April 2023 Entrepreneurship

Sacha Walton

Business Strategist, Author, Podcaster

Sacha Walton

Hello Sacha! Can you tell us more about SWI Management Group?

Hi, absolutely! SWI Management Group is a strategic business planning and event production company.  It was formed in 2013 as a subsidiary of Sacha Walton Innerprise, LLC and it’s the heart of what we do.

My company has been afforded many amazing opportunities that contributed to stable growth within the event industry and the development of other businesses.

In 2018, the company became the full-time source of income by including government contracting within our event portfolio. SWI Management Group has clients representing global corporations, government agencies, private organizations, non-profit organizations, and our signature event Business Plans and Mimosas. We have also been the source behind the strategic business planning, development, and management of fitness businesses, an ABA basketball team, and other small business owners looking for strategic planning and marketing to grow their businesses.

A pivot occurred in the business back in 2020 due to the pandemic. The business was relaunched with a personal brand in December 2021. Now SWI Management Group is a division of a business ecosystem that includes me as the face of the brand.

Sacha Walton

For people who might not know what a business strategist does, can you describe what services you offer?

Sure, I would love to share more about being a business strategist. I believe people get a strategist mixed up with being a coach. A business strategist looks at business development with an analytical viewpoint, and foresight by seeing the bigger picture by thinking in terms of sustainability and longevity. Business strategists give strategies, insight, tactics, and clarity built within the action steps
provided to the client. This is what I provide as a done-with-you and done-for-you service to my clients. The services we provide are business audits, business plan development, marketing and branding strategies, and more. We love catering to a customized service for our customers because business is not a cookie-cutter experience.

I help entrepreneurs, primarily women, and creatives, start and grow sustainable businesses with a strategic process in business planning, marketing, and branding that drives results while managing mental wellness.

We start our ventures that create legacies and increase our financial status. My passion for helping other entrepreneurs has grown since the 2020 pandemic. Over 200,000 businesses were closed due to COVID-19. My mission for 2023 is to help 200 business owners build a strong foundation that withstands the changes in our society through proper business planning.

Sacha Walton

You have a podcast called "According 2 Sacha". What are some topics you talk about on your podcast?

According 2 Sacha Podcast is one of my brand assets. We empower entrepreneurs with our platform with different business and mindset topics. It is our culture to involve holistic entrepreneurship because it takes the total person; mind, body, and spirit to show up for the success of your business. Our weekly series, Conversations, is where we interview other entrepreneurs to discuss their impacts on their industries, local communities, and globally.

We have interviewed people like Professional Afro-Latina Surfer Nique Miller, Liana Zavo, founder of Zavo Media PR, Dr. Letitia Wright and so many other powerhouses, disruptors, and trailblazers. We have also been “live on location” at conferences and in Houston, Texas.

According 2 Sacha Podcast is a video/audio podcast, and you can find us on all major social media and streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and more. I can’t wait for what we unleash next in our business media portfolio.

Sacha Walton

Why is being a mental health advocate important to you?

As entrepreneurs, I believe we don’t value the importance of mental wellness in our everyday lives. Mental health in entrepreneurship is a real thing and it’s not talked about in a “niche” way when it comes to entrepreneurs and business owners. It became very important to me because of my own personal experience with dealing with the negative impacts the pandemic had on my business. It was a rough place for me, and I had a true battle with functional depression. It was like wearing a mask with a smile while caving on the inside.

I couldn’t show up for others in business like I usually do. Navigating through the unknown was uncomfortable for me. Through prayer, resilience, and perseverance I was blessed with the strength to regain control and face the problems which later turned into a blessing in disguise. An entrepreneur’s journey is not only about business, it includes integrating a balance of family and social life, other responsibilities, as well as prioritizing self-care and self-love. Burnout occurs when we have functioned outside our capacity which leaves us empty as entrepreneurs.

I speak on this topic often, in fact, I was in Paris in October 2022, speaking at a women’s conference about mental and entrepreneurship. I decided to use my story, being vulnerable to impact change through transparency and empowering others.

When did you begin your author journey?

Whew, I began my author journey in August 2021, and my first book was released in May 2022. I can still remember sitting in front of my laptop hesitating to click submit. Books are an excellent marketing tool and as an asset, it helps to bring in a different stream of income.  When one is establishing a brand, showing up as an expert is important and a well-written book will help you on your journey. In the past, I played around with the idea of writing books. In fact, I started writing two books in the early 2000s, but I pushed them to the side.  I’m quite sure like many other people, there were fears and procrastination surrounding my desire to complete the books. However, I made it with a newfound confidence that has made me an accomplished author with a global presence and an Amazon best-seller.

What are some books you published?

