256: How Zakia Blain of FBF Body Determines When To Pivot In Business

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256: How Zakia Blain of FBF Body Determines When To Pivot In Business

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Zakia Blain, the CEO and Founder of FBF Body is in the Side Hustle Pro podcast guest chair today for an update episode! Zakia is the master of the pivot. 

Her company started with a fitness challenge, and when her doctors told her that she couldn’t work out anymore due to an illness, she pivoted into shapewear. 

Then, when the pandemic hit and people were not going outside and didn’t need as much shapewear, FBF Body pivoted into athleisure apparel.

FBF Body’s highly sought after shapewear and fitness apparel has taken on a cult following of its own, largely in part due to Zakia’s open and honest method of sharing herself actually wearing it and looking amazing while doing so.

On this episode, Zakia shares:

  • How she builds anticipation for her products
  • How she manages and plans out her inventory seasons in advance
  • Her monthly drop technique for new items and so much more

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Guest Social Media Info

Side Hustle Pro – @sidehustlepro

FBF Body – @fbfbody

Zakia Blain – @zakiablain


Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:09

All right. Hey, Hey, welcome. Welcome back everyone to the side hustle pros show. It's Nicaila here. And today, in the guest chair, we are back with another top five favorite guest or side hustle Pro, we're doing an update episode with Zakia Blain, of FBF body. So the last time we spoke was in 2019. And it was Episode 150. If you haven't listened to it, you need to go back. And we talked about your journey from working in banking, teaching having to leave due to a brain disorder, starting FPF fitness as a challenge, and then eventually expanding into FPF body with shapewear. And just it taken on a life of its own. Hell, us it's been two years since I see so much more is going on. So I'm gonna let you take it from here and update us on who is Zakia and what do you do right now in your business?

Zakia Blain 1:14

Oh, hi, everybody. Thank you, Nicaila, for having me back. It's always fun to sit down and talk to you. And I can't believe it's been two years, let's start. It seems like last year was kind of just like a whirlwind for everybody. FBF body is still FBF bodying as a female, right? Um, but it has become so much bigger than I could have ever imagined. And we're just like, at the tip of the iceberg for me. You know, I've been saying lately that God can turn your life into something that you could have never dreamed, because I could have never dreamed where my life is right now. So, you know, we started with our fitness challenge. And then when my doctors told me I couldn't work out anymore. we pivoted into shapewear, right. And then during the pandemic, when people weren't going outside and really didn't need shapewear. we pivoted into that like they weren't nobody was going outside. So were you wearing your shapewear to right nowhere, right, you're not, you're not going outside. So you're not wearing your shapewear anywhere. So we pivoted to what we call our everyday set. So our leisure apparel. So everybody was in the house, right? People weren't really wearing clothes. You know, they, nobody was wearing their jeans during quarantine, right? Everybody's in the house, they want to be comfortable. They're doing school zone, they're doing work zone. They're doing all the zooms and going nowhere. But nobody wants to be uncomfortable. But people still want to be cute, right? So we launched our everyday sets. And they were kind of a piggyback off of our FBF leggings, right, because we had launched our SPF leggings kind of around the end of 2019. And in 2020, early 2020 we launched our everyday set. And our everyday set literally like took off during quarantine. Everybody wanted it is comfortable. It's cute. You can dress it up, you can dress it down. And it's just taking on a life of its own. So you know, in February, we were featured on the view with our like,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 3:46


Zakia Blain 3:47

Thank you. We did essence at the end of 2019 because that was like right before the quarantine hit. We did essence entrepreneurial fest their first inaugural one. And yeah, it's just been and then you know, even our quarantine, like we couldn't do photo shoots or anything like that. So we literally had to market our business from a different standpoint. And that's why we took advantage of social media. But yeah, we got a lot of things coming up. I'm actually getting prepared for essence today. With this weekend, going down to New Orleans and doing some panels down there. So yeah, it's just been it's just been amazing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:35

Yeah, I've been watching from the sidelines, like whoa, how, look, they got that now they got this. And, you know, it's funny, I was really listening to your first episode. Again, 150, y'all. And at that time you were talking about Okay, we're getting ready to get into workouts. So that was like on the horizon, something you were working on. What was that process like of figuring out, it's time to scale, it's time to expand what FPF offers, you know, how do you determine what makes sense? And how do you pace yourself for the rollout so that you're not stuck with a lot of inventory that people don't want?

