We had the pleasure of interviewing the founders of GENErationsBXYZ. A family business consisting of a Mother and two of her daughters. Dr.Cassandra Montgomery,LaCoya Plater and Brittney Jewitt launched the company initially to serve as a cosmetic line for all generations. When the world got hit by a pandemic they changed the function of the business to provide safety gear to families across the nation which can be found here. Today they are offering Safety Kits for both adults and kids and are donating some safety equipment to those on the front lines. A truly remarkable and inspiring family, this is an interview you do not want to miss.
What inspired you as a family to start this business?
BRITTNEY: I come from a really close knit family; we are truly friends. My family members have always consulted one another in all of our business ventures. Our family values and traditions play a major part of our lives, and we want everyone to have a sense of what we have experienced our whole lives. Our family consists of mostly women, and we are continuing to grow every day. We collaborate and brainstorm. We always think of cool ideas. We start family businesses because these are the people with whom we trust most, share common values, and work well together.
Cassandra: The love of my family is what inspired us to start this business. We felt that we were getting away from family togetherness and not having as much family time. We realized the children were spending too much time on their phones.
LaCoya: Me, my sister and my Mom were sitting around talking one day and my sisters twin daughters, who are 10 years old, were glued to Youtube so we asked to be included in what they were watching and they had videos of makeup tutorials and dance videos galore. It started a conversation between the three of us of how when we were growing up we learned all of those things from our Mom, Grandmother, older sisters, Aunts, and cousins but now this generation is learning from each other virtually. It made us think about family values and how things have drastically changed and we decided we didn’t want our kids to learn about makeup, cooking, dancing, sex etc. via phones and computers. We wanted them to learn from us. We began to brainstorm about how we could get families involved in doing those things together. Our first focus was makeup and beauty so we discussed creating a line where all generations could share and learn together, in person, as a family unit. That launched the idea for Generations BXYZ
What inspired the name of the company?
BRITTNEY: One day, during a family gathering, we were talking about how much the beauty and hair market has grown and how my mom looks like she could be our sister at 55 years old. Just as my mom worked hard for me and my sister, I wanted my daughters to have something to pass on…from one generation to the next and since we are all from different generations we launched Generations BXYZ. The name comes from 3 different generations coming together, brainstorming ideas and noticing how each one of our ideas reflected our own generation. My Mom is a Baby Boomer (B), My Sister is Gene X (X), I am is Gene Y (Y), and my daughters are Gene Z (Z).
Cassandra: The name GENErationsBXYZ was inspired because we feel it is important to teach our lineage things they can pass on as traditions for generations. I also felt it was necessary for my daughters to teach their children about beauty and safety rather than rely on youtube and the internet to teach them.
LaCoya: As we were brainstorming about family values, we kept coming back to how all of those things had been taught to us from generation to generation so when we started to come up with names we knew generations had to be a part of it. Since all of us had come up with it together we included all of our generations. My Mom is a Baby Boomer (B), I’m Gene X (X), My sister is Gene Y (Y), and my nieces are Gene Z (Z). We just wanted all of us to be included.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
BRITTNEY: Fortunately, being an entrepreneur is something I witnessed my entire life. I have watched my family of women work for themselves in some aspect. I knew growing up I wanted the freedom to use my creative abilities at my own pace and a flexibility to work and tend to my family. I love that I can be accessible to my children and enjoy important milestones. I love that I can express myself through the success of my business. I would say that as an entrepreneur there are no days off, but you can control your schedule. You are constantly finding ways to make your business better. I love doing things to help our community and finding ways to make it better. There is some stress that accompanies this freedom and flexibility..everything falls on you and that can be extremely stressful. I have to make sure that my family is taking care of, but also that the people I employ are taking care of as well. Through it all, I wouldn’t trade being an entrepreneur for anything.
Cassandra: Being entreprenuers has allowed our family flexibility to spend all the time in the world together. We spend all birthdays, holidays and vacations together.
