Grand Hustle Winner to Host Her Idea Summit in Detroit

Her idea of entrepreneurship!

Krystal Garner is a woman of many talents, wearing many hats to show for them.

Whether the former New York City radio host/native is acting, managing operations of the Trap Music Museum in Atlanta or winning rapper T.I.'s new competition series The Grand Hustle on BET, this lady boss is one busy bee!

Did we mention she'll be hosting the Her Idea Lab Summit during the 110th Annual NAACP National Convention in Detroit this Sunday?

During a brief intermission of a Grand Hustle executive meeting, we had the opportunity to speak with the woman herself.

Topics include, her professional background, current business endeavors and why the Her Idea Lab Summit is of such importance to the black female entrepreneurial community within the city of Detroit. But first, we have included a statement from Dawn Chase, NAACP Director of Diversity & Inclusion on Her Idea Lab:

“Black women are trailblazing the world of entrepreneurship and small business development. We are owning businesses, leading in profit optimization, and building black economic power! However, the glass ceiling still exists and black women more often than not face the full brunt of this inequity.

The goal of HER Idea is to bridge this resource gap for black women entrepreneurs through community building. We offer intimate discussions on tech, influencing, beauty etc as well as panel conversations from black startups and venture capitalists and entrepreneurship showcases highlighting local vendors. We are excited to grow this program and launch our HBCU tour this fall.”

Black Business Finder: Let's start off by getting a brief background of who you are and what you do within the space of entrepreneurship.

Krystal Garner: I started in the entertainment industry about 10 years ago. I've done a lot of radio, a lot of hosting and event curation as well and it all stems from me getting a 9-5 after graduating college and hating it...Like I absolutely hated it.

I spoke my termination into existence and once I got terminated, I decided that everything going forward would be because I wanted to do it. Because it's what I'm supposed to do and because it's in-line with my purpose and my passion.

I am currently an entertainment executive for Grand Hustle Records, General Manager of Trap Music Museum, GM of Lil Trap House Exhibit, traveling across the country, I have my own brand as well: Garner Enterprises LLC, which is overseeing the brand of Krystal Garner in the sense of consulting, motivational speaking and soon-to-be author. I'm writing my first book!

BBF: Congratulations on your recent accomplishments and good luck in your future endeavors!

Would you say that entrepreneurship is your calling, or is it that the 9-5 brought you to the conclusion of "I definitely don't want to do THIS?"

KG: (Laughs) Thank you for the compliment, it's not easy being an executive and an entrepreneur.

I would say that entrepreneurship has been my calling ever since I was a young girl growing up in the struggle. I always thought of unique/different ways to create opportunities to make sure that I could get things that I wanted vs. things that I needed. My mom and family provided the things that I needed, but the extra things that I wanted like a new pair of sneakers (etc.)

I had to figure out ways to accomplish that, and it all started with me braiding hair. I used to braid hair on the stoop. That's how I was able to get my money up. I would also go to businesses and see if they needed somebody to sweep...I just did everything on my own time. I started learning how to organize and create my own schedule at a very young age.

Once I got really involved in school I started doing things that would build my mindset and personality such as getting into clubs and sports such as basketball. Ball. Is. Life! Still to this day.

So yeah, entrepreneurship is something that has been in me since a young girl. Once I finished schooling and went the traditional route, I realized the traditional route wasn't for me. It was solidified with the first few months at a 9-5 that I did not like.

BBF: Your involvement with the Her Idea Lab Summit....How did that come about and what exactly is your role within that?

KG: With Her Idea, I'm so excited to be the brand ambassador for it! As a woman entrepreneur, as a female executive...I've dealt with both sides, I've dealt with being an entrepreneur without access to resources, trainings and opportunities.

Then being a female executive and not having access to the pay that I'm supposed to get with the gender pay gap. Just everything that we deal with being a woman, then being black and going after what you want to go after.

Having an opportunity to team up with an amazing organization like the NAACP has been a blessing. I'm grateful that they're allowing me to speak up on this issue and help to train and mold women, black women to be prepared and be successful entrepreneurs.

Honestly, looking at the numbers...We get less than 1% of venture capital and we don't really get much funding. A lot of women look at it like "why would I even do that?" you know "why would I even go out and take that risk if I'm not going to get the funding that everyone else gets to be successful?"

I want to switch that mindset and I'm so happy that Her Idea is focused on that. To help be some type of avenue to help motivate these women to go after it. Honestly, they do fail. These businesses do fail, but it's not about failing, quitting and not getting back up.

It is about overcoming those failures, and I think my story and what I've been through is definitely something that aligns with that. I'm someone who overcame all of the failures and struggles and everyone who told her she couldn't do it.

BBF: With that being said, I'd like to welcome you to Detroit. It sounds like you guys are an excellent fit. We actually have a ton of black female entrepreneurs within the city of Detroit that would enjoy this summit.

Is there anything that you would like to add about the Her Idea Lab Summit or what attendees can expect?

KG: Sure! The one thing that I'm super excited about is the pitch competition! I think it's amazing that I get to be one of the judges so that i can talk to people and let them know what was great and what they need to improve on in their pitch.

We're going to be giving away a grand prize of seed money to the business that has the best pitch. I think it's dope that people will have the opportunity to sit down in front of those who have experience in these areas. I get pitched at least 10 time a day, honestly....and for me to be able to have a conversation with these people after their pitch is dope because my time is very spread out. I don't have much time to allocate. I'd love to have enough time to talk to everyone, but I physically can not.

Now I get the opportunity with Her Idea Lab to help some women understand what they need to fix and I actually give someone a chance to win some seed money.

Everybody needs a little funding, you know?