We had the good fortune of connecting with Marlene “Marley” Holmes, Ph.D Student, MSW and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marlene “Marley”, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The BFCA Experience LLC is a company that is based on my personal and professional experience. In 2016, I entered the world of entrepreneurship by launching my own meditation business. I was mesmerized by how my passion and journey could impact others’ lives; however, I knew there was more to do. In 2018 I started to realize that my athletic journey from 7th grade through college prepared me for almost every experience in my life. I felt my life changing and decided to shift my research focus as a doctoral student from just social work to social work and athletics. When starting a business, you must do your research, and I quickly found that my experience as a black female athlete was unique, but rarely discussed. For the first time in my life, I recognized that my professional background was successful due to both positive and negative athletic experiences. At that time, I decided to focus on athlete development, self-care, and curriculum development to the athletic world and the professional sector. I thought about what I needed during sports, and after my athletic career concluded. For me, this was the first time that I could be my authentic self and utilize every facet of me mentally, psychologically, and spiritually.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My company was created to educate and equip athletes with skills they will need to succeed in life beyond sports. Also, we focus on bringing awareness to the talents and tools that athletics provide. We do this by supporting and preparing athletes for a productive transition into the next phase of life. The BFCA Experience is unique because it allows education for players, coaches, and parents. The success or failure of an athlete is heavily influenced by external influence and internal motivation. We bring awareness to both. We also address the impact and attachment of “identity” as an athlete and race and gender. We understood this was an area that needed to be addressed before the national attention of implicit bias, racial injustice, and gender inequalities. In addition to athlete development, our company also promotes self-care through meditation for any individual, group, team, or organization. Lastly, we also develop curriculum and training for organizations and teams ranging from mental health to training programs for businesses. The primary asset that sets us apart from other organizations is the blend of social work and athletics. This blend provides a holistic approach to address anyone in any setting. The journey to this point was truly divine intervention. Each team member had a specific mission that was necessary to prepare for this moment. Our team has both athletes and non-athletes to ensure to capture the needs of all who seek our service. We have provided virtual meditation and wellness events for non-profit organizations, mental health events, athletic team building, designed and facilitated workshops, etc. As the Founder and CEO, I’ve also presented at National Conferences across the country. Our team created the motto, “Value the athlete beneath the jersey,” because at the foundation of any success, one must be emotionally and psychologically healthy.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a great question! Before the pandemic, the most popular place is the beach. I prefer Hollywood Beach in Hollywood, Florida. It’s more laid back and family-friendly. For a week’s vacation, I usually like to make sure people explore culture and food. I love restaurants on the water, especially on Biscayne Bay, to just a simple restaurant on the water in Deerfield Beach. A favorite brunch spot on the beach is always a plus! You can eat and then burn off the calories in the ocean. It’s essential to cool off with Gelato, Acai bowls, and smoothies with it being so hot in South Florida. Oh, and I can’t forget hot yoga! There’s always something or someone coming to South Florida, so finding out who is at the Improv or performing at the Hard Rock! You can’t lose!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We all know that no one gets to success alone. My mother always encouraged me and supported me in any sport and any professional career choice. The essential gems that she incorporated into my life were faith and never passing judgment on others. I was able to pursue my dreams, and without the foundation and understanding of faith, I would not have accomplished any of my major milestones. Also, I have to acknowledge my team! Deanna Blackburn is my Content Editing Specialist, and Chelle Ticeson is my Digital Media Producer. These ladies have been in my life for over ten years! They believe in my vision and push me daily! I know there are great things in the future for us!
Youtube: The BFCA Experience: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpBOGsp8qvwNSrNVdrjLGew
Other: Yup She Said It Podcast: