Following your dreams takes drive, determination, and a whole lot of hustle! We’re spotlighting six fierce, fabulous, and fearless BELLA Bosses who blazed their own career paths by doing what they love and making it work.
CHELDIN BARLATT RUMER
CEO/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, THIS IS IT NETWORK (I-G CREATIVE)
MY BUSINESS: THIS IS IT NETWORK, produced and distributed by i-g creative, is a global female- and minority-owned digital TV network. Their content consists of independent online programs and delightful, lifestyle blogs written and hosted by an array of captivating personalities and professionals. TOurhe signature program, “This is it with Cheldin,” is a daily digital talk show that airs Monday through Friday and showcases industry leaders and innovative entrepreneurs.
Through the art of storytelling, THIS IS IT NETWORK delivers entertaining yet motivating messages that celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and encourage our audience to ‘Scream their dream!’ Our SCREAM YOUR DREAM mission inspires our community to find their independent and unique voices and use those voices to longer whisper their wishes but—with confidence—tell their stories and promote their brands. In addition to our online content, we offer our audience extensions of our SCREAM YOUR DREAM philosophy. We provide online personal development courses, as well as an exclusive SCREAM YOUR DREAM membership community.
WHY I LAUNCHED IT: In 2009, I created a digital agency (i-g creative) here in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that aided small business owners—primarily women—with social media campaigns, publicity, graphic design, and web development. In early 2013, I was conducting mock publicity interviews with one of my most shy clients. She was extremely nervous about going on a local morning show, and I was committed to helping her find her voice. Oftentimes the most talented people have the hardest time sharing their stories and therefore promoting their businesses.
I have always been an extrovert, so speaking in public with confidence has always come easy to me. Watching my talented client struggle and frankly “whisper” about her passion and therefore business sparked an idea that soon would become my mission: SCREAM YOUR DREAM.
At that moment, I determined that my life’s goal would be to help talented professionals no longer whisper their wishes but to SCREAM THEIR DREAMS! On that day, THIS IS IT TV was born. I began producing my daily digital talk show that provides small business owners, industry leaders, and brand influencers with a fun online platform to “comfortably” promote their businesses, products, and services while sharing lifestyle news and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit.
MOST REWARDING: I am honored each and every day to assist and encourage countless professionals by providing an opportunity and platforms for them to share and promote their businesses, organizations, and goals with our digital online community.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I have a uniquely positive and welcoming energy that is paired with my willingness to truly listen to my guests and community members. I encourage in-depth conversations vs. cold interviews. I ensure that each guest feels at ease and confident while we chat about what drives and motivates them personally and professionally. As a seasoned storyteller, I use my experience to aid them in understanding the importance of their own voices when sharing their unique journeys with the world.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: MIX AND MATCH…I think there is something fun and playful with mixing luxury brands with fast fashion. At any given time, you can find me carrying my favorite Louis Vuitton tote paired with my $19.99 Target shift dress. My style is a true reflection of my life—a little luxury accompanied by day-to-day accessibility.
CEO & DESIGNER, JM | JADE MCFADDEN (JADE MCFADDEN & CO.)
MY BUSINESS: The Jade McFadden brand is a very unique fashion and lifestyle brand. We design and sell high-quality clothing, shoes, bags, home decor, and various lifestyle products for women, men, and kids at reasonable prices. We call it “Affordable Luxury.” We’ve recently expanded our brand by adding brand new categories, including beauty, grooming, and personal care products.
It is very rare for a woman’s brand to be named solely after herself, to design for both women and men, and to receive the same amount of respect. It is a lot of work and we are a very small team, but, I, along with my business partner/COO, will continue in making history and breaking records! We want men to feel just as confident in buying and wearing our clothing, shoes, and other products as women and kids. After years of styling and freelance designing, I’m so thankful to have finally turned my childhood dreams into reality.
WHY I LAUNCHED IT: My business partner and I started this brand in May of 2018, but we actually did not launch it until November of 2018. I’ve literally loved fashion since I was a kid, and I knew I would one day become a fashion designer. I wanted to create my own lane in this industry by creating a unique brand that is diverse.
MOST REWARDING: The freedom to do what I love!
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I personally think I have a long way to go in terms of success. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve most definitely accomplished a lot and I am very, very proud and blessed, but I never want to get too comfortable, so I’m always striving for better. I am a very ambitious person! I think that as long as I continue to keep God first, work hard, and remain humble, this brand will truly become successful in many ways and inspire others to never give up on their dreams.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: My style is a combination of my late parents’ style, who were both such inspirations to me, and my own personal style. I wanted the designs and products to reflect the same. The aesthetic of this brand is very clean and classic, yet bold and unique. Hence, “Vintage-Inspiration, Mod-Liberation.”
KIMBERLY E. STONE
MY BUSINESS: A fashion media online platform for quickly connecting the fashion community.
WHY I LAUNCHED IT: I started a business as a kid and finally named it POSHGLAM while I was in college in 2005. I was studying the consolidation of the Euro and new trends in word-of-mouth marketing, as well as ecommerce and online news. As the web began to take shape as a source of news and factual info, my small team of ambitious hopefuls started the site. The energy of the young designers helped spur our excitement to keep the platform fresh, witty, and innovative.
