Black Self-Made Millionaire Reshapes Brand Through Traumatic Experience To Continue Helping Woman Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur Nathalie Nicole Smith earned the status of becoming a self-made millionaire through a combination of hard work, dedication, and a valuable support system with her clients.
After a traumatic experience, the Maryland native has dedicated an entire network-based platform to helping other women entrepreneurs build their brand where it matters the most, and is often overlooked.
Smith, a Howard University graduate, experienced her parents’ divorce at the age of 10 and was forced to move into her grandmother’s house with her mother in a predominantly Jewish community. But it wasn’t until she attended the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) that she realized how set back she felt and learned the power of ownership.
Beginning with only a few thousand dollars, Smith launched her online eco-beauty company Plush RX, formerly Plush Beauty Box, after graduating in 2011. “That’s when the philanthropy work really started with women and girls, cancer survivors, women involved in domestic violence, and foster children. I just loved to help girls and women,” Smith told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
She soon expanded the Plush brand in 2014 to open its first flagship store in Washington, D.C. In 2015, Smith was approached with a government contract in Washington, D.C. to facilitate entrepreneurship and life skill programs in the juvenile prison facilities. Her mentorship program soon grew in 2017 to become what exists today as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit network Women Who Boss.(Image: Nathalie Nicole Smith / Instagram @nathalienicole / Screenshot)
But in 2020, Smith said her life took a complete curve when she was robbed at gunpoint by two men while she was checking out an event space, six months after earning her first million dollars.
“It was me being careless in an environment. I knew better. Sometimes, you feel like you’re superwoman, and I let my guard down,” she said.
“At that very moment, I saw my life flash in front of my eyes, and I remember clear as yesterday, outside of the material things, I don’t care about that. I just wanted my life.” Smith recalled that was the first day she wanted to do life differently. “As a survivor in that space, I had to relearn faith. I had to relearn how to become fearless, confident, and strong,” she added.
From 2020 to 2022, Smith says she embarked on a journey of positivity and healing, allowing her to overcome battles with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She embraced her new, inspired vision and showed social media that others can heal as women who boss, too.
“Sometimes you feel like situations aren’t as serious when you’re in it,” Smith told black enterprise.
“When I did experience PTSD, I did not know I was going through PTSD. I did not know I was going through trauma. I did not know I was depressed,” she said.(Image: Nathalie Nicole Smith / Instagram @nathalienicole / Screenshot)
Women Who Boss grew into a spiritual, faith-based nonprofit that has helped a number of women rebuild their brands that speak directly to one’s identity. “A lot of people focus on branding as far as the aesthetics, photoshoots, all that stuff, but the true brand is the brand God gave us,” she said.
“Your first and last name, your DNA, who you are, your core values.”
In 2022, Smith said she aims to continue helping Black and Brown women as a way to give back. “Social media can sometimes give a false narrative of how business is supposed to be,” she said.
“The reason I launched Women Who Boss was to create a community of resources, tools, and support. We don’t need to go to a golf course to learn this.”
* This article was originally published here