my business and set up all of my contracts. NELP pairs underserved entrepreneurs with top-tier law firms who agreed to take on probono work.  It made all the difference in my deals. I’m ready to go back to NELP this year, as my brand extends into products (not just services). 

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention my Lululemon family. As a yoga instructor and Brooklyn store ambassador, I truly value their support, network, and genuine interest in improving communities through yoga. 

4. NO BULLSH*T; WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS? AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT; HOW ARE YOU WORKING TO OVERCOME THIS?

Most challenging for me without question…. REJECTION. 
Great proposals gone dead. There have been soo many "no thanks; nevermind; after thinking about it, sorry; maybe another time" over the years.  Unfortunately at times, those potential clients determined (for me at least) an on-time, late or no rent payment at all. 

Bad news: You gotta keep proposing... sorry not sorry. You never know which door will open. 
Good news: You can put just as much or perhaps even more energy into existing relationships (already opened doors) instead of largely begging for new ones.   

Perspective is everything. Stay inspired and connected to those who already value your gifts. Give yourself a "yes" with a refreshed sales perspective. Factor spiritual fulfillment into your bottomline. 

Case in Point: In rebranding my consulting business last year, I decided to only offer the services I absolutely loved doing and that people kept asking for. While that took several items off the menu, I was grateful for it. We must be mindful enough to see the flow, and trust/go with it. 

5. SHARE THE MOST HELPFUL PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN.

I loved learning about how to set SMART goals. I literally applied it to everything!! I would ask myself, “is this goal SMART?” and proceed to articulate why it was… 
S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Relevant
T- rooted in Time

I UNAPOLOGETICALLY OWN MY BOLD BROAD BADASSERY BECAUSE...

I own my bold broad badassery because I am committed to seeing how my happiness unfolds on my terms. I accept entrepreneurship as a lifestyle, and my well-being as an empowered choice. Being whole-self employed, I have found a remarkable professional balance, and am charged by the responsibility to share with and uplift others. I stand for truth, healing and authenticity. My compassionate actions support black men.  My innerG empowers women and embodies the divine feminine energy at work in each of us.   

BOLD BROAD BONUS***FAVE APP OR WEBSITE?

Forbes Lists (website): Top Influencers, 30 Under 30, etc. I’m addicted to pop culture. I’m moved by the latest innovations and they ignite me to bring my vision to life. 

Insight Timer (app)- In the complete opposite direction, I crave solitude and time to renew my spirit. This is just what I need- convenient higher consciousness. It has great analytics (for left brains like me) and comes with a community of thousands (to ohm with, if you so desire ; ) 


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Learn more about Trina right here.

At the root of it all… I love people, work attentively, and live to build authentic relationships. 

Over 15 years ago, I moved to New York City and grounded myself in the world of fashion public relations. It was an organic career move that harvested more than this bright-eyed, Midwest girl could have ever imagined. 

My passion and proficiencies grew into a Brooklyn-based boutique consulting firm, and my services sprouted to include lifestyle, the arts, beauty and nonprofit industries.   

Today I stand tall, centered and whole-self employed. 

And for my fruit… New York Fashion Week producer, lululemon Yoga Ambassador, brand strategist, college professor, shopping guide, life coach, and designer of peaceful productivity (who just wants a To Do List when you really need a Well Plan?) 

I hold a Bachelors degree in English from Tennessee State University (where Oprah is an alum!), and a Masters degree in Public Relations from Ball State University (where Oprah and David Letterman buried the hatchet!). I’ve been a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) through Yoga Alliance ® for over 7 years, and proudly cultivate student seeds at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Kent State University’s NYC Studio and Rutgers Business School. 

My family knew what they were doing when they nicknamed me “Tree.”