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  • Writer's pictureKeyaira Boone

In Her Shoes Champions Can Do Spirit with "She Did That" Sneak Peek

The location was Neue House, an opulent coworking space on Manhattan’s East Side. But instead of hoodie wearing tech bros and the financiers who keep them in Red Bull and Supreme caps the room was comprised of black female entrepreneurs and their enthusiastic supporters.

They had come to screen part of “She Did That”, the debut filmmaking project by Renae Bluitt founder of Crush Media and In Her Shoes.

The film is a documentary that offers a glimpse some of the real experiences behind the sensationalized statistics surrounding black women and entrepreneurship.

“It means that a woman has achieved a certain level of success” said Bluitt explaining the meaning of the complimentary phrase, “she could have run a marathon or cooked an awesome meal for her man. Or, she could be building a brand like these women here.” As she spoke her audience nodded knowingly many of them having used the phrase to compliment one another’s accomplishments.

Before introducing the sneak peak of the film Bluitt, who was introduced by Television Host & Producer Kéla Walker revealed that while it had received positive reviews elsewhere she was excited and nervous to share it in New York. “There's something about sharing your baby with home. You guys are a tough crowd.”

Following the sneak peek two of the film’s stars Lip Bar founder Melissa Butler and Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price were joined by Essence Vice President of Client Solutions Cassandre Charles for a panel led by Bluitt. Panelists discussed their backgrounds, their personal definitions of success, and concessions that they weren’t willing to make in the pursuit of coins.

“I look at success as a place that I can be true to why I started the brand” said Butler “I see, as I grow people try to change the vision.” She made it clear that she would not be deviating from her goal of challenging the beauty standard sharing that her stance was now “either you're going to jump on my train or you're not.”

Charles shared that her view of success included asking herself “Is my daughter thriving? Are my aging parents taken care of?”

The women also addressed the unrealistic expectations that have arisen with the uptick in circulation of self employed selfies. “I see a lot of people doing 9-5 shaming” said Butler, a former Wall Street employee who would rush home from work to test lipstick recipes on her kitchen stove “A lot of people are leaving their jobs chasing this ‘idea’ of entrepreneurship."

Charles pointed out that it’s possible to achieve greatness while still being employed elsewhere reminding the audience that Bluitt herself used to work at Essence while working on her various side hustles. “I feel like a proud parent. One of our Essence babies has grown in this big beautiful way.” The panelists all agreed that as long as an entrepreneur is working towards their goals the pace doesn’t matter. “It doesn't actually have to be running, you can at least be jogging” said Butler.

Bluitt turned to the crowd and said “let's be honest entrepreneurship is very trendy right now.”

Price reminded attendees that while it looks glamorous entrepreneurship is about putting yourself out there and can sometimes come with insecurity. Even as the founder of one of the nation’s most respected beauty brands (According to Black Enterprise Carol’s Daughter was reportedly doing nearly 30 million dollars in sales annually before it was acquired by L’oreal) she was still ashamed about not excelling in college. She said that while it took her a while to get through that shame “It doesn't embarrass me anymore it's just apart of my life.” She also shared that when it comes to her own children she affords them “the freedom to screw up because we don't give each other that.”

In the film she details how clear it was made to her that she would have to work twice as hard due to her race and sex because the expectation was that she would be “late” and “sloppy”.

The event wasn’t just a film screening it was also a pop-up shop giving attendees an opportunity to put their money where their #blackgirlmagic hashtags are.

Vendors including Beauty by Africa Miranda, Tnemnroda, Indique Hair, Mischo Beauty, Lit Brooklyn, Lorraine West Jewelry, Brown Butter Beauty,

The Lip Bar and Effies Papers offered a variety of goods on curated tablescapes. The tables featured gems, tinsel, and elaborate acrylic displays.

Sponsor EdenBodyWorks even provided a beautiful chocolate fountain to highlight the table full of samples from their Almond Marshmallow collection.

DJ Monday Blue kept the party going.

Everyone came dressed to impress.

Even the babies were ready to slay. The owner of Kinky Brooklyn Girl brought along her two precious daughters.

The Blonde Misfit's Jamé Jackson paired turquoise fringed earrings with a coral lip.

Some men stopped by to show the ladies some support.

Founder of the buzzed about peer to peer shopping network Model Citizen and HelloBeautiful Fashion and Beauty Editor Danielle James hung out with xoNecole founder Necole Kane chatting and admiring the beautiful people and things in the room.

The women behind Clovesz showed off their drinkable light bulb offering attendees the hibiscus flower drink sorrel in the inventive packaging.

Emijaa Jaaemil showed off her winter weather friendly turbans.

Jersey Girl and digital influencer Christina Bright who recently appeared in Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It" was there living her best life in a tiered top from Shop Disclosure.

Of course some of the entrepreneurs on hand including BrownGirlMarketing's Ylorie Taylor, Lit Brooklyn's Denequa Williams, and Lipstick Fashion Mascara's Carmen Blakely stopped to make sure their social content was on point.

While they were there to sell their own wares the vendors supported each other as well. Uchenna Ngwudo of the celebrated accessories company Cee Cee’s Closet purchased two pair of Tnemnroda shades while the brand’s founder purchased a leather handbag and wrap from her line.

Price stayed after the panel and joined in on the fun posing for snapchat and insta-story videos in her Tnemnroda shades and joyfully agreeing to take selfies with attendees.

It was a day of doers, dreamers, and the bonds that allow them to flourish.

For more information on the brands featured at this event check out the In Her Shoes Holiday Guide featuring 75 Black Women-Owned Brands to Shop.

“She Did That” will be released in 2018. Get a sneak peak of the film below!

#shopping #popupshop #vendors #smallbusiness #blackownedbusiness

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