Introduce yourself and profession to our readers: My name is Carmen Simmons and I am the Founder and CEO of nStyleAtlanta.com
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest? Growing up I always had a passion for arts and entertainment. I loved to dance, draw, write, and even briefly played the piano and clarinet. When I was in High School I participated in a dance class taught by Famed Choreographers Carrie Ann Inaba and the late Keith Williams. It was after that experience that I knew I didn't want to be a performer but be behind that scenes.
As I grew older my passion grew more towards planning events, music, television. I was obsessed with watching Oprah and music network talk shows like Video Music Box, YO MTV Raps, Rap City, Video Soul, TRL, and 106 and Park and listening to radio personalities like Wendy Williams. They were a major reason why I majored in Radio, Television, and Film Production.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit? Never stop studying your craft. If your in school begin interning immediately. Find someone who is an expert in your field of interest to learn from and ask them to mentor you. This business is just as much about relationships as it is skill and talent so practice building rapport and leave your ego at the door.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
When I graduated from Clark Atlanta University I was on the cuff of a few personal hurdles. My job search was all over the place out of desperation to survive, not pursue a career. When I decided to become more focused on seeking positions aligned with my degree it was hard because I didn't have internship experience in television production. My college internships were at a major music label. A friend of mines convinced me to take workshops at a local community television station to gain access to their equipment and produce for their station. At first I didn't see the sense in taking production workshops when I had a brand new television production college degree.
The decision to attend the workshops turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I sharpened up my producer skills and simultaneously I landed a job at a boutique music publishing company owned by a major music icon. I used my relationships to book interviews. I created a show called Urban runway and began submitting content for community television and therefore began my career as a community television producer instead of waiting for someone to give me an entry level job at a television network. I guess I was unconsciously following my college alma mater "I'll Find a Way or Make One".
What is next for your brand/business in 2017?
We've recently launched a Live interview and performance showcase called "N'Style Atlanta Presents..." It's a spin on Soul Train and MTV Unplugged where the NSA Host interview artist in front of a live audience before they perform. We're also developing new web content including scripted and reality under the N'Style Atlanta brand.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media
You can follow me online at @mizzsimmons @nstyleatlanta and you can subscribe to our email list on www.nstyleatlanta.com