I am the author of Beyond The Music: A Music Artist Entrepreneurship Guide; co-author of the Amazon Best Seller “OWN IT” Anthology; and my passion book – The Ugly Truth About Entrepreneurship: Keys To Managing Mental Wellness. I am also a contributing writer for Authority Magazine, Own It Magazine, Underground Music Collective, and other published articles as well as being quoted in five articles in Forbes.

The Ugly Truth About Entrepreneurship

Outside of your business what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?

I love traveling. I’ve started collecting hotel key cards from every stay. I work out a lot and boxing is my favorite. Painting and being creative bring me so much peace. I LOVE going to the beach. I can sit out there for hours in the sun, enjoying the waves, watching the birds, and soaking in the atmosphere. Helping people is a thrill for me and I truly enjoy assisting people with their businesses. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and loved ones.

Have you had any challenges growing your businesses?

My most challenging time in growing my business was when I experienced a setback during Covid-19. Being stagnant after scaling 6-figures is not easy to deal with. In many ways, we all have growth challenges, but breaking through the ceiling allows you to exhale. Another challenging moment in my business was within me. I had to make the decision to step outside of my comfort zone. The obstacles and challenges we face aren’t always external. I’m very happy with overcoming my internal challenges and showing up as a brand leading my business has been exciting. The growth my ecosystem is now experiencing is not only beneficial to my bottom line, but my visibility has tripled. My growing pains worked out for my good.

What are some words of advice you can give to future entrepreneurs and authors?

My advice to future entrepreneurs is to understand that entrepreneurship is a journey and not a race. Although people are exceeding at different speeds and levels, understand what will work for you and your business. Know what you want. Get rid of the limiting beliefs and fears. Most importantly don’t skip the process. There are way too many people starting businesses with only a few steps. To have longevity in your business, you must be strategic with a plan and a process. Having a brand and sales strategy will help you to become profitable, but a strategy will take you into longevity. Don’t live in the moment for business, think long-term. For authors, I would say, own your ISBN#, and consider your title and cover before publishing. Be strategic. Don’t let fear stand in your way. For everyone, don’t be afraid to invest in help from individuals who are qualified to help you grow further. Remember, to always “Trust Your Dopeness".

Sacha Walton

Follow At:

Instagram: @thatgirlsach
Facebook: Sacha Walton
Twitter: @thatgirlsach
YouTube: Sacha Walton

Photos by: SLB Motion Pictures


Brown Girl's Brew

The Brew Mistress

Brown Girl's Brew

What inspired you to start Brown Girl's Brew?

My parents are my biggest inspiration. Their diligence and perseverance have instilled in me a deep sense of respect for hard work and an unwavering dedication to my craft. It is through their example that I have been able to pursue my deferred dream of creating the finest craft beer possible. I am deeply grateful for my family’s unwavering support and inspiration.

What does your business name "Brown Girl's Brew" represent?

We represent all people of color, those groups who have been disenfranchised and the ones that support the advancements of minorities. Our aim is to establish ourselves as a household name, not only for the quality of our beer, but also for the movement we represent. As people of color, we have created and innovated numerous industries that we no longer have a strong presence in. By establishing a successful and thriving craft beer product, we hope to create a larger footprint in the industry and show that we are not only capable, but also deserving of a place at the table.

Brown Girl's Brew

"As people of color, we have created and innovated numerous industries that we no longer have a strong presence in.
By establishing a successful and thriving craft beer product, we hope to create a larger footprint in the industry and show that we are not only capable, but also deserving of a place at the table".

How would you describe the flavors of your beer?

At Brown Girl’s Brew, we take our craft seriously, and it shows in every sip. From the unique flavor combinations to the highest quality ingredients, we strive to create beers that are as distinctive as they are delicious.

Inspired by my mom's home bakery in Chicago, we recently launched our Carrot Cake beer. It’s a beautiful amber ale that captures the essence of the cake with its unique blend of spices and aromatic flavors. Through extensive surveys in 4 states, we’ve received an overwhelmingly positive feedback - a testament to the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each and every can of our beer.

What sets our Carrot Cake beer apart is that it has a hint of sweetness, not heavy or guilt-inducing.  As a consumer myself, I wanted to create a product that allows you to indulge in dessert flavors without any of the drawbacks. That’s exactly what we’ve accomplished with Brown Girl’s Brew.

For the upcoming summer season, we have an exciting surprise in store - Lemon Pound Cake beer.  While we won't reveal the style of beer just yet, we can guarantee that it won't be a Sour. Trust us when we say that it’ll be worth the wait.

In the fall, we'll launch our Banana Pudding beer and for the winter, our German Chocolate Cake beer. Both are sure to be crowd-pleasers with their rich, indulgent flavors and smooth, satisfying finish.

Where is Brown Girl's Brew located?

