It’s that time of year again. For the third year in a row, HelloBeautiful presents our annual “25 Women To Know” list. This year we are highlighting dynamic women who are influencing the world of media. On this list you’ll find women from every facet of the business: super publicists, digital divas, rising television stars and more. The women were selected based on rising star power, business momentum and industry buzz. This year’s ’25′ are truly changing the industry with their innovative thinking, creative branding and fearless leadership. Congratulations to the 2013 “25 Women To Know” Honorees!
Check out these five media mavens making moves in the digital world.
Danielle Belton founded Black Snob in 2007 as a place where she could share her often satirical, always smart commentary on politics and pop culture with the world. Today, with over four million page views later, BlackSnob.com has earned Belton status as one respected female writers in the digital media age. She has contributed articles to Essence, The Grio, The Root, Clutch, Jezebel, The Huffington Post and many more.
“My site has gotten me farther professionally that I could have ever imagined. Opportunities opened up for me that never would have existed otherwise,” she says.
Belton is currently expanding her brand to the world of TV. She was the head writer for T.J. Holmes’ now cancelled Don’t Sleep on BET and in the process of pitching a TV show.
“Be willing to get out there and take a risk. Starting a blog or web site is so inexpensive you have almost nothing to lose and everything to gain. I say go for it.”
Tai Beauchamp embodies the red scene from “The Wiz”—she has flash and flare. She’s tall, stylish, fabulous and has a bubbly personality to boot. These elements coupled with a hardcore work ethic have propelled Beauchamp to career success as a TV host, social entrepreneur and a leading authority on all things style and beauty.
Beauchamp got her start in the business as the fashion and beauty assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine, and has worked her way up the ranks from TV appearances to covering Grammy Red Carpets, and interviewing two of her fashion favorites, Diana Ross and Oprah.
“I think the most recent [career] highlight is interviewing my former boss, Oprah Winfrey. It was a full circle moment for me, and not for the most obvious reason, but because my interview with her triggered my own ‘aha’ moment,” says the Spelman grad, who also attended NYU’s television production program. “Her words reminded me why I chose to use beauty and fashion as a vehicle to empower women and why it is important to do so.”
Today, Tai is a spokesperson for Proctor & Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful Campaign, she’s launching a new company and continues on her path of helping young women and girls embrace their beauty, inside and out because she believes in girl power.
“I’m a woman. I was raised by women. I went to an all-girls high school and an all women’s college. I have, for the majority of my life worked with and learned from women (the most brilliant women, at that), so I know our strength,” she tells Hello Beautiful. “And as a result of some of my philanthropic work, I’ve also seen up close and personal, women and girls in urban communities here in the US, as well as rural villages in Africa, take little and make Any and everything happen. If that’s not power, I don’t know what is!”
“’Keep it In the Heights’ was a saying passed on to me by actor Ben Vereen,” says Kirsten Magwood as she beams about her personal work mantra. “It’s a constant reminder to keep my thoughts and deeds in high places.”
The producer, director, and self-described bearer of light began her production career at MTV and eventually found the courage to start her own company, P.O.P. Media—P.O.P. being an acronym for Power of Persuasion.
“My company creates video marketing tools to persuade consumers to explore new products and services by creatively showcasing our clients uniqueness, authenticity, and benefits,” says Magwood. “For any company that needs their brand to translate their brand into film/video, we can take them from concept to finish.”
Through P.O.P. Media, Magwood has overseen the creation of commercials, music videos, branded content, webisodes, point of purchase videos, conference videos, event videos, award videos for clients like Kimora Lee Simmons, Russell Simmons, Black Girls Rock and more. Magwood, in addition to balancing her daily tasks, is also working on a documentary entitled, ASSETS: Exploring the Bottom Line, that she describes as, “A conversation about race, class and gender packaged in a historical and humorous look at the rise of the ass in pop culture. “
When Christen Rochon couldn’t find an outlet that spoke to her interests, she created her own space. Rochon, Digital Lifestyle Specialist and Publisher of Divas And Dorks, LLC, started DivasandDorks.com as a way to keep up with the latest in technology, lifestyles and fashion, and eventually DivasDriveInHeels.com and DivasOnDestinations.com followed.
Rochon, who has over 10 years experience in print and broadcast media picked up invaluable skills, at companies like Clear Channel and CBS, that have taught her how to brand herself and monetize her online properties, which have become a full time business.
“The transition from 9-5 to professional blogger required taking a calculated risk. The success of DivasAndDorks.com brought me to a crossroad in 2010 where I had to decide to follow my planned career path or take a leap of faith towards my dream,” she says. “Fast forward to today, I’ve been able to take years of experience and put those skills to work for me. Instead of creating print, radio or online campaigns for major brands for another company, I can create campaigns using my platform of sites.”
Rochon has been quite busy over the past few years. She has been featured by BlackEnterprise.com, Essence.com, TheRoot.com and covered the 2012 London Olympics as a Samsung Global Blogger. Next up for Rochon includes hosting an upcoming virtual makeover application launch event for the INGLOT cosmetics brand in NYC, speaking engagements and continuing to grow her newest properties, DivasDriveInHeels.com and DivasOnDestinations.com.
“After doing this full-time for over three years, I can attest that blogging, like any other career has peaks and valleys, what matters most is that you have the perseverance to push forward,” she says. “Work hard in silence, let the success make the noise.”
Arielle Loren did what most people wouldn’t dream of, she quit her 9-5 and moved to Brasil just because she wanted to, and hasn’t looked back since.
“Money came. Money stalled. But I got my priorities straight. I put my freedom first and my power followed,” she says.
Her fearlessness has paid off. Loren is the owner of Corset Magazine (http://corsetmagazine.com), a hub for all things sexuality, and she teaches a course called Portable Incomes (http://portableincomes.com) with another entrepreneur, where they coach people on how to pursue their dreams and live a life of entrepreneurial flexibility.
In addition to publishing more issues of Corset Magazine and coaching burgeoning businessmen and women, Loren is about to go on a 20-city global tour from DC to Cannes, to promote Corset’s new series entitled, “Sexuality, Sensuality and the Erotic.”
“Ownership looks great on you. Get it done,” is her personal work mantra. Perhaps that’s not such a bad idea.
“It’s easy to spend too much time planning. Better to launch and perfect as you go. Braver. Courageous humans accomplish ingenious things.”