Candid Series Reveals Rise of Black Women Reimagining New Generation of Business

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November 7 2019, WeTransfer and Squarespace combine their platforms to champion Black female entrepreneurs in "Make It Real", a new four-part doc-series produced by Pi Studios, directed by Lou Jasmine.

"You Cant Be What You Cant See!"

The project uncovers the candid stories of four modern female leaders in the UK and the USA who are reimagining entrepreneurship and inspiring a new generation to follow new paths into business.

Squarespace customers, Gal-Dem founder Liv Little, entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid MBE from London, CEO of Oratory Glory Holley Murchison and visual artist Jade Purple Brown in New York offer a resounding message ‘do not wait for a seat at the table, create your own’.

The series is inspired by recent studies *that identify Black female entrepreneurs as the fastest growing segment of the business industry in the USA. Accessibility and representation have long been roadblocks for women of color to rise to positions of power across many industries. The stories shared in this series cite the challenges that these women have overcome in order to become trailblazers in each of their fields.

The show sheds light on the women’s journeys of modern entrepreneurialism, as the business world opens up and is reimagined by women of colour. The series reveals stories of what it really takes to make it against the odds and what it means when you do.

Each woman gives us a first-hand account of their journey to success and the barriers they faced along the way. Drawing back the curtain on their personal life and support networks, each episode is compelling and inspiring for others who hope to pave their own path into entrepreneurism. 

Sharmadean Reid MBE, is British Jamaican entrepreneur, founder of WAH Nails, Beauty Stack and Future Girl Corp. She shares her belief in womens’ unique skills for business...“I just feel as women, we are so in-tuned with the world around us. We are empathetic, we listen. If you can take that empathy and turn it into something really special as a product— then you’re winning.”

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Jade Purple Brown, is a self proclaimed ‘color obsessed’ graphic design artist acclaimed for her iconic illustrations of black women and work for brands like Nike, Sephora and Apple. She reflects on  the battle black women go through for recognition... “Black female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing demographic because we always have to work 10x harder most of the time just to get the same recognition. When it comes to building our dreams, we go hard. We have a plan, and we’re not stopping until we get what we want.”

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Liv Little, is CEO and founder of Gal-dem, an online and print magazine run by women of colour. In 2016, she was listed as one of BBC's 100 Women. She reflects on the power of building a strong inspiring support network...“I’m surrounded by all of these amazing people of colour who are killing it and taking up space. That’s a very powerful feeling. These things weren’t here before, but we can’t wait for someone else to create them.”

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Holley Murchison is founder of Oratory Glory and the author of Tell Me About Yourself. She explains the importance of getting messy and starting small...“I’ve been able to take my ideas and execute on them by starting really small, assembling good teams around me, and not being afraid to get messy and doing the relentless work of continuing to sow on the seed I’ve planted.”

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Being entrusted to tell the stories of these amazing women, has been an incredibly personal and inspiring journey for me. Frustratingly, black women are often given very narrow and limited narratives so it was particularly crucial for me as a black creative businesswoman to create something that we haven’t seen before. Something that could inspire young black women and girls to have courage and set their sights higher than society would dare them to!

Series Film Director Lou Jasmine

As a Black business leader it's been a privilege to pull together a team that respects, lives and breathes the subject matter enough to represent these inspiring modern stories and evidence of whats possible today.

Pi Studios Chief Executive Producer, Alex Bennett-Grant

WePresent has always existed to elevate important, representative stories, spotlighting those who we believe are pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking. Each of the four trailblazing women in this series are doing just that, while also using their platforms to promote inclusion in industries that have not always made space for the Black female voice. For our first branded content venture, we are delighted to partner with Squarespace to bring their stories to life in such a vibrant and impactful way

WePresent Editor in Chief Holly Fraser

Our vision at Squarespace is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs and creatives to find success and make their dreams a reality by democratizing access to elevated design. Black women-identifying business owners are a historically underrepresented community, and we hope this series inspires young entrepreneurs to follow in Liv, Holley, Sharmadean and Jade’s footsteps to continue to set the standard for excellence in business

Chief Marketing Officer of Squarespace, Kinjil Mathur

*Statistic quoted in 2018 ‘State of Women-owned Businesses Report’ by American Express in 2018

Credits

Client Wetransfer / Squarespace

Production company Pi Studios (WE ARE Pi)

Director Lou Jasmine

About WePresent

WePresent is the editorial platform of WeTransfer, focussed on making creativity more accessible for everyone. We want to celebrate and showcase the best art, photography, music and film from around the world, and delve into stories uncovering the creative process. Diversity is at the center of what we do: We tell stories across different communities – whether that's age, race, geography, gender or sexuality. Put simply, more voices = better ideas.

