Kendra Bracken-Ferguson

  • Founder and CEO at BrainTrust Global Marketing Firm and BrainTrust Founders Studio
  • General Partner/VC at BrainTrust Fund
  • Host of 'Business of the Beat' Podcast
  • Author of 'The Beauty of Success: Start, Grow and Accelerate Your Brand'

A leading domain expert on beauty and wellness and a three-time founder with two exits, Kendra Bracken-Ferguson is currently the Founder and CEO of BrainTrust, a global brand marketing firm and BrainTrust Founders Studio, the largest membership-based platform dedicated to Black founders of beauty and wellness companies. She also is a General Partner in the adjacent BrainTrust Fund, dedicated to investing in breakthrough Black-founded beauty and wellness companies. She hosts Business of the Beat podcast that uncovers key takeaways and behind-the-scenes stories of BIPOC founders, senior executives, influencers, and operators who are in the process of starting, growing, and accelerating their businesses.

A transformative brand builder, Kendra is the secret ingredient in guiding and monetizing more than 200 influencer-driven brands that have collectively generated more than $100MM in revenue. Among her firsts, Kendra has the distinction of being one of only 200 Black women to have raised more than $1MM in investment for her first company. Kendra’s first book, The Beauty of Success: Start, Grow and Accelerate Your Brand launches February 13, 2024 through Wiley publishing.

 


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Past Hosts Include:
  • Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity
  • Palm Tree Capital Diversity in Finance Summit
  • Advertising Week
  • Harvard Business School Conference
  • McKinsey Next 1B Speaker Series
  • Vestar Capital Conference
  • Forbes
  • CEO Summit
  • ShopTalk North America and Europe
  • Purdue Women's Leadership Conference
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Top Ranked Industry Podcast: Business of the Beat

Hosted by 3x founder and award winning industry thought leader Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, the Business of the Beat podcast showcases the business of beauty through the experiences of BIPOC founders, executives, influencers, and operators who are in the process of starting, growing, and accelerating th ...

Hosted by 3x founder and award winning industry thought leader Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, the Business of the Beat podcast showcases the business of beauty through the experiences of BIPOC founders, executives, influencers, and operators who are in the process of starting, growing, and accelerating their businesses. With a focus on empowering and inspiring diverse leaders in the beauty and wellness industry, this podcast features over 130 episodes, and season three is now underway. Each episode uncovers key takeaways and behind-the-scenes stories of beauty entrepreneurs, highlighting the beauty of their success.

Your Future Self

We often get distracted and lose our center and focus, so how can you show up for yourself every day?  How do you stay consistent and guided in the direction of your future self? Unlocking your future self is different for everyone, I call it my “zone of genius”. Living in our “zone of genius” creat ...

We often get distracted and lose our center and focus, so how can you show up for yourself every day? 

How do you stay consistent and guided in the direction of your future self? Unlocking your future self is different for everyone, I call it my “zone of genius”. Living in our “zone of genius” creates the force that guides all aspects of our lives. We must hold ourselves accountable and shift our mindset to unlock our future self, create, and live the life we want. We must live with intention. If we can operate with the lights on through a clear roadmap of where we are going—if we can use the lens of what motivates us, find where our passion lies, and have a clear vision of our future—then we can guide our future self. 

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Biography

Kendra Bracken-Ferguson is the Founder and CEO of BrainTrust which encompasses BrainTrust Agency, providing social media, influencer marketing, and brand development, BrainTrust Founders Studio a membership-based platform providing an ecosystem of mentorship, education, and community for Black Beauty and Wellness Founders, and BrainTrust Fund 1, a venture fund dedicated to investing in Black Beauty and Wellness Founders.

Kendra has the distinction of being one of only 200 Black women ever to have raised over $1M in investment for her first company. She has launched three companies herself and achieved over $1M in revenue for each within the first two years or less. As someone who has mentored many Black founders over the years, Kendra started BrainTrust Founders Studio in October 2021 out of a need to scale access and resources to help Black beauty and wellness entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses. She is a transformative brand builder and visionary leader as well as the secret ingredient in guiding and monetizing more than 200 influencer-driven brands which have collectively generated more than $100M in revenue.

While her career has spanned brand development, strategic partnerships, and C-suite leadership, Kendra is a pioneer in the digital media space. She has spent her career focused on building data-first lifestyle, beauty, and wellness businesses which have given her a unique understanding of what it takes to engage and convert communities into consumers. She has continued building revenue-generating brand partnerships ever since 2003 when she launched the first mobile music studio licensing and revenue share deal between Myspace, Cingular Wireless, and unsigned music brands.

Before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, Kendra was a member of fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s team, responsible for helping to establish the brand’s social media footprint as the company’s first Director of Digital Media. Previously, she honed her digital media expertise at Fleishman Hillard, where as Vice President of Digital, she led the digital consumer team and advised brands such as AT&T, P&G, Reebok, and Mary Kay on their social media strategies.

In 2010, Kendra took a leap of faith, guided by her mantra, “Carpe Diem,” and created Digital Brand Architects (DBA) alongside Karen Robinovitz. DBA was the first American blogger management company that eventually grew into a global powerhouse. By 2019, when DBA was bought by management firm UTA, it had achieved a collective reach of 200 million viewers.

After exiting DBA, Kendra founded BrainTrust, from which BrainTrust Founders Studio and BrainTrust Fund 1 were born. BrainTrust is a brand development and social media agency that drives brand strategy and online media presence for talent and global brands. Clients have included Halle Berry, Kelly Ripa Home, Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore, Revelations Entertainment by Morgan Freeman, Sally Beauty Company, Cantu Beauty, Under Armour, and many others. Kendra is Halle Berry’s business partner, and together, they launched rē•spin in 2020 to democratize the health and wellness industry.

Kendra has served as a mentor to numerous entrepreneurs throughout her career. She believes that two brains are always better than one, and more can be accomplished together than alone. She has endowed a Communications scholarship at her alma mater, Purdue University, for a Black female freshman student to help increase the number of Black students at the university. She is a co-founder of Beauty United, a non-profit focused on diversifying the beauty and wellness industry, and sits on the board of Blushington, G&B, and Cayton Children’s Museum. She is a member of DealMakeHers and Female Founders Collective. She is also the host of Business of the Beat, a beauty and wellness podcast focused on diversifying the beauty and wellness industry highlighting multicultural Founders and senior executives, available on Apple, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Her list of awards and accolades is ever-growing. She was named as one of Essence Magazine’s “17 Inspiring Black Executives Redefining the Face of Beauty” in 2020. In 2021, she was named to the "Glossy 50: The Collective that Shaped the Beauty and Fashion Industry;" named to Ulta Beauty’s "MUSE 100: A Celebration of 100 Inspirational Black Voices Making Beauty in Our World Possible;" and was included in LA Style’s "Most Influential" List.

Kendra happily resides in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, an English bulldog, and turtle.