LaCoya: It has had its positive and negative affects but overall I love it. It allows me to be flexible so if one of my kids has an event at school or on the weekends I can make myself available. I love it because I’m very active in my kid’s lives. I’m a soccer Mom, a football Mom, a swim Mom, a basketball Mom, a baseball Mom… I’m a Mom of 3 boys so it’s hard to name a sport in which I’m not a Mom. Also I’m very involved so in addition to attending practices and events I also serve as the team Mom, I’ve been the room Mom, I serve on the PTA, I’m my son’s boy scout troop leader, etc… I couldn’t imagine doing all of that if I had a full time job. One of the down sides though is I’m never off so if I spend half of my day with kids and their activities that normally means I’m up until 3 and 4 in the morning completing paperwork, placing orders, supervising work of employees, processing payroll and more. In the end it’s all about finding a balance and that’s the hard part.
What motivates you?
BRITTNEY: What motivates me the most is the possibility of changing the world and making it a better place for my kids. I want them to not have to jump over some of the hurdles we have faced or not have to endure some of the obstacles we had. I want them to see what hard work and determination will grant you in life. My family is what motivates me to make sure I leave a great legacy.
Cassandra: Making sure that my family is financially secure for future generations. I am motivated to create my own environment and pursue my passions on a daily basis.
LaCoya: 100% my kids. I wasn’t even supposed to be an entrepreneur but I had my first kid when I was in college and working and going to school didn’t leave a lot of time for doing all those things I mentioned previously. When I graduated I knew I wanted to be in control of my life and my time.
How do you generate new ideas?
BRITTNEY: Ideas come from everywhere…a dream, a conversation, an experience, personal creativity…everywhere, and ideas come to everyone. It’s the executing of an idea that holds many people back. Time and money are somethings that are limited resources for most of us. One of my biggest obstacles is finding time to pursue every idea that we think is good. My mom, my sister, and I come up with many ideas that keep us talking for hours, into the wee morning. Then, we wake up and do it all over. Trust me we have had ideas to keep any investor busy. I always joke that my mom is an idea machine.
Cassandra: Coy, Brittney and I have brainstorming sessions a few minutes a day with open-mindedness regarding any ideas we may have had throughout the day. Weekly we get together to discuss challenges and discuss new ways to solve them, which is why we created the safety kits during this challenging time of COVID19. Our biggest idea generation comes from our monthly Power meetings where we discuss the best idea for the month and prioritize the order in which we plan to launch them.
LaCoya: I come from a family of entrepreneurs so many times I’m just talking to my Mom or my sister and we mention a subject that makes us think of a need and we jump on it.
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
BRITTNEY: I would say my greatest fear is leaving this earth without leaving a mark. I aspire to bring joy into people’s lives who weren’t afforded the blessings I have. I manage this fear by doing what I can to help someone as much as possible and making a mark within my fear of influence. I’ve learned that the more I do, the larger my sphere becomes.
Cassandra: My greatest fear is something happening to the people I love. I manage my fears by continually thinking about the things I am grateful for. Like when my mom passed I was angry and mad, but then I had to sit and gather my feelings and just thank God for giving her to me for as long as he did. I thought about the fact that some people lose their mom during childbirth and never get to have the opportunity to experience the love I received from my mom.
LaCoya: My greatest fear is that I will fail. That I will be overly invested in one of my ideas/inventions/start-ups and I will make decisions that will jeopardize everything I’ve ever done. I normally manage this fear by talking about it with my husband and/or family and saving as often and as much as I can.
What are your ideals?
BRITTNEY: I would say one of my ideals is a world without judgement, where people are free to be themselves. Many families let judgement stop them from being together. My personal ideals include an interconnectedness, social responsibility and freedom of expression.
Cassandra: My ideal life is to live in a house on multiple acres with my children and their children along with my sisters and their children and live safe and happily ever after.
LaCoya: To create an environment for more family values to be restored.
To spend more time physically connecting with people vs virtual connections
How do you define success?
BRITTNEY: I would define success by happiness, love, and how I leave my mark in the world.
Cassandra: Success is achieving my dreams and having financial freedom that allows me to be there for my family, friends and community during the brightest and darkest times.
LaCoya: Doing what you love, loving what you do and being able to live off of it.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
BRITTNEY: I definitely believe there is a formula to success and it is hard work and determination. I also feel dedicating time and energy plays a big part as well. Every formula is different. There are many patterns in the world so no one will have the same way of becoming successful. One thing though, I am positive that all of them have those key factors: hard work, dedication, time, and energy.
