Despite her small stature, senior business administration student Alisha Greene has big plans for the fashion industry.
“Fashion describes who you are as an individual …Clothes define who you are because it allows people to be able to express themselves in a way that they can’t describe in words,” she said.
Her passion for the fashion industry can be seen not only in her joyous reaction and descriptions of the industry, but also in her personal style.
“I’ve always gotten compliments on my style and what I wear. It made me think about what I could do to help others better express who they are the same way I was — with clothes. I just love clothes,” Greene, 21, said. “Clothes and putting things together … it comes naturally to me.”
Her natural affinity for style is part of what inspired her to begin her own YouTube channel, Alisha Love, where she posts fashion content once a week. Her interest in the online community began at a young age.
“It started when I first found one person [on YouTube] that I knew that was into fashion and clothes. I was like, ‘Oh my god, that is so interesting.’ That was in ninth grade. I just kept watching. I didn’t have the funds or the knowledge [at the time] and now that I’m older, I have different knowledge and tools at my disposal to be able to start my own business.”
Her boutique, Luxury Styles, is in the works. She plans to sell unique and trend-setting clothes with quality materials.
“I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, however I wanted to learn everything about being in and running a business. As I started to pursue my journey of going to school, I fell in love with sales and marketing,” she said.
When making the decision on where to attend school, Greene says that the School of Business and Industry was the obvious choice.
“Because I was going to be the first one in my immediate family to go to a four-year college, I not only wanted to go to a HBCU but I wanted to go to the best HBCU. FAMU is just the best HBCU for business, so it was an easy decision to come here,” she said.
“Going to SBI has definitely helped me in terms of creating my business. I learned to never give up no matter how many times I was told ‘no.’ If there’s a will, there’s a way. It moved me from being sort of an introverted person to being an extroverted person. Now, I’m networking with other SBIans who are entrepreneurs who hold me accountable for starting my business,” Green said.
When asked about her family and her home country, Barbados, she got emotional.
“I was born in Brooklyn but I was raised in Barbados until I was 13. Immigrating was difficult because I left all my friends, family, and everything I knew back home. It was hard to transition from the island lifestyle because I didn’t have anybody to relate to or to be there for me that I could relate to.”
Despite her current academic success, Greene had trouble with school when she arrived in America as a teenager.
“I struggled in school because of the grammar difference. I was smart and I knew the material bur the grammar used in America [presented a barrier for me]. It was hard making friends, too,” she said.
When asked what she missed most about Barbados, her answer was almost immediate.
“I’m going to have to say the food. I can’t get their food here — and the beaches because the water was so clear and beautiful,” she said.
Her love for her country’s ocean was evident in the seafood we ate as she was being interviewed.
“Seafood is definitely my favorite type of food. I try to stay away from fast food and processed food.”
Dreanna Neal, a fellow SBI student and friend of Greene’s, can attest not only to her love of seafood and her sound fashion sense, but also to her tenacity.
“I’ve never been able to really tell her ‘no,’ because she’s always so determined to do something. Even if it’s getting me to go somewhere when I don’t feel like it, she’s so determined that I have no choice but to believe in her,” Neal said.
Greene’s determination and love for business has influenced her professional plans following her summer graduation.
“After graduation, I plan to move to Atlanta and get a job in sales and marketing. While doing that, I still want to pursue by YouTube channel and my boutique. As those two ventures begin to build, I want to start networking and building professional connections since I’ll be in a big city like Atlanta. That’s ultimately going to help me grow my business,” she said.
With Greene’s style, determination, and post-graduation plans, Luxury Boutique is surely on the way to being a thriving business.