On April 16th, Her Agenda hosted a discussion with three creatives who have figured out how to make a living from their passion.
The sold out panel, presented in partnership with AlleyNYC, featured amazing food and desserts from AssataBakes, and a special giveaway from Dagne Dover. But of course, the highlight of the evening was the conversation.
The panel was composed of three women who make their creativity work for them on a daily basis. Danielle Arps, who is the go-to interior designer for startups including Fashionista, Venmo, Code Academy, and General Assembly, joined us. We also heard from Sophia Chang, who is a designer illustrator from Queens, NY, whose clients range from the NBA, to NIKE to Marc Jacobs. Rounding out the panel was Leah McSweeney, the founder and CEO of Married to the Mob, the first streetwear company launched by a woman for women. They kept it real with us on how they make it happen.
“I worked really hard and I was confident [in] my own talents,” explained Chang when reminiscing about making the leap from a stable job to become an independent creative. “I realized I had to leave and figure it out and go into the unknown without any actual agenda but confidence.”
You can read our full profile on Sophia Chang HERE.
“Having a clothing brand is a lot more than just being creative, a lot, a lot more,” Leah McSweeney was completely transparent with the audience about her journey. From suing the NYPD to get the 75K to build her company, to what she deals with as a creative business woman today eleven years into Married to the Mob’s existence.
You can read Leah McSweeney’s full feature HERE.
“When I quit my job I maybe only had three months of rent saved. I said as long as I could pay my rent, my student loan, and my individual health care for the next few months I would be alright,” Arps explained her jump into becoming an independent interior designer. We explore her journey as a whole in our feature with her which is now updated with her insight from the panel. (You can read it, HERE)
“It wasn’t easy because obviously there were moments when I was literally counting quarters, my laundry money, to take the MTA so I could meet a client,” Chang added.
The struggles are there but Chang adds that the hard moments are what fuels her.
“When the pressure is there it only pushes you to hustle harder. I was confident. I knew what I was walking away from, not that it was that much money. I was walking away from security for sure. I was confident in my abilities, and I just was like I’m young let me just see how far I can take this and if it doesn’t work out then I’ll just get a real job. Again. (rolls eyes)”
The panel discussion ranged from finding motivation, to tapping into your confidence as an entrepreneur to finding the capital to launch out on your own. Each of the ladies also gave insight into what it’s like to work as a woman in a male dominated industry. Watch the full video of our panel discussion at the top of this article, along with the log of the live tweets below: