Dear Made Woman Readers,
I'm writing today to announce that this will be the last time I address the Made Woman Family as co-founder and business manager. While this moment is bittersweet for a variety of reasons, I will forever be proud of what Made Woman stands for and what it has become.
A few years ago, Serena and I dreamt of a way to make an impact on ambitious young women -- to find women, like ourselves, who yearned for more than the status quo. We sought to connect these women and create content and a support system that would help make their dreams become a reality.
Four years, sixty-eight issues, two events and countless initiatives later; it's safe to say that our dream has been realized through Made Woman Mag. I couldn't have imagined how launching a magazine would change my life -- not just in terms of my career -- but even more than that, through the thousands of amazing women I've been able to meet, interview and work with over these years.
Made Woman has always been rooted in the foundation of sisterhood, and that will not change. I'd like to thank each of you who has offered words of encouragement or shared perspective that helped break through the clutter. I'm thankful for every single reader and supporter of Made Woman -- you have made these years so worthwhile.
I am thankful to Serena for standing beside me as we got this thing off the ground, and I support her as she carries the torch and continues to deliver useful and relevant content from diverse voices.
This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Giving Back." In an effort to create social change, each day we will highlight one charity or non-profit organization, and provide information on how you can support them by giving back. Click here to read more!
When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of creating a business that would help underprivileged women make their way back into the workforce. I'm a girly girl at heart, so I envisioned it as a place they'd come get a fly outfit, a makeover and be cheered on as they set out to go conquer the world.
Luckily, unlike my 12-year-old self, the people at Dress for Success realize that there is so much more involved in empowering women to re-enter the workforce. Over the last 17 years, they have worked to build a variety of programs that support promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women. Sure, providing professional attire is an element of this -- but the game-changer is the network of support and career development tools that help women thrive in work and in life.
I was able to touch base with Eunice Liriano, VP of Marketing & Communications in the New York office, and she shed additional insight. She told me about YES (Young Executives for Success), where young executives can serve as ambassadors -- going out into the community to rally people to donate and give back. She spearheads initiatives like the upcoming (5th Annual) Dress for Success Power Walk with spokesperson and businesswoman Bethenny Frankel. The walk has grown over the last five years, and now takes place in five countries, and over thirty cities! Click here to see if your city is on the list: http://www.dfspowerwalk.org.
Reena De Asis -- Director of West Coast Operations -- passionately explained, “At Dress for Success, we help women go from surviving to thriving. We believe that “self-sufficiency” is more than just a suit or a job -- it’s an overall commitment to being independent in all aspects of life. We want the resilient women we serve to not only secure a job, but to also dream big and reach her full potential. We want her to take pride that she’s a 'Made Woman!' After all, 'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.' -Eleanor Roosevelt
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- April 7, 2014
As Made Women, giving back is an important part of our lives. But figuring out where exactly to place our energy can be tricky. We hope you've been following along since our 30 Days of Made: Giving Back initiative launched last Tuesday, where we've decided to take it one day at a time.
From health education to empowerment and supporting our youth; the Made Woman team is giving the inside scoop on the organizations they care about most. Get caught up below and learn how you can get involved in a new organization this spring!
Today's organization is called Doing WIT (Whatever It Takes). Read about their mission to support ambitious and entrepreneurial students in taking their passions and skills to the next level -- while benefiting their community, school or the world at large.
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- March 10, 2014
I don't know if my West Coast people feel it quite as much, but there's a change in the air. There's a subtle warmth -- a hint that spring is coming (or so all of New York prays!). While I miss the perpetual spring of Los Angeles, it's kind of cool to experience true seasons. I saw the trees change colors, watched their leaves fall, and marveled at their branches covered in snow. Now I can't wait to watch them blossom this spring.
We Made Woman have seasons too; some of them prettier than others. Some seasons demand incredible energy, and in some we reap huge rewards. In some seasons we feel loss, and in others we feel love.
