Chelsea Miller: CEO of WEBelieve Inc. & Petronellá LUXE
Chelsea Miller is a dynamic, award-winning social entrepreneur and change-maker based out of New York City. As Co-Founder & CEO of Women Everywhere Believe (WEBelieve), Chelsea brings an enormous breadth of skills and experiences to the table from her numerous speaking engagements, international travels, collaboration with major brands and corporations, work at Unilever, and time spent in the Obama White House working on economic development. Through her leadership, WEBelieve has quickly become a nationally recognized organization that trains women and girls of color to be civic and corporate leaders. They currently have chapters across 8+ states and 20+ universities and recently wrapped up their annual Her Legacy Conference in January seeing 300+ attendees gather and interact. Outside of WEBelieve, Chelsea is also the CEO of a new luxury clothing brand for the everyday woman that launches this month called Petronellá Luxe. With such a great track record of professional success and brand building, she also has begun offering her high-demand Bossed Up Master Class where she provides key strategies to starting and sustaining a successful brand. Chelsea is a firm believer in embracing the many parts of herself in order to create impactful changes. Realizing this is what has helped her create and sustain so much success. So make sure to keep an eye on what Chelsea is doing because chances are, she is preparing right now to add another powerful dimension to her already impressive portfolio!
Q: How important has surrounding yourself with other strong woman peers and mentors been to your success?
Chelsea: Often times when we think of capital, people think financial capital is the most crucial to success. Social capital is often overlooked, yet it’s one of the best investments you will ever make. I surround myself with people who authentically pursue their dreams, I keep a tight circle of those who I can call, and I’ve developed a spirit of discernment throughout the years to best navigate relationships. It’s always a balancing act — but it’s doable. All of my mentors are champions of WEBelieve, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the time women who are leaders in their various industries have put into ensuring the sustainability of WEBelieve. I would be remiss if I didn’t add, that beyond friends and mentors — my family and faith have always remained at the center of my drive and purpose. Being a first-generation American, raised by a single-mother — you learn a grit and strength that truly carries you throughout life. That grit and strength has served me well in my leadership journey.
Q: What was the “a-ha” moment when you knew that WEBelieve, Inc. was going to be the success that it is today?
Chelsea: When I reflect on Women Everywhere Believe (WEBelieve), it’s hard for me to identify just one “a-ha” moment. There were a series of events, many unpredictable, that catapulted us into having the reach and impact we have today. For starters, the movements around #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName sparked a deep frustration and sense of urgency in my Co-Founder, Akua Obeng-Akrofi and I. We recognized that in order to change the narrative, we had to actively play a part in equipping our communities, other women of color in particular, with the tools to do so. Through WEBelieve’s Leadership Pipeline, we’ve developed the leadership skills of over 1,000 women and girls of color. It’s hard to believe that today WEBelieve is one of the fastest growing organizations of its kind nationwide with chapters across 20+ universities and 8+ states. WEBelieve is also expanding globally this year. But before all of this, it was two young women in a college dorm who refused to be silenced or turn a blind eye to the needs of their community as they occupied a space of privilege at an Ivy League institution. Finding someone who was just as passionate as me in addressing these issues was an “a-ha” moment, it was the realization that no matter where we come from, to be a woman of color, a black woman, in particular, is often a universal language. And in that universality, lies a deep seated connectivity and shared experience. So when one of us wins, it bears the fruit for all of us to win. When one of us leads, we all have the power to lead. Lastly, I’ll say, the very idea of WEBelieve is an “a-ha” moment of how powerful we are if we collectively pool our resources and strengths to spark change.
Q: What is the legacy and impact that you want to ultimately leave on the world?
Chelsea: Hmmm…my answer to this question evolves every few months. Where I am right now in my journey, the legacy I want to leave is that of someone who used their talents to unapologetically disrupt the norm and create change. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, so I see myself creating more businesses across various industries that align with my passion, purpose, and vision. One of my newest ventures is launching in March 2019, Petronella Luxe, a luxury clothing brand for the everyday woman. Right now, my focus is on building generational wealth, breaking down barriers for others to follow, and taking the necessary risks to continue evolving into the person spiritually, professionally, mentally, and physically I’m growing into.