I’m a lover of the world and far off places who is so excited that you’re here. Looking forward to sharing more of my world with you and all the things I love. I hope this site really does feel like a wellness oasis right here on the internet.
There are so many digital platforms out in the world but I have always knew that representation was something that was missing. I have finally come across a female black owned digital platform to go to. I had the opportunity to chat with the founder Natina Marie Hill and learn all about Melanin Muse.
I’ve always been passionate about representation and helping others find their voice. When I was young, I would speak up for my friends and even strangers if they weren’t treated fairly. I didn’t always know how to use my voice for good, but I learned at a very young age that I had the power to evoke change by leading and creating my own path. I traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, with some friends as a teenager and I will never forget the impact of seeing Black families thriving in all aspects of their lives. I visited the AUC and watched college students that looked like me, and mostly looked like TV characters out of A Different World, enjoying learning and building community. Black people owned businesses, held high positions in retail and in politics. I knew at that moment Atlanta was going to be my new home. The power of representation led me to leave my home in Rochester, New York, at nineteen-years-old with three teenage friends, to move to Atlanta.
Three years ago, I decided to invest my time and resources into a startup company, which was a streaming video network for Black women. We worked extremely hard to get this business to scale. We had a ton of traction from features in Forbes, AdWeek, and local publications such as AJC and The Atlanta Voice. Black women were thrilled to have a platform focused on telling our stories. Unfortunately, we had to pivot our business and what better time to do it than in 2020. The global pandemic we are facing today actually gave me the opportunity to let go of a failing business and prioritize my personal health and wellness. I seized the moment to rest, sis. When I let go, my vision for the business was clear.
My deep passion for helping others find their voice and own their narrative has inspired me to create a modern media company, Melanin Muse, with the help of six other Black women. These women hold it down for me. They helped build our first business as freelancers and now they own equity in our new business. That’s how you level up!
What makes your platform unique and different?
Melanin Muse is more than a digital magazine and multimedia platform for Black women. Our platform is a safe space where Black women can find community and representation in the stories we share. What makes us unique is we’re the first magazine solely dedicated to sharing everyday Black women’s stories and led by Black women. We love our celebrities and our Essence magazine! We see a lane for us to fill in the gap for our sisters and our daughters to find inspiration in all Black women, whether they are celebrities or around-the-way women. We launched February 1, 2021, and our first featured melanin muses are nurses, content creators, moms, entrepreneurs, therapists, mathematicians, doulas, bloggers, and so much more.
When you visit our website, you’ll find stories, videos, podcasts, masterclasses, merch, and a private online community for Black women. We invite your readers to visit our website and nominate a melanin muse.
Favorite part of your platform. It’s the Black women’s stories for me. Period.
How did you choose a planner?
People ask me all the time how I manage to run a consulting business, a media company, a tax franchise, and find time to coach Parents! One of my strengths is organization. I have mastered compartmentalizing and I’m obsessed with planning. Keep in mind, I’m a creative first and I’ve always been, although I am a very critical thinker as well. When designing the planner, I kept creatives in mind, so there is a blank canvas every week to help us let our creativity run wild before we start to plan out the important details. The blank canvas is intentional to encourage us to free our thoughts and spark vision. Another important aspect of the muse planner is the inspirational quotes. On top of being a planner addict, I absolutely love quote books. So, why not bring both into one product? The muse planner brings everything I love to do. I can create a vision for my week, plan a project, keep track of my goals, and journal my thoughts all while finding inspiration in the quotes.
What’s next for you and for Melanin Muse?
Currently, we are preparing for our next cover shoot and crowdfunding to pay Black women content creators and writers equitably. Donations to our crowdfund can be made here: https://ifundwomen.com/projects/melanin-muse. We are also extremely excited to partner with Cocoa Diaries to donate a portion of our profits from sales of the muse planners to their scholarship fund, which helps Black girls pay for college. We are accepting advertising partners that align with our brand to join our new membership that allows you to pay-as-you-go for advertising on our platform. It is important for our platform to create an ecosystem for Black-owned and woman-owned businesses. Brands can pay a monthly subscription to have on-going advertising in our digital magazine, website, and our other social platforms. We are all about being ahead of the game. We are not a traditional magazine so we are not going to box ourselves into only offering traditional ad products. We offer traditional advertising products, but becoming a member with us allows you direct access to our community of Black women, graphic design for your ad creatives, and much more. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One piece of advice:
My advice for new entrepreneurs or someone with a great idea is to get out of your head and take the risk necessary to do it! I’ve coached many entrepreneurs over the years and many of them allow fear to stand in their way or literally talk themselves out of making moves. As entrepreneurs, we want to take huge leaps and that’s what scares us the most. Instead, we have to learn to break down the leap into tiny hops and be sure to celebrate the small wins along the way. When I decided the new vision for our business was a modern media company that releases a digital magazine, I had no prior editorial production experience. Fortunately, I have 20+ years of experience in producing digital content and experience as a digital product manager, but I had a lot to learn over a 3-month period to prepare for our launch.
I used the muse planner to write or rewrite my vision, sketch mockups for the website, set goals, create budgets, and take notes as I watched a million masterclasses and webinars. Every week, I learned something new and I was able to see my progress written in the muse planner. I had quarantine parties with my husband and virtual happy hours with my besties to celebrate each step. This has been the healthiest business launch I’ve ever done… Trust me, I’ve launched several businesses in my lifetime all with the same level of passion. That’s what serial entrepreneurs do. To my Black women, my dreamers, and doers, I invite you to join our private community so you have the support and encouragement along the way! You are not alone in this, sis.