About WeTransfer 

One of the core values of WePresent is to support representation across the creative industry, whether that be across race, artistic disciplines, age, gender, sexual preference or abilities. With over 2 million monthly readers, an almost 50/50 gender split across readership, writers and featured artists, it has become a platform renowned for its representation of diverse voices and high quality editorial content.

About Squarespace

Squarespace is the leading all-in-one platform which entrepreneurs, creatives, and professionals use to maintain their brands online. WeTransfer’s collaboration with Squarespace is an evolution from a long-standing advertising partnership on wetransfer.com, and the two brands have similar missions to make creativity accessible for everyone.

About Pi Studios

Pi Studios is WE ARE Pi’s award-winning independent entertainment company based in Amsterdam that has made a name for itself championing marginalised voices and untold cultural stories. The studio produces content and original entertainment by connecting the dots between talent, editorial platforms and forward thinking brands. Pi Studios works with Nike, Red Bull, WeTransfer, Red Stripe, Guardian, Channel 4, Boiler Room, Bjork, Lykke  Li, 88 Rising, Liv Little, Sharmadean Reid, A Guy Called Gerald, Jessie Saunders, Nile Rodgers, Marshall Jefferson, Honey Dijon and many more. 

More quotes from featured talent 

Sharmadean Reid MBE - Wiki - Instagram

“I think it’s positive that black female entrepreneurship is being recognised, but I also have trouble with being a statistic. Just because somebody decided to measure it doesn’t mean it wasn’t around before.”

“I don’t believe in work-life balance, I believe in work-life harmony because my work is also my life.”

“I just feel as women, we are so in-tuned with the world around us. We are empathetic, we listen. If you can take that empathy and turn it into something really special as a product— then you’re winning.”

 Liv Little - Wiki - Instagram

“I’m surrounded by all of these amazing people of colour who are killing it and taking up space. That’s a very powerful feeling. These things weren’t here before, but we can’t wait for someone else to create them.”

“For me often when I’m scared of something, it probably means I should give it a go. I think it’s sometimes good to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.”

“I think it’s so important to have days off. When you love something, and you grow something, and you feel something, it’s very easy for it to become all consuming.”

Jade Purple Brown - Instagram

“Black female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing demographic because we always have to work 10x harder most of the time just to get the same recognition. When it comes to building our dreams, we go hard. We have a plan, and we’re not stopping until we get what we want.”

“Representation in business is so important, because you can’t be what you can’t see. I didn’t know anybody that did graphic design or illustration, and I stumbled upon it much later in life because of that. I always wonder what my life could have been if I would have saw somebody in the role earlier on.” 

 

“To me success is all about living life on your own terms, not being pressured by society and just living for you.”

 Holley M. Murchison - Instagram

“I do not think that women of colour have been given the tools to effectively create their businesses, but I do think that we have been hungry enough to blaze trails and to pave ways— to be innovative enough to come up with resources and ideas of our own, and that’s what entrepreneurship is really about.” 

“I’ve been able to take my ideas and execute on them by starting really small, assembling good teams around me, and not being afraid to get messy and doing the relentless work of continuing to sow on the seed I’ve planted.”

“There are definitely points when I don’t feel as confident about articulating myself or my ideas. So I talk to my wife, I pray, I get really still, I meditate, I practice reiki, and then I come back to this remembering that this idea was planted in my heart or in my head through something bigger than me and I’m just the vessel for it.”

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About WE ARE Pi

WE ARE Pi, an ideas company born to provide a modern alternative for thought leaders building the brands of tomorrow