Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what you’re meant to do in life. Some people spend their entire adult life searching for their “purpose”. But some people just know. Media producer/broadcaster/actress/model Ashleigh Demi has always known who she was and what she was meant to do. I recently caught up with the WPGC 95.5 on-air entertainment reporter and media mogul in the making. She shared some important tidbits that all of us girls should add to our arsenal when navigating through the entertainment industry. Check out our interview below.
It’s been said that women can’t have it all. But there are some women that do indeed have it all and make it look effortless while they’re at it. Valeisha Butterfield-Jones is one of those women. The political strategist, women’s activist, author, wife and mother seems to have mastered the art of pursuing and accomplishing numerous goals while still having the picturesque family that she’s always wanted. Valeisha shared with me how she got into entertainment and politics, what it’s like being a “basketball wife”, how she balances it all and she even shared some advice for young women wanting to get into the business. Read more below.
How’d you get into the entertainment industry? I read somewhere that hip hop was your first love. Was that what drove you towards the industry?
I was eleven years old and my friend Antonio moved to our neighborhood in Wilson, NC. He introduced me to “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.” From that moment I fell in love with Hip-Hop. It literally awakened something inside me that had been silent.
How did working with Russell Simmons and the Hip Hop Summit Action Network impact your perspective on the relationship between hip hop and politics?
I always saw Hip-Hop as this catalyst for speaking to and representing a culture that the world did not understand. There had not been a spotlight in our communities. It really solidified my perspective working with Russell because I was organizing and executing these civil engagement campaigns that fused hip hop and politics. From voter registration to financial empowerment, hip hop was the voice speaking truth to power.
You worked with President Obama and his administration in Public Affairs 2009-2011. Was that strategic move since your parents are both heavily involved in politics?
Leading up to that appointment I was still working for Russell and I volunteered for the campaign. On election night the President said to me “If I win The White House will be giving you a call”. I really didn’t think much of it. I wasn’t even thinking about working for The White House. When the call came I was humbled and excited. I embraced the opportunity to serve our country and President Barack Obama.
Did your parents’ political history make your political career easier or harder?
My parent’s background I believe just really gave me clear perspective. I know my parent’s were politicians but I just really saw their love for community. They both embody the pillars of servant leadership.
You’re a basketball wife. Not in the reality sense, but in the literal sense. lol Your husband is actually an NBA player. Do you think there’s a stigma on women who date athletes?
I would say that there is a stigma based on some women that date athletes. I believe also media in a lot of cases amplifies negative portrayals and even the women themselves. There are countless wives that are married to athletes that do not fit the negative stereotype that is portrayed. When I look at my husband I just fell in love with a man that loves God.
You’re a mom now to a little boy. How have the recent police killings of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and others made you feel about your little boy’s future?
It has forced me to fight these injustices with my prayer life and being civically engaged. I still believe in a better tomorrow for my son and the generation that he represents.
Speaking of motherhood, you are a business woman; the Co-Founder of the Women In Entertainment Empowerment Network. Has it been difficult juggling being a wife, mother and businesswoman?
It is a challenge because now that I am a mother there is a premium on my time. Now I work harder to find balance and harmony. My network of family, friends and co-workers are invaluable and have allowed me to continue to pursue my dreams.
Let’s talk about your book “The GirlPrint”. What was the inspiration and goal behind it?
I was actually doing a speaking engagement at Fort Hays State University in Hays, KS. I was having a great dialogue with the youth and then I had to leave. I said you know what I want people to have an extension of that speech. When I leave an event I want people to have a takeaway. Even if they never meet me I want them to benefit from my story. It’s the type of book that helps you to find you.
Where can people purchase it?
The hard copy version can be purchased on Amazon.com. If you would like the e-book for the Kindle, Nook or Ipad it can purchased through their stores online also.
What are 3 things you would tell women looking to get into the entertainment industry?
Dream: Visualize where you see yourself. It’s almost like playing your own movie in your mind. Close your eyes and see where you want to be.
Search: Identify people that represent what you would like to do. Google their interviews. Write them a letter. Be a student of their career.
