It started her junior year in college. Nana Agyemang, a connoisseur of photography and fashion, became swept up in the influencer explosion taking place on social media platform, Instagram. But what grew from that self-identified obsession was a realization that the everyday Black girl did not have a presence. In her senior year of college, the now-social media editor decided to change that.
Birthed from her frustration was YouTube channel “Every Stylish Girl”, offering career advice, fashion tips and mentorship. On Sunday, that digital space becomes an actual gathering of like-minded women of color to do what Agyemang calls “sip and slay.”
“Bring your business cards, come ready to slay in your best brunch outfits, and brace yourself for an empowering afternoon with captivating conversations and guest speakers so you can learn how you can have your very own big break,” Agyemang says on the site promoting the “business bruncheon.”
The inaugural Sip & Slay was held in 2017 when Agyemang discovered that offline experiences offered a special touch that online couldn’t provide. “We had to build these women up face-to-face and bring real life girl-boss experiences to meet them where they were in order to really motivate and create change in Black women’s lives,” the Columbia J-School grad explains.
After the initial event, Agyemang received emails from guests who revealed that their attendance spurred them to finally start their podcast, quit their 9-5 to build their dream company, and pursue a lifestyle they always desired but were too afraid to chase. “That made it worth it and we couldn’t stop there,” Agyemang tells ESSENCE.
When the Ghanaian-American journalist created Every Stylish Girl (ESG) in 2016, the goal was to not only create a space where Black women’s stories are highlighted, but to also promote non-traditional career paths where other women may not see themselves. “I set out to be a motivator and driving force for empowering young Black woman,” Agyemang insists.
The NYC-based fashionista predicts that Sunday’s Sip N’ Slay will be the most powerful one yet. Tapped to speak is Lindsay Peoples Wagner, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue; Channing Hargrove, fashion writer at Refinery29; Alexander Julian, former editor at GQ, freelance stylist, and content creator; and Brianna Agyemang, Senior Director of Marketing at Atlantic Records.
“All of these visionaries are breaking barriers and using their own platforms to uplift an underrepresented community,” Agyemang says of the dynamic roster. “They have set their goals to making sure Black voices are being heard, and it’s inspiring.”
As a content creator herself, Agyemang is happy to bring awareness to the everyday stories of Black women doing badass things in every industry. She knows that by shining a light on them, others will know that every and anything is possible, as long as they want it bad enough.
If you’re interested in attending Sunday’s NYC event, tickets are still available. Be sure to say hello to Agyemang who wouldn’t reveal exactly what she’d be slaying in, but did tell us (in true Millennial fashion) she’ll be dressed in powder blue because, well, it’s the current color scheme of her Instagram account.