What will this spring bring to you? Maybe it's time to reevaluate that "meh" relationship you're in and learn to date better. Maybe you're ready for a complete career shift, like our Made Woman of the Month, Amber Wilson. Perhaps you'll finally start reading more or treat yourself to a much-needed style spruce-up. Whatever the case may be, you're in luck -- you have a network of women that's here to support you in your pursuits, year-round. We thrive on seeing our Made Women reach their goals. How can we support your progress? Talk to us!
I love connecting with women who are dominating their respective fields; especially those who aren't afraid to join forces with and support other powerful women like themselves. So when former Made Woman of the Month (and my friend/mentor), Barb Sealy, told me about public relations maven Joy Donnell -- I was so excited to see yet another example of the power of the Made Woman Network in full effect. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a free mini lesson in PR (thanks, Joy!); and we even snuck in a bit of girl talk! Hopefully she won't mind me sharing a few of her secrets in business, life and love.
Speaking to Joy is like chatting with your cool, young auntie -- beneath her subtle southern lilt is the confident tone of a woman who fully owns her journey and her power. She dove right in, filling me in on her upbringing in Macon, Georgia, the US city with the largest population of cherry blossoms. Japanese tourists would visit all the time for this reason, and Joy had the opportunity to give tours to some of their children, as part of an ambassadorship program she took part in. Through this experience, she was able to make connections with people in Japan with clout, and built a working relationship with the Consul General of Japan in Atlanta, who suggested that she try her hand at PR. Joy was initially appalled by the thought of PR -- a field that struck her as esoteric, and full of bragging, boasting and glam. "I couldn't understand what I'd done to him to make him suggest that career to me. But it was my ignorance about what PR was. It's so much more about protection than it is about publicity/promoting."
After her schooling at William and Mary in Virginia; an educational experience that she describes as, "really, really lovely, but very boring," Joy took on her first social action campaign to help a mother and her child seek refuge and avoid the female circumcision that was taking place in their country. The campaign failed miserably. "I cried and cried. When I got done crying and started thinking about how not to make the same mistake again in future, I realized that I was lacking a basic understanding of PR. It's more than just getting some signatures and getting something through Congress. I hadn't utilized the power of communication as I should have. I realized the power of PR after failing that mother and her daughter."
From the sound of it, Joy doesn't make the same mistake twice. For the next several years, she split time between Atlanta and New York -- handling corporate accounts for Edelman, and repping huge US companies like Coca-Cola and Chrysler. "Corporate communications can be really boring. Unless something happens, there's not a lot of out-of-the-box work to be done. I wanted to work things that were more unusual so I could grow a wider skill set and test the limits." Joy went on to work concert series, a "Screen on the Green" campaign; and did more event marketing to help brands establish their agenda through entertainment vehicles.
After just a year of corporate communications, Joy thought, "Yeah, I still have a lot to learn, but I think I want to step out on my own. I think I can innovate. I have my own vision of things, and excel at getting to the human aspect of a campaign." Like many Made Woman before and since, she decided to take a risk on herself -- and moved to Hollywood. "I went independent with no job and moved to a weird city where I knew no one. I can very easily work toward other people's goals and agendas, and if I didn't have my own voice, maybe I would have. But since I did, I wanted to give myself a shot."
Joy received an email from a young female drag racer who wanted to be the first black woman racing in pro stock. Subsequently, her work on an event with Patti Labelle and Shirley Caesar led to working with Camille Solari and James Brown, as well as Victoria Rowell and Samuel L Jackson. From there, "things just started rolling. I've found that momentum is attracted to momentum, not stagnancy. Everyone wants to give work to the busy person. If you don't have momentum, you better roll your ass down the hill and get some! A fat rolodex and a skinny wallet do not match." (Did I mention I love this woman?)
As a business owner, I had to ask: what are the three things a brand needs to have today? Joy broke it down for me:
In addition to her once normal 80 - 90-hour work weeks, it's this type of insight that has led to the success of Joy's independent PR firm 720; which she sold before founding her current firm, Do It In Public. With Do It In Public, Joy started taking the steps to redefine herself, and hone in on the work she really wanted. She no longer wanted to have a crazy slate of clients, and focused on helping them own their power and the power of their voices. Through Do It In Public, Joy also does speaking engagements on publicity and brand maintenance. She also serves on advisory boards for The Geekie Awards and Charles and Company luxury tea.
