( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Blake Newby, Freelance Beauty Writer, Talks Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference and Discusses Her Space in the Beauty Industry
ENSPIRE Contributor: Amanda Hirsch
One of the many allures of editorial writing or writing for magazines is getting to have a voice and a space to speak about things that matter. As a freelance beauty writer and a black woman, Blake Newby has taken every opportunity to speak on behalf of those whose voice is lost in the background. It is no secret that the mainstream beauty industry is predominantly marketed to white people. This past Sunday, beauty gurus Sha Ravine and D’Shonda Brown co-hosted the first annual Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference. Blake Newby was honored to have been asked to speak as a panelist about her space in the beauty industry and get the chance to continue sharing her story. ENSPIRE Magazine got the chance to speak with Blake after the conference more about her journey as a freelance beauty writer.
Blake kindly reiterated what she shared during the conference. She mainly spoke about what it’s like being black in the beauty context. A common struggle is breaking into the beauty industry as a black woman because many brands aren’t marketed towards people who look like you. When asked what it meant to her to get the chance to speak in the conference, Blake said that she was thankful that Sha and D’Shonda thought of her and allowed her a platform to speak on such topics so personal to her. After reminiscing about the conference, we got to talk about her story and her experiences.
When asked what her favorite part about her job is, Blake said that she loves being able to have the platform to talk about things that pertain to black women in the beauty space. It’s important to talk about how beauty products and product marketing effect black women, and her work allows her to do just that.
Blake got real when she was asked what the most challenging part about breaking into the beauty industry as a freelance writer has been for her. She explained that when she started, she would pitch ideas and editorials to magazines and get a response saying that “it’s just not their kind of content,” meaning that it was content that appeals to black women. She has also had negative experiences with brands as they often prioritize and work with white writers. She expressed that it is exhausting and that sometimes she feels like she is just a “quota-filler.” But then she reminds herself that “Beauty does not have a race. Beauty does not have an ethnicity. It’s important to highlight the diversity of beauty.”
Writing editorials for others to read can be a very influential and rewarding job. To Blake, having a voice in the beauty industry means that women of color can read something that makes them feel confident, valued, and beautiful. She hopes that people will read her editorials and be able to say “Okay, finally. This is content I can relate to.”
Being a beauty writer has evolved to serve as therapy for Blake. She recognizes that writing about beauty, health, and wellness is not just about the products. Writing is a way that she can express herself and work through her thoughts. She now sees beauty as an outlet.
After speaking with Blake, it is clear why she was chosen to speak on the panel for the Bridging Beauty and Wellness Conference. She was effortlessly kind and unfalteringly truthful about her journey to get to where she is today. She ended our interview with a piece of advice, saying that the beauty industry is all about who you know and to just be confident, persistent, and reach out to those who are willing to help. In the meantime, Blake will continue to solidify her space in the beauty industry, making all women feel included and heard.
To keep up with Blake, you can follow her on Instagram @blacklawren.