What Is Creative Smart Girl?
Creative Smart Girl (CSG) is an online platform and community for creative, smart and ambitious women doing the work to build the career and lifestyle of their dreams. Our goal is to produce inspiration, positivity and upliftment for these women to help them keep going, because we know things can be difficult and challenging.
What is your philosophy on sisterhood and community for women of color on a journey to success?
It’s vital. Women of color are less resourced than more privileged people in many ways. That makes it really important that we support each other. Sisterhood means that if you need something, you can count on me. And if I need something, I can count on you. But I do it even if I know that I may not be able to count on you. I don’t like promoting sisterhood as something to be done for reciprocity. I think a lot of people go wrong having a huge expectation to women will support them back. It’s nice, but not why I do it. I just believe in supporting women completely.
How did you take that premise and realize the opportunity for fostering sisterhood digitally?
The internet is a lot like real life. People are communicating, sharing their story and telling their needs. That’s how CSG started, me sharing my experience of building an online brand in a blog post. Out of that response came our first Twitter Chat, which was like a light bulb. I saw that I had something. A huge part of the CSG brand is to bring light and truth to the things we grow through.
What have been some of the most impactful Twitter chats? What are some themes you plan to explore in the future?
We’ve had some really great chats about mental and emotional health and self-care as entrepreneurs. We haven’t ventured into career as much, so I see that coming this year as well as personal finance.
CSG content speaks to three aspects of womanhood - career, life and style. How do you strike balance across each pillar?
It’s all about how you view content. Some people create content for their blogs and simply distribute that through other platforms. I don’t think that’s a bad strategy for the people it works for. I moreso create content specific to platform. You don’t have to feel the pressure to put everything in one place or evenly divide it up. You have to think about where each topic is best suited to live for you audience. For CSG, the chat is life. The blog is more career focused with some life. Instagram is where we can talk style.
You recently launched Creative Smart Shop. How do you want someone to feel when wearing or using your merch? How does it make you feel?
Everything we create is to make sure CSG supporters to feel inspired, uplifted and empowered when they encounter it. To know that someone somewhere is rooting for them. I always say CSG is my heart on paper. I love the brand and what I do. Seeing someone in a t-shirt or drinking out of a mug makes me feel so humble and grateful. I’m excited for our fall line.
CSG was born out of you picking yourself up after a perceived failure, divorce. What advice do you have for people to do the same in their lives?
In order to become the person that you’re meant to be, you have to learn how to navigate failure, and success. Both are going to happen.
The number one thing I say is that you have to change your perception of failure. I think it’s where most of the treasures are on our journey. Failure and hardship are meant to build character, give you insight and strengthen you as a person. You have to know how to learn the lesson and keep it moving. I know that I was put on the earth for a bigger purpose, so I’m not really interested in staying in the down part. When failure comes I cry and feel upset. But we are all equipped to come out of those things. However, it’s important to come out of things healed. Use what’s available to you to help that process. My family and I recently started going to therapy and it’s been life changing.
How do you check yourself against your purpose as the execution of your dreams evolve and new opportunities are seized?
I don’t think your purpose is necessarily tied to your work, or anything in particular. It’s who you are as a person and what you were meant to give to the world. It’s up to you to figure out a way to use your purpose in whatever situation you are even, even if your job has nothing to do with it on a surface level. I believe in the trifecta of purpose, straight from my minister David Wilson: purpose should glorify God, fulfill you and help others. When I’m doing those three things is when I feel closest to and best about my purpose.
How do you stay energized?
I’m learning to do the things that feel like a waste of time in the moment but are important for sustainable energy. Sometimes I wake up at 5 am and my immediate thought is to get to work. But when I instead meditate, journal or pray, I’m not as prone to burn out. It can be hard to remember that even though I could’ve knocked out a blog post or some emails. Spending quality time with my loved ones and travel give me energy for the long haul.