These days, Joy seems to be making time for the important things in her world. And it's no small feat. "I wanted my world to be big. People are always trying to make our worlds smaller. At 26, I said, 'that's alright for you but it's not alright for me.' Nothing in my life would have happened if I hadn't taken that risk on myself. As women, the world expects you to apologize for taking a risk on ourselves. Screw that. Take a risk on yourself and don't apologize. That's the most natural thing in the world to do."
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- February 10, 2014
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Respect Yourself. Money, power, respect... These quotes are just a few examples of music's fascination with respect. The idea is woven through the albums of the 80's and 90's, and it has pushed artists to create dynamic and groundbreaking music. As Made Women, it's definitely a word we can get behind.
If you've ever spent time with Serena or myself, you know that we, in turn, have much respect for original artists and the music they create. That's why we're so excited to announce the Respect the Classics Contest that kicks off today, in conjunction with Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
Like what you’re reading? Join Made Woman Mag’s mailing list for updates, special promotions and more. Click here!
In this issue, we also pay homage to some of the remarkable Made Women of Black History and -- with all due respect -- clue the fellas in on what we really want for V-Day this Friday.
Take a look around and let us know what you think!
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- December 16, 2013
Today is Made Woman Magazine's first issue of 2014. As we celebrate my lovely biz partner Serena's birthday (woohoo!), it seems like there's something magical in the air for Made Woman. We've been busy working behind the scenes, and have planned a year of what we hope will be pure amazingness.
In this issue, Serena not only profiles Sarah Amos -- entrepreneur, former "World News With Diane Sawyer" producer and Chief Creative Officer of Freshwire; she also provides a wrap-up of the UN Women's Safe Cities LA Second Annual Assembly -- after we hosted the event's live stream and social media on Saturday. The event tackled serious issues surrounding making cities safer for women and girls, and we couldn't think of a better way to kick off Made Woman's new year.
In this issue, we also have some great style and entertainment content; and Marriage and Family Therapist, Trisha DuVivier, even discusses "daddy issues." As always, our goal is to serve as a resource and platform for young professional women juggling it all on their paths to greatness.
Questions? Comments? Know a Made Woman that we should feature? Shoot us a message: madewomanmag.com/more/contact-us. Thanks, as always, for being a part of the Made Woman Network!
British born, Barbara Sealy’s story is marked by many things. Pain and poverty, hurt…numerous trials and tremendous growth. But her story also represents the essence of achievement, of victory. Last week, I was honored -- or shall I say, “honoured”-- to hear some of Barb’s remarkable story first-hand. In her lovely English accent.
Born and raised in Forest Gate, a community in London’s East End that she compared to US’s inner cities, Barb had a rough childhood. Originally from Barbados (an English colony), she and the rest of her large family arrived in the East End of London in the ‘50s to find a new, diverse community with people from a variety of backgrounds. Growing up, Barb faced extreme poverty and abuse from her father, until her mother took on raising her and her brothers and sisters alone. From an early age, Barb loved music and started using it as an escape: she would lose herself in music and film, and she and her siblings would sing together to cope with their often tumultuous environment. As early as her teens, Barb had inherited a strong work ethic from her mother; she remembers vowing that she would do everything in her power to keep other children from experiencing what she had in her household.
As an adult Barb visited the States on a vacation in 1987, and a year later she decided to make the move permanent. Whereas back home she had never been encouraged to think about career options (she was more focused on survival), she knew deep down that there had to be something more. By now she knew that she wanted to help people and be a philanthropist, but she wanted her work to be tied into music somehow. “Music lifted my spirits,” she reflects. “I said if I can help another child not feel isolated or scared, and show them -- through music -- that they can achieve what they want, it would be really cool.” And that’s just what she set out to do.
Barb’s first jobs in the US included working for companies like Disney, as an administrator in the Video Division, but she credits her time working with the Grammys as the biggest learning experience of all. As the assistant to Michael Greene, the President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Barb was truly tested. “Because of how I was raised, I didn’t really have the social skills to help me to see how the corporate side of the world really works... I saw how somebody ran a company from the inside and it really set me up to do what I'm doing now.”
