( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Founder and CEO of RLM Media and WhatRUWearing, Farissa Knox Works to Inspire and Empower Through Mastery of Writing, Producing, and Directing.
ENSPIRE Contributor: Kaleigh Gabriel
Farissa Knox, a Chicago-based author, producer, and entrepreneur, is the. Founder and CEO of RLM Media and WhatRUWearing (WRUW) Productions. Knox is a visionary creative executive, passionate storyteller, and tastemaker, dedicated to highlighting the diverse individuality of women through her company’s productions.
An accomplished director and executive producer, Knox’s reality series “PRGirl” is a beautifully composed reality spotlight on the hardworking women of Chicago’s PR scene. Having completed a second season of the hit show, Knox’s media group plans to continue expanding into scripted productions. Besides her success in media productions, Knox has also had success in sharing her experiences in her memoir, “Love, Sex, and Friendship: In No Particular Order.”
In an interview with ENSPIRE Magazine, Knox answered questions regarding her inspiration for the PRGirl Project, advice she has for young women, and how her company plans to continue to create new projects.
What inspired you to produce the reality show “PRGirl,” which showcases the work of public relations women in Chicago? Why these women?
The original web series version of “PRGirl,” featuring Alex Moresco, was released back in 2018 on the PRGirl website, and the next season we expanded to TV. The idea for the show came to me as I was trying to create an entertaining media company out of what is now my production company. I wanted to create a series of videos that spoke to today’s modern woman. As I dove deeper, we want to see positive, successful, diverse, beautiful representations of ourselves. So, I made a reality version of that—women working in a female-dominated industry, being themselves, enjoying success, working through hardship, and supporting each other the whole way. Alex Ott, Fallon Ryan, and Nolita Pore, from season two, were the perfect group of women to take us from a web series to streaming.
What kind of feedback have you received from PRGirl and how has it affected your plans for the show moving forward?
People love the show—women especially. They love the life these three women are living—all three of them are inspiring for different reasons. They also love that the women are not set up against each other or forced to compete with each other. It was very important to me that we walked away with true representation of everyone and not character representation. Although we would love to film this show forever, because of Covid and my desire to try to “scripted” TV world, we will take a break from producing seasons of “PRGirl” to focus on other things this year. But never say never.
You have written about your experiences in love, business, and life in your memoir, “Love, Sex, and Friendship: In No Particular Order.” If you could give advice based on your experiences to any young woman, what would you say?
My number one piece of advice for young women is to trust that what you bring to the table is just as valuable as what others are bringing. We have been told for far too long that what we bring is not as important, valuable, worthwhile—but in all reality, it’s the unique truths about each of us that bring the most value to any situation. Trust that, know that, and walk in that even when you are in doubt.
As CEO of RLM Media, a company dedicated to “empowering diversity and creative development,” how do you hope to see other businesses in your field change to do the same, to push the world to be more diverse?
To be honest, I don’t spend any of my energy pushing anyone to change. Whether it’s individuals or institutions. The only way for change to really happen is for the folks mostly negatively affected by how things are now, to change. As black people, people of color, and women, I feel that it’s up to us as individuals to not accept the norm as all that it could be. I focus on asking questions, demanding respect, speaking the truth no matter who is in the room, and encouraging people to do that same. The more of us who do that, the more it becomes that businesses and institutions have no choice but to change.
COVID-19 has restricted many companies as far as creating content in 2020-2021. Moving forward, what content are you hoping to create once the virus has alleviated?
Perhaps another season of PRGirl? I’m not ruling out another season of PRGirl, but for 2021, I am really excited about some of the scripted opportunities we have in front of us at WhatRUWearing Productions. I really want to continue to tell real-life stories of inspiring, diverse women, from a women’s perspective and show people something they have never seen before. So, stay tuned.
From writing to designing, speaking, and creative development, Knox draws inspiration from real life with a mission to change the social narrative and empower diverse, authentic characters. For more information on Knox’s upcoming projects, check out her website, and to catch up on the latest season of PRGirl, check out the website or stream it on Amazon.