Nicole Brassington

Nicole Brassington
Lessons in Resilience and Tenacity: Nicole Brassington and Camp Bespoke Are Challenging the Limits of African American Entrepreneurship

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Hey everyone. I wanted to jump in quickly to let you know about the release of the audio version of my book, The Entrepreneur Ethos, narrated by David A. Conatser. If you want to support the show, you can buy it wherever audiobooks are sold. Links are also in the show notes. You can also leave a rating and review if you like. I really appreciate all those that do. It means a lot to me that you’d take the time to support the show in that way.

Now on to my guest for today, Nicole Brassington, cofounder of Camp Bespoke, a new year-round upscale camping destination in Kentucky.

Nicole’s story starts with her successful career as a nurse practitioner in the high-pressure setting of heart and lung transplants. She and three friends, also African American nurses, have been a source of support for each other for many years. They first came up with the idea of starting a nonprofit to help girls in Sierra Leone reach their potential by providing them with menstrual hygiene products.

When they realized they’d have to raise a lot of money to do so, they set to work coming up with a business plan. The business they started grew out of their love for travel as well as for their home state of Kentucky. Their first idea for a retreat center was replaced by a “glamping” campground for practical reasons and so began the rocky journey to building Camp Bespoke.

Nicole speaks again and again of their determination to see it through, despite having to come up with their own money to fund the first phase and having to cancel reservations because a bank insisted on a feasibility study. But they’ve also found partners and cheerleaders along the way who share in their dream and vision for a place for people visiting Williamstown, Kentucky to stay. They’ve stayed true to their principles of sustainability and supporting the local economy, principles that have earned them key supporters on the local and state levels.

Now let’s get better together.

Actions to Try or Advice to Take

  • Don’t give up. This seems obvious advice, but Brassington’s story shows that despite all the challenges put in their way, she and her team refused to give up. For each challenge, they regrouped and strategized and went forward, doing whatever needed to be done.
  • Recruit your cheerleaders. Brassington and her partners connected with the local authorities and they’ve been their biggest cheerleaders and supporters in making their dream a reality.
  • Draw on your strengths and recognize the areas where you need to learn more. Don’t discount skills and abilities you’ve cultivated in other arenas. As a nurse practitioner for a heart and lung transplant institute, Brassington learned how to build her endurance and keep going when things are hard.  She and her partners have harnessed what they’ve learned in their careers in medicine, but have also taken steps to fill in the gaps to learn what they don’t know about running a campground.

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