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Christina Brown

Christina Brown

by Melissa Magsaysay

Having started her website nearly a decade ago, the self-described “OG” blogger, Christina Brown has since expanded her work sharing her style with readers to doing what she really does best - empowering others through connection and shining a light on other strong women building businesses.

Case in point: she started BrownGirlsLove Power Day 4 years ago (the 4th event happened earlier this month and saw a lineup of powerhouse speakers including Julee Wilson, Courtney Danielle and Lisa Price), an annual gathering of women to learn from one another and lift each other up in areas of business, fashion and branding.

Brown is building a platform far beyond the blog she founded nearly a decade ago and her energy is permeating the media and influencer industries to inspire others to share their knowledge and make meaningful connections.

Here, Brown talks about her inspiration to start BrownGirlsLove Power Day, her personal style and mission to take her event national by this spring.

Q&A with Christina

Where do you think your passion to empower others stems from?

My passion to empower others really stems from going through challenges and wanting for no one else to go through those same challenges. I just feel like when you go through something and you learn a lesson, a big piece of why you went through that is that you can teach someone else how to weather that storm or to avoid going through it the exact same way. That’s really where my passion lies. My hope is that everything that I’m doing now is empowering the generation of young women that come after me.

Do you think the fashion community has made strides in being more diverse?

Yes, I think there have been a lot of strides. I started my career ten years ago and back then it was rare for you to find a large group of editors, for example, invited to certain shows. I wasn’t getting invited to shows back then because I was just an intern or someone who got in on someone’s ticket. I can see who was in the room and there were never a lot of black editors.

Now things are a lot different. There are people who are the Editor-in-Chief of major publications like Teen Vogue, for example has Lindsey Peoples Wagner and before her, Elaine Welteroth and that was unheard of ten years ago. I definitely think there have been major strides. I also think there is a long way to go.

What more can we do to be more inclusive of all people?

I think it really starts with being intentional about knowing how you may treat other people just based on what they look like, where they came from or who they are without even knowing who they really are. I think that’s the first step and that’s for everybody. It’s not just for people who are not in the minority, it’s for everyone. I think that’s the first step, and the second step is being really intentional about including everyone. That’s something I’m really passionate about.

I have been really intentional about working and partnering with brands that have that have an inclusive spirit and makes sure everyone feels good. For example, I don’t accept clothing from brands that only carry straight sizes and that was even back when I was a straight size. There was a time I was a size 12 and now I’m a size 16. Even back then I was very intentional about only working with brands that carry all sizes. I think it’s about making those choices and making sure when you have the power that other people make those choices to be more inclusive.

Why did you start BrownGirlsLove Power Day? What has that meant to you personally and professionally?

I started Power Day because I wanted to find a way to touch more than just a few people at a time. For instance, responding to people by email or sending them DMs or connecting them with my friends who had better answers for them, for some of their requests. It only limits communication to that small group of people but a lot of the questions people would ask me about having my own business, building up my brand, becoming an entrepreneur: I thought were questions a lot of different people could benefit from so I decided to bring the conversation to an event where a large group of people could come together and learn some of the things they had questions about whether it was figuring out how to start an LLC for their business or how to network, or how to be able to tell their brand story and have it be authentic. Those are all things I think that need to go beyond an email or just a DM. It needs to be more widespread so that’s why I started Power Day.

Personally, I feel like I’ve grown so much since starting BrownGirlsLove in particularly starting Power Day. I know so much more now then I did before. I‘ve had to grow to a place where I could let go of responsibilities because an event of this magnitude just can’t be executed by one person so I think personally that’s something that stretched me.

Professionally it has allowed me to really expand how I view the types of events women of color produce because there aren’t as many people doing many events on his scale and now I feel like it’s really possible for us as women of color to go after sponsorships and do these types of events on a consistent basis. Because if I can do it somebody else behind me can do it too.

Describe your personal style.

My personal style is a mix of downtown edgy and uptown sophisticated. I really like clean lines. I love solid colors, bright colors, pinks, reds, royal blues are some of my favorites but I also like a little bit of edge. I love metallic gold, hardware and those types of elements. I think I’m a mix of downtown and uptown.

What are you working on currently? Any upcoming projects to discuss?

The first thing I’m working on is expanding BrownGirlsLove into a four-city college tour. That’s happening in April 2019 and we are going to four HBCU’s (historically black colleges and universities) and I’m really excited about that. I’m also currently working on our five-year anniversary for BrownGirlsLove Power Day. That is taking place January 4th, 2020 and I’m really hyped for that because five years is monumental. I feel like I just started doing this yesterday and it’s already been five years. The other thing I’m working on is a tech platform that is actually going to help with diversity and inclusion for creative talent. Multicultural creative talent that want to partner with brands and do brand partnerships. This platform will help connect them with the people that need to know who they are.

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