Meet Breanna Arthur a Global Brand Moments Marketing Manager at YouTube. Born, bred, and based in Brooklyn, she’s a laser-focused innovator who loves to collaborate and is responsible for creating larger than life brand activations for Fortune 500 companies. Her influence has impacted national and global brands including, ESSENCE, Verizon Wireless, HBO, Bacardi, Colgate-Palmolive, and Ford Motor Company. Her love for communications, new thinking, and ideation propel advertising agencies, clients, and consumers to think about the way they speak with each other; nuanced and differently. It is her passion to leverage these deep-rooted communications skills to spread the good news in a digitally native way. As founder of Black Girls Pray, a digital content and social platform, dedicated to uncovering the untold narrative of the black women of faith, her team is committed to shedding light on the daily combat of balancing Christian walks with societal wants — all while sharing black women's testimonies of trial and triumph.
Share your career journey. What led you down the path of brand marketing and entrepreneurship?
I always knew that I had to so something out of the ordinary, challenging, and intricate. Something told me very early on in life that I would have to play the long game if I wanted to do exactly what I wanted to do -- which was have fun while I work. In hindsight, my career journey started way before my actual career did. As a child, I was always the one organizing family events, friends parties, and creating experiences that no one had ever had before. Instead of having a traditional sweet sixteen, I threw a PARTY BUS EVENT and took 40+ teens to a glow in the dark laser tag experience and then the pier for food and mocktails (mind you this is in 2007). So as I walk through the world today I think that experiential marketing is just WHO I AM versus what I do, Moments matter, especially in marketing and entrepreneurship so I had to make my career journey matter too. I started as a front desk attendant at an ad agency where people that did not see my value wouldn't event let me take notes for them on my break on top of my core role of greeting guests at the front desk. From that moment, i knew it was going to be a uphill battle if i wanted to get to do what I wanted. So, I spent the next 6 years ASKING to do more -- more than i was paid to do, more than others would do, and (sometimes) more than I could handle. As I grew in the field, I think my capacity grew so I went from planning the annual office party, to million dollar event budgets for brands like Verizon, HBO, ESSENCE and now YouTube.
Talk to us about your hair journey. When did you fall in your love with your hair?
I think my hair journey was a direct reflection of my self love journey. When i was young my mother took the utmost care of my hair,long thick and flowing -- but then -- my preteen mind told me that my hair JUST HAD to look like the other girls, straight and stringy. So presses perms and weaves set in - not because i wanted them, but because i wanted everyone else to notice. After ten years of trying to look the way that the world wanted me to, I took the leap in 2011 and did my first big chop. With no natural experience, tips, and videos on YouTube, that move was not the smartest move. I had no clue how to love on my hair and ended up with brittle and broken curls that wouldn't do what i wanted it to do. So again, in 2017 6 years after my first big chop I did it again, but this time i made it my business to love my hair and myself to the highest degree; and two years later my hair is longer and stronger than any of those year where others opinions mattered more than my own.
What has been your hair journey within Corporate America? Did you ever feel like you needed to alter your hair to fit in with the culture of the office?
I was lucky enough throughout my career journey to be surrounded by my tribe. So they just got it. As I move up the ranks I do sometimes wonder what 'Corporate America' thinks of my locks, coils, braids, twists, and bundles. But then I remember -- I. DONT. CARE. My curl pattern is defined, but does not define my competence.
What’s your favorite style to rock inside and outside of the office?
Faux locks for sure! They are so simple and elegant in my eyes, yet you can style them and make them funky and chic! I try to do them only twice a year because the process is a pain. Otherwise i'm rocking a self made closure or lace front unit (Ironically thanks to my professors on YouTube).
Share your plans for your next hairstyle with us!
Ok so! Im wearing faux locks until the end of they year, but in January, Im celebrating my final trip around the sun in my twenties so i'm going BOLD all year! Bundles, color, texture patterns and shape is all i can share now but be sure to be on the lookout!
What’s one piece of advice for a millennial woman struggling with owning their truest selves while embracing their hair?
Nobody really cares, so you have to. We spend so much time investing in our beauty for others versus our soul for ourselves. DO WHATS TRUEST TO YOU. Look at your life in hindsight, were you the 5 year old planning conferences for your stuffed animals like i was -- or were you always in the front of the class delivering the 4th grade updates (which i was NOT), find that connective thread throughout your life and hold on to that thing so tightly, never let it go! Its in that thing where you will find purpose and passion. Own it embraces it and express it how you see fit!