We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Michelle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
When people think of an app for bachelorette parties they love it! But later come to believe that the impact of what we’re creating is short-lived and miniscule (how important could one weekend be?)- but it could not be farther from the truth. Bridesquad is a stepping stone towards a more sustainable and equitable future for celebrations around the world. At least that’s how I see it. We have a unique opportunity to help friends and families share some of their most memorable and priceless moments of their lives and to help them enjoy every moment of it without the stress of planning – something that is oftentimes a killjoy. When I think about the lives we can fulfill, the waste we can reduce and the underserved economies we can impact with our software, I’m even more ecstatic about the next steps for Bridesquad. The end goal for me is to see the vision of this company through to the end, where we’ve influenced billions of people to celebrate life stress free and sustainably and set that as the standard across the globe.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Bridesquad is an app that helps bridal parties plan bachelorette parties and all things bridal stress-free. I’m beyond thrilled to be in this space because we are reinventing and redefining what it means to celebrate. I started Bridesquad out of my own frustration in planning my wedding and being in a wedding as maid of honor at the same time. All the mishaps and mess-ups that people experience during the planning stages happened to me, and it did such a number on me that I was determined to find a way that would make it easier for others to be less consumed with the planning of a party and have more time to actually be in the moment and enjoy it.
My journey to starting a tech company isn’t as common as most. I’m not a developer and to this day I still don’t know how to code. I was fortunate and curious enough to stumble upon no code and haven’t looked back since.
No code is a new era of software development – basically visual programming tools to help people create things that traditionally required a developer (or coder) to build. As a Black Woman in tech with limited resources I was very interested in seeing if I could actually build what I envisioned on my own. Shortly after postponing my wedding plans due to Covid, I spent countless hours building my first MVP for Bridesquad. It wasn’t perfect but it was what I needed to get started. Being a founder is not easy, but it takes audacity and gall to pursue things that don’t exist. I’m proud of the confidence and audacity I’ve found in pursuing my goals and my business.
My biggest takeaway from my journey so far is to “lean in” to what is calling you. To not delay on things because you don’t “feel ready” or “there yet”. Leaning into my strengths (and my weaknesses) has been the best experience for me. I root myself in the things I excel in and let go of judgment on the things I’m not. It’s this juggling act that keeps my mental intact to continue growing myself and building my business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a foodie, so if you’re hanging with me for the weekend, we’re hitting all my favorite food spots! I’m not vegan, but I frequent vegan spots because I like to eat clean. Soulely Vegan LA is one of my favorites. The tofu bowl and strawberry ginger drink is *chef’s kiss* delicious.
Let’s just say we may open up our laptops (Just a quick ten minutes) I’d pop over to Ethos just because I love the vibe and so much better than working from my desk at home.
As a mother, my lounge/club days are at a bit of a standstill, but Balboa Park can get lost for hours!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m in tech, but truly I’m an artist at heart. So I have to shout out my favorite creative collective and group of people to be inspired by, BLKMRKTCLT co-owners Dammit Wesley and SimplisticPhobia. As my friends, mentors, and business partners they’ve been a core reason for how I see and believe in myself. It’s not often that you meet incredibly talented, humbled and genuine people that only want to see the same for others. If I had not crossed paths with them, I’m not sure if I’d be as sure of my direction and my passion for art and tech in the same space. And I know I’m one of many who they’ve inspired and empowered – Both of them and everything they do at BLKMRKTCLT deserves a major shoutout.
Her Hues Photography