Lucy is the founder of Black Female Entrepreneur Greenwich (BFEG) and owner of Afrocentric fashion brand Luhoc which was established in 2017.
iEMPOW3R has had the privilege and pleasure to support Lucy in her works over the years, after first joining her Black History Month celebration in October 2021 through our small candle business. Recently, we stopped by to support BFEG’s Africa Day festival and also learned of Lucy’s nomination at The National Diversity Awards 2023 for the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award!
It’s an honour to be able to share a few wise words from Lucy in our latest iGEN extraOrdinary people spotlight!
If someone were to ask you who is Lucy, how would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as a passionate entrepreneur, activist, and community leader. I am dedicated to advocating for the rights of black women in society and promoting their voices, financial independence, education for girls, women's employment, and equal opportunities for all. I am also a creator, fashion accessory designer, and self-taught artist.
We’d love to hear about your journey to date, what was it like growing up? How you got started and key empowering moments that shaped you.
My journey has been shaped by both personal experiences and witnessing the struggles of others. Growing up, I encountered the challenges faced by black women and saw the need for change. This inspired me to start my own small business, focusing on fashion accessories and empowering women economically. Through my business, I established a women's community that provides support, mentorship, and resources.
Key empowering moments for me have been seeing the transformation and success of the women I work with, as well as experiencing the impact of collective efforts in creating a more equitable society.
What advice would you give to someone wishing to begin a path similar to yours?
My advice to someone wishing to start a business is to believe in yourself and your vision.
Be passionate about what you do and stay committed, even in the face of obstacles. Surround yourself with a supportive network of mentors and like-minded individuals.
Research your market thoroughly, identify your target audience, and differentiate yourself with a unique value proposition.
Embrace continuous learning, adapt to changes, and persevere through challenges. Remember that setbacks are opportunities for growth and that your passion and determination can drive your success.
What's a piece of feedback that stuck with you?
One piece of feedback that has stuck with me is when someone said, "Your work is inspiring and has created positive change." This feedback reinforced my belief that my efforts are making a difference. It reminded me of the importance of staying true to my mission, even when progress may seem slow or challenges arise. It motivated me to continue advocating for equality and empowering others.
If you could turn back time and talk to your 18-year-old self what would you tell Lucy?
I would tell her to embrace her authenticity and heritage, to be unafraid of pursuing her dreams and speaking up for what she believes in. I would encourage her to surround herself with positive influences, seek mentorship, and nurture her creativity. I would remind her that challenges are opportunities for growth, and that her voice and actions have the power to create meaningful change.
What does empowerment look like and feel like to you, and have you had any empowering moments that you wish to share?
Empowerment, to me, looks like individuals realising their full potential and having the resources, opportunities, and support to thrive. It is about breaking free from societal limitations and stereotypes, embracing one's unique identity, and making choices that align with one's values and aspirations.
Empowerment feels like a deep sense of confidence, self-worth, and the ability to effect positive change.
One empowering moment I wish to share is when I witnessed a young girl from an underserved community, who had limited access to education, transform into a confident leader through the educational programs we provided. Her journey reminded me of the transformative power of education and reinforced my commitment to promoting equal opportunities for all.
How important is representation equity, inclusion and diversity to you and why?
Representation equity, inclusion, and diversity are of utmost importance to me. They are vital for creating a society where everyone's voices are heard, respected, and valued. When individuals from diverse backgrounds have equal representation, it leads to better decision-making, fosters innovation, and promotes a fair distribution of resources and opportunities.
It is crucial to address systemic biases, break down barriers, and create spaces that celebrate and embrace diversity. Representation equity ensures that all individuals, regardless of their background, have equal access to opportunities, resources, and leadership positions. Inclusion ensures that diverse perspectives are actively sought and valued, fostering a sense of belonging and respect for all.
By promoting representation equity, inclusion, and diversity, we can build a more equitable and harmonious society where everyone's experiences and contributions are recognized and celebrated.
iEMPOW3R is all about building, uplifting, motivating and empowering people. Do you have thoughts on how we can positively impact young people’s lives, and which areas do you think require more attention?
I would recommend focusing on creating mentorship and skill-building programs specifically tailored to young black women. This initiative would provide them with guidance, support, and opportunities to develop their talents, explore entrepreneurship, and break barriers in their chosen fields. By addressing the unique challenges faced by black women and empowering them with the necessary skills and networks, we can amplify their voices, increase their representation, and create a more inclusive and diverse society.
Who are the three most influential people to you?
The three most influential people to me are Maya Angelou, Madam C.J. Walker, and my mother.
Maya Angelou's words and activism have deeply resonated with me, reminding me of the power of resilience and the importance of using my voice for positive change.
Madam C.J. Walker's story of entrepreneurship and breaking barriers inspires me to pursue my own business endeavours and empower others economically.
My mother, through her unwavering support and belief in me, has been a constant source of inspiration and strength, guiding me to overcome challenges and strive for excellence.
What does Lucy do for fun?
I enjoy exploring creativity through various artistic outlets. I find joy in creating fashion accessories, experimenting with different artistic mediums, and expressing myself through my artwork. I appreciate connecting with my community and engaging in activities that promote empowerment and social change (attending events, participating in volunteer initiatives, or collaborating with like-minded individuals).
Any final words of wisdom to share?
My final words of wisdom would be to believe in the power of your dreams and the impact you can make.
Embrace your uniqueness, stay true to your values, and never underestimate the value of your voice and actions.
Surround yourself with a supportive community, seek mentorship, and continuously invest in your personal growth and development.
Remember that change starts from within, and by empowering yourself, you empower others to create a more inclusive and equitable world.
Interview by Yasmine