Briana Beck is the driving force behind BCB, the online company that designs and sells affordable women's fitness clothing. The oldest of three girls in a relentlessly athletic household, Briana went to Georgia State University on a track scholarship and is now a doctoral candidate in business with an emphasis in industrial and organizational psychology. Briana runs BCB with her sisters, Bianca and Belicia.
You were born in Japan. How did that happen?
Yes, I was born in Okinawa, Japan. My father was in the military for 25 years. I have lived overseas for a good portion of my life. My family has lived in England, Germany, Japan and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, which just happens to be both of my parents' hometown.
You and your sisters are all top athletes. Talk about that a bit.
Yes, my father wanted a boy so bad, but he ended up having three girls and a female dog. His compromise was that we all became engaged in athletics, which is his first love. I initially played basketball and ran track just to stay in shape for basketball but ended up earning a scholarship in track at Georgia State University. Bianca received quite a few scholarship offers and decided to play basketball for Southeast Missouri State. She currently plays for the St. Louis Surge, a professional team here in St. Louis. Belicia ran track in high school and is one of St. Louis' most notable dancers for MADCO (Modern American Dance Company, the professional dance company in residence at the Touhill Performing Arts Center).
Your company is called BCB. What's the significance of those initials?
BCB stands for Believe Create Become. We know that the brain is the most powerful muscle in the body. If you believe that you can do something, then create, shape and mold your situation to fit your goals you will become what you have set out to achieve. In addition, each of my sisters and I have the initials BCB.
Tell us what your company does.
BCB provides high-quality clothes at an affordable price. Our goal is to assist women in feeling both comfortable and beautiful while they work out.
In addition, our logo changes color based on the temperature of the body, so it acts as an indicator letting you know that your body is warmed up and ready to perform. As athletes, my sisters and I fully understand the importance of making sure your body is warm prior to pushing it to its limit. Trainers and athletes really appreciate this because it can assist in reducing injury. In addition, we donate a portion of our money earned to NAMI and the American Heart Association so that we can help build awareness about the importance of both mental and physical health.
Can shoppers find BCB apparel in St. Louis stores?
We are looking to open a bricks-and-mortar store in the very near future, but you can get the entire line at www.bcb3.org.
What were your favorite St. Louis places as a kid?
When friends and family visit St. Louis, what do you make sure they do or see?
I currently reside downtown, and I love to take friends to walk around downtown. We have a rich cultural history here with traditional infrastructure and buildings that have been in existence for many years. I also like to take them to Forest Park just to walk around and look at the beautiful scenery. We have a very beautiful city.
Where's a good place to run downtown?
What are your five favorite attractions in St. Louis.
The Gateway Arch, the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Science Center, Forest Park, Ballpark Village and Imo's pizza. I know that's not really an attraction, but my son would kill me if I didn't mention his favorite St. Louis pizza place. My favorite attraction in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. It is a beautiful monument and jaw-dropping when observed during the day. We are currently renovating the Arch grounds and museum, so access to the top won't be available until spring.
What is your favorite St. Louis neighborhood?
I love the Forest Park area just because you get a beautiful blend of nature and people. With Forest Park being surrounded by beautiful infrastructure and a plethora of prominent colleges, it is a culturally diverse, open and safe area to spend time with family, friends and loved ones.
Where do you like to shop?
Can you give us some dining recommendations?
I love The Cheesecake Factory at the Saint Louis Galleria, Pi Pizza on Washington Avenue downtown, next to the MX Movie Theater (where, by the way, they have great pasta and merlot), and Joey B's on The Hill. No way you go home hungry from Joey B's.
My Perfect Day
Get up and go the gym, then eat breakfast at Park Avenue Coffee Shop on North 10th Street, downtown, which offers 76 flavors of gooey butter cake, a St. Louis food phenomenon. I'm not saying whether or not I eat gooey butter cake, but they have it.
Walk to the City Museum down the street on Washington Avenue, where you can let your inner child (or your actual child) loose to explore tunnels, climb through crazy spaces, slide down multi-story slides and all kinds of other amazing stuff.
Eat lunch at Lucas Park Grille, a casual but stylish restaurant on Washington Avenue that serves a fabulous grilled salmon and to-die-for flatbreads.
Walk to the Citygarden, where there's a world-class collection of outdoor sculptures amid the fabulous landscaping, take pictures and allow my son to play in the waterpark (in summer, of course).
Walk to the Gateway Arch, our 630-foot-tall monument to St. Louis' role in westward expansion, and take more pictures. Can't wait for the ride to the top to be offered again in spring.
Head over to Ballpark Village and eat dinner at either Budweiser Brew House (where you can get an outdoor seat to watch a Cardinals game right across the street during the baseball season) or Fox Sports Midwest Live and its giant TV screen, tuned in to sports at all times. Chicken wings and caesar salad. Yum.