Boss Moves: Inside Issa Rae’s Hollywood Empire
The multitalented creator has opened new doors and paved her own pathway to Hollywood. Issa Rae proved that you don’t have to let the status quo prevent you from creating… let the industry catch up. Here are the receipts on how Rae’s will and imagination push the envelope in the ways Black women can create, own and expand without boundaries:
Creating Longevity in Hollywood
For Rae, being a Black creative in Hollywood is a dream come true, that’s why she is planting her roots deeper to ensure longevity for the work she does. Recently launched Hoorae Media that will consolidate all of her ventures from film, television, music, management and more. The consolidation of her ventures is just one of the ways she’s setting roots. Her production company went from working out of a WeWork space to a two-story office space in Inglewood.
The producer, director and actress has had success using her social influence to raise money for her projects. For her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, she created a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $56,000 to finish the first season. Pharrell Williams contributed to her Kickstarter for the 2nd season. The actor uses her social influence to get projects off the ground and fundraise for causes she believes in. In 2016, she created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Alton Sterling‘s children. In nine hours, the page raised $200,000. The crowdfund raised a total of $714,609.
Pays It Forward for the Next Generation of Creators
The Emmy-nominated producer and actress shares her wealth of knowledge about entering the TV industry with a 14-video virtual course on MasterClass. Besides sharing her lessons learned, Rae is a partner for the new digital platform for Black creatives, Blacktag, and will create original content for the platform. She’s also making sure Black creatives get paid for their viral content and the data they’ve generated by investing a minority-stake in Streamlytic’s Clture, which is a consumer-facing app helping minority consumers own and monetize their data.
Investing Back into Her Community
The Inglewood native is invested in supporting and building in the neighborhood that raised her. She is intentional with filming episodes of HBO’s Insecure in the area, which shows love to local businesses and attractions. One of those investments is Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen. As a co-owner, Rae envisions the cafe as a hub for creativity and collaboration as she spent a lot of her time writing in coffee shops and wishing there were more Black-owned spots she could patronize in her neighborhood.
Expanding Her Brand Beyond TV & Film
This multi-hyphenated boss is looking to do more than transform the TV and film industry. She has been expanding her portfolio by adding equity into Black-owned businesses and building new companies. Her latest ventures include Sienna Naturals, a haircare line, and providing capital for Topicals, a skincare line. Music plays such an integral part in her production work that she started a record label, Raedio. The artists she signs own their masters, and she uses her show to promote and create visibility for her artists.