Bria Baber is a student in Columbia College Chicago’s newest Master’s program: Entrepreneurship for Creatives. After graduation, Bria plans to launch Tunnel Vision, an eyewear line that will feature affirmations and inspirational messages on the eyewear itself. We asked Bria about her inspiration, what she has learned at Columbia, and what we can expect from Tunnel Vision moving forward.
What inspired you to create Tunnel Vision?
Tunnel Vision was inspired through my conversations and prayers with God and Jesus. During 2019, I felt completely stuck, lost, un-seen, and un-heard. I truly felt I had no purpose, which made me feel so lonely. I had nowhere to turn! So I sought advice from family members and peers, thinking they could resolve my issues. Let me tell you right now this is the wrong thing to do, and I learned the hard way. For some reason, I had the notion that everyone in my life wants the best for me. Oh boy! Was I wrong. I learned that a lot of people prayed for my downfall and the love I have for people isn’t the same I’m receiving, which sucks. It took time for me to fully understand this by allowing my spirituality to grow through prayer. Jesus has shown me each day that when I live by faith and not by sight, that nothing in this world can hurt me. By praying and talking with Jesus, I learned that I have the ability to block the chaos around me by focusing on my independent mind. I have the ability to live my life making clear decisions as I focus on the positive light. This is why Tunnel Vision is being created, to help individuals break free from their dark tunnels, eventually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Why did you choose to pursue this Entrepreneurship for Creatives Master’s degree?
I had no background in business! How was I going to create a business with no background? When I learned I wanted to create a business, my first instinct was to research everything through Google and YouTube. Yes, I learned a lot of information, but was hungry to learn more. I’m all about quality and knew if I wanted to run a business, I would need more experience. I for sure didn’t want my business to look like a hot mess, so this is the reason why I applied to the Entrepreneurship for Creatives Master’s Program. In fact, I graduated with a bachelor’s in Social Work and have been utilizing the work I do into Tunnel Vision.
What have you learned during your courses that you have been able to incorporate into your own business?
I don’t even know where to start! The courses are either 7 or 8 weeks long, so you can only imagine how fast paced everything is moving. I’ll say this: I never knew how much involvement potential customers could have in your upcoming business. I thought by talking about my business, that automatically someone would steal the idea. What has helped me feel secure is applying for licenses that secure my business name. I make sure that I am prepared to speak about Tunnel Vision so I can make things clear, and having people sign non-disclosure agreements is a huge key! Customer feedback is so important because it makes or breaks your business. I recently did a survey for Tunnel Vision and received a lot of great feedback. Sending this survey out to family members, peers, and colleagues put so much fear into my heart. I was scared of the responses, but the responses were actually great! I received great advice and will keep it in mind for the next Tunnel Vision survey. This just goes to say if you are scared to do something, just go for it! The turnout will be great learning lesson for you.
What is your ultimate goal with Tunnel Vision?
The ultimate goal for Tunnel Vision is to help individuals understand that life can be a dark tunnel. You won’t be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel until you free yourself. By freeing yourself, you will come to a better place in life that will help you think and see clearly which will lead individuals to make positive choices for themselves while living in a chaotic filled world.
Where can people connect with you and get future updates about the business and launch?
Expect Tunnel Vision to launch Summer of 2021, and it will be an e-commerce platform. The website and social media accounts are currently under construction preparing a one of a kind experience. To connect with me, please follow my personal Instagram @_briab. This is where potential customers will connect with Tunnel Vision and receive future updates about the business and launch.