How did you come up with your brand, So She Slays, and what inspired you to start your blog?
We came up with So She Slays out of a need to hear more voices like ours without all the sugar coating and a lot more reality thrown in. It was also something that came out Chauncey having knee surgery and needing something to do during her months she was recovering.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How do you balance running a blog with your full-time jobs?
Heather works in production, acting, producing, and writing. Chauncey works as a Training Specialist at a non-profit and freelances as a marketing director for start-up companies.
It’s a tough thing to manage in all honesty. We are constantly juggling things, but our incredible team helps to really take the stress off of us. It’s incredibly important to have a solid group of people around that support you and the vision of where you would like to take things.
What is your favorite thing about running a lifestyle blog for women?
It would have to be hearing all the beautiful stories women share with us. We feel very privileged to be able to provide a platform where women can speak their minds, share their experiences, and not feel judged.
Have you always known what you wanted to pursue?
The blog was kind of something that happened. We’ve played with the idea for a while before we acted on it. Chauncey has always been a big blog consumer, and I use to write for quite a few, so it developed pretty naturally.
Who do you look up to?
Heather: Lots of people, depending on the subject. I would say, my mother and Oprah, aka “Mother O.”
Chauncey: My mom would definitely be number one. I am currently obsessed with Elaine Welteroth and Issa Rae.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Heather: Don’t compromise what you want out of life for a guy. It almost happened, thank God it didn’t.
Chauncey: You are stronger than you think you are. Don’t be shy and go after your dreams.
Can you share a time you failed and what you learned from it?
Heather: I was going to a big audition for a pretty significant role, one that could’ve had the potential to change my life, hints to say there was a lot of pressure. I worked incredibly hard for days, I knew what I was doing, and I felt ready. When it came time to audition, it started well and then snowballed right after. I let the nerves and pressure get to me. I began to force what I prepared, and it came out all wrong. Needless to say, I didn’t get the role, and that was the longest plane ride back ever. What it taught me, however, was more valuable. I learned that I needed to trust myself more, to listen to my instincts, and not to force things because when you do, nothing tends to work out.
Chauncey: I was working on a really cool project that could’ve been huge. It had all the ingredients to be huge for myself and the other brands involved. However, due to so many outside factors, it went to the wayside. I believe if I would’ve spoken up about my ideas and feelings earlier on, it could’ve saved the project. I should make my voice heard and stop going with the flow. I learned from that experience to speak up and claim my space.
Proudest moment to date?
Heather: I would have to say the grand opening of the museum my family and I have been working on for the last four years. The museum is back in my hometown and houses Chinese artifacts from the mid-late 1800s during the Gold Rush when most Chinese immigrants came to the U.S.
Chauncey: I would say So She Slays. I know that sounds so cliche, but it is. Heather and I built a brand with an amazing team that is touching people in a way we never thought it could be reachable.
What has been some of the most challenging aspects of starting and growing your blog?
It would probably be explaining that yes, we have this blog but that we also have other full-time jobs. A lot of times, we surprise people because they tend to see the blog and the success and think that So She Slays is what we do full time, but it’s not like that at all. So I think just bringing that fact to other’s attention has been challenging in some aspects.
What is your long-term vision for So She Slays?
We plan on taking So She Slays as far as it will go. We’ve talked about many things and realize that we are beginning to turn into a multimedia platform in a sense, so we are exploring what that might mean. However, our key focus in being able to provide a platform for unapologetic voices will always remain the same.
What advice would you give to women who want to become entrepreneurs or run their own businesses?
Make sure whatever you decide to do that you love it and are passionate about it because it will take over your life. It’s the love and passion that will keep you going through the tough times.
What does women’s empowerment mean to you?
It means to never be sorry for who you are, to own your individuality, and to love yourself, the good, bad, and ugly.
What’s your way to unwind and relax? How do you take care of yourself? What’s your favorite self-care practice?
Heather: Every once in a while, I “disappear,” meaning I’ll take a day or so to myself. No answering emails, texts, calls, and social media. I disconnect, and depending on how I’m feeling or what I want to do; I’ll stay in my pj’s and order in; I’ll go out with a friend, or I’ll see a movie by myself. I just listen to myself and what I feel like I need at that moment.
Chauncey: I would say I do the “disappear” act too. I love to take moments for myself, with a hair mask and face mask on and just watch TV without having my phone or laptop near me. I learned over the years to take time out for me and be unapologetic.
Tell us about a philanthropic mission you care about, and maybe how it has been incorporated into your business.
We are passionate about helping women, and young girls find the self-confidence to take on anything in life. By providing a platform where so many voices can be heard, we hope to spread the message that whatever we are individually going through, there is someone else who has been there and that you’re not alone.
What’s next for you?
We are exploring different ways we can grow So She Slays and what feels right for not only us but for our audience as well.
- Current book you’re reading:
- Heather: The Alchemist
- Chauncey: More Than Enough
- Heather: Photography
- Chauncey: Painting
- Favorite podcast and/or blog:
- Heather: Up First or Super Soul Sunday podcasts
- Chauncey: Pretty Big Deal Podcast with Ashley Graham
- Role model(s):
- Heather: My Mother, Oprah, Mindy Kaling
- Chauncey: My Mom, My sister, and Issa Rae
- Favorite vacation destination:
- Heather: Never been but would love to go to South of France, Tuscany
- Chauncey: I would love to go to Italy and Greece
- How can people find you:
Interviewed by Katie Lam: firstname.lastname@example.org