We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
The It Factor: Known for her professionalism, poise and positive attitude, Shante Bacon has built an empire with 135th Street Agency and its mpressive client roster which includes VH1, Walt Disney Studios, Urban World Film Festival and Monami Entertainment. Additionally, Bacon, along with her partner Saptosa Foster, has played an enormous role in boosting the brand exposure and imprint of the most popular mainstream and urban brands including Myx Moscato, and more. Surprisingly, in an industry that runs on personal connections, the Queens, New York native’s secret for PR superstardom is less about who she knows and is instead firmly rooted in how hard she’s willing to work.
Beyond Boundaries: It’s no secret that Hollywood has never been preferential to creating opportunities for people of color. So how did two black women break into the film PR industry? Well, the ladies of 135th made the corporate transition to the silver screen seamless.
Being an African American in Hollywood can be very challenging but also be very rewarding as well. “People have already decided what your capabilities are before you walk in the door, and they can determine what they want and/or need you to do,” Bacon says. “And when you get your shot, even if it’s through the small prism that the person is looking through, you are able to go and show and prove. It’s all about if you can do more and prove them wrong. When you do, word starts to spread about your capabilities through what people are saying about you, to give you larger opportunities.”
Reach Back, Pull Forward: Bacon doesn’t solely take the credit for the industry professional that she currently is today. “There were many people who helped play a role in my success: Kevin Liles, Judy Greenwald and Chonita Floyd who’s now over at KWL Enterprises. Additionally Susan Burge, was the one who put me on the radar in front of Kevin, Julie and Lyor. If she didn’t make those introductions none of this would be possible. Also, Mona Scott Young; of all the African American females, Mona has been the only one to have the amount of staying power. She’s always been a trailblazer and trendsetter.”
Myths Dispelled: Many often believe that it’s difficult to work alongside high level executives in business, especially entrepreneurs. Bacon however doesn’t buy into this stereotype. “I don’t buy into the notion that black women are hard to work for,” shares Bacon. “I think everyone is difficult to work for. I find it difficult working for anyone, that’s the reason I felt like start at my own company. I do think that some of us subscribe to the theory however, that some of us feel that in order to be taken seriously, we have to take on an ultra bitchy role. But that is a small percentage of us and in the year 2013 a lot of folks have figured out that it’s not about that. In order to get to a certain level, you are going to have your challenges as a black woman.”