Zakia Blain 5:20

Well, for me, the workout sets were inevitable, right? Because we started fBf fitness. So we already had leggings, we already had some sort of workout apparel at some point in time whether we started originally with T shirts, right? So I wanted to go more the avenue of a Nike, a Lululemon, you know, where as though we could offer exceptional quality apparel, to women of all sizes, that was very important to me. So it wasn't something that was just out of the blue, now we're gonna do sets, it was just like, it wasn't the time, you know, I had always wanted to do it. But when it's the time, it'll present itself to you, right. And before quarantine happen, we had, like I said, we have started with the leggings. And so I knew the leggings were really good. Like, everybody got them. And they were like, these are like, amazing, they're the best leggings I've ever had. And so it was like, Okay, we got on here. These are good. You know, it was important to me that they fit. Well, like I said, they fit women from a size, you know, to to a size 22 it was important to me that they didn't fall down. Because as someone who works out, you know, that's one of the columns that you have with workout apparel, especially if you're a woman of a certain size, it falling down. It was important to me that they weren't see through, like all of these things were important to me. So when I found the material, the fit, and you know, a lot of people think that you go when you especially now where it's like you can kind of wholesale stuff, right? You can go and you can wholesale stuff, it's already done. But for me, it was like No, I don't like wholesale just

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:10

in case people don't know what you're talking about when people like, fine. manufacturer or something? And like, Yes, just put their brand name on.

Zakia Blain 7:20

Exactly. So a lot of people wholesale, they'll find a vendor, especially like boutiques and things like that, where they'll find a vendor, a vendor will say this is what we have to offer. And you know, they'll put their brand and they'll put their tags in it, whatever the case may be. Nothing, nothing wrong with that at all right? Plenty of people do it. Yeah. But for me, I wanted something that was I want to cut I want to custom. Not that I wanted to custom, but I wanted to be able to tweak what I didn't feel was right. So you know, our manufacturer, of course, they sent me blank samples, like okay, here's what we can do for you, right? But I was like, Okay, well, this needs to be a little bit longer, you know, the inseam here needs to be a little bit shorter. This, you know, so then I got to tweak everything to my specifications. So there's nobody else out there that can be like, Oh, they haven't fBf everyday said No, they don't. But yeah, go find

Nicaila Matthews Okome 8:14

it on Amazon. I'm not gonna lie, like when I first saw, you know, like, the assumption in my head is like, oh, okay, she's getting into wholesale and not necessarily you but like when because there's so many people popping up with fitness lines, you automatically assume that I started seeing your line and your designs I'm like, oh no, oh no, this is an actual This is a line. This is a brand This is right from PC. And then I

Zakia Blain 8:42

have our own we have our own sublimation print, you know what fBf all over it that you can go get that anywhere else like that is custom me, you know, I send them my manufacturer like what I want. And you know, we've seen a bunch of Facebook ads popping up recently and they're stealing my videos and I'm just like, Hey guys, if you buy this you're not getting a fob. I'm just letting you know they're getting close, but you're not gonna get it.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:10

Yes, I'm talking about that. Like people will still videos and it's one of the things I was hesitant about in doing like YouTube, I wanted to do like hair reviews, people will take your video and then link to a product and people are gonna get catfished you're not gonna get what they see because it's your video it's your brain.

Zakia Blain 9:31

It is frustrating and the funny part about it is it really doesn't matter what you do to prevent them from stealing it they will steal it anyway you know like even in my video I say this set is from fBf body and they're still using it on Facebook, but I'm getting the business because literally all of you know we call the snap squad all of my my FB f folks they're like Zack, they're all in the comments like this afbf this is Be it live you weren't the world thing go to FBS body calm. So it's like you're running sponsored ads, but I'm really getting the money because people are finding, yep, people are finding real website Exactly. And they're actually coming over to me and purchasing it because they're you know, my people are telling them it's fraud don't go there, there's where you want to go so and like I said in the videos I'm like FPF body but they don't care. They're they're running sponsored ads with it. So it's really not anything you can do you know, I've seen businesses watermark, and have banners with their business name in the background and they will still steal the video is

