This Women’s History Month, DBP has been spotlighting the women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses that help make Downtown Brooklyn the diverse and vibrant neighborhood it is today. We recently talked to Kizzie Brown-Duah, co-owner of premium made-to-measure apparel boutique Privélege, located at City Point. She spoke to us about how the business got started, her experience as a female entrepreneur, and what advice she has for other business-oriented women.
DBP: How did you get started with Privélege, and what inspired you to get started with the business?
Kizzie Brown-Duah (KBD): Privélege was formed in 2014 as the result of my husband Kingsley’s love for classic, timeless style, combined with my love for entrepreneurship. There are very few African-Americans within the luxury market. As African Americans, we felt that by creating Privélege we are helping to fill a void in the market. Together, we are growing a purpose-driven brand that all people can be proud of.
DBP: What is Privélege’s mission?
KBD: Our mission is to offer timeless apparel and premium goods to global citizens who take pleasure in looking good and doing good — that’s our brand motto: look good and do good.
DBP: Why did you choose Downtown Brooklyn as your home base?
KBD: Originally Privélege was online only. In the summer of 2020, we participated in a market here at City Point and it not only gave us the opportunity to directly meet our clientele, but also gave customers the opportunity to touch and feel our product. It was a great experience — I’ll never forget it. After that, we felt that Downtown Brooklyn would heighten our visibility. And we like what’s going on here. It’s growing, it’s becoming diverse, there’s lots of business professionals, and we’ve gotten the chance to meet with people from all walks of life. We took notice of how City Point really appreciates small businesses, and that really attracted us.
DBP: What keeps your customers coming back?
KBD: Our customers really love the experience of shopping at Privélege. The way we’ve curated our space invites them to spend time, get to know us, and sit down with us. We have created a warm comfortable atmosphere with art on our walls. We enjoy highlighting images of our garment and at time art. Also, our customers love the quality of our garments. We offer ready-to-wear garments as well as made-to-measure. Our made-to-measure is a service that a lot of people are interested in.
DBP: What is the Privélege Club?
KBD: The Privélege Club grew out of special promotions and deals we offer for our most loyal customers. We host events that give them the opportunity to experience all that we have to offer — our apparel, accessories — all while meeting with like-minded individuals and building their wardrobe at an exclusive price.
DBP: What advice do you have for aspiring women entrepreneurs?
KBD: I would have to say continue to be informed. Stay educated and up-to-date with new resources available for women in businesses. There’s lots of information out there for women, and we have a lot to offer. And do not be afraid to take the risk! Women can be mothers, wives, and business owners at the same time; it’s all about balance. Our creativity must be seen and felt.
DBP: Can you speak on what it’s like owning a business as a married couple?
KBD: So, my husband and I met doing business. At our core, we love entrepreneurship, and anything we enjoy, we tend to take to another level and see how to earn a living doing it. We joined forces and wanted to make a statement: that timeless style and the way you present yourself can make a difference. It definitely has for us. Kingsley and I love doing business together; it’s been 14 years. We’ve been able to juggle work life, home life, and we have three kids. There are always challenges but, we enjoy working through them.
DBP: What’s next for Privélege?
KBD: We look forward to raising even more awareness of our brand, designing more styles, and attracting more customers, which we’ve been able to do thanks to the opportunity here at City Point. Eventually, however, we want to expand beyond Brooklyn. We would love to become a household name around the world, and clothing is just a portion of it. We could take our brand and put it on anything — that’s what we’re really selling: the brand. We want to make sure it’s purpose-driven, and we want people to see that looking good and doing good can be synonymous.
Kizzie’s drive is a source of inspiration — especially for aspiring women entrepreneurs who have children. She’s living proof that women can find success in their professional lives in addition to, not in spite of, having a partner and children. Be sure to visit Privélege, and stay up-to-date with everything happening in Downtown Brooklyn by subscribing to our newsletter.