A lot of times we do not visualize that a hobby could one day turn into a brand or a career.
But it’s entirely possible, as former FAMU SBI and j-school student Shaakira White has proven.
After graduating from FAMU, White ventured to Florida State University for a master’s in integrated marketing communications as well as pursuing two graduate certificates in digital video production and multicultural marketing communications.
And she is not stopping there. She is also a businesswoman with a blog, Queens to Queens, a clothing brand, Shaakira White Apparel; a YouTube Channel, Shaakira White, as well as a new podcast called Carefree Black Girl Diaries.
A Tallahassee native, White has always had the drive to become successful by surrounding herself with people who look like her. White was able to turn her love for writing into a way to express herself.
"Writing and reading are my first loves, and I said to myself I would feel good expressing myself with a blog. Journals are OK, but blogging is different. It's new, fresh and fun and I like doing new things,” she said.
Although she has various platforms that are a part of her brand, White's real passion is film production. "YouTube was a way for me to express myself. I stopped liking YouTube two years ago because I was comparing myself to other people and that's not why I started. I started YouTube to express myself, and I have a lot of questions, so I want to have answers.”
White wants to be able to leave her mark in this world by creating a work of art that will last forever. “I want to go into film and production so having YouTube is like my mini film and production. But I am getting back to what I love and finding who I am.”
Diamond Rollins, a FAMU grad and White's close friend, described White as an inspiration.
“I’ve watched Shaakira grow since I was a sophomore in college. We’ve talked about our dreams, and what we want to accomplish in our lives and I’m so happy to see her stepping into who she’s meant to be in this life,” Rollins said. “She truly is one of my inspirations and truly talented, and I️ can’t wait to see her take over the world. She’s definitely got some dope things in the works.”
White wants entrepreneurs to know if you're going to create your brand you need to start now. It is important to get a head start on your idea.
“People have a sense of what they want to do,” she said, “but they let the thought pass them and next thing you know years have passed. Don’t think about perfection, or you will never get it done.”
Jared Eummer, a FAMU grad and White's close friend, explained how proud he was of White.
"I think she's had ideas of where she sees herself for years, and it takes a lot to execute your dreams, but I have no doubt that all that she plans to accomplish will manifest in due time," said Eummer. "The platform that she's created for the millennial black woman is so powerful, and I can't wait to witness her continued growth."
White plans on delegating a lot more in the film industry in hopes for that to be her central platform. She still wants to keep her other platforms, but she wants to put her main attention into her passion.
“To be successful in the industry that you want to venture in, you have to be multifaceted,” White said.