The Brilliance of Chaitra: How She Outsmarted American Express at 18.
Chaitra Dalton Bryant is someone very special. When you meet Chaitra, you instantly know I say that she’s ‘all love.’
She is pure love. A pure giver. One who is always leaning into others. Always trying to figure out how to serve and help to heal others. And that smile. That radiant, inner smile. But often, because her love light is so bright, people miss that other side of Chaitra. That smart as nails intellect part.
There are so many examples of Chaitra’s super sharp intellect, including her work to help her father build what is now the 22nd largest black owned business in America. But one story that tickles me in particular happened when she was a mere 18 years old.
She was smart and savvy enough, at 18 years of age — when everyone else her age were out partying and having a good time — always industrious, Chaitra quietly began ‘land-banking’ digital property rights, in the form of internet domain names. One of those secured and owned domain names was — hold on for this — americanexpress.com. Brilliant. And then came all of the lawyers who wanted that domain name (back). And like any good capitalist, Chaitra’s initial response was ‘fine, pay me.’
Fortunately for American Express, Chaitra’s parents had an alternative view of the matter. They knew the then CEO, and wanted a more peaceful resolution — so Chaitra gave up the domain name in friendship. But what a brilliant ‘get.’ What an insightful, high frequency Business move.
So if you have an American Express card as I do, and millions of others, every time you visit americanexpress.com, you can thank in part my brilliant wife Chaitra for that (smile).
John Hope Bryant