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:35

what matters is that you have a unique quality product. Was that hard to do? I mean, I know you already had the shape Where were you using the same manufacturer? Did you have to go out and find a whole new manufacturer who does athleisure? Yeah,

Zakia Blain 10:51

we had to find a whole new man manufacturer that does at leisure. And we've been working with them for about two years now since we started our leggings. And so they they produce all of our stuff up at night, because they're in China. So of course I'm up at night, texting them sending them pictures, okay, this is what I want, this is the material I want. Because we have like our summer materials a little bit lighter, our fall winter materials a little bit thicker. So like even just those things, you know, those little tweaks are like, Okay, well we know, in the wintertime, you might be outside, you might be doing hiking and stuff like that. So we want you to be you know, insulated. Thank you, you know, even those little things of like, Okay, well, we need to put a little bit another two inches in the bust area, because you know, we don't want it to be caught up in your underarms and like trying, you know, when you got that squeeze right there, those things that people don't know, make a difference in how things fit. And so it's been really good. You know, I haven't had any issues. We had, we had some we had 10,000 leggings lost at sea. But you know, we finally got

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:07

that let's talk about the pandemic and pivoting. You mentioned China, I immediately thought like, wow, how was that during like, all of the delays with shipping and everything like that? How did your business have to pivot during that time?

Zakia Blain 12:21

Well, it was really, you know, for us, the only effect that COVID had as far as like shipping and things of that nature was just, it took longer times for things to get produced. But because we do drops it really, it really didn't hurt us, you know. And once I knew what the timeframe was, it just made me plan ahead. It just made me say, Okay, I know during the pandemic, it can take three to four months for these items to be produced. So you're not getting a restock. You know, once I once I drop it, then by next time we can come in the next season. So it's kind of like it also made an urgency to buy, you know, you move on like having excess inventory. But if I'm telling you like, hey, this ain't coming back, because it's taking three to four months just for us to make it this is not Oh, I can run down the street and get a restock. No, this has to be made, it has to be produced, it has to be shipped.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:24

How do you handle that as far as knowing when to put the items on sale, so that customers aren't waiting three to four months to get it?

Zakia Blain 13:34

Well, you know, we build anticipation. So we have I kind of have my business set up in a model where in January we have my birthday sale right? And then after January we kind of do like Valentine's Day and spring summer is when we start to release our spring summer sets. So in March, so in you know, I want to say December of 2020 I was putting in my order for March of 2021. Okay, because I planned out okay, this is going to be March we're going to do this April we're going to do this you know like I have my whole year planned out. And so because I have my whole year planned out then I know when I need to be ordering stuff.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 14:29

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Unknown Speaker 16:35


Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:38

Now this question, it's it's for me too, because I am so confused when it comes to just figuring out what I know, you know how they always say when you're starting out. So I know some fellow side hustlers filled me on this. Like you don't want to have too many skews blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And at the same time with something like this, right? Like, if you don't buy the inventory, then it might take a while to come. So you're worried about doing pre orders as well. So what would you advise, as far as to know, like, how many skews to get down to like, how many sizes? And you know, like, how did you figure out which products you wanted? Which size mix you wanted? And all of that?

Zakia Blain 17:25

Well, for me, you know, I'm nine years in business. Yeah. So when I was when I was a so I know my customer at this point, right? I know what sizes are gonna sell? I know what sizes are not gonna sell. And I know what to order what not to order. But when I was first starting out, you know, I didn't know. So I had to take a chance. And then you know, nine years ago, I was doing pre orders, but nobody you never knew it was a pre order, right? So I never said hey, I'm pre order this item. No, it was just like, okay, you can order this item. And it's going to ship to you in two weeks.

