I always wanted to be a pin up girl, and now I am.
That’s how the Brown Betties began. I love the 1940s and all that came with it including gorgeous hats with netted veils, red lipstick and cigarettes. I also loved the endless drawings of the pin up girls and so wanted to be that…and then I realized there were hardly any black pin up girls. At least as readily available to admire via Google as say, Lana Turner or any of the countless Vargas drawings. So, I went about changing that. In my own way.
In 2005, I created The Brown Betties®.
I wrote, directed, produced and performed in a 26-minute 1940s styled dinner-theater show, “Harlem’s Night: A Cabaret Story” which starred the fabulous Brown Betties. This burlesque bedtime story told the tale of a woman looking for love in all the wrong places. Recognizing that The Betties, four Sultry, Sassy, Sophisticated women, were becoming the selling point of the show, I chose to expand on that and developed The Brown Betties® into a trademarked lifestyle brand that could live off stage and empower women.
Under the brand, and over the years, I’ve created a cheeky award-winning webseries based on the book: “The Brown Betties Guide: How To Look For Love In All The Wrong Places”; the Be Your Own Bettie (BYOB) Empowerment workshops; Bettie Body workout/dance classes; Brown Betties Gazette online magazine and Brown Bettie greeting cards. I also penned “Harlem’s Awakening”, my debut fiction novella via Black Hill Press (now 1888 Center) and Amazon.com, which features a Bettie story line. Harlem’s Awakening was adapted into a one woman show, “Harlem’s Awakening: Storytelling. Live”. It premiered at the 2014 Prague Fringe Festival where it was nominated for a Performance Award. That experience lead me to becoming an expat in Prague, where I lived for three years. During that time, the Betties became international. A new group of women showed the Czech Republic what it meant to be sultry, sassy and sophisticated via performances and BYOB.
As I’ve grown as a woman and a person, so has Brown Betties. Today, the brand is less about performing and more about helping women. It is a support system which offers “education that empowers” via alternative channels and methods that are unapologetically feminine. We are creating a network of women who can and will teach others to thrive in their journey….to be sultry, sassy and sophisticated. Welcome.
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And now for the “LinkedIn” version of my bio:
Peppur is a graduate of Marquette University (BA Advertising & Marketing); was a former Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Buck’s Dancer; and is a published author. She taught journalism at Prague College and created an Alternative Method to Teaching English course for teachers from Kazakhstan. She writes under her blog http://www.penandpeppur.com. Learn more about her other theater and film projects on http://www.peppurchambers. com.