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These Entrepreneurs Met On Clubhouse And Started A Company That’s Helping Black Women Make Millions

TIFFANY JAMES AND SHARLEA BROOKES BUILT A BUSINESS THAT’S GENERATING MILLIONS.

 

CREDIT: MODERN BLK GIRL
Clubhouse was a saving grace for many of our social lives during the early months of the pandemic last year. The audio-only app made it possible for its quarantined users to connect with people worldwide and talk about everything from their favorite shows to personal finance tips. Great conversations, meaningful networking and even some entertainment came out of time spent on Clubhouse for most of us, but unlike many of us, Tiffany James and Sharlea Brookes built a business that’s generating millions. 
Both self-taught stock market enthusiasts, James and Brookes often joined Clubhouse rooms led by men that shared their market advice to thousands of listeners.  After the duo was brought to the “stage” to offer their insight, the women in the room wanted to hear more from them. Their popularity soon led them to connect and launch their Clubhouse financial group, which at one time touted more than 100,000 followers. “Modern BLK Girl” offered women-identifying listeners a safe space to speak about their investment experiences, discuss hot topics in the market and ask questions about next steps in their financial journey. Although they’re not licensed financial advisors, the Northeastern University graduates did deep research to build their impressive market knowledge. They soon realized it made sense to teach others what they knew via their platform
The founders recently sat down with Essence to speak about their experience building Modern BLK Girl and why they think every woman should aim to build generational wealth. 

 

Why did you decide to start the platform? 
Tiffany James: I made a lot of strides as a self-taught trader and I felt like these conversations the gentleman had in Clubhouse didn’t have enough women in them. And there were definitely no Black women. So, I would go onto stages in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people and question some of the guys about things that are happening in the market, but also provide great insights, and that became a thing for me. My afternoons would be on Cubhouse, talking about market fundamentals and getting started in the market. And, the girls listening said, “Hey, we love your teaching.” So,  we did our first Clubhouse room back in early October early November of last year. Five hundred people showed up and we did another one, and thousands of people attended. And then more than 5,000 people in a room and the girls told us we need you to start your own club. And the club went from 10,000 to 50,000 to 100,000. Before you know it, it was like a movement of Black women that wanted to learn about investing. It moved quickly and it really was, and it started organically with me wanting to offer my input and share everything I’ve learned over the years. And Sharlea was one of the few women that would be on stages and offer a perspective I  appreciated so I reached out. 
Sharlea Brookes: Yea, like Tiffany I was also on Clubhouse during the quarantine, and I peeked into a conversation about the stock market. I was most interested in the fact that it was another Black woman speaking on the topic and she reached out and was like, “Hey, I have this vision about teaching Black women investing,” and I was surprised that I was so drawn to the idea because I didn’t know {Tiffany}  at all at the time. Obviously, we’re connected to the app but I didn’t know her for real. Then we talked offline and realized we had a lot of things in common like our hometowns and alma maters, and our relationship grew from there. 
I was all for starting the platform because money in the Black community is definitely like a weird taboo conversation sometimes due to a lot of us just trying to figure it out and survive. My family wasn’t super open about investing. I knew that they were investing quietly. So I put the pieces together and reached out to some of my schoolmates about it. I  went to a predominantly white school and I remember the day one of my Jewish friends opened his computer and there was this portfolio with a whole bunch of money in it. We were fourteen, and he’d invested his money from his bar mitzvah. I asked him a bit about his technique and that was my introduction to making my money work for me. 
Sharlea, I know you mentioned that money conversations weren’t common for you growing up, but what about you, Tiffany? Did your family talk about investing at all?
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