Unknown Speaker 18:08


Nicaila Matthews Okome 18:09

Female on a website recently, they were telling me like, you'll get this between July and August. Okay,

Zakia Blain 18:16

right. Because they're doing pre orders, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it now, especially with if you don't have a vendor that you can ride your car up to. Right? Because you know, when we started, we were doing t shirts. So all I had to do was go buy the T shirts and then get them printed, right? It wasn't as if I had to go and get a whole set made from scratch. It was okay, we're selling t shirts, they bought 100 t shirts, I need to go to the T shirt place, get 100 t shirts and all the sizes that were selected, and then take them to the printer, get them printed and then ship them out. That's how easy it was then. But now when you're doing items, you know, I wouldn't suggest pre orders where you're ordering stuff from China. Yeah, because anything to happen or you're ordering stuff from you know, not even overseas, but even in United States. We've seen packages take three months here. So yeah, especially now during the pandemic, you don't want to order you know, I always say now it's like, I'm not taking anybody's money unless I have it at my warehouse. Like unless it's at my warehouse. I'm not I don't want your money. You know, and even just recently, like we literally had 10,000 leggings that were lost for they were shipped April 22. And we didn't get them until last week. And ups tech. They called me and said well we can't find it. I said well who's giving me my $600,000 back because you better find my stuff. And then they call me right afterwards. Oh, we found it in a trailer. Okay. Bring me my stuff. What even with that The leggings there, they won't be released until June. And they were ordered in February. That's the thing like they were ordered in February for June.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:08

So at this point in the game, like you're making money, you're making sales, then you are placing orders right away for the next season. So how does that how do you ensure that you make a profit? Because, you know, sometimes when people think of apparel, it can seem like the margins are so slim. And I know that's not the case for you, like how have you made it work? Listen, my, my margins are not slim at all.

Unknown Speaker 20:37

Should be away.

Zakia Blain 20:39

Listen, but you all, for me, I guess, coming with time, and reputation. When you have those things, and you have a reputation for providing a quality product, yeah, then you can charge whatever you want to charge and people are gonna pay it, you know. And that goes from, again, nine years of business experience. When I first started selling t shirts, they were $25. I wouldn't dare to sell a T shirt for $25. There's no, there's no profit in it, there's, you know, you're really just making a T shirt and selling it. So, you know, we started with a $25 t shirt. And now, our highest set is $140. For us it. But again, that comes with reputation quality. People know that when they buy an F when they buy a pair of leggings from FPF. When they buy shapewear from FPF. When they buy it every day set from FBA, it is going to be of quality. And even those $25 t shirts that I sold nine years ago, people still have them. Because they are a quality, right? So if I can give you quality at $25, why wouldn't the quality at $140 be exceptional? Mm hmm. When I've proven that over and over again, they don't have a problem. My customers don't have a problem spending their money on quality products. And I'm talking about not just spending $135, I'm talking about spending 600 $700 on an order because they've purchased not one, but two, but three, but four cents,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 22:28

right. And that's the beauty of when you know and trust the brand. And when you have things like sales that you know you, you have one chance to get what you want, like you are going to buy in bulk. And that's something that's so smart about what you do with the urgency that you built in. When we spoke back in 2019, you have progressed from you know, you started out doing monthly drops. And you know, people knew that you were going to ship one time a week you shipping on Wednesdays, then as you built it now, you were able to do you know, in three business days, what system have you built in these days, because I always admired that about you because you were very firm with your boundaries, and you knew what to do to make sure that you could reasonably fulfill orders while also making space to breathe for your health. And all of the above. But are you still doing that process with monthly drops? Are you still shipping? You know, every three business days? Like what is what is it like today?

Zakia Blain 23:33

Well, we are still doing monthly drops. The only thing that has changed with the pandemic is that the shipping time frame has increased. Now we do a lot ourselves 10 business days to ship out during the pandemic. But it normally doesn't take that long like we normally like we just had a drop on Friday. And a holiday was Monday yesterday, we shipped out 1000 orders. And that was because we work on the holiday. I have a staff of seven people now. So you know we're working and we're and we're getting the orders out. But during the pandemic, you know, when we couldn't have seven people in the warehouse, and we had to kind of you know, space out staffing and things of that because we were open during the whole pandemic like yeah, we never shut down. We were open but we did have to strategically have you know, okay, only three people can work from this time only three people can work from this time. And then we had and then I got COVID in November. And then we had to show our warehouse down I had to come and have it sanitized and nobody nobody ever knew. And this was during Black Friday. It was crazy. I got COVID the week before Black Friday like November 16. And that in Black Friday is our biggest shopping day of the year. And I couldn't even go to my warehouse but we didn't Mr. B, we didn't miss a beat. My staff has been, you know, instrumental in making sure that orders are processed in a timely manner. And I think also now with COVID happening, even though people didn't want to, people knew that everything was kind of delayed. So that did allow us some grace. But, you know, our customers still there, like people, like people ordered on Friday, they're getting their stuff today already. And it's literally we're on the second business day.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:35

So, is there an advantage to doing monthly drops versus always having product available on site? If so, like, you know, what, what is the advantages? And why do you do that?

