We’re still feeling the excitement and energy from last week’s BlogHer Biz conference in Brooklyn, NY! Filled with incredible connections and moments, one set of speakers continues to stand out, SHE Media’s inaugural Voices of the Year (VOTY) Spotlights. A long standing BlogHer initiative, VOTY is a celebration of women who inspire us to pursue new passions through their legacy work. Each year we recognize Voices of the Year in various ways, new in 2021 is an ongoing selection of VOTY Spotlights, where we highlight creators for their contribution to their community in a meaningful way.
BlogHer also launched our first-ever VOTY 100 digital issue earlier this year!
With the first in-person event since pivoting to digital in 2020, we were eager to get this year’s VOTY Spotlight speakers onto the stage. The passion they brought to the audience was contagious, as they shared inspiring stories from their own journey in media. These three women are part of the SHE Media Collective, as well as a part of our Meaningful Marketplace Program. Congrats, ladies!
BlogHer Biz 2021 VOTY Spotlights
Jiji Ugboma, Cleverish Magazine
Described as a resource and community to help young people navigate their quarter-life crisis and mental health, Jiji founded Cleverish several years ago after finding herself unhappy with the direction her career was headed. In school for finance, she realized she was embarking on a degree she wasn’t passionate about and needed to make a change. From there, with the acknowledgment of her own quarter-life crisis and the realization that other people in their mid-twenties may feel the same, Cleverish Magazine was born.
“I am very honored to be a recipient of the BlogHer Voices Of The Year Award. We have a very important mission at Clever-ish and I’m thrilled to have the support of SHE Media. The BlogHer event was such a wonderful experience. I got to meet so many incredible women who are making a difference and blazing a trail. What an exceptional day!”
Through her content and her mission, Jiji continues to help people who are navigating the unnecessary pressures to conform and feel alone. She speaks from experience when she says that going through this experience can help people address their doubts and insecurities and forge a way to happiness.
Watch Jiji’s Spotlight in the replay, here at minute 45.
Debbie Stoller, Bust Magazine
In 1993, Debbie Stoller created the edgy print magazine, Bust Magazine. At the time, there were plenty of female-focused magazine brands, but all with the same narrow view of the things women cared about. You’d scroll through the pages of the same headlines, she says, and see articles on how to lose weight, how to get a man and how to get the perfect look. After speaking to countless women, she could see that consuming this content left them feeling inadequate. Although the idea of feminism was still “a naughty word” at the time, Debbie created one of the original independent feminist media brands.
Watch Debbie’s Spotlight here, at the 3 hr 42 minute mark.
Claire Sulmers, Fashion Bomb Daily
After being told by a fashion publication that she was “not the type of candidate they would hire in their organization”, Claire became committed to create a space in the publishing world where she, and others like her, would be represented and valued as they should.
“If I couldn’t find a fashion magazine for me, I would create them. I decided I was going to be the change I wanted to see in the publishing world”
Fifteen years ago, Claire decided to launch a blog about the topic she was most passionate about: Shopping! The blog, Fashion Bomb Daily, which eventually she evolved to the topic of celebrity style, has morphed into a full-time business with an IG following of 2 million followers. Her game-changing movement has become a community of marginalized humans who weren’t being represented in traditional media.
Watch Claire’s Spotlight here, at the 2 hr 20 minute mark.
Claire has recently launched Fashion Bomb Daily Shop, a marketplace for emerging multicultural designers.
Thank you, Claire, for refusing to accept no all those years ago!