Stepping Out On Faith… Our Interview with Chasity Saunders
Stepping Out On Faith… Our Interview with Chasity Saunders
After being in the industry for many years, I have seen models, companies and people come and go, so when I came across a model that also has her own company, I had to stop and check it out. Chasity Saunders is a plus size model who took her passion for journalism and has created a thriving career.
Maddy: Hi Chasity, can you tell me about Avenue Pink and what your vision was as a business owner?
Chasity: First I’ll need to give you a bit of background, I’ve worked in media for over 7 years now and knew every since I was a child that entertainment was the route that I was destined to take. After attending Norfolk State University where I originally started as a theatre major and after the major was dropped, and also after careful consideration and the opportunity to take a career exploration course, I found the fabulous world of media which included radio, TV and journalism to name a few of my most interested routes!
Maddy: How did you finally get your feet wet?
Chasity: It was by accident while completing and internship in my sophomore year, I was given an amazing chance to be an on air host. I’d been working the front desk of the college radio station, and after receiving a few compliments on my personality, I was challenged by the station manager who said “Not everyone can do radio, I bet if I put you on air, you would freeze up”. I accepted the challenge, went on air that day, and have never looked back!
Maddy: How did you develop in the industry and gain experience?
Chasity: Through the years I excelled at radio and eventually moved into TV hosting as well as hosting concerts in my local area with the likes of Rick Ross, T-Pain and The Game to name a few, both at my university and then other schools in the area like Hampton University. I loved every minute of everyday that I could be on a stage or camera, and where I started on the radio, and I still do to this day!
Chasity: I ended up having the prime time spot on my college radio station, hosting events on campus and in my community. While doing so, I realized how important it was to give back, encourage others to follow their dreams, and set an example that through hard work, dedication, drive, and number 1 God, all things are possible…take me – a small town girl from Roanoke VA who has begun to turn her wildest dreams into reality!
Maddy: That’s a great frame of mind to be in as your dreams are coming true. So how did you develop your entrepreneurial spirit?
Chasity: I always had an entrepreneurial spirit! In college I was approached to start an event planning company, and of course the little “leader on my left shoulder” told me to go for it and I did. I was putting on concerts featuring acts like Rick Ross, and making a ton of money and proving to myself, anything really is possible. I made relationships in college that helped me get to where I am today as a business woman. Right out of college I was offered a job as the assistant to the Vice President at Music Choice Television in NYC, and as the Vice President of a major booking agency in NYC, so needless to say I moved here with a job and no apartment, but all the determination in the world!
Maddy: So you have a great job, your networking, giving back and at what point did you decide to take the plunge and own your own business?
Chasity: After almost a year with that organization, working with many different personalities, and ultimately meeting my now business partner Quan Lateef; we decided to start a company that really spoke to our passions and ideas, AVENUE PINK!
Maddy: So what is the primary focus for Avenue Pink?
Chasity: AVENUE PINK, LLC is a new media company specializing in radio and television production, designed to facilitate and support thought, leadership, trends, news, and lifestyle conversations relevant to the young urban professional community. The multi-faceted online community is hosted by four dynamic and diverse women who exchange a variety of honest perspectives on topics that connect, inform, and engage the progressive young professional community.
Maddy: So interesting… so you cover all topics and are not just focused on music or fashion.
Chasity: We cover all topics, we have a weekly radio show that airs Tuesday nights. Some of the segments to look forward to, that I bring to the table are World News, Music & Movies, and Entertainment News! We also have a TV component where we cover red carpet premieres and events such as the BET Awards in LA which we have covered for the past 2 years, we also partner with other organizations offering them top of the line media services, for instance this past Saturday while I was Ripping the Runway my partner, and our team, were executing an event we’d been planning for months with the Urban League of Young Professionals at NYU for their SOYBNY event: State of Young Black New York! We provided them with, promotion, press releases, live interviews and twitter updates to name a few of our services.
Maddy: I know from having my own business, I had NO idea what I would encounter as a business owner. What is your advice to women looking to have their own business?
Chasity: Know your business, and know that good enough is never good enough. Be sure that you and your partners, should you decide to have any, are completely clear on what you all hope to achieve! While the “highs” can be incredible, the “lows” will be just as low, but you have to always remember that there can be no testimony without a test! Lastly, be ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Maddy: You’re a plus size model and business owner, tell me about time management and how you handle it all.
Chasity: I’ve always loved to be busy and to call the shots, so time management has always been a way of life. Modeling is my dream come true, and I’m truly a firm believer in “Beauty & Brains” and bringing something to the table! So instead of looking at being extremely busy all the time as a burden, I consider it a blessing! I left my job only 6 months after moving to NYC to set out on faith and pursue my modeling and acting, and hosting career, then in April 2009 made Avenue Pink an LLC official, so I’ve always known that a 9-5 was not for me, and that I must manage my time as effectively as possible in order to have the lifestyle that I have. Being able to manage my own time is a true blessing, and I feel fortunate that I’m able to live a happy and full life! Step out on faith!
Maddy: Thank you Chasity, it was a pleasure to speak with you. We wish you much continued success.
Chasity: Again, I thank you for giving me a voice and letting the world know that there are more to models than just a pretty face!