In partnership with Philadelphia Black Gay Pride, every day throughout the month of February we will spotlight an influential black mover and shaker in the city.
Today: Entrepreneur Ruby Augustus is the national president Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc., an organization that offers sisterhood and leadership opportunities for lesbian women of color. Augustus is also the proud owner of Sew Regal, which offers custom embroidered apparel to businesses, schools, Greek organzations, wedding parties and more.
What’s your Philly connection?
I was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y. I came to Philly in 2001 to attend Temple University. While in college I joined Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc. Beta introduced me to my passions: serving our community, and offering something unique and enriching to lesbian woman of color outside the party scene. I got involved in many LGBT community service projects here in Philadelphia. Post graduation I got married, bought a home. … I have rooted myself here and am proud to call Philly my second home.
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
A lawyer and a video vixen (don’t judge me.)
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My mother. She has made countless sacrifices, which have contributed tome becoming the woman I am today. Thanks to her, I know the power of unconditional love, consistency and truly believing in a person. She passed away at the age of 51, in 2010. It is still difficult to talk about but I can say that everything she was still radiates within me. I offer these elements in everything I do in my community work.
Finish this sentence: I feel fiercest when …
… I am on a date with my wife and wearing some high-heel boots. I also feel fierce when my anticipated Sew Regal orders for the month are doubled/tripled.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Starting my own business — Sew Regal. I was so scared to leave my full-time job and work solely on a new business. It was was a true sink-or-swim test for me. I’ve always been a good worker and quickly realized how rewarding it is to work for me. With the support and faith from my wife, I am a successful entrepreneur. It has only been two years so far and I have already needed to set higher goals for my business. Sew Regal surpassed all my initial two-year goals.
If you could have a super power what would it be and how would you use it?
The power to bring universal love and peace to the world. It would come in the form of rain and get baked in by the sun.
Finish this sentence: In 10 years I …
… would like to see more understanding of universal love among us all. Many of our friends and family have moved past their homophobia and are stuck in a phase of “tolerance.” We deserve to be more than tolerated. We deserve equal respect and love.