MADE Magazine Issue 8 - Page 55

MADECONNECTIONS A lthough everyone’s path is different, it takes a beautiful mind to intentionally motivate and inspire those coming after you,” Kris D. Williams, Publisher of MADE explained to an intimate room of creatives about the event’s premise. At MADE Magazine’s “Beautiful Mind” Panel Sip ‘N Share, five insightful power players of various backgrounds in entertainment shared what the moderator, Robin Ayers, called “golden nuggets.” The group of writers, artists, activists and executives candidly told stories that led them to the top of their peer groups in front of a room full of those aspiring to do the same. The discussion opened with reflections of the ups and downs of the panelists’ careers. Afrika Lander, General Manager of Compound Entertainment (co-founded by NE-YO), spoke of owning and growing from early mistakes which eventually led to her working alongside Susan L. Taylor, past editor-in-chief of Essence. As she shared key points that positioned her for greatness, Lander also spoke of her newfound strength to make time for the things most important. Ashaunna Ayars, Founder of the Ayars Agency reflected on early memories that inspired her to goal-set for her career at Island Def Jam Music Group and Warner Bros. Ayars spoke of preparing for opportunities that led to working with entertainers like Mary J. Blige and Common. “If there is one thing I would want you all to take away today is that you have to ‘go to grow’.” Ayars said while encouraging listeners to travel, if need be, to follow their dreams. Etoy Ridgnal, Founder of Community Advocacy Partners, revealed how her passion in community outreach and politics ignited opportunities in entertainment, working on projects Selma and OWN’s BELIEF series. Ridgnal tipped guests to prioritize their passions by using creativity to fuel multiple streams of revenues. Ranada Shephard, Writer of Born Again Virgin gave insight on her early challenges in writing and landing her big break in Hollywood after pitching her initial concepts aggressively. “Everyone doesn’t have to struggle to have success. Everyone’s story is different.” Shephard said, which also is reflective of the colorful backgrounds of the panel. Unlike other creative bosses, actress, singer and new mother, Ly’Mia Good, who grew up in the industry from a young age, shared sentiments of inspired growth in front of the camera. Good shed light on her experience re-entering showbiz after childbirth and her enthusiasm to live a full and authentic life. A day of inspiration it was. We hope this inspired those intereste