MOST REWARDING: The people I meet, fresh ideas, new friends, lots of opportunities for innovation, and the fun feeling of being ‘tapped in.’ POSHGLAM definitely blazed a trail, and it’s fun to see how the web has changed with the most up-to-date info in the search engines thanks to experts and contributors around the world. We all shape the web—to be one the people that contributes is unmatched. It gives one a true sense of purpose paired with the benefits of giving back. My charity Chat for Charity is the non-profit arm of my holding company daunt and POSHGLAM.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: Staying optimistic and using my acting skills to always “Find my up.” Part of the reason I started POSHGLAM was to have something I could do in between talent gigs. It’s served its purpose and has brought many blessings and a renewed perspective.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: I think these days we all have fashion moods: ‘utilitarian, glamorous, luxe posh, random, conversational, polished, and boss.’ Influencers like Tommy Ton have changed what we think of as styled: ‘old, new, and something you.’
I thought of something very funny recently…5 year olds having a preference. Whether it’s a purple Halloween costume they want to put on every day to do homework, the way they want their hair for school, or spaghetti with butter every night for dinner. The feeling we get from making a choice and the benefits that come with it are very natural, human, and what drives our emotions and outlook from a very young age. Retail therapy was finally proven, and we can all benefit from suggestions, implementation, personalization, and style. Ecommerce is on the rise, shopping is becoming uber agile, and POSHGLAM is happy to be a part of the condition.
Los Angeles, CA
FOUNDER AND CEO, NUE
MY BUSINESS: Nue is a line of body- and shade-inclusive breast tapes that work as an alternative for a bra. We call it a “boob job in a box” because it gives you a lift and support under backless and strapless styles (even bathing suits) without straps, clasps, or cups. We love your body the way it is, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel better in difficult-to-wear styles. Plus, a percentage of every purchase is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
WHY I LAUNCHED IT: I’ve never had perky boobs, and not being able to go braless was so limiting. After trying the duct tape hack (I don’t recommend it, by the way!), I knew there had to be a better option. Nue is hypoallergenic, latex-free, easy to remove, and has plenty of stretch for all-day comfort. Now, I can finally wear plunging necklines, strapless, and backless styles!
MOST REWARDING: I was laid off from my dream job two years (almost to the date) of Nue’s launch. I wanted to create something that was mine, something I could be proud of, and something that proved I could be in charge of my own destiny. Running a business is such hard work, but taking pride in every aspect of its growth is so rewarding.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: The fashion and beauty industry is packed with such inspirational entrepreneurial women, and I’ve always aspired to join the ranks. However, in such a saturated market, I never wanted to slap my name on something that already existed. I knew if I put my name on it, my savings behind it, and all my energy into it, my product would have to be innovative and speak to women of all shapes, shades, and backgrounds. I never wanted to launch a product just for the sake of launching a product. The breast tape space is growing, but I believe being a pioneer in the category and catering to women of all skin tones has set Nue up for success. And if I can help someone along the journey with our contribution to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, that’s a success in my eyes.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: Feeling like a million bucks shouldn’t have to cost a million bucks. I’m a fashion girl through and through, so I’m guilty of the occasional splurge, but don’t be surprised if I pair my favorite Louboutin heels with a $20 dress.
NEWS ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO62
MY ROLE AT TELEMUNDO62: I anchor the evening and primetime newscasts on Telemundo 62. I’m involved in daily editorial meetings and meticulous revision of scripts about the stories that air on television every day. I also work on investigative stories, some of which have won Emmy awards.
LENGTH OF TIME WITH TELEMUNDO62: Seven years
MOST REWARDING: As a journalist and news anchor, I get to make an impact in my community. I have access to people in power and get to hold them accountable on behalf of the people I serve. In order to make progress as a society, we must be informed. Only then are we empowered and can be intentional with our actions.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I consider myself an ordinary girl from Puerto Rico who grew up into this woman who has gone after her dreams! I rely on God and His wisdom. He’s been with me in every adventure and through every challenge. I don’t take no for an answer. I see everything as an opportunity. I am intentional about living a healthy life and growing mentally stronger every day.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: As the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Personally, I go for simplicity. A genuine smile can often be your best attire. I also wear my heart on my sleeve, which helps me come across with transparency.
LYDA DJARAR FISCHER
Los Angeles, CA
CO, LYDA BEAUTY
MY BUSINESS: We are a beauty brand whose mission is to bring unity through inclusivity by highlighting cultures that lack representation in the beauty industry.
WHY I LAUNCHED IT: Lyda Beauty was formed in 2016, and we launched the Cleopatra Cat Eye Stamp eyeliner in 2017. We launched our stamp eyeliner because there was nothing like it, and it provides a solution for those of us who struggle to perfect the winged look.
MOST REWARDING: The most rewarding part of owning my own business is being able to bring together a team of creative geniuses that help me materialize all the crazy inventions I come up with. I do not think there is anything more rewarding than seeing your imagination come to life.
SECRET TO MY SUCCESS: I would say it’s my authenticity. I believe that the moment I stopped trying to follow a cookie-cutter formula, my business took off. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to follow your instincts and focus on the goal. It creates a sort of synergistic affect, which ultimately led me to succeed in my endeavors.
FASHION PHILOSOPHY: My fashion philosophy is simple—‘Be you, do you.’ Fashion is a form of self-expression, and should be used accordingly. More than being trendy, be the one who sets the trends. As the legendary Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion comes and goes, but style lasts forever.
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