How The Founder Of The Shade Room Is Building The Gossip Blog Into A Digital Media Empire
Two years ago Angelica Nwandu dreamt of working in a creative field as a writer but instead she settled for a more stable position. “I knew being an accountant was secure but I also knew it was outside of my purpose.” The then 23-year-old began speaking into existence that she was a writer and subsequently received an opportunity to collaborate on her first screenplay which made it to Sundance film festival. In the midst of enjoying the coveted opportunity, Angelica received a call from work giving her the ultimatum to either come back immediately or lose her job. She chose the latter. Angelica was called on stage a few moments later still overcome with emotion from her difficult decision. She performed a poem that was so powerful, she became a Sundance Fellow and was awarded a grant for writing. Soon after, The Shade Room was born. During a brunch hosted by event planning firm, United We Function, Angelica shared her triumphant story and three important takeaways on how to manifest your dreams into reality.
Use What You Have & Believe In Your Dream:
Angelica shares that she didn’t know how to create a website so she started blogging on Instagram. “I could think about this business that I want to do or I could take the first step towards doing it”. Her goal was have 10K followers within a year but that happened within a week. She shares that the next eight months were the hardest as she worked tirelessly to build the brand despite some people not understanding her plan. “You have to be selective with who you share your dream with, you have to make sure you have good people around you. I had friends at the time who were asking me when I was going to get a real job. So many people asked me about that, I had to literally be delusional. You have to have a core group of people that believe in you.”
Move Past Your Breaking Point:
Eventually, Angelica had spent all of the money from her grant and her bank account was -$400. When she was ready to quit, a friend asked her to evaluate what all she needed to run TSR which was simply a computer, internet and phone. “Understanding the basic things that I needed to accomplish my dreams and releasing the fear of losing everything else helped me to keep going. The next day I opened my online store and started taking advertisements and my bills were paid that day.”
Know What Opportunities To Bypass:
In the past two years, TSR has grown as such a rapid rate; it’s been referenced in many major news outlets. Angelica was recently featured in Forbes Magazine and has had offers from MTV and WEtv to star in her own television show. While most 25-year-olds would have jumped at the opportunity, Angelica declined in favor of continuing to expand her presence online. “I want to executive produce on my own web series, I don’t want to be a work-for-hire at a network, I want to be able to control the narrative. It’s very hard to say no to television so that’s one of those leaps of faith that I’ve to make again. I believe in myself and I can do it by myself.”