BrainTrust Founders Studio is a membership-based community platform that incubates new promising beauty and wellness brands, provides an ecosystem for existing Founders ensuring their growth and sustainability and invests in subsequent Founders who are primed to accelerate their own potential and prepare for follow-on capital. Whether you are starting, growing or at the point of acceleration, BrainTrust Founders Studio has an ecosystem of resources and capital to support your business.
Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Founder of BrainTrust and Founders Studio, and a three-time Founder herself, has seen first-hand how a lack of access to formal resources creates roadblocks to success for Black Founders. Her many years of brand building and expertise in all facets of the beauty and wellness business have given her a unique perspective within the industry. Serving as a mentor and advisor to countless Founders led her to develop Founders Studio as a more scalable way to help thousands of Black Founders change the paradigm within the $500 billion global beauty and wellness industry.
Kendra understands the myriad unique challenges facing Black founders today. She is considered to be one of fashion and beauty’s most successful digital pioneers, not only for creating the social media footprint for Ralph Lauren’s fashion empire but also as a co-founder of Digital Brand Architects, the first agency to manage “bloggers” as talent in 2009. Her credentials are unparalleled. Kendra has the distinction of being one of only 100 Black women ever to have received over $1M in investment for her first company. She is the founder of Brain Trust, a full-service global agency specializing in brand development and social media; a long-standing business partner to Halle Berry and rē⋅spin by Halle Berry; a co-founder of BeautyUnited, a non-profit dedicated to driving DE&I in the beauty and wellness industry; and the host of Business of the Beat, a beauty and wellness Podcast. In addition to being an investor and global advisor to many brands, she has received numerous accolades, including Ulta Beauty’s Muse 100 honoree, named by Essence Magazine as a Top Beauty Executive and Advisory Board member for Purdue University School of Liberal Arts and Cayton Children’s Museum.
Brandon has a keen focus on people, organizations and brands; with a desire to understand how they produce and consume, particularly in the digital space. He thrives on understanding and interpreting the nuances of culture, preference, style and resonance. Brandon is a graduate of Purdue University. He began his career as a roadie for a rock band, then things got real; he completed the Macy’s Executive Development Program and had a progressive journey there with executive roles in operations, learning & development, diversity/inclusion, human resources and marketing. Brandon comes to The BrainTrust from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he was a business partner for The Met Store. Brandon concentrates on fashion and beauty, providing unique insight into multicultural audiences across the agency.
Katy Saintil is a creative leader in brand-aligned innovative program models, strategic communication, culturally responsive relationship management, and organizational joy. For over 20 years, Katy has led teams to envision, create and expand mission-driven programs and events that bridge institutions and communities. Katy’s roles span higher education student advising, program management, extended learning, and editorial directing. Through the collaborative leadership that she champions, Katy has created opportunities for educational dialogue, creative exchange, and respite that center inclusion and equity. As a culturally steeped leader who values a consultative approach, and as a professional writer with clients across academia, beauty and wellness, hospitality, and the arts, Katy values the impact of lived experience and personal storytelling as a tool of exchange, affirmation, and transformation. Besides her writing service, Katy is also a product designer and Founder of Own It Designs, a lifestyle brand that offers Power Reminder products and services.
Jennifer Pauline is the founder of With Creators.
With Creators is a Black and Brown centered community and storytelling agency, specializing in audience development, communications and curated experiences. A support system for creators and founders, WC also serves as a content platform that sits at the intersection of creativity and well-being. Their mission is to help amplify marginalized stories, through various mediums, with intention.
Prior to With Creators, Jennifer worked with brands such as Burberry, Christian Louboutin and Soho House, responsible for curating unique global experiences, managing talent relations and brand partnerships, as well as developing content, cultural fluency and emerging markets. From London to Hong Kong, Paris, Lagos, Portland, Atlanta and more, Jennifer brought purpose and meaning to aspirational spaces.