Zakia Blain 25:48

Well, we always have product, okay. Okay. But our drops are for new items. So like, you can go by, you can go by a shape or any day to week by shape, or you can go buy some waste beads, you can go by, you know, most things any day of the week, we're open 24, seven, but as far as drops, we release a new set. So like this year, spring, summer, 2021, we literally release, we've released six sets so far. So it's been to every month since March. And so with that, that just builds anticipation. And you know, I let my customers pick which patterns they want it you know, I had showed them like back in January, like this is what we have, you know, what do you guys want? Yeah, so kind of let them pick. And of course, you know, I made the final decision, but just giving them that sneak peek of like, Okay, this is what's coming for summer, I went all in the everyday set literally every day like you can, you can have a different one every day. And you can mix and match them together.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 26:54

Yeah, we did that Paul, was that on it? Or

Zakia Blain 26:57

it was probably like in January, somewhere where I put up like, the patterns that we had available that on Instagram. And I let them you know, which ones do you like best. And then when I went once I got the actual sample made. And I showed it they went oh my god. So like I asked them their opinion on things. But even though I still get the final say, but I do but that also helps me to determine, you know, what is going to sell? What may not sell but then sometimes they they prove me wrong, because I'd be like, well, you said you wanted this and it's not sold out yet. So why? As you told me because she was telling the story, because it's not sold out yet. But all y'all said y'all wanted it and you made me go get it and why is it not sold out? Exactly. Like Exactly. You made me buy it and pay for it? Because everybody said they wanted it and now we're tearing you ain't it's not sold out. I'm like, why is it not sold out? They like you. Right? You right? Let me go buy Okay, go buy it because you made me get it. I asked you and you told me and now is like when you buy some food and they don't eat it like you asked me I asked you what you want it you said this and it needs to be sold out. So

Nicaila Matthews Okome 28:12

I love that I love the relationship that you have with all of us with your customers. And at the same time, you are very good at letting people know your boundaries, but people don't always follow instructions. So how are you dealing with that today? Like how are you finding ways to protect your mental health while also being open to sharing stories? I I just don't know how you do it.

Zakia Blain 28:47

Well, for me, I have I have stepped back a lot from just being accessible. You know, my DMS are turned off for everybody. My story replies are turned off for everybody that I don't follow. Sometimes I turn the comments off, you know, sometimes you just can't and you know, my block button works very well. You know, it because it it can really I have very bad anxiety and I talked about this often to the point where I've been on medication. I'm going to be back on medication soon, but I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder. And on top of that I have a brain disorder I'm I'm literally disabled. And I think that because people don't see me with a physical ailment. They can't relate to the fact that some of the things that they might be doing they may see innocent, but to me, you know, it causes triggers and things and, you know, I've also survived domestic abuse. So when people when I tell people not to do something, and whether that to be you know, sending a DM or whatever the case may be if I say, Hey guys, respectfully, please don't send me any DMS, you know, if you have a customer service issue, please contact customer service like, this is the way to do it. But please don't send me DMS. Because for me, it's like, as soon as I see a DM, it causes instant anxiety for me. Because I don't know what's on the other side of that. Right. And so it could be a beautiful message that I love you, thank you so much for the inspiration, all of those things, or I could open it. I don't know if I can cuss but it could be like, you know, like, it could be somebody like, you and your kids. I'm gonna kill everybody. And I'm like, oh, wait a minute. You know, because I had that happen to me. So I had to get to a point where it's like, I'm not even going to subject myself to that. And because I don't know what it is, before I open it, even if it is a nice mess. As soon as I see it automatically filled with anxiety. Yeah. Right. And then also the anxiety to reply, because I'm busy, right? Yeah. It's like having when you look at your email box, and you got 1000 emails, and you like, Oh, my God, I don't even want to look at it, you know, I'm just, I'm gonna just act like it's not here.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 31:42

