( ENSPIRE Business ) Founder Of Women Who Influence, And Filmed ‘Shot of Influence’
ENSPIRE Contributor: Gabrielle Maya
Gabrieline Reece is known for her features in press outlets, collaborations with important figures and clients, and her art in storytelling film, and productions. She specializes in social leadership, public relations, small business, and entrepreneurship. Gabrieline Reece is an advocate for women who she believes can shape the world when given the right tools and guidance. Her unique voice brings her stories to life in her productions. Her production company Shot Studio has filmed, directed, produced, cast, and got local press for her film “Shot of Influence” in just a month.
For eight years Gabrieline Reece has dominated the entrepreneurship scene, offering a comprehensive suite of services, including brand development, strategic partnerships, event management, influencer collaborations, and empowering workshops, ensuring her clients receive a holistic and impactful approach to their marketing and branding needs. In 2019 during the George Floyd movement, she created Women Who Influence in 2019 a platform to connect women like-minded from all walks of life to celebrate their accomplishments. This organization helps over 1500 women nationwide become entrepreneurs. The organization is an educational platform for women of color and to mentor, empower, employ, and advocate by providing resources for job readiness and entrepreneurship, a community to connect and network, and amplify women in Minneapolis through filmmaking and storytelling.
ENSPIRE interviewed Gabrieline Reece to discuss her expertise in film and production, business advice and services, her organizations’ Women Who Influence and The Pink Apple Brunch, brand collaborations, and more!
When did you realize you have a knack for storytelling, film, and production?
When I was young, I grew up with two foreign parents. Who needed help, especially with technology. My Papa was in nursing school. I would help him write his assignment by researching online information to help build his narrative around what he is trying to capture. At that moment, my dad looked at me and said you are wise before your year at 10 years old. Throughout my childhood, I would play news anchor with the neighborhood kids capturing what was going on in our neighborhood and sharing it with our parents. This is where I knew I had a gift of shifting narratives.
As an entrepreneur what are a few key words of wisdom when starting a business venture and the struggles that come with it?
Stop overthinking, stop self-sabotaging, and allow the emotions to flow. Stop fighting yourself and love yourself in the stage you are in. Some struggles I faced when I started my first business were how to manage my finances and budget management. Get yourself an accountant once the money starts flowing. Create a spreadsheet and track everything. Don’t listen to everyone and don’t rush into everything. You need to enjoy your crawling moment before the walking stage comes in.
What kinds of services do you offer your expertise and how can individuals get involved?
The services I currently offer are Film PR and Marketing, where I help film producers get ahead of their production. Through my organization, Women Who Influence, we offer services to help women by empowering them through learning opportunities, mentorship, masterclasses, curated events, workshops, and other services to uplift them and their businesses.
How did you establish Women Who Influence and how do you see it growing in the future?
In 2019, I established Women Who Influence. I wanted to do an event benefiting women by providing them a platform to share their experiences and to uplift other women who are going through the same phases they went through. After our first event, I did not know what I wanted to do with Women Who Influence. Then Covid-19 happened. I could restructure and prepare for the ultimate comeback. I started to see there is space for Women Who Influence. Women want something new and exciting. I see Women Who Influence becoming a digital and in-person powerhouse that provides a digital and social community where we uplift each other.
What is The Pink Apple Brunch and how is it associated with Women Who Influence?
The Pink Apple Brunch & Award is one of Women Who Influence curated events that is an event series that includes a brunch-style award ceremony. It was established to connect professionals of every color and from all walks of life in order to celebrate their accomplishments. The event will debut on Sunday, September 10th, during New York Fashion in partnership with Sheen Magazine and Apple Awards. We will be honoring, recognizing, and celebrating resilient women of color for their creativity, hard work, and ingenuity. The event will be hosted at Space 2Sixty in Brooklyn, New York and our attendees will be amongst an amazing ambiance of pink decorations provided by Jazara Nicole Events. The Pink Apple Brunch is designed to give our guests the most luxurious experience while they network and uplift each other. This year we are honoring amazing women such as Carol Maraj, Rhonesha Byng, Pilar Scratch, Farshiya Felix, and Akira Armstrong.
Tell us a little about the journey filming and producing “Shot of Influence” and are there any new films in the works?
The journey of becoming a director and a procedure is not one for the weak. My respect and understanding for a world I never understood grew even more. Creating this film, I took the approach of community and entrepreneurship to change and shape the narrative for women in Minneapolis. That together we can make sh*t happen. With a week of preparation, I produced the feature-length documentary and got everything together. The venues, locations, casting, script writing sponsors, media, and more.
The journey was exciting. I learned a lot about myself through this documentary. Mentally, I had to protect myself so I don’t take on their pain and trauma. When I hold my pen to paper or my fingers on my keyboard, I am not writing for one; I am writing for all by capturing news that is affecting the world and turning them into stories to support. Film producing and storytelling is a gift to me. Being able to produce documentaries that support creative women and people who take their craft seriously is one of the reasons why I enjoy what I do.
With everything going on with the writer’s strike and members of SAG-AFTRA and WGA, I also make sure I’m aware of what’s going on and ways I can support. Women writers and writers are undervalued, underpaid, and not respected. Because of this, I’ve had to stop the production stage of my next film, which is capturing the voice of black women in the corporate world. I want others to know I stand by and support my fellow writers and actors.
What do you believe is the key to storytelling and how does it influence your work in film and entrepreneurship?
The key to storytelling is about taking a story and evoking emotion into it that relates to the community you are serving. You have to listen and ask appropriate questions to get a storyline to write about. This influences my life every day because I am always thinking and asking questions for my understanding. Without understanding, you won’t be able to know your audience.
Just like the 5 C’s which covers the context of your story, then we move into the curiosity phase, where you get your audience asking questions. Then, we have the characters of your story. How relatable are they to the audience? What is the conversation starter and is there conflict? These are some of the things you have to think about when producing your story. My everyday life as an entrepreneur is asking myself, am I the main character, the villain, or am I just surviving today?
You’ve collaborated with brands and icons, if possible, please explain to us the process of collaboration and what that entails.
I’m grateful to have been able to work with some of the most amazing individuals! The process of collaboration is all about how we can serve each other. What do I have that will benefit your growth and what do you have that will benefit my growth? We will then take a collaborative learning approach to learn from each other what strategy works for us. We will build together and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses to fill in when needed.
What is the most challenging part of entrepreneurship as a career, and what resources do you offer women that make your organization stand out?
The hardest part is the stress of entrepreneurship, the lonely nights, the internal conversations, and the burnout. This is what entrepreneurship holds. At Women Who Influence, we curate a special event for business mental health and provide mentorship that guides you through your emotions and becomes your accountability partner. What makes our services stand out is that we don’t have it all together, and on your journey, we will work together in a comfortable space.
Gabrieline Reece has been featured in Level 21 Magazine, Minnesota Live, Minnesota Women Press Magazine, and Loop Magazine. She has held fashion shows during London and New York’s Fashion Week. Gabrieline also partnered with The Carolina Panthers, Kollections, Adidas, and Guild Apparel Co for events and initiatives. If you want to find out more information on her services and events follow her on Instagram or go to her sites: Women Who Influence, The Pink Apple Brunch, and https://gabrielinereece.com/.