MDI: Tells us about yourself.
JB: My name is Jeneba Barrie. I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I am an attorney. I have a bachelors degree from the University of Houston and a J.D. degree from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. I am married and a mother of two sweet boys.
MDI: When, where, and how did you launch your line of shoes?
JB: I first thought of the idea for my shoe line back in 2011. My sister and I went to a graduation and had the identical pair of “nude” pumps, which were beige in color. I started thinking about why it was called “nude” when they did not reflect our skin tone. My journey began at that moment. My shoe line was officially launched in 2018.
MDI: Who is your role model?
JB: My role model is my husband. I have had a lot of self confidence issues. From applying to law school to launching my shoe line, I questioned myself every step of the way. But he believed in me and motivated me to put myself out there. If not for him, I most likely would not have launched in 2018.
MDI: What are you passionate about? What excites or motivates you?
JB: Helping others excite me. When I am able to sacrifice and give of myself to improve the lives of other people, that excites me. I am passionate about setting out goals and reaching them. That also motivates me keep going, even when I feel like I can’t keep going on.
MDI: What can you do to nurture these passions daily or weekly? Remember how and why they were your passion in the first place. Now that the brand is coming into fruition, I always remember how for years the thought of my own shoe line nagged at me. I thought about it every single day. I was passionate about my idea and just needed to step out on faith.
MDI: If you could lead a workshop on empowering girls, what ideas or suggestions would you recommend to moms to help empower their daughters?
JB: The first thing I will suggest is that they strive, fight and push for what they want. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Secondly, not all criticism is constructive. For some people, you will never be enough—and that’s okay. You won’t be for everyone but the right people will encourage you and cheer you on. However, know when to take legitimate and constructive criticism and make corrections going forward. Third, your mindset is everything. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right. Lastly, have boundaries and never waiver from those boundaries.
MDI: If you could teach young women how to bring about bringing more happiness into their everyday lives. What would you teach them?
JB: Live one day at a time. Keep a running “to do list” to minimize stress. Never allow anyone to control you through your emotions. Always treat others with respect, yes, even those who disrespect you. But most importantly, know when to cut off toxic people and relationships from your life.
MDI: What words of advice would you give the next generation of girls/young women?
JB: You can be anything you want. Never allow the naysayers to guide your path because chances are they are afraid that you might actually achieve your goal. Seek out leadership positions in school, in extracurricular activities, and in your community. Take “no” as a not right now. Give yourself permission to be happy and live your best life.
MDI: Tell us about your new line of shoes.
JB: Our website is still under construction, but our Kickstarter Campaign is still going strong. You can pre-order a pair through the Kickstarter at a discounted rate here. The future retail price is $295.00. Pre-order at a discounted rate here: bit.ly/True-Hue-Footwear. Contact Jeneba – firstname.lastname@example.org