Brown Girl's Brew is currently co-brewing with a dynamic and talented team located in New Jersey.  We are thrilled with this ideal location, as it provides us with the perfect platform to pursue our passion for crafting exceptional beers that are both delicious and unique, while building brand awareness. While Brown Girl's Brew is self-funded at the moment, we are confident that with our
exceptional quality of craft beer, along with our dedicated team, we will soon have the capital to build out our own space. This will enable us to create an environment that inspires and empowers aspiring beer makers and brewers to carve their own path in this exciting and dynamic industry.

If you could create the perfect meal or snack to go with your drinks, then what would the menu look like?

Although I'm a self-proclaimed food enthusiast, I can confidently say that creating the perfect meal or snack is an art form that requires attention to detail and a passion for culinary excellence. When it comes to desserts, nothing beats a classic carrot cake or lemon pound cake. These two offerings will pair well, with soups, salads, all proteins, as well as complement your favorite desserts. For a snack, I love to drink Carrot Cake with some of my favorite cheeses, popcorn and nuts.

Are there any challenges you've had to overcome building your craft beer brand?

There’s been some obstacles and roadblocks along the way. From securing the necessary licensing and permits to creating and marketing my products. However, these challenges are simply growing pains of entrepreneurship. I've learned that having an alternate plan or backup is crucial to overcoming any/all obstacles that may arise. The key is to know your business and be proactive. These are some of the steps you can implement to mitigate losses and lessen risks.

Why is minority-owned representation important to you?

Minority-owned representation is not just important to me, it is crucial to our society. Historically, minorities have been underestimated and underrepresented in practically all areas of life, and this has resulted in missed opportunities and undervaluation of their contributions. However, minorities are powerful and empowering. The more we have representation, the more valuable we are collectively. Having representation in all industries and sectors fosters positivity and shows growth. It allows us to be heard, seen, and recognized for our talents and potential. It also inspires the next generation to believe in themselves and strive for greatness.

Additionally, having female representation in the brewing space is equally important. It allows other females to know that they can be supported and elevated within the same industries as our male contemporaries breaking down gender barriers and achieving true equality.

Brown Girl's Brew

"Having female representation in the brewing space is equally important. It allows other females to know that they can be supported and elevated within the same industries as our male contemporaries breaking down gender barriers and achieving true equality".

What are some words of advice you can give to future entrepreneurs who want to start their own beer product and/or open to brewery?

We need to understand that we are built to win! As an entrepreneur, you need to have a winning mindset and believe in your abilities to succeed. However, success doesn't come without effort, and it's imperative to do your research thoroughly. Conduct market research, follow brands you admire, learn from their failures and success stories, understand the industry, have a plan A, B, & C, and identify your target audience. This will help you create a business plan that aligns with your goals and objectives.

Another valuable piece of advice is to join a group of like-minded individuals, especially in the field that you're seeking to be in. I've found that strangers within the brewing community who genuinely want you to succeed are willing to help. Don't be afraid to ask questions, keep asking, and write these things down using pen and paper. It helps to have a record of the valuable insight and information you've gathered along the way.

Outside of your business, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?

When it comes to hobbies outside of my professional life and business, I am passionate about a few key activities.

First and foremost, I am an avid reader. I devour everything from classic literature to contemporary nonfiction, and I believe that reading is an essential way to stay informed and engaged with the world around us. Whether it's a quote or a full-length book, I love the way that words can transport us to new places and help us see things from a fresh perspective.

Brown Girl's Brew

In addition to reading, I am also committed to staying active and healthy. I am a huge fan of hot yoga, and I am looking forward to getting back into Pilates soon. Exercise is a vital part of my routine, and I believe that it's important to take care of our bodies as well as our minds.

Of course, everyone needs some downtime, and for me, that often involves watching TV. I know it may not be the most glamorous hobby, but I have to admit that I've captured some amazing ideas from certain shows. Whether it's a compelling storyline or a relatable character, there's always something to learn from good television.

Finally, I am a big believer in the power of travel to refresh and rejuvenate the spirit. While I've been fortunate enough to visit many amazing places around the world, my safe place is Arizona. There's something about the wide-open spaces and endless sunshine that always makes me feel calm and centered.

Overall, I believe that cultivating a variety of interests and hobbies is key to leading a well-rounded and fulfilling life. Whether it's reading, exercise, TV, travel, or something else entirely, the important thing is to find the things that make us happy and keep us engaged with the world around us.

Brown Girl's Brew

Follow at:

Instagram: @Browngirlsbrew
Twitter: @Browngirlsbrew
TikTok: @Browngirlsbrew

Photographer: @nickcarterthephotographer
Videographer: @oose_dolla
Makeup artist: @anjelique.skin & @sephora
Aesthetician: @tanyathomasskinclinic
Hair (braids): @slayed_by_masa
Management: @newyorkwins