INSPIRATION INTERVIEWS: With Journalist, Shelby Christie!!

Meet Charlotte-based journalist, Shelby Christie! This young woman is successful and has plans to sore to new heights! Despite what she has had to overcome, she never let anything hold her back from her dream. Take a look at her success story and what she has to share with us.
What is your name and title?
Shelby Ivey Christie & I am a lifestyle and entertainment journalist.

What are your passions in life and what motivates you to fulfill them?
I’m passionate about applying my purpose & using it to help others better themselves and their situations. I believe God called me to connect with & uplift women of color. My own struggles & journey to & through womanhood is what motivates me to reach out to other women & help them walk their own purpose.

How did you break out as a journalist?

I dropped out of school! Lol An odd answer, I know, but true. I dropped out of college after my freshman year in 2010. Once I came home my family encouraged me to find out what I enjoyed doing & focus on that. I’ve kept a journal since I was very young & had even started writing books as a child. So after some mingling & inquiring into Charlotte’s journalism network I felt like sharing my views & myself through writing was my thing.

 Could you tell me a little bit about your background in journalism?

Of course! I got my start in the Charlotte chapter if NABJ. I was the youngest member & sat on the executive board as secretary for the 2010-2011 year. I’ve written for several publications including Charlotte Style Magazine & QCityMetro. I used to do alot of style writing but I moved away from that in an effort to explore entertainment. I’ve interviewed Grammy nominated artist Miguel as well as Grammy award winning artist & producer 9th Wonder. I dove head first into entertainment journalism. Last summer I did a live TV segment for Fox News Rising Charlotte. I started with style journalism & I hope to finish with lifestyle journalism.
 What companies have you worked for and which one has been the most exciting?

I’ve worked for Charlotte Style Magazine & QCityMetro. I’ve also done a number of guest blog posts, mostly for The most exciting company I’ve worked for is Conde’ Nast. I moved to NYC for the Fall 2011 semester & interned at W Magazine as a fine Jewelry intern. It was an exciting and fast paced environment. I got to work with celebrities & handle beautiful jewelry. I was able to cover Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, which is what sparked my interest in entertainment journalism. While I W Magazine I was able to get one of my articles published by the magazine. That was one of my proudest moments. I was only 20 at the time & the only black intern.

Your story encourages me to want to work harder in life and go for what I want! I see that you said you moved to NY for your intern. That’s awesome to achieve at a young age! How did you adjust to the fast pace life?
I’m originally from NY & so is my family so I stayed with an aunt if mine. That definitely helped with adjusting. It was hard though. Having no friends to do things with, I had to learn how to go places on my own. My job was very stressful. The hours were Cray & was taking 18 credits online. So I called home crying at least twice a week lol
I’d love to go to NY, but I know financial stakes out there are high. How did you deal with finances? Were you able to save money before going out there?
I noticed you said you got started in the Charlotte chapter of NABJ. What is NABJ?
I did save money & used my refund check from school. My mom helped as well. NABJ is the National Association of Black Journalist. HBCUs have student chapters & cities have there own chapter. You can join NABJ nationally then register with your local chapter in charlotte. I think.
 As a young black female, do you find it harder to be taken seriously in the writing industry?

Yes, it’s very challenging for women of color to break through in the journalism industry, especially in television. We all see the images on MTV of the “token black” on the shows. It’s like that in my industry. I’ll offer an example, I was the only black intern at W & one of 3 black people in the entire office. At the time Conde Nast had never even had a black editor. When my article was published my boss & her assistant were livid. They told me I had overstepped my boundaries as an intern & didn’t even congratulate me. I felt then & still feel strongly now that they were unhappy because they felt like as a black women I should have just been satisfied with being an intern. More literally, most networks don’t have many black hosts & most publications only have a handful of black journalist. I had interviews at Cosmopolitan Magazine once & I didn’t see anyone that looked like me. Our nation isn’t generating content geared to the opinions of African Americans. Therefore there aren’t many  positions available for us as journalists.

What is Bombshells and how did it come to life?