During this time, she met Robert (Bob) Brodhead, and they immediately clicked. They came from similar backgrounds and both had a mission to help young people. The two were asked to start the West Coast operation of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz, an organization that has been thriving in Washington, D.C. for years. In this role, Barb worked to bring the jazz program to inner city kids by building after-school programs and other ventures to keep music education alive. She spoke to music departments at South-Central schools like Hamilton and Washington and found corporate sponsors like Nissan and the NBA to help support the programs. At one point, she coordinated a multi-school jazz band with, Reggie Andrews of Locke High School, that would play pre-game and halftime shows for the Lakers!
During her time with the Institute, she put together a scholarship fund and raised well over a million dollars to help students go to college. “Kids who would not have the opportunity financially were able to attend UCLA, USC, the Manhattan School of Music and the Berklee School of Music. The Monk Institute was very successful.”
What’s more, she taught these students that a solid career in music is not about fame. “I always taught that it’s more about having a career and supporting themselves doing what they loved. Do what you love and the money will come. In the meantime, you must know how to run a business and balance your checkbook.” These weren’t official classes, but kids would hang out after the program and ask Barb and her team about these realities. “They weren't learning this stuff at home. Nobody told them what would happen if they didn't do these simple, but life-changing things.”
After the success of the Thelonius Monk Institute, Barb turned around an after school program called Colors United, and then she and Bob Brodhead founded Creative Counseling Network (CCN) in 2006. Both programs were supported in large part by Barb’s close friend and January’s Made Woman of the Month, Barbara Vohryzek.
With CCN, Barb and Bob created a program that offered performing arts training, as well as mental health treatment. “One thing we noticed when working with other nonprofits was that we were providing great shows and entertainment, but the kids still had to go back to their environments and lacked the mental tools to carry the positivity through.” Sanctioned by the Department of Mental Health, CCN offered psycho-social rehabilitation, and involved social workers and therapists.
After CCN, the unthinkable happened in Barb’s life. She experienced a huge health scare that left her bedridden and fighting for her life. During this dark time, her former students and friends gave her another reason to keep fighting. “I said, I can't just lay here or I'm going to die. Part of what kept me going is that many of my students, like Miles Mosley, had called me; they had graduated and gotten their degrees, but the music landscape had changed and they didn't know where to start. So it came to mind that I should create a music management company to represent some of the people that had come through my programs over the years.” So Barb decided she would See it into Being -- and created SB Music Management.
Barbara started managing multiple artists from her house, even though she struggled just to leave her bed each day. Many of her artists weren’t even aware of her illness, and knowing she had to make a call or send an email was what gave her the resolve to move from her bed, to at least her couch (“I contemplated calling it On the Couch Productions!”); this was literally the difference between her life or death. “Other people give you things to fight for, so you start to fight for yourself,” Barb recalls.
Today, Barb’s music management company is thriving, and she has seen artists like Miles Mosley, described as the Jimi Hendrix of the upright bass, grow to have hugely successful careers. Miles’ group, the West Coast Get Down, is a collective of jazz musicians who have traveled the world together, playing for people like Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, American Idol and the Voice.
By setting her artists up for longevity, Barb is “trying to change the face of management and the music industry by showing artists that they can have well-rounded music careers.” Miles Mosley, for example, has also carved out a niche in the film and video game trailer world, composing scores for major film trailer houses, publishing companies, web series and multiple Viacom projects.
The amazing thing is that through it all, Barb has stayed true to her life’s purpose. She has helped countless young people not only overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, but to gain independence and thrive as well-rounded artists and individuals. “I wanted to teach people to become adults the best way they know how... Just because you came from a hard background, it doesn't mean that you can't have dreams. Young people need to see that they have a place in the world, regardless of their circumstances. But they also need to know that nobody gives you anything; you have to work for it.” If they’re in need of an example of hard work, they don’t need to look too far.
Letter from our Co-Founder and Business Operations Manager, Lindsey Day -- December 16, 2013
My favorite thing about the holidays is spending QT with my family and friends. For at least a day or two around Christmas time, everyone seems to put their day-to-day grind aside and comes together; to reflect on the year, fill each other in on new developments and, overall, enjoy each others' company. As I get ready to head back to the West Coast for Christmas, I'm even more appreciative of this time.
Of course, no holiday season would be quite the same without a gift or two. Some of us might have had our annual Christmas lists ready to go months ago (not judging!). This year, we're joining in on the fun -- revealing Made Woman's Favorite Things daily on Instagram. Starting today, and running until Friday, post your "favorite thing" in each category with the #MWFaveThings hashtag. We'll be reposting our faves, so get in the holiday spirit and find us on IG: @madewomanmag!
Join the fun by...
1. Following @madewomanmag on Instagram.
2. Each day, upload a photo that corresponds to one of the themes below.
3. Use the hashtag #MWFaveThings.
Name: Lindsey Day
Occupation: Co-Founder/Business Operations, MWM & Programs and Projects Manager, InternQueen.com
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Twitter handle: @lindseydayy
What was the most interesting trip you have ever taken?: My three-month solo trip through Europe last summer was not just interesting -- it was life-changing. It fulfilled a long-time dream of mine and sparked tremendous personal and professional growth.
I’ve always had an affinity toward arts and crafts, drawing, cooking, even chemistry class … activities where you can make something cool out of nothing. I love the idea of taking mere scraps and creating something of value. To this day, I love to create, and I love sharing these creations with the world.
Sometimes it's hard to categorize these creations. When people ask "what do you do?" finding a response can be tricky. A few years ago I started an online magazine. Running this business involves marketing, content creation, creative direction, finance and all-around hustling.
Lindsey (right) speaking at Dell's Evolving Workforce Think Tank at the DellVenue in New York City
I’m also the Programs and Projects Manager for InternQueen.com, a career site that helps students find unique internships. I manage campaigns, handle ad sales, client management, event planning … and pray for sleep.
The lists could go on for days, but in short, I guess I'm a bit of a jack of all trades. This phrase can carry a bit of a negative connotation, but I’ve found that it has served me well as an entrepreneur and as an employee. Partners, clients and supervisors see me as someone who can jump in and get the job done -- and it’s a trait that is becoming increasingly desirable in the working world. Here are my top three tips for making a “jack of all trades” title work for you:
After quitting my corporate gig at a major record label in LA last year and striking out on my own, change has become my best friend. In the last year and a half, I've spent three months traveling through Europe, worked several freelance gigs while running Made Woman Mag and -- after 10 years of residence in LA -- moved across the country to New York this past September.
Has it been hectic? Yes. Exhausting? Yes. Scary? Hell yes. But I've also met countless amazing people, seen parts of the world I never imagined, and been inspired beyond belief. And each leap of faith -- even the most scary ones -- have led me to the opportunities of my wildest dreams. Change is constant and unavoidable. I believe that learning to embrace it is half the battle; the rest will fall into place.
Did I ever envision leaving the music industry and becoming a full-time entrepreneur in the digital media field? I'd say not. But I recognized the opportunity to expand my network and enhance skills like sales, project management and the ability to close deals. I also loved that I could align my personal missions, like mentorship and empowering young women with my daily workload.
I say all this to say: all that glitters isn't gold. "Working in” fashion/music/PR or any of the other "glamorous" industries often sounds a lot cooler than they are in practice. If something is truly your passion, I would never try to talk you out of it. However, I urge you to focus on the skills you can potentially build from an opportunity instead of necessarily focusing on the industry or title. Once you learn to add value, you can add value anywhere.
Everything I've said above means absolutely nothing if you don't add unique value to the equation. Beyond showing up and working hard, what do you do to add that extra oomph? Maybe you're the idea guy/gal. Maybe you're a connector. Maybe you have a ridiculous way with words. Maybe you're a problem-solver. What do you bring to the table? Identify it, learn to sell it and find that fine line between giving and receiving and you'll be golden.