There’s something to be said for aspiring filmmakers who don’t wait on a studio to call, but just pick up a camera and create. Sam Bailey did just that with her web-series, Brown Girls. The Chicago-focused online show tells the story of two friends in their twenties navigating sexuality, family and friendships.

As noted by ELLE, the night of its premiere it was the second trending topic on Twitter, launching it to another level of visibility. But prior to its premiere, HBO was interested in the show that essentially was answer to criticism of their hit show Girls not being diverse enough.

“In the scheme of how things happen in Hollywood, it happened pretty quickly,” Bailey told ESSENCE.

“There was never a plan to take this to Hollywood and try to pitch it. We were just making work for our people. HBO was actually the first company that we pitched to and we thought it was kind of like a practice run, because we had never done it before. They came back and they wanted to do a development deal with it. We closed up the deal about a month before the announcement came out.”

Bailey acknowledges that her show, written by Fatimah Asghar, comes at the right time and will be in the right place.

“I think the selling point of checking it out is that we are showing multiple characters that are complex and nuance —and don’t we f–ing deserve that?”

Adding, “That’s why I immediately wanted to sign on to the project. We get to exist as complex human beings and validate our experience for ourselves, not for anyone else.”