Queen & Berry… very memorable name, huh? Now I know what you’re thinking. Who the heck is this Queen, what’s the deal with the Berry, and what kinda berry are we talking here? Trust me I was just as intrigued as you are. Her work and rave reviews speak for themselves, but what’s the real juice behind this queen? I sat down with brains and beauty behind the business, the marvelous Trae Bundrant, over a glass of rose in Whole Foods (cause apparently bitch not only loves beer, but she’s got a big sweet spot for Whole Foods) here’s what she had to say.
What the heck is Queen & Berry?
Queen and berry is a media company that produces its own content. We also service female business owners with their content and branding.
Yes! I love that, I can see female empowerment plays a pinnacle role in your ethos. What’s the backstory behind the unique business name?
My Abuelita, Armenta, the queen, the matriarch, loved strawberries, as a matter of fact people would leave strawberry stuff on her porch all the time. The entire town knew she loved them. So, I wanted to come up with a name that honored her. I thought about her first name Armenta, but found that a jewelry store already had that name. Plus, I may have a taco joint in the future and I will call it Armenta’s Cantina, so, after thinking about what she meant to me, her queen, her holiness, and the one thing she was known for, Queen & Berry was born.
I love that! How does the inspiration from your grandma shine through in your work ethic?
She was a selfless little lady. Who gave everything she had to whatever project she was doing. I hold on to the memory of her waking up every, and I mean ev-er-y, Sunday, to play the piano at all the churches in her small town. She never missed a Sunday. She was fiercely committed. That’s how I am with my clients. When I take on a project I think of solutions that are outside of what they’ve contracted me for. I over-deliver and even if I cannot perform the task, I find someone who can.
Your business goals and drive are inspiring, what motivates you?
Money, for real. I am motivated by money not because I want a G Wagon, oh I will have a G Wagon, black matte on black. Capital gives me the ability to create jobs and that is super important to me. Providing livable virtual wages for women, especially women of color is my mission. Women who want to do dope ass shit, but also want to spend time with their families, or travel. Women who don’t want to be shackled to a desk and told when to pee. I’ve worked in those types of environments and it caused terrible anxiety and depression. I know what it’s like to work at a place that has a “diversity and inclusion” policy but is not diverse or inclusive. It’s bullshit. I am here to change all that.
Tell us a little about your side hustle “Bitch loves beer”?
GURLLLLLLL, it’s my baby! So, I affectionately call myself bitch. I affectionately call everyone bitch actually. Anyway, I will be giving people a bts look at what it’s like building a business. Showing it all, the tears and the fears. It’s not all so glamorous. There will be some beer humor and some bar moments. Hopefully, it will inspire others to be self employed.
Yass! How about three things you can’t live without on the daily?
Besides the obvious like fam and friends…
Whole Foods, Don’t even get me started. They all know my name. I spend a disgusting amount of time there. I mean, we are here right now. I like to just feel the air. I feel healthier just walking in. This has been an obsession for a few years now.
Moisturizer, I have a fascination with looking glazed like a donut at all times.
I mean, besides the importance of a smooth, hydrated face, what important life lessons have you learned recently?
To stick up for myself. I learned that 5 times in about a week. I was proud of myself for passing on several clients, addressing uncomfortable situations with friends, and telling people, ABSOLUTELY NOT HAPPENING. I took NO shit. I was firm without being mean. And in my best Nene Leakes voice, “I said what I said.”
Yes, ma’am. I think we could all use that advice! What do you indulge in?
Honestly, besides drinking some Dragon’s Milk by New Holland. YOUTUBE! Ok, I watch all the vegan chefs, Avant Garde Vegan, The Sweet Potato Soul lady, and of course the wonderful Lauren Toyota from Hot for Food. Currently, though, I am into this chick, wait, what’s her name, hold on…XO, Mcenna. She’s a DIY Beast, even though I cannot DIY a damn thing. I love just popping on Youtube while I am working on projects.
Looking back on your life now, what would you tell your younger self?
That I am not fucking fat. Man, I was a babe…I allowed others’ body types to dictate how I felt about myself. Oh, and to stick up for myself. Don’t shrink because others expect the black woman to be silent in fear of being labeled combative and aggressive.
For funsies, what’s the last show you binge-watched?
Rewatching Top Chef on Hulu. But I had to start with like season 11 because of the quality of those older episodes I could not deal with.
If you could have lunch with one influential person, who would it be?
Iris Apfel. I know most people are like…Oprah Winfrey, well, I already know what I need to know from her, I grew up watching her talk show. I wanna talk to an unapologetic 90-year-old diva about life, love, and art.
Who are your favorite brands and why does their marketing inspire you?
Allbirds. Love their mission and their 30 day trial period. Plus Obama put me on. I love me some Barak. Lululemon. I wrote a whole blog on why. True Food Kitchen, making healthy food taste fiyah. Oh shit and this new Lebanese dip called Toom. Yo’ that buffalo TOOM is OUTRAGEOUS. Coincidentally all their branding is simple, and simple is always inspiring to me.
So there you have it, a mini insight into the genius mind of the gorgeous Miss Trae and how she built her fiercely empowering brand. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to check out that buffalo dip…