Last week I had the opportunity to unveil my newest interview series Black Girl Boss Magic. For those of you who don't know what BGBM is let me break it down for you. Black Girl Boss Magic is all about black women entrepreneurs who are disrupting their industries, finding new solutions, and paving a way for themselves in this crazy glass-ceilinged world. For more on what inspired me to start this series bop on over to m first interview with Ashley Coleman. This week's installment of Black Girl Boss Magic is taking us all the way down to San Antonio TX to meet 28-year-old Jasmine Watts, the Editor-In-Chief of Miss Millennia Magazine. #LetsGetGoing
SO: Introduce yourself!
JW: My name is Jasmine Watts. I am 28 years old, live in San Antonio, TX, and I am the Editor-in-Chief of an online publication called Miss Millennia Magazine.
SO: How did you get started?
JW: I got started with Miss Millennia 5 years ago only a few months after I graduated from college. I often refer these months as the most difficult period of my adult life so far. I graduated with all the hope and naivety that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to in the world. And then I had trouble looking for work. So I decided I would go to Grad school, and then I did not get accepted to ANY of the schools I applied to; After months of studying for the GRE and shelling out money for application fees. I had never felt so lost in my life. I had gone from feeling like I could accomplish anything to feeling like a failure at everything.
So I did what any young woman who was having a terrible time would do. I talked to my friends about it. And from those various conversations I started to feel better. Not because they were patting me on the back and saying, "Don't worry it will get better." But because they agreed with me. Life after college sucks big time and it is hard to believe that we could be so wrong about what to expect when we graduated. As crazy as it seems, knowing that I was not experiencing this phase of life alone gave me solace and made me realize that this was bigger than me.
My ranting conversations shifted into ways to solve the issue. I asked questions about what would make this phase of life easier? And soon after that, Miss Millennia Magazine was born. Our content involved themes like deciding if you should go to grad school to balancing your finances. We keep a diverse group of writers on board (even men included) to make sure we cover the topics that matter most to our audience. And five years later I am here doing a job that I love.
SO: What is your experience as a black woman in your field?
"I was also advised by my peers (who are black) to hold off on showing my picture on my website so that I would not be put in a box or have my site judged differently because of the color of my skin which I thought was absurd. I refused to hide my identity."
When I first started Miss Millennia Magazine we actually had covers and cover girls. Our first cover girl was a black woman, and my peers (who are not black) recognized I was black and that the first cover girl was black immediately decided that the content was not for them. In the beginning, I had to make a genuine effort to show that our content was ideal for all women, not just women of color. I was also advised by my peers (who are black) to hold off on showing my picture on my website so that I would not be put in a box or have my site judged differently because of the color of my skin which I thought was absurd. I refused to hide my identity, although I can see why some black women would choose to do so. In the end, it all worked out, but these are just a couple of instances where I believe my race has affected some of my decisions in my business. I felt I had an extra barrier I had to cross in starting Miss Millennia that has nothing to do with the quality of the content I was providing.
SO: What makes you magic and how will that magic change your field/the world.
JW: My view on life is that I have the ability to survive. And this is a very magical trait that has brought me the success I have today. As I mentioned earlier, the months leading up to the creation of Miss Millennia Magazine, we're the worst ones of my adult life. I struggled financially, spiritually, and felt lost on top of it all. After having survived that phase of my life, when I come to an obstacle now, I think to myself, "this is not the worst thing that has happened to me. I have endured far worst, and this thing today will not stop me."
My magic will change the world because I have this crazy idea that most women, are like me, capable and stronger than the world may perceive them to be. And when I find a woman, who I think is awesome, degrade and second guess themselves I feel it is my duty to make sure to remind them that they are AWESOME and should cease the negative self-talk immediately. People can accomplish so many things when you believe you can. My voice for Miss Mill is that of an older sister who is not afraid to tell you like it is, especially when you need to be told, you are pretty great.
SO: Give us some Lifestoned Advice to other black girls in your field.
JW: Do not let anyone try to put you in a box and tell you what you can or cannot achieve in your life. Stay focused on your business, use your platform and your voice to speak you your mind. You owe it to your audience and the world.
When I received an email from Jasmine telling me that she was down to do the interview I could barely contain my excitement. I'm constantly reading Miss Millenia because the writing is amazing AND it calms me in some of my more dramatic 1/4 life crisis moments. Huge thank you to Jasmine again, you're a huge inspiration. Don't forget to Follow Miss Millennia on Facebook and Twitter.