We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shannon, what is the most important factor behind your success?
My friends and community have been the biggest force behind B. Marie’s success. I named my business after my late mom to honor her and the values she instilled in me as a woman. My goal with B. Marie is to encourage women— especially Black women, to be bold and expressive with themselves. I don’t take it for granted to have the trust of my peers as a first time business owner, but I am humbled each time I receive support in any form. When I see people I have known for years or complete strangers proudly stand behind that when they purchase from me or share my content, it really keeps me going. It keeps B. Marie going!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I currently work full-time as an IT Engineer for a Health Tech company in New York. I’ve worked in IT for six years, this being my second post grad role. It definitely was not easy transitioning from my first role at a local mechanical contracting company in Maryland to my current role, but I had a lot of help from mentors and professionals I networked with. I had to learn how to put myself out there, and be convincing that I am as good as I say I am when it comes down to getting work done. Being a Black woman in tech you can face many challenges, some seen and many unseen. What matters is that you don’t let people tell you who you are and what you’re capable of, you keep going. I keep this in mind when it comes to B. Marie as well!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If they are visiting me in New York, I love taking my guests to neighborhood spots in Brooklyn to eat. My favorites right now are Brooklyn Beso, Chavelas, and T-Roc’s Homestyle cooking. Manhattan always has seasonal activities going on like ice skating or some sort of pop up event. The rooftop bars are my favorite activity because I never get tired of watching the sunset over the city.
If they are visiting me in Maryland, we are definitely going some place with good crab cakes. My favorite is a lesser known spot called Olive Grove. I also like taking people to the Canton area for drinks or just views of the water.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a shoutout to my amazing dad. He was the first person I pitched my business idea to, and has been nothing short of supportive since!