Nana Agyemang, the founder of the multimedia platform company EveryStylishGirl, empowers women by showcasing inspiring stories of women of colour who are prospering in diverse industries. Read on to discover her advice to those who are interested in entering such fashion/media industry and the background story of starting up her own business.
Can you tell us why and how you started EveryStylishGirl? What inspired you?
My goal was to be a voice for the voiceless. So many women of color are breaking barriers in the fashion and media sector but so little have exposure. When I created ESG, it started out of frustration for the lack of coverage women of color received and I plotted to tell their stories. The idea of ESG came to me in 2015 as a storytelling fashion Instagram page and expanded into a multimedia platform that now brings girl bosses together to network, discuss fashion and inspire one another. We strive and will always shed a light on showcasing influential women of color to inspire other women to chase their dreams.
EveryStylishGirl empowers women and diversity by female women of colour who are prospering in diverse industries. Can you tell us why women empowerment and diversity are important to you?
For so long society was one dimensional. You attended college, you got a degree and you got a job. But now the options are unlimited. There are so many women of color who are creating their own opportunities, beyond working in an office space under someone else’s rules. We are living out our own dreams and it’s vital that I provide exposure to these women doing once was the impossible. These women are creating blogs, working with top brands, creative directing, photographing and writing books and creating podcasts. They turned their hobbies into their full-time by creating goals and taking risks. They did it by not taking no for an answer and not letting the obstacles that stand in their hold them back. I want that to be known across the world that if you want to live out a creative passion full-time you can do it and these are women who are paving the way for you to do so and telling you exactly how they did it. Empowerment is just that to us at ESG. We inspire, story-tell and encourage women to take action.
"Ask yourself, are you willing to put your dreams first before your ego?"
What advice would you give to those who are interested in stepping into the fashion and media industry?
You’re going to have to put yourself out there and sometimes you might feel embarrassed and dumb but that means you’re doing a great job. You should completely let go of your ego, if you have one, and be willing to send cold emails, treat people to coffee and send sometimes over 3-4 follow ups. This might feel annoying but trust me the fashion and media industry is one a lot of people want to work in but not everyone is willing to put themselves out there. So ask yourself are you willing to put your dreams first before your ego? If yes, go into fashion and media with that mindset and you’ll conquer it.
What does your typical day look like?
Well fortunately for me it’s never a typical day. But I start my day at 7 am. I check my Slack messages (that’s where the ESG team communicates daily). I pray and drink tea and journal or read THE CUT Magazine. Then after I head off to the gym. It’s very important for me to exercise 2-3 days a week, it gets my mind and body running and I feel energized to take on anything that comes my way. Then my morning and afternoon is spent responding to emails and checking off my tasks list. I’ll then have a few business meetings. I will meet with girls looking for advice, meet and brainstorm with other girl bosses or attend a networking event. Then I end the night by working on EveryStylishGirl, reading through our Instagram occasionally, editing blog posts or scouting out our next girl boss feature. I’m always brainstorming new ways to make our platform bigger and better. I’m also a night owl so if I’m not reading before bed I’m thinking and developing ideas toward innovation and expansion for my company.
What challenges have you faced?
Thankfully I’ve been so blessed that not many. I mean I would say it’s a challenge to not only run a multimedia platform but to also have a training program and internship. I’m a mentor 24/7 and I wouldn’t say it’s a challenge but it gets tricky when you try to balance it all out. I’m still working on my time management skills but once I learn how to be better at prioritizing I feel like a majority of my challenges will be defeated.
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
I was told I couldn’t run my own company and also be an editor-in-chief of a major publication, which was my initial dream before ESG, but I was crushed when I heard that. I’m not sure if I could or couldn’t but sometimes we just like to believe we can do it all so when I heard that I gasped! I was like wait what... why... why not... is it not legal? Haha, I’m actually getting emotional thinking about it now. I personally think that you can do anything if you want and you’re the only person stopping yourself from making what you want happen. So who knows if I’m right or wrong but I just don’t like being told I can’t when I haven’t even had the chance to try it.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Every morning I create my to-do list for the day. I’ve been doing this since high school and I just don’t think my life would be as organized and balanced without some type of organizational structure to it and this does that for me. I also pray every morning and night. I thank God for everything that is going to come in my life, from the good to the bad, I thank him for it all.
If you liked this interview, you might like our recent interview with Lorna Jane, founder of Lorna Jane Activewear.