When God gave me the vision to start BOLD Favor Magazine, it was in answer to a question I’d asked Him: What can I do? I saw so many negative depictions of women, and particularly women of color, in the media and it made me angry. And God told me to found a magazine.
I was a lawyer with a husband in ministry, a mom recovering from brain surgery, and a baby who was raising me as much as I was raising her. I had zero experience with magazines (at that time, I’d only written two articles for other publications, and neither of them are around today). I had no budget – my firm was struggling and some days I didn’t know how I was going to keep it going.
But I had faith.
God told me to do something, and He does not lie. So I got to work.
I shared the vision with my good friend Ebony Hillsman, a news journalist, who made me sit down and write out EXACTLY what God said. “We highlight bold people, organizations, and causes that inspire us to live fearlessly.” Then we put a call out for articles. We had no budget for writers, but we received 24 articles. We designed an advertisement structure starting at $25 up to $100 and received 10 ads. I created a website with Wix (it was so ugly!), but it was something. Joshe created our first logo and designed the cover for $100. (Amazing the things you remember… but when people bless you, you REMEMBER!) Tanya drove in from NC to do our photoshoot and again to do our pics for the launch party, and Tyra hitched a ride with her to do our promo video. She stayed in my daughter’s room and Mom feed her good! Hester got one of her friends to comp us the space for the launch party and she donated her event planning skills… and it was beautiful. And we were off to the races!
And it’s been a race.
It was exciting. So much so that we grew FAST – too fast. We kicked off the Politics, Wellness, and Plus titles before we’d stabilized and made Favor profitable. The first issues were choppy and lacked coherent focus. But people continued to support us, and God continued to pour into my firm so we could keep going. Tina came to us and asked if we could partner on a magazine – Ageless Beauty. Tinzley came to us and built up the baddest public relations department with nothing but spit and toilet paper. We were on a roll!
But then my health began to fail from the stress, and I wanted to shut things down so bad, but God had not released me to do so, so I kept going. My friend Sonji stepped in several times through the years to help bridge the gap financially when there was just too much month left after my money… and then God gave me David Good. And David took MUCH of the pressure off so I could focus on getting better, and fortifying our foundation so we could grow strategically.
And he had dreams of his own. Editing. Publishing. Pushing the plus-movement.
So we committed to moving forward with Plus, making it a consistent magazine with the same resources and support as Favor. So David would need to move up, leaving a void that needed to be filled. The person to do so would need to be a force full of grace, exceptional business acumen, and passion for the movement both the VISION of our organization. That person was Brianna Screen.
And man did she whip our butts into shape!
No more wild “we’ll get to it” moments – we have deadlines. Gone were “I sent an email and haven’t heard back” – if you sent it, it was responded to or you were a liar because it wasn’t sent. Positive reinforcement, affirmations of our abilities, and encouragement even in the darkest hours coming when you least expect it but need it so bad – THAT is Brianna Screen’s M.O.
And once that structure had been implemented into our organization, we were able to recruit Regina Sunshine to take on Plus and build it up to where Favor is today. And I am delighted by the synergy and love I see flowing there. It makes all the hardship worth it.
I have had to put aside my fears of “how am I going to pay for that” and “we don’t have experience in that” and “what the @#$% am I doing”, and trust. Trust the team. Trust the vision. Trust God.
So I’ve been trusting God. Even with the push of our new ventures that have included calendars, trainings, and event management.
It is all new. Just like Favor was 4 years ago.
We have no experience doing many of these new things. Just like we didn’t when we launched Favor 4 years ago.
Some ventures haven’t been profitable. But neither was Favor 4 years ago. So that just means that they CAN be, and haven’t been – yet.
Favor is still here. Has grown to 20+ writers and through many changes And I’ve learned that if we use the same Vision and Team formation lessons we learned from Favor, every venture CAN be an award-winning enterprise.
We are one team. United under one vision. As part of one company.
There is no “my team”. It’s the BOLD team. OUR TEAM.
We are all in this up to our eyeballs. EVERY PERSON on our team has put in so much time and money, and sacrificed so many hours away from their families and other passions to make this – all of this – BOLD everything – work.
It requires trust.
None of this works without it.
This is the bare-knuckles truth of what has happened, what is happening, and what can happen when we embrace the team and the vision.
There is NOTHING we cannot accomplish together. We’ve built an award-winning media group (that still boggles my mind) TOGETHER. We’ve survived sabotage TOGETHER. We’ve overcome negative talk TOGETHER. And we will continue to stun the world with our audacious success TOGETHER!!!
Thank you to every writer, graphic designer, editor, distributor, subscriber, sponsor, partner, quiet supporter, family member and friend for BOLDly embracing us. All of us. From different parts of the world, different tribes, different faiths, different ethnicities, different races, different… everything. And yet we’re all the same:
We are BOLD and fearless!
“The future favors the BOLD. Be fearless!”
From my heart,
Founder and CEO
BOLD Favor Media Group
Publisher of BOLD Favor, BOLD Plus, and BOLD Ageless Beauty Magazines
Event Producers of the BOLD Awards and Private Screenings