You know,

Zakia Blain 31:44

every day, I don't even want to tackle my inbox, because I already know, it's kind of like the same thing on social media, when when you have your story replies open, and everybody's sending 100% signs on, you know, on your outfit, it's like, do I have to respond to that? Do I like, I don't know, Craig, do I have to? Can I just hardy? Or do you want me to say something? So all of that adds to it. And so for me, it's just kind of like, I have had to step away a lot, because people perceive me as being mean. Because I do have boundaries? And because I do stick to them. And then also because once those boundaries are crossed, I am not a Kotler right. I am not going to make other people feel better at the expense of me not feeling well. Right. And I get very straight to the point. So when I'm very straight to the point, and like I said, don't do me like, Oh, well, she's a B, and she's this and she's that and I'm like, but no, I asked you, you know, like, when I asked politely, not to do something.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:58

You have to say like that? Well, why?

Zakia Blain 33:00

When I asked you nicely, didn't understand me, you know. So, I think for a lot of us, who have built our platforms on social media has become very hard for many of us. And it's not just me, you know, who have experienced it, but it's for many of us because it's like, the entitlement that people have that comes with buying a product you know, last month $145 on your set. So guess what, you owe me everything you know, you owe me to answer all the questions that I have for you. You owe me and it's like I owe you are an amazing product. You know, that is a good quality. Don't get me wrong I love I love the snatch squat, you know, and I appreciate all of my you know, all of my the file all of them who they read. They do their instruction. Use the resources. I love y'all. I love them to know in I love them. I love them. I love them. I appreciate them so much. But I was just watching something earlier, I guess a black brand Something happened with his bag and he was just saying like, I can get 1000 well wishes right 1000 messages that are I love you I love my product. But those those you know, those three that are horrible, and are negative. They are the ones that kind of stick with you. Yeah. Right. And they're the ones that can affect your mental health and your mental well being because, dang, I just, you know, I just want everybody to be happy. I just want everybody to love my product and kind of like, oh, what did I do to you to make you hate me so much. You get what I'm saying? It's like why are you Why are you so malicious towards me because I I simply asked for a boundary. So it can be a lot.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 34:51

It's tough and I admire all the examples that you've said, you know, it's definitely things that I have considered like oh, Should I turn off my DMS and You know, because sometimes you just want to share, and you don't want to get any questions because social media is designed so that those red bubbles, it triggers you, it triggers you to, to feel like you have to respond to feel like you know, you pay on longer and yeah, you can't have peace until your inbox, you know that the DM box is clear or the notifications are gone. It's psychologically designed that way. So, you know, we're not crazy here. This is designed to drive us.

Zakia Blain 35:27

Yeah, it's designed to keep us on the phone so that they can show us more ads, you know, and we can buy more things and spend more money and question our lives and you know,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:41

our accomplishments or what we do

Zakia Blain 35:43

be, you know, be in comparison to other people. And then a lot of people don't even know, it's like, I'll post something, I put my phone away, I only want it like,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:51

I came to do what I came to do to literally delete the app for home, you know, sometimes just for several days at a time, like because I don't, I just don't want to even have that impulse. And then it's one thing to have the impulse but when it's not there, like it dies down. And you know, forget that impulse to check it. But one thing I love about FPF and what you do is that you have always reinforced self love, you know, I've heard you say like, like self love and loving yourself is the key to everything. Because if you if you don't love yourself, then you just can't do an amazing job at launching a side hustle I just showing up in the world, like completely as yourself. And when we touched on this in the first time you were on the show, we talked about the fact that FPF is not for quote unquote Big Girls is not for you know people who don't love themselves and are trying to change themselves. It's for people who Okay, you might want to look smoother under your clothes. You know, the first time I ever wore a waist trainer I was assigned for and I just wanted to be cinched under it right? I just wanted right to be smoothed out. And then same way, same way with athletes are like you want to wear things that make you feel good. Not like that's rolling down on you making you feel like Oh, man, like it's showing this and that. So how do you continue to inspire your audience? You know, how do you continue to drive that message home? I know you're busy. And you're thinking about like, actual, like specifics and logistics half of the time, but the core of you is inspiring people to love themselves. And that's the way I think.

