Women's History Month: Maura Chanz
Maura Chanz is a Spelman alumna that's motivated to empower women through media. We have no doubt that she will be a driving force and household name in time. Get into her interview below and learn that it's never too early to start pursing your dreams and the importance of remaining unapologetically yourself in the process.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who are you and where are you headed?
Raised between the flashing lights of Los Angeles and the urbane rhythms of Chicago, I have an undying love for culture, storytelling, and technology. I seek to deliver the voice of women of color through creative partnerships, digital landscapes, and social channels.
I began my career at the age of thirteen as a professional actress. It was during this time that I further developed my love for and understanding of storytelling. I cherish the lessons learned in those early days and have since held positions as a marketing intern for Viacom Media Industries-BET, a media intern for both Bronze Lens Film Festival and the Black Women’s Film Network, and later serving as a creative intern for True Story Agency where I brainstormed and assisted in content development for major brands.
I ultimately aspire to inspire young women to live unapologetic and reach their full potential.
You’re literally just starting your 20's and have already worked with Janelle Monae, TopShop and countless other brands/stars. Talk to us about how you got your start in the entertainment industry and are now collaborating with major brands and entertainment superstars.
My back story gives you a little peek into how I navigated many of those spaces but my collaborations have come as a result of building genuine relationships. I have always found my way into exclusive spaces by offering my gifts and skills just because I wanted to be IN THE ROOM. I got to assist in the casting of extras for janelle's YOGA because many in the Wondaland camp have become like family after meeting them while interning for Akon.
You recently crowdfunded your web series ‘The Kitchen’ that’s faciliated through your organization ‘Big Fro Beat Face’. What is The Kitchen all about and why do you think creating media for women of color is important?
I'm actually still crowdfunding the series lol - shows are expensive. The Kitchen is a web series/talk show that centers black women. I've been natural my whole life and people asked me about doing a hair channel. I feel that market is over saturated, but love conversation, hair, and women so I decided to create The Kitchen. It's a double entendre that allows me a lot of range - the nape of a black women's neck and also the setting where a lot of girl talk took and takes place/where hair commonly been done within the black community.
You talk a lot about love and are in a relationship. How has your relationship helped, hindered, spurred, or kept you from your goals? Why do you think love is so important?
You know it's so interesting, I was so anti-talking about your relationship/posting pics with your partner via social before I was this in love. I met my bow boyfriend near the end of my sophomore year..so I was with him more of college than I was single. Our relationship is a large part of my life so naturally it's a huge part of conversation. Although not professionally, my boyfriend is an artist at heart and understands my life, my dreams, and aspirations. He is very supportive and does what he can to help me make my dreams a reality - sometimes head rubs and pep talks are all I need. I think love is so important because we need companionship and relationships. I've just begin touching success and it brings me joy to have someone aside from family to share that with.
What advice would you give to young women your age? What’s Maura Chanz doing 5-10 years from now and how can we be of support?
Young women my age, you aren't too young to DO. Sure there are some things you don't know or may not have the most experience in, but don't let that hinder you. Figure it out as you go. Also, there will NEVER be a right time so stop waiting for it.
In 5-10 years. Woo. I'll be half way through my 20's. I don't know what God's plan is but ideally I'd like be the CEO of a creative agency, on camera somewhere, married or engaged, and inspiring young women to do, be, and have it all. Pretty much a hybrid of Oprah and Tracee Ellis Ross. How can you support? I can't share too much but stay up to date with all my happenings via my social @maurachanz on everything, and details will follow - but know support is ALWAYS needed.
Just for kicks:
Erykah or Lauren? Badu
Wang or Balmain? Wang
Instagram or Twitter? Twitter