I hope everyone reading this is living their perfect summer and is honestly enjoying life right now, I know I am. This post has been something I’ve wanted to do for the past few months and I have finally gotten around to complete it. I’m so humbled and grateful for this opportunity to contact Nana and get to know her on a deeper level.
Before we get into the interview, let’s get to know Nana a little bit. I came across Nana’s Instagram about a year ago and was in absolute awe of who she is. She is someone who stands for women of colour like I’ve never seen before. She is the CEO and Founder of EveryStylishGirl- a creative platform for women of colour to show off their style and most importantly, to empower them. Nana also currently works as a journalist/social media editor for New York magazine and The Cut. Nana is definitely someone I immediately took to my heart as a mentor, and someone I look up to and I really hope anyone reading her responses is encouraged by her experiences!!
Let’s get into the questions…
Who were your biggest inspirations growing up?
Oprah. She taught me to be fearless and to love the skin I’m in. I was insecure, like many other young dark skinned girls, about not being light enough to get certain opportunities in media when I was in high school. But by watching Oprah I felt empowered and inspired to keep on pushing as a journalist.
What does it mean to you to be a black woman in the creative/fashion industry?
It means you have to be resilient. Never take no for an answer and always fact check yourself. People are waiting and hoping you mess up so you don’t want to give them the opportunity to think they were right.
How did you get into Fashion?
I grew up plastering fashion magazines on my bedroom walls in middle school, but always felt defeated by the lack of diversity on those pages. I knew I had to create change and from there I set my intentions on breaking barriers in the fashion industry.
Growing up, how did you know this was the path you wanted to take?
I constantly was complimented and ridiculed for my style. I knew I could wear something and have people wearing the same trend the next week. I knew I was set to be a trendsetter.
What is the history behind EveryStylishGirl?
I created ESG based on my frustration with the lack of diversity in fashion and media two years ago. I wanted to create a space that uplifted Black women, tells them yes, you can be that CEO, model, photographer that you’ve always dreamed of.
Where do you envision yourself in the 10 years?
Expanding ESG into a global community of girl bosses, creating video courses on brand strategy and social media growth, and continuing to be a voice for the voiceless.
Have you ever dealt with negative criticism? How did you deal with it and move forward?
Yes, I just tell myself that if you ain’t got haters then that means you ain’t doing something great. People will always hate on the visionaries of the world.
How do you stay motivated?
By reading self help books, listening to podcasts on business and entrepreneurship, and engaging myself with things that make me feel powerful.
Looking back at your younger self, what is one thing you wish you knew?
I wish I knew the importance of being overly prepared.
What is the greatest advice you have ever received and what is your advice to new and upcoming creatives or entrepreneurs out there?
Create a 10 year timeline for yourself. Create the life you want to live for yourself NOW. Start with 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, a year, 2 years, 5 years and then 10 years. It really helps to plan out everything you want to accomplish so you are always reminding yourself what you’re working toward.
My advice to new creatives and entrepreneurs is just do it. Start the business. Create the website. Make a timeline. The sooner you start the sooner you can find out if it’ll be a success.
WOW. I hope you guys felt encouraged or even a little bit inspired by her experiences and the things that helped her get to where she is today. It is important for our generation to look at the people above us, see what they are doing, and aspire to learn from them.
Well that’s all for this week! I hope you all liked this post. Don’t forget to leave a comment, check out my Instagram and send me a message if you have questions about anything.