PATRICE K. COKLEY
Founder, The Bassline Group
Detroit native Patrice K. Cokley began college as a music major, but soon found the focus on classical piano too limiting—the high-octane business side of the entertainment industry was more her speed. After graduating with a BS and MBA in marketing, Cokley held a number of customer-focused positions and freelance marketing consultancies in diverse industries, an informal career path that seeded The Bassline Group. Her Chicago-based boutique agency specializes in branding, marketing, public relations and management for entertainers and creative artists, ″where I [can] work with those who are serious about building a viable business around their talent or skill,″ she says. Tapping into one´s inner passion is a big driver for Cokley, both professionally and personally. ″Being a quadruple minority (black, female, lesbian and plus-sized) who breaks all stereotypes, I find inspiration in other entrepreneurs and business-oriented people who either went against the grain to achieve success, or found success just by simply being their true authentic selves. I´m inspired by pioneers who were able to carve out their own path.″ A strong advocate for mentoring other women in business, Cokley advises entrepreneurs to trust their instincts—and to turn down clients or partnerships that don´t feel like a good fit. ″By being your true authentic self and operating with integrity, you will attract those who are meant for you,″ she says.