Cassandra: Finding a niche, creating a great product, be willing to work hard and lots of sacrifice is the formula to success.
LaCoya: Hard work and dedication. There’s a saying I heard not long ago, “Everyone wants the shine but few want the grind” and I totally agree with this. Many people have the misconception that entrepreneurs don’t have to work and just live leisurely lives and that is far from the truth. When I’m on a girls trip with my friends who all have careers like nursing, teaching, administrative work, they get to totally unplug but I never get that luxury. I am on call 24/7 and my phone rings constantly. If you don’t have tenacity and dedication it’s going to be extremely difficult to make it as an entrepreneur.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
BRITTNEY: My favorite aspect is the flexibility and unlimited possibilities. I feel like I have so many things to offer, instead of being confined to just one thing. When I say I can do anything I put my mind to, I really mean it and this is a challenge that I am faced with more often than not.
Cassandra: My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is that it allows me the flexibility and freedom to spend valuable time with my family creating memories and family traditions.
LaCoya: For reasons I’ve already mentioned, my favorite aspect is the flexibility.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
BRITTNEY: The most satisfying moment in business is a profit. Not everyone gets a chance to see a profit. It could be $1, and I would be estatic. But until then, it is important to celebrate the small wins and milestones that come as you build your business.
Cassandra: My most inspiring moment in business was when my 2 daughters became entrepreneurs.
LaCoya: The first time I realized that every dollar I make didn’t depend on me getting out of bed and clocking in on a job. Even if I stay in and hang out with my kids until noon I’m normally making money at 7am. That is an amazing feeling.
What do you wish this company to accomplish within the next year ?
BRITTNEY: I hope this company’s products will be in the homes all over the world, and when people think of a product for the whole family, they think of Generations BXYZ.
Cassandra: It is my hope that we can get the safety kits out to as many people as possible in hopes of saving lives.
LaCoya: I hope this company’s products will be in the homes and hearts of as many people as possible in the next year.
What do you wish this company will accomplish within the next five years?
BRITTNEY: In five years I hope that our company is the guide to happy homes and families. I want families to all feel a connection to our company. I see us having being in many popular store chains and when someone sees our logo they know we stand for all things FAMILY!
Cassandra: It is my wish that our company GENErationsBXYZ becomes a household name and inspires other families to get back to family values and love one another for generations.
LaCoya: In the next 5 years, I hope for continued success and I hope we find a way to give back in a way that’s meaningful to families in our community, in this nation and all over the world. I hope we can bless everyone tenfold.
For the aspiring entrepreneur reading this what advice will you give ?
BRITTNEY: I would tell an aspiring entrepreneur to evaluate their work ethic today and increase that times 20. The time we often spend on something we are passionate about can always be increased. Just imagine how much you can evolve and grow a product if you dedicate 6 months, nonstop to that one specific thing. My advice is simple: eat, sleep, and breathe something you care about until you see it manifest. Also, words are powerful, use them every day to set goals. No goal is too farfetched. If you speak it and work for it you will watch it happen. One of my favorite bible verses is James 2:26 “For as the body without spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
Cassandra: Everyone wakes up with the same 24 hours in each day. Be sure to use your 24 hours wisely by making your dreams become reality.
LaCoya: Be prepared to work hard and give your business everything you have. If you give 100% you have a good chance of getting back 100% but if you give 20% don’t expect anything more. No one is going to work harder for your business than you so always be the hardest working person in your business and everyone else will follow.
What final words do you have for all of the supporters?
BRITTNEY: I want to say we are extremely grateful and appreciative of anyone who is supportive of our brand. We know that consumers have a choice and we thank them for choosing us! Support comes in many forms, and we are extremely blessed to be able to be interviewed and acknowledged for the work we have done and will do in the future. Thank you for taking the time out to find out the vision of Generations BXYZ.
Cassandra: Always love and support God, your family and community. Inspire others to be great and live their dreams every chance you get. I always live My mom always taught us that we could be anything we want to be in life and that we control our destiny.
LaCoya: Thank you to everyone that supports this project, not only for my family and our dreams but for investing in your family, your dreams, your health and your future.
The safetey kits are available at https://generationsbxyz.com/shop