We’re so glad you’re here. EntreprenHER is a revamped series that focuses on highlighting Black women-identifying founders, changemakers and thought leaders. We believe that the versatility in our stories is our superpower - and we want to feature these amazing women because of the difference they’re making by following their dreams and amplifying their passions.
To kickoff this exciting new spotlight, we’re starting with April Nicole, the founder of Placebo Collection. She’s a hardworking, super inspiring entrepreneur with a passion for inclusivity. Check out her story.
Brittany: How would you describe Placebo Collection to someone who isn’t familiar?
April Nicole: Placebo Collection is a Black-owned athleisure brand, catering to women of all colors, shapes, and sizes. We saw a need for clothing that fit our bodies and complemented our skin - so we created it. Fun, edgy, sleek; Placebo Collection works for the minimalist who likes to grab and go, or the maximalist who likes to stand out. Created for women, by women.
B: Your approach to athleisure is so unique. What inspired you to start your brand?
AN: I saw a need for Black women in a space that was predominantly slim-figured white, female driven. My body is curvy. I needed support that I could count on without spending my entire check on workout clothes. I knew there had to be a better way - so I created it.
Women of color need to be represented in the fitness and wellness space. Not just as athletes, but as stakeholders too. I want Black women to know that someone that looks like them is at the table representing our best interests.
B: The quality of the product is great; I love the variety and affordability of your sets, too. What’s your favorite or best-selling piece?
B: I can imagine that building from the ground up, and then trying to sustain that growth, is tough. What have you learned about yourself so far?
AN: I’ve learned that every job I’ve had was preparing me for this moment. I’m immensely grateful for the women that allow me to create for them. Oh, and I cannot do it alone. A team of awesome women hold Placebo Collection together, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
B: What’s been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?
The customers! I absolutely love everyone I’ve had a chance to interact with. They bring so much joy and light. I love seeing and hearing women say Placebo Collection makes them feel confident, sexy, strong, thick, etc.
B: I have to flip that question. What’s been the most difficult thing you’ve dealt with?
AN: Putting myself out there. I always wanted to be behind the scenes, and be more of a mysterious figure behind the brand. Yea...that did NOT work. The moment I started modeling the clothes and putting myself out there, I began having record sales. I wasn’t the perfect size (I’m still not the perfect size), and I certainly wasn’t a model, but I took a leap. My advice to any entrepreneur is to find the thing that scares you the most, and do it. Do it with reckless abandon. It’ll strengthen you as a business owner and a person.
B: Tell me something that you wish you knew before starting your brand.
AN: Authenticity pays off. I have garnered much of my success by being authentic. Caring about the fit (yes, I wear every piece in the collection). Genuinely caring about the customers. Answering questions. Showing my personality. All of these things have contributed to the success of the brand thus far. Had I known being me would pay off, I would have done it a lot sooner.
B: Words of wisdom for any point during someone’s personal or professional journey! Who inspires you the most and why?
AN: I’m inspired most by my childhood friend. She’s beginning her PhD at Howard in the fall. Since we were 9 years old, she said she wanted to be a therapist. She said it at every sleepover, when we became teenagers, etc. Everyone who knew her knew she wanted to be a therapist. But, life is never perfect. With every setback or mishap, she kept going. Never letting her dream die. On days when I want to quit (because let’s face it, most of us have those moments), I’m reminded of her tenacity. She never let go of her dream.
B: Any advice for the future EntreprenHER in the making who’s scared to follow her dreams?
AN: You’ll never be “ready”. Just do it, and do it with consistency. Things will shift and your original vision may change, and that’s ok. Just don’t stop moving. Consistency is key, not perfection.
B: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. And for blessing women everywhere with this dope, quality brand! What’s next for Placebo Collection?
AN: We’re really excited about the upcoming collection. It’s filled with color and texture. This fall we’ll release our double cup bra. A bra made specifically to support D cups and up. We’ve also got something special coming for our holiday collection. It’s a throwback to our childhood years.
B: Love that. Anything else to add before we wrap?
AN: We’re always here to answer any questions and we love feedback. If you have a pain point when it comes to activewear or athleisure, let us know. We’ll work to find a solution. That’s how we started, and it’s the thread that holds this company together.
And, we’re gifting Mayvenn readers with a special coupon code! Use code: Mayvenn10 for a discount during checkout.