You are recognized as a leader in 2020 for working to dismantle the barriers for Black and Brown women in the media industry. Can you tell us more about how your company came to be and what kind of response you've seen thus far?
“Since I was young I found myself with an undeniable passion for the world of fashion and media. I soaked up Vogue and the leading publications of the time, but growing up in Ohio I was always aware of the lack of representation of women of color within an industry that I hoped to be a part of one day. After receiving my masters in journalism at Columbia University, I began my career as the fashion reporter at The New York Times. Throughout my career in journalism I honed my craft at outlets like ELLE, BBC and most recently as the Cut’s Social Media Editor where I doubled their Instagram audience to one million followers in a year, launched their first IGTV series titled Cut Chats, and was recognized by the Today Show for having the best Met Gala social coverage of 2019.
“Throughout these incredible career experiences, my goal has remained: create opportunities for Black and Brown women to thrive within the world of fashion and media. Which is why in 2016, I launched my company, EveryStylishGirl. Originally founded as an Instagram blog, ESG works to provide consulting and networking platforms for WOC to connect and build their brands. With annual networking conferences called Sip N’ Slay, we provide an opportunity for women to connect with industry professionals in order to take their careers to the next level and get the visibility they deserve. Since launching the Sip N’ Slay conferences, ESG has empowered over 3,000 women on the necessary steps to gain professional opportunities in the media industry.
“As ESG’s success and reputation has grown I have been able to create a platform that results in real success and life long empowerment. This past June, ESG expanded efforts by launching EveryStylishGirl Biz—a platform for WOC looking to change the world of business. Through ESG Biz we provide career counseling, grants and visibility for local Black owned businesses and our proudest tool: a global directory of 200+ Black and Brown women specialized in media and fashion built for companies to recruit diverse hires. Finally, two weeks ago we concluded our second digital Sip N’ Slay which brought about 400 WOC to network and learn about the ways in which they can become the boss of their dreams through a panel series dedicated to monetizing your side hustle, showing up authentically in the workplace and more.”
...that is exactly why I started ESG. To use my platform to create more equitable opportunities and spaces for women of color to not only get the visibility they deserve, but to thrive within their light and power. Our goal is to empower and embrace ambition and drive within attendees. We know that can go a long way in someone’s life.
- Nana Agyemang
What's something about you'd like people to know about you or your work that probably don't already?
“I would like more people to know about the power attending a Sip N’ Slay conference has and how it can motivate you to become an all-around stronger person. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur, journalist or CEO to attend. We accept anyone who is looking to channel their greater self and create a bigger brand that will birth more opportunities. Some people may think our conferences are only for established women—although that is a majority of the women you will virtually connect with, we also encourage anyone to attend from all backgrounds and industries.
“There is so much re-learning and self-discovery happening at Sip N’ Slay. Following our last Sip N Slay we received a testimony from Chrissy Ford (fashion and social media expert, contributor at Harper's Bazaar and co-founder of 2BG Consulting) where she reflected on her time at Sip N’ Slay in saying, ‘Sometimes it feels hard to celebrate the wins and the good stuff that’s happened this year because the world’s in constant turmoil, but I do feel immense gratitude. I’m just one of so many Black women who are trying to carve out new paths for themselves and no matter the industry, I think we all share a common goal in trying to create more spaces for those that look like us…’ This quote meant a lot to me because that is exactly why I started ESG. To use my platform to create more equitable opportunities and spaces for women of color to not only get the visibility they deserve, but to thrive within their light and power. Our goal is to empower and embrace ambition and drive within attendees. We know that can go a long way in someone's life.”
What advice do you have for other women advocating for change in 2020?
“Stick to your goal. A lot of people will share their ideologies and try to shape yours but stick with your plan. Stay resilient and stay innovative. There is only one you and you can’t be duplicated, keep your secret sauce to yourself and keep pushing for change. Change will come and you’ll succeed but remember to never give up on your plan.”