Bombshells in Business is an organization I started to prepare women of color to be competitive in the global market. I want to equip women with everything they need to obtain their dream jobs & succeed in the fields they desire to work in. It got its start as a panel discussion. While I was away interning in NYC I began to receive a lot of emails & tweets from women my age asking me how I got my start so young. I felt like I needed to answer everyone’s questions & give everyone great insight. So I decided to gather a group of my mentors from five different professions & hold a public panel discussion. The event was held in Charlotte while I was home for Christmas break. We had a great turn out & received raved reviews. Once I got back to school I saw the need for some kind of fellowship & training amongst the women of my campus and got straight to work on gathering a strong group of women & building the frame of the organization. We start programming at NC A&T SU this Fall.

Bombshells in Business is a wonderful organization and it is very uplifting. We need more organizations, and let alone women out here who are willing to work together to get the top. Women are usually known not to get along and to create drama when they get together. I absolutely disagree. I think that we are all capable of working together and succeeding all with the right minds. I am highly interested in what your organization has to offer. By any chance will there be any upcoming workshops in the Charlotte area that I can attend?
Yes, women of color don’t work together nearly enough. I have to disagree with you though women are not capable right now of fully being happy for one another. We are in a society that encourages individualism. That cultivates competition. But that’s exactly why I started bombshells in business. We will be having most programs at A&T. You are welcome to come of course!!! Keep up with us on twitter & Insta @bombshellsinbiz

I know that you were one of the youngest to receive the title as one of Charlotte’s 25 Most Stylish. Congrats! How do you live up to that name?

Thank you! I think that title is quite a bit much for me. I wear the title as a challenge rather than an adornment. Since being named I’ve challenged myself to do more for my community & women of color. I also strive to set the bar for collegiate women. I use my title as a challenge…I challenge everyone to do what they love & chase after their dreams tirelessly. I say, “look how far I’ve come. From college drop out to Charlotte’s 25 Most Stylish. If I can do it, you can do it too…”

In your circle of friends, are you the go-to person when it comes to fashion advice?

Yes, lol I am. My friends are all very stylish in their own rights. However, they do send me pictures & bounce outfit  ideas off of me often. I will actually have an entire group of people asking me for fashion advice this coming school year. Verge Modeling troupe has elected me as there fashion coordinator. I’ll be in charge if styling them for all performances. I suppose I’ll have my hands full with fashion. Lol 

What part do you play in the fashion industry?

I’m not terrible involved in the fashion industry at all. As previously stated, I’ve shifted towards entertainment in the last year. However, I do have some leftover perks from my previous style days here in Charlotte. I’m great at networking. I maintain close relationships with movers & shakers on the fashion scene.

Would you say you have a “personal style”? If so, how would you describe it?

I don’t really have a personal style. It’s ever evolving. This past fall I was in a Wednesday Addams grunge phase. I’m currently in a structured, sleek, minimalist phase. My style matures with time, I can say that. It’s always reflective of who I am at the moment.

 What has been the most rewarding experience during your career so far?

Starting Bombshells in Business is my greatest joy. It’s my baby. It’s funny how The Lord works. He’s given me all this experience, these ups & downs…and now I know it was so that I can share that with other women. Uplift other women through my life’s work. God has given me a wonderful group of women to help me bring Bombshells in Business to life & I’m so overjoyed to be leaving leading a legacy.

 What would you say to those who are just starting as a journalist or writer?

Experience, experience, experience! You can never have too much. Get involved in as much journalism projects that you can handle. Those skills will be called upon one day. Find out what exactly you’d like to do. Broadcast, production, magazines, news or TV? Find out exactly what field you’d like to work in ,then get secondary experience in an area that interests you. If you want to work for a magazine cool, but you need to know what area. Fashion, food, travel? Once you know exactly what you want to do, just do it.

Where can we keep up with you and view some of your work?

Ill be relaunching my site soon. Until then you can keep up with me in Instagram & Twitter @bronze_bombshel

It’s wonderful to see young black women on the up & up! Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something because of your race or gender. Despite the color of your skin or identity, you are capable of doing anything. Look at Shelby Christie’s story and look at all she had to share with us. Despite being put down at her internship, she continued to rise to the top! Let nothing stop or hold you back!

Be sure to keep up with Shelby & life changing organization, Bombshells in Business:
Twitter | @bronze_bombshel

Instagram | @bronze_bombshel

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