Black Business Spotlight: “Beautiful, Classy, Driven”

Submitted photo Markella Smith’s vendor setup at Minnesota Orchestra Hall

Markella Smith is the owner of Beautiful, Classy, Driven, a lifestyle business created in 2016 that offers a variety of inspirational products.

The business features a product line that exhibits Smith’s signature feather earrings, inspirational notebooks, unique gifts and candles. The majority of her products are adorned with positive affirmations. 

Smith was inspired to start her lifestyle enterprise because of her beloved children whom she lovingly refers to as “young kings.” As a mother of boys, she said, “I strive to provide good examples.” 

Her up-tempo, sunny and sanguine attitude radiates positivity, providing a solid foundation as well as temperament for her business.

Smith serves as an example of how busy individuals can establish work-life balance. Aside from running her business, she fulfills the role of mom and works a full-time job. 

Smith also invests time with local organizations in her North Minneapolis community. She enjoys brainstorming ways to support, market, inspire and promote small business owners. She is also focused on developing opportunities for entrepreneurs to network and showcase their products or services.

Submitted photo Smith’s signature feather earrings

The Beautiful, Classy, Driven brand prompts consumers to think about influential and prominent figures in society who exhibit those positive attributes. Smith promotes empowering images of such women as former First Lady Michelle Obama, who exemplifies what it is to be Beautiful, Driven and Classy. 

Smith is focused on placing an emphasis on positive role models who represent the epitome of class and exude strength and sophistication. It’s a response to the negative imagery portrayed in the media about women. Women should be valued rather than objectified. 

At times we may not see the grit and hard work required to operate a successful business. “I work hard, no one really knows what it took to get here,” said Smith.

She has big plans for the future and wants to grow the business so that it is more focused on youth, the future entrepreneurs. When it comes to living a dream, she encourages everyone— especially our youth—to simply “go for it and to never give up.” 

Smith’s business has been featured as a vendor at Minnesota Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. She also features the products of other small business owners while she sells her own. “I’m trying to shed a positive light on other local businesses. I also want to help other small businesses pursue their passions,” said Smith.

The hottest selling items are the earrings, accented with catching feathers. She enjoys creating unique designs that display a medley of beautiful, bold colors. 

Submitted photo Smith and her two boys

The stylish notebooks were designed by her supportive friend, Crystal Hill, owner of Chill’s Customized Creations. “We can do so much more together than we can do separately and we also have to exhibit positive behavior to the youth,” said Smith. In essence, teamwork makes the dream work.

Customers can also check out the dainty cups and coffee mugs meticulously adorned with hopeful and uplifting messages like, “Believe in yourself.”

Smith also promotes self-care by offering a selection of sweet-scented vanilla, and serene, Sumatra Chai candles.

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