Move: Start working. You are not going to have all of the answers but action is required now.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I am working on helping to bring diversity into the Technology Sector. I believe there are a lot of bright minds that don’t have access to this industry.
Tell me something that people might not know about you.
I cook really good friend chicken! (I know because my husband could eat it every night). But I don’t eat it because I am a pescetarian.
Chris Brown has had his share of downs but now he is only interested in focusing on moving onward and upward. He is on the promo trail for his new album “X”. During his recent interview with Big Boi’s Neighborhood he talked about putting the past behind him, the lessons he learned from his jail stint and he even dished a little on his relationship with Karrueche. Check out a few excerpts below.
Just because other people don’t see you talent or appeal doesn’t make it any less valuable. Sometimes it means you were meant to take your journey on a road less traveled. Getting someone to publish her first novel was difficult but April Sheris took that as a challenge to start her own publishing company. Since then her entrepreneurial spirit has taken her to even greater heights. I caught up with the author turned publisher and she shared how she jump started her career as an author, how she gives back and a few tidbits on getting your work published. Read more below.
In life, sometimes your most painful periods are when you grow the most…from your darkest moments come your brightest hours. Roses grow through concrete and caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. Author Latoya A. Benson can attest to that. I caught up with the businesswoman turned author and she shared how her personal journey led her to want to inspire others to look within, how she stays motivated and the most important lesson she learned from her journey. Check out our interview below.
If you’re a wife and mother there is probably nothing more important to you than your family…not even yourself. But when health and wellness come into play there’s no one who can spark a change better than the queen of the household. When Kim Scott, wife and mother of six realized that her health and lifestyle choices were not only affecting her health but the health of her family, she knew that it was time for a change and it had to begin with her. It all started when Kim saw this unsightly photo of herself.
To support a cause that helps others is gratifying, but imagine how gratifying it must be to get behind a cause that directly affected your life. That’s exactly what Robert Jackson did. The seasoned production veteran combined his decades of experience with his personal challenges and triumphs to create B-Roll Media & Arts, a non-profit organization geared towards addressing the educational deficiencies of children with learning disabilities. Find out why Robert started B-Roll, how his connections are helping him help his students and all about B-Roll’s upcoming media expo.
Watching gifted and talented people in your community struggle as a result of lack of assistance opportunity is a hard pill to swallow for anyone with the least bit of compassion. Add that compassion with determination, drive and a strong desire for change and you have a person on a mission. Three years ago that person was Chante Bender. Chante had enough of watching and decided to act, founding a non-profit organization, All About Caring Project, Inc. (AACP), to take action and provide relief for those struggling in her community. I spoke with Chante about the mission of AACP, the community response and how she sees them making an impact worldwide. Check out the interview below.
Chattertainment was given the honor of serving as media consultants at SheROCKS 2014 this past weekend. SheROCKS, a celebration of women in the arts, was created by Timea Gaines, CEO of Love Life Media, LLC. After the tremendous success of the first ever SheROCKS in 2013, the community all but begged for Timea to make it an annual event. She answered the call with enormous dedication and creativity, once again bringing together women of all walks to celebrate the arts and each other.
Hosted by comedienne Tea Love, SheROCKS kept us entertained with musical performances including IhsAn Bilal, Ayana Songstress and Doretha Allen, as well as spoken word and poetry from Kezia and Shaina Lynn among others. There was never a dull moment
On the heels of the first annual SheRocks, an event celebrating women in the arts, CEO of Love Life Media, LLC is a very busy woman. Busy handling PR and branding for businesses and brands across the country, and well…preparing for the second annual SheRocks. We caught up with the media maven and chatted about Love Life Media, LLC, what SheRocks means to women and what’s up next for her. Check out the interview below.
In 2014, it seems like there is more emphasis on the enhancement of physical appearance than ever before. But there are some in the beauty industry more concerned with bringing out the inner beauty that we already possess. Hair stylist and makeup artist Toni McKnight is one of those people. I recently caught up with Toni and chatted about how she got her start and got the scoop on what it’s like to be a hair stylist and makeup artist in the DMV. Check out the interview below.