New book says lean into your ‘Outsider Advantage’ in business

“You really have to carve your own space in the world,” says author and entrepreneur Ciera Rogers.

By Kristen CabreraJuly 5, 2024 3:18 pm, , ,

Growing up, Ciera Rogers had a hard time finding fashionable plus-size clothing for her body. So she set out to fix that problem.

“I started BABES,” says Rogers, who is the founder and CEO of the clothing company that caters to curvy women. “Back in 2012, the environment looked very different. There wasn’t a lot of brands online that were catering to women with curves, and that’s what we did. I was one of the first brands to do that. And I got lucky because the community really welcomed me with open arms because they had found a home.”

12 years later, she has put everything she’s learned in business – and then some – into her new book, “The Outsider Advantage: Because You Don’t Need To Fit In To Win.” 

I just really wanted a business book for people like me – people that didn’t have resources, people that may have had like different types of backgrounds, no connections, no money… You know, nothing,” she said.

But while writing the book, Rogers realized everything that she had been through in her life had prepared her for the business world. So the business book also turned into a memoir.

“Entrepreneurship is such a rocky road,” she says, “like learning how to adapt and pivot as a child and watching my single mom throughout my life has helped me in entrepreneurship and has helped me become successful and that’s how ‘The Outsider Advantage’ was born – using what makes you different to help push you towards success.”

Growing up, Rogers and her mom experienced homelessness, but despite this rough time, she says learning from it and her mom helped to build her dream.

I watched my mom hustle like my entire life,” she said. “I technically didn’t have a room or a house until I was 16. So we just moved around a lot.

I saw her kind of make things work. She was a really thrifty person so she used her resources and her skills of thrifting to become a stylist. She didn’t have any connections, but she built her entire life in Houston, coming from Port Arthur. So I just watched her all throughout my life and that’s what taught me how to hustle.”

Her mom is also where Rogers says she got her fashion sense.

I went to school for marketing,” Rogers said. “I didn’t have a huge passion for fashion, but I learned like, ‘hey, I’m really good at this. I’m really good at putting things together and styling women, especially women with curves. I wonder where that came from?’ That was my mom. Of course, I thought it was me, but it was my mom.

Rogers said all these things made her stand out in the business world and is what makes someone special in entrepreneurship.

“So I think that if you’re in a position where you’re trying to start a business, see if you’re actually good at it – see if it’s a problem that other people have and see if there’s an open space in the market – and then go for it,” Rogers said.

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