CRWN Hits GeenieBox's NYC Launch!
CRWN was in the building last week at the launch of GeenieBox, a new subscription box created to capture and sprinkle #BlackGirlMagic everywhere! Each month, a GeenieBox is curated by a different iconic Black woman (Geenie) featuring books, products and experiences that help her and now YOU on a journey to success.
We caught up with GeenieBox's creator, Chana Ewing — founder of the Michelle O brunch series — and the first GeenieBox curator, Lauren Maillian — who you can catch on Quit Your Day Job on Oxygen next month.
CRWN: What do you want people to experience or feel when they open the GeenieBox?
Chana: Well, besides magic? I want them to feel that black women are so smart, and — they're genius. We're kind of starting with this idea of #BlackGirlMagic, but really it's all about the genius of black women. Getting you to unpack your thinking. How do you get to do what you do? Why do you do what you do? What are the learnings? What are the takeaways you can give to somebody else? Often times [as an] entrepreneur, you often don't know what to do. It can feel isolating because you think somebody else may know something, and I don't know. It's a story in a box around somebody else's personal development, their personal journey, what works for them and then hopefully these tips and these ideas can then help you.
Lauren is our first box, and it was our first interview. One of the things I told my friends about afterwards is, Lauren takes herself very seriously. It's a compliment. She goes to the gym all the time, she goes to acupuncture weekly, she does deep tissue massages twice a month . . . She's like, "I don't believe in showing up unprepared." This was really very helpful to me because -- not to say I don't think I take myself seriously -- but there's a lot that goes into what you see in front of you. She didn't just wake up like this, she is working on herself all the time; and you need to put in the work if you want to receive the benefits. So I think that was really helpful and really useful for me to hear.
Lauren: I want them to feel that anything is possible when they open my box, and that they really do hold the key to their future and to their success. That they can live The Path Redefined and that they can get to the top on their own terms.
CRWN: What do you look for when you invest in a company?
Lauren: Too many things to say, but I look for a kick-ass entrepreneur, an amazing product, a good cause and an amazing team.
CRWN: What is your hairstory?
Chana: This is my second time being natural, even though I blow dry it all the time [laughs]. I'm still natural! I just love my bounce! So I'm constantly blowdrying it. But this is the second time I've been natural. I like the versatility of it. I like having natural hair but then being able to blow dry it and do different styles with it. I've always been in the hair salon. I'm a hair salon person, I'm not a person that does my own hair. I don't watch YouTube videos -- I've literally been in the hair salon since I was five years old. My hairstory is around being in salons, and developing a bond with the hairdresser, and trying new styles.
Lauren: My hairstory is a story of trial and error over the years. I am natural and I am madly in love with my hair stylist who is also my makeup artist for big events. I'm natural, and I have a daughter who's also natural, and I'm all about loving who you are and the skin you're in and the hair you have.
CRWN: What was your response to the Beyonce halftime show, and the natural styles -- and the whole Formation discussion?
Lauren: She is who she is. We are who we are. I believe in unapologetically being you.
CRWN: What is the best advice you've received, that you'd want to pass on to an aspiring entrepreneurial woman?
Lauren: The best advice that I've received is to be very clear about what you want and to be able to back it up. The best advice I've ever given is probably the same. In addition to that, I'm constantly reminding everyone that I advise to always be humble. I think there's a lot of noise out there about, you know, have back bone, throw your shoulders back and have confidence; and a lot of times that gets confused with arrogance. I'm always reminding people of how important it is to stay humble.
Chana: It's actually very random. The best advice I've received is that nobody actually knows what they're doing. It can sometimes seem like everyone is so together, and everyone has it all figured out. Especially as an entrepreneur you're constantly comparing yourself, like, "Oh, am I on the right track?" so just this idea that we're all figuring it out, we're all figuring it out together. I think that was really helpful for me.
CRWN: Last question: favorite hair product?
Lauren: Right now? My New Me flat iron right now is my favorite product.
Chana: I would say right now, Shea Moisture. I love their brand, I love their products, I think it's amazing. It always feels very rich. Anything Shea Moisture!
Subscribe to GeenieBox HERE.