Urban League of Broward County helps local entrepreneur with umbrella company

A South Florida entrepreneur redesigned the umbrella to keep people from getting wet when the umbrella is folded up.

Keel Russell's company is called Simply Umbree.

"We make umbrellas that are stylish, smart apparel that change colors when it gets wet," Russell said.

One of the 31-year-old's clients is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

As interesting as his umbrellas are, Russell's story sells itself. His family struggled financially when he was younger, and after 12 years in the Army, he knew entrepreneurship was the best way to help his family.

"My first company was lingerie for curvaceous women. I wanted to bridge the gap the gap between Victoria's Secret and Lane Bryant," Russell said.

Russell didn't quite have enough capital to launch that dream, so he ventured into the umbrella business, landing Walmart as a client during the 2015 Urban League National Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

"People love the excitement about it. It's really unique. It's different," Russell said.

Russell needed money to make the umbrellas, which led him to Bryan Cunningham and the Urban League of Broward County, which granted him a $250,000 line of credit.

"Just his story and what he went through, and his deal with Walmart and his perseverance, it really won the committee," Cunningham said.

Russell said words will never be able to express how grateful he is for the Urban League's help.

"It's organizations like this that open up doors to disenfranchised companies like myself," Russell said.      

 

 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.