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Blackstone Construction Enjoying Fruits of Success

Blackstone Construction Group, a Minority and Woman-Owned Business

24-Oct-2017 1:07 PM

Blackstone Construction Group, a Maryland and Baltimore City certified minority and woman-owned business, is enjoying the fruits of success as a small business growing and finding its footing. All too often, small businesses struggle to locate their business niche, but Patience Brown, Owner of Blackstone Construction Group, has incorporated her disciplined, structured military training, design and construction education, along with her childhood upbringing from an entrepreneurial family to create a solid business. Patience has equipped Blackstone Construction Group with access to capital so her firm can get the projects done. “We are very proud of Blackstone Construction Group for stepping up and filling the constant demand for qualified minority owned firms,” said Wayne R. Frazier, Sr., President of Md. Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA). “Please, without hesitation, reach out to Blackstone Construction Group to determine if they could fulfil your construction needs.”

 

Patience Brown started her company, Blackstone Construction Group "with $40 and a prayer." That was three years ago, and since then, the 44-year-old has grown it into an emerging woman-owned general contractor business on the local scene.

Raised with seven siblings in a two-bedroom house in Cherry Hill, Brown learned early on how to fend for herself — and the skills needed to do so. With her siblings and two extra cousins packed into one bedroom filled with bunk beds, "I was always trying to figure out how do we expand this space and do more," she recalled. "It helped me to learn there's always a way to do things."

Brown graduated from the University of Baltimore in 2001 with a degree in business. She enlisted in the Army while a graduate student at Howard University and rose to the rank of commander before being deployed to Iraq.

We caught up with Brown in July to learn some of her secrets of success.

What is it like to own and operate a construction business as a woman?

It is the toughest thing you could do. I am ex-military and a commander in Iraq, it’s like a different type of war. It can be very challenging, and some people don't think that I actually know how to do construction. But once people can feel comfortable with my ability, it actually changes the dynamics a little bit.

What are your strong suits?

I am really good at project management, and good at understanding the make-up of a building.

What is the best way to be an enterprising woman today?


It changes daily, but I'd say have confidence. You have to be a confident woman to be in any business. I got that from my mom and my grandmother. Also, in business, you have to understand how to have the work-life balance. In the beginning, you put in 20 hours a day and you have to have balance and prayer. I come from family from Blackstone, Va., and that's how my company got its name. We came from slaves, and then they owned property and their own businesses. Most migrated from Virginia to Turner’s Station (in Baltimore County) and the women were the business owners, the men were the carpenters. I love hearing those stories. It gave me strength to move forward.

How do you describe your attitude?

I have the military attitude. When the guys come crying to me, I say ‘there’s no crying in construction.’ The Whiting-Turner guys hear me say that all the time. One of the things I’ve been trained for is to expect the unexpected. That helps me to have a calm mind and focus on the mission and what are we trying to do.

What is your latest project?

We worked on building the new restaurant at the whiskey distillery for Sagamore Development. We did the dry-wall, framing, ceilings, door frames, hardware, bathroom accessories and tile work.

What did your Army career teach you about business?

How to work with men. In the military, it was important to have my troops taken care of and that taught me leadership and how to not stress.

Before the Army how did you learn your business skills?

I am born and raised in Cherry Hill and I started out selling penny candy there. I loved the fact that I could decide how I made money. I started working at a very young age and my dad taught me how to take half of my check and save it.

What is your advice for women who want to get into a male-dominated profession?

Don't take anything personally.

 

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