Zakia Blain 37:33

Right? And when you were saying I was getting emotional, because I've literally had people, you know, make posts and talk about how they were so conscious with their bodies until they got to everyday sit, right? People who Oh, I would have thought that their stomachs were big. And then they're like, Oh, no, but I can put this on. And it makes me feel like when I asked my audience I said how does fBf make you feel when you wear it? And, you know, the responses were powerful snatched a superhero. Like I can do anything. And like I love myself and I was just like, this is what you're buying. Right? You're not buying just a set? No, because when you put this set on, when you put these leggings on, you feel comfortable. You feel secure. Right? And you feel like you can do anything. You know, I literally I don't know if you watch the verses with SW v. Escape. And when Coco had won her, you know, when they first came out, she was all dressed, had her heels on or whatever she had on her fBf shaper. And put on her fBf leggings. The whole her whole mood change. Yeah. And she literally she was and made a post. She was like I felt like a superhero. And everybody was tagging me there. But I because you know, she shouted us out through the whole verses. And everybody was like that her whole mood changed when she puts her wedding on. I'm like, because she was comfortable. You're not I'm saying she didn't have those high heels on like she couldn't move around. She was comfortable in her shaper. But when you don't want to put your leggings on you like oh, I comfy

Nicaila Matthews Okome 39:23

comfy you know.

Zakia Blain 39:27

Exactly. And she was still cute and she performed and it was like a 360 for me because SWAT is my favorite group in life. And to have her literally wearing fBf during the verses and just showing how versatile it is. was just like it was it was amazing to me. It was something again, I could have never dreamed of.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 39:52

Wow, you know what's funny about that story like after the first test I actually started following her on on YouTube cuz he's like He's amazing. He is a movie, right? And he talked about the verses and how actually something she had a wardrobe malfunction right before she went on stage. So she really wasn't comfortable. But it's amazing that, you know, when she got into her FPS body like her, her leggings, like, all of that went away, right? Like so imagine, like, you know, what you want to wear? doesn't work out. But then you're able to remember like, Oh, I have these and I feel good. Right? So I'm so glad, on top of everything happening, like she was able to be brought back to that point. It's like, I can be comfortable and cute. So you feel like a superhero after the wardrobe malfunction and everything.

Zakia Blain 40:43

Right? Exactly. And this is what, this is how I continue to inspire because everybody sees me, I wear my own clothes. Like, this is what this is not FPF setelah is never made production. But I wear it every day. And I'm like, I literally wear my own clothing every day. And people see me wear it, you know to work people see me wear it out, you know, two events in heels. And you know, they and I show them like, Okay, this is not just for they see me wear to workout. It's not just for just working out. But I also continue to show real women in everyday situations as well. So, you know, if you follow my stories you see, I'm constantly reposting people in our community, people who will fBf no matter what size they are, right? Because a lot of people will only post Oh, well she has to look a certain way. Right? She has to be this standard of beauty she has to be and to me everybody's beautiful. So if you are my customer, and you felt good enough in yourself to take a picture and smile and post it Oh, I'm gonna repost it baby. You know, I mean, like, I want everybody to see that everybody can look good in FBA. So

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:03

and that's your secret sauce to it. That was one of the first thing I noticed about fBf. Like you literally showing like, Who does that? Who shows us? Has they roll their shapewear up? Nobody does way. Right. And you You're right, like a photo shoot, those are great. Those are nice. We like to see those but also every day like knowing that you were not just when you are dressed up for photoshoot. It's amazing

Zakia Blain 42:31

that you want to see it in your everyday life, because then you see how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:36

Right. So before we get to the lightning round, I'm just gonna say, we have seen you go through so many transitions with your brand. And it's been amazing, amazing to watch. And I know that you have some things up your sleeve. What What will you tease us today and let us know what's coming next what, what you got planned for?

Zakia Blain 42:58

Because everything is like you got some big things coming up. Like I said, I'm going to essence this weekend. So that'll be four in July. I'm on two panels there. We got something big coming up in June. Can't say it but you know, follow the follow the pay

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:20

will continue to follow along and see what's going on.

Zakia Blain 43:24

Expansion this year, my whole thing. I'm just like we are expanding. I want fBf to be a household name in at leisure where you know, and I want to compete with all the big brands. Yeah. And do you still have an exit strategy before you were saying no, maybe

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:45

after the 10 year mark?

Unknown Speaker 43:46

I don't know.

Zakia Blain 43:49

10 year mark is next year and I'm still I'm still that's why I'm going so hard right now. Okay. I'm still like okay, taking years is probably you know where it's going to be at But hopefully, there's gonna be something that my children can definitely carry on when I decided to take a step back.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:11

So we're gonna get into a quick lightning round, you know, the deal, you just answer the first thing that comes to mind. I'm always curious to see how people's answers have changed now that I started doing the update episode. So are you ready? Yes. Number one. What is a resource that is helping you in your business right now that you just have to share with us at the side hustle pro audience,

Zakia Blain 44:35

other people, networking has been my biggest resource in my business, you know, because I always say people can open doors for you sooner than any degree or any you know, thinking. So I just feel like every opportunity that I've had has been because number one people see me and they pay attention to me, but also just you know, working when you don't think people are looking at Because that's when they'll noticing you. And being genuine. You know, people always like to use it in Philly, we use the term Joe. And that means that you know, you're too friendly, right? would be in Joe, right? You're too friendly. You're talking to too many people calm down. And I'm like, No, I'm going to be Joe. I'm going to be growing. Because guess what being Joe means everybody knows who I am. Everybody knows FBS. Because I'm going to talk to you, I'm going to introduce myself. And literally every opportunity that I've had that has been big has been because somebody else has referred me to do it. So that he gets resources, his net relationships, yeah, relationships with people.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 45:46

So number two, speaking of relationships, these days, who is a black woman entrepreneur who you most admire? And why

Zakia Blain 45:55

can I get a look? Can I give you full? Drop a squad dropping drop? Luke 1787. But no, really, honestly. And truly my leak, Jerry arsha. And Mia,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 46:13

I might cry, because I literally

Zakia Blain 46:19

had been praying, right. And talking to my therapist, asking for a group of people who could help me. Not necessarily helped me, but be there in my transition, right? In business, who could relate to where my business was going? Right. Now. A lot of times when you have a business and you start a business, and you go from having no money to having unlimited resources, unlimited, not unlimited money, but having a lot of money, that can be a hard transition for a lot of people. And you need people around you who have been there who are going there. And so when my leak reached out to me, I was like, Oh, my God, like, this is what, this is what I've been waiting for, like, I've been waiting for, you know, to sit in a room with people who understood where I was in business, right? And or were farther in business than me. So I could be like, Oh, this is possible. Right? This is a possibility. Because we don't know something is possible until we see other people doing it. Yeah. And so that's why I always am transparent with fBf. Because it's like, No, I want you to see like if you look at me, you shouldn't see me You shouldn't be jealous, you should see possibility. Because as someone who was a single mom, I had a negative $2.73 in my bank account, House about to be foreclosed on, you know, brain disorder, domestic abuse, anxiety, all these things. And to still be able to stand tall and be a success in business. It is possible. And so those women show me that pot pot possibility. Wow.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 48:30

And I just love all of you. I mean, I just love to see it. So this lightning round is not very, not very speedy. I always make my superpower is cold. So number three, what is a non negotiable part of your day these days? prayer and water? Yes, I need to get my work up there. What is a personal habit and personal trait about you that you think is the reason why you're so successful in business? That's all too much. Talking is my superpower. I love it. And finally, what is your party advice for fellow women entrepreneurs who want to be their own boss go all in on their business but are worried about losing a steady paycheck is possible.

Zakia Blain 49:32

You know, you gotta bet on yourself. Yeah. But you have to bet on yourself and know when you believe in the possibility, yeah, you can make that you can make that dream come true. And God will surprise you and make your life something that you could have never dreamed or imagined. Because it is possible.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 49:57

I love that What a perfect perfect note to end on So let the people know again where they can find you online and follow along with your journey see the amazing things you have coming up

Zakia Blain 50:09

so of course @fbfbody on everything all the socials fBfbody.com and yeah that's it FBfbody on everything YouTube Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, FBS body and fbfbody.com to purchase all all things FBF

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:28

and to see all the amazing things that she's got going on well thank you thank you so much Sam for being in the guest chair there you have it you guys the amazing Zakia Blain of FPF body and I will talk to you all Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six bullet Saturday newsletter at side hustlepro.co/newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business Tip of the Week. Again that sidehustlepro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon.

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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