I remember where I was when I received the call: at my dining table working on my laptop. My two teenagers were sitting on our couch fiddling on their phone… the TV blasting in the background.
It was a typical summer day during COVID. The city remained pretty shut down, we were still freaked out about being close to strangers, wearing masks and washing our hands a million times per day.
Just a month or so prior one of my business mentors forwarded me an email. QVC (yea, QVC!!), HSN and their parent company, The Qurate Retail Group were looking for Black owned businesses to spotlight and, on a whim, I applied.
Using their platform to spotlight black owned businesses was their response to the recent uprisings, racial injustice, and general obstacles to opportunities in the Black Community. Now, you may not know this about me but I apply to everything! While I generally check if I am qualified; I can make no promises that I will not apply for a grant, residency, award or contest even if I am completely unqualified for it on paper.
As a matter of fact, most of the traditional jobs I have landed were “out of my league” on paper. You just never know! Most people DON’T apply; they talk themselves out of even the opportunities that they ARE qualified for, so… I have trained myself to STOP AND APPLY as soon as I see an opportunity.
It has generally worked out in my favor. Do I land every deal, grant or residency? No; but I would’ve definitely missed opportunities had I never applied to the dozens of applications that have crossed my email inbox. So I “say all that to say” that I made sure to apply to this QVC/HSN opportunity even though I never thought I would get it.
I wish I could say that I applied with confidence...
BEHIND THE BRUSH