Badassery Magazine August 2018 Issue 27 | Page 32

RISING LEADER Carrie Murray B RA, Business Relationship Alliance, is a network of female entrepreneurs designed to bring “solopreneurs” together through a shared community, collaboration, empowerment, inspiration and support. Founded in 2015 by Carrie Murray, a former private school owner, principal and educator, BRA grew out of what started simply as a monthly dinner party at her California home with friends. What began as a small get together quickly became an influential network of powerful professional women committed to hiring each other first. Many mompreneurs, who are on their second or third careers, flocked to Murray as she and her organization became known as a place where they could find professional and personal support, a place where they were lifted up; it was no secret -- the name BRA was a perfect fit. BRA’s membership levels vary based on the amount of support desired -- from the “Strapless” to the “Demi Cup” or, for even more support, the “Full Coverage”, offering women all types of assistance with their businesses including Website Development, Social Media Marketing, Photography, Product Development, Raising Venture Capital, Branding, Money Mindset, Finance and Bookkeeping, Email Marketing and Public Relations. 32 • BADASSERY MAGAZINE Badassery Magazine sat down with Carrie to discuss the mission and vision of BRA Network and how women can support each other. BM: What is the BRA Network and why did you build it? CM: I built BRA out of necessity. I was working on my first venture as an entrepreneur when I opened my private school for twice exceptional children and I quickly found myself in need of community and support from people who had different strengths than I do. I tried out several networking groups, but they were all very stuffy, awkward and, honestly, not much fun. My experience with these groups was full of weird, competitive interactions with mostly men who, after learning what I did, quickly looked past me to see who else they could be talking to. I stood there holding my glass of shitty chardonnay and thought there HAS TO BE something better than this. At the same time, I found that I was having more and more conversations with women I knew where I’d say, “You need to meet my friend, Kathy,” or “I’m going to email Jennifer and introduce you.” These were all women who were my friends, parents of my students or friends of friends, and they were all female entrepreneurs. We were each saying we needed a community, so I decided to hold a dinner party and invited them all over to meet each other. Immediately, they started connecting, hiring each other and kept asking me when I was having another dinner party. So, what started as a group of six ladies at dinner on a Tuesday night turned into a networking community of over one hundred women in one year! ...And growing every day. BM: Why do you think it is important for women to support each other, particularly as entrepreneurs? CM: It’s kind of like a rite of passage -- like moving from the training bra to your first legit over the shoulder boulder holder. As soon as a woman realizes she is stronger, wiser and more efficient when she’s being backed by other women than she is as an individual, there is nothing she can’t achieve. In fact, some of the most powerful strength we harness to build our individual empires comes from the support we receive from a larger community, because we’re able to learn from others’ mistakes and get a helping hand when needed to build as strong of a foundation as possible. And it’s a beautiful thing when women get to a place in their own entrepreneurship when they can turn around and