Making It On Trend

3 Black Creators Working Towards a Collective Future

Black entrepreneurship is unique because it’s often dependent on community, rather than the individual alone. For many Black creators, finding a seat at the table in their industry is just one part of the journey. Offering mentorship, transparency, and advice to up-and-coming Black small business owners and creatives is an extension of this journey, making space for all to succeed rather than just a select few.

We sat down with three Black customers to learn more about their individual journeys, the mentors that helped them get to where they are, and their hopes and dreams for our collective future.

Karl Ferguson Jr.

Karl lives by the creative philosophy that your job should fund your passion, until your passion can fund your lifestyle. Karl has managed to do just that: by balancing his day job with his passion for portrait photography. A quick scan of his website will leave you awestruck at the number of celebrities he’s photographed in the entertainment industry. Karl’s digital presence has helped him showcase his work to a plethora of clients with ease. “One of the most helpful features Squarespace offers is the dynamic way that I can just drag and drop images and rearrange them at a moment's notice,” Karl says. 

Community has played a big role in Karl’s success with photography. Bouncing ideas off of other Black photographers helps him feel a sense of camaraderie in an industry that can be isolating at times. Karl hopes to pay it forward in his own career, in order to foster a similar kind of community for new creatives in the space. “Paying it forward means making myself accessible,” Karl says. By openly sharing his experience and expertise, Karl hopes to help more creatives be the best that they can possibly be.  

When asked what he might say to his younger self, as a person just starting his photography practice, Karl’s advice is this: “Don't get so intense that you stop yourself from creating. Taking a beat and enjoying the process is the most important thing you can do as a photographer.” 

To learn more about Karl’s work, head over to his Squarespace website

Black In Corporate

Squarespace Ambassador and social media consultant Candace Marie is the founder of Black In Corporate, a community who champions Black individuals in corporate spaces. The inspiration for Black In Corporate was born from Candace’s personal experiences navigating workspaces where systemic racism has made it difficult for Black employees to succeed. “While Black In Corporate was birthed out of my personal experiences,” Candace says, “a key reason for starting the non-profit was because I knew that there were many Black individuals within my circle whose experiences were similar if not identical to my own.”

One of the many pillars that Black In Corporate stands on is their Virtual Mentorship Program, which offers Black professionals access to resources, opportunities, and collaboration. Black In Corporate’s Squarespace website has been pivotal in spreading the word about the program to their target audience. “While social media and press are the main drivers of traffic, the beautiful design mixed with the simplicity of navigating the page keeps our audience engaged and coming back,” Candace says about the impact of their Squarespace website.

The phrase “it takes a village” especially rings true for Candace and her journey with launching Black In Corporate. Her success has been bolstered by the help of mentors, sponsors, friends, and family who have helped her along the way. In so many ways, Candace is now offering that same support to Black professionals. “This journey is hard enough doing it alone,” she says. “Whenever I can offer a word of advice, sit on a panel, or even make an introduction to a contact for a colleague—I’m really intentional about nurturing other Black people in this space.”   

Learn more about Black In Corporate on their Squarespace website

Elton Anderson Jr. 

For nearly 14 years, Elton Anderson Jr. worked in the photography industry, shooting celebrities and some of the biggest household brands. However, he decided to pivot when he realized that the career he had once been so passionate about was no longer as fulfilling. After experiencing a life-threatening case of malaria during a trip to Brazil, Elton vowed to dedicate his life work to bettering himself and the lives of others. 

Now, Elton is doing just that with the work he does every single day: In addition to exploring new roles such as producer, creative director, and travel show host, Elton also launched Creators of Color, a platform dedicated to telling the stories of Black creators across various industries. 

For Elton, making these pivots are a necessary part of the creative process. Elton’s advice for young Black creatives who want to change career paths is to follow their intuition. “If it's not a Hell Yes, then it's a No,” Elton says. “This motto has made my many career pivots a lot more successful and authentic to me.”

For a creator like Elton, who has so many different projects on his plate, digital marketing plays a huge part in sharing his ongoing story. Elton’s goal is to become a “Master Storyteller.” Both of his Squarespace websites, as well as his social media presence, allow him to do just that. “I treat my Squarespace website as a place where people can come in, take a seat, and get to know who I am,” Elton says. “My social media is where people can continue the journey with me in real time.” 

You can learn more about Elton and his story on his Squarespace website

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