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Meet Alana Baumann and Samra Michael

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alana Baumann and Samra Michael.

Alana and Samra, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
SHE WELL READ born in the summer of 2019, in Alana’s kitchen, the morning after a much-needed girl’s night sleepover she and Samra had. The two had been talking for a while about how they wanted to start reading more now than they were wrapping up their last semester of undergrad. That morning, Samra introduced her idea of creating a book club dedicated to women who wanted to be part of a community of well-read individuals. Call it divine intervention or her recent obsession with podcasts, but instantly after hearing Samra talk about this idea, Alana had the idea of turning the book club into a podcast so that people could be a part of the community from anywhere, at any time. And thus, SHE WELL READ was born!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As best friends, we knew how to get along, but as business partners, we had difficulty finding our happy medium or balance. In the beginning stages of SWR ideation, we even talked about going to couples therapy because it was causing so much tension in our friendship! After going to a podcast conference where we learned how to more accurately communicate our feelings and work through this new dynamic in our relationship, we realized how to balance the two relationships we now have with one another.

Please tell us more about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
We are two young, female black entrepreneurs who were searching for a passion project outside of our nine to five jobs. We’re also best friends who share a love for reading, so we decided to mesh the two in a podcast/brand that discusses books chapter by chapter and mixes in anecdotes from our personal experiences. All of this to say, the podcast is a lot of rambling and a lot of fun. Our mission is to empower women to invest in themselves and each other.

We are most proud of our mini-series titled, “Question for the Culture,” where we interviewed many different and diverse subject matter experts on Black Lives Matter topics, ranging from mental health awareness to white allyship in the midst of such divisive times. We believe our friendship is what sets us apart from the rest. Many listeners tell us that we create a warm and happy environment through the dialogue on our podcast. We hope to continue that trend in future seasons and uplift listeners through our curated book club.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Currently, we are planning Season 2 of the podcast and looking to open our merch store in the next couple of months! We hope to continue to grow our audience and reach new listeners. We also hope to have an event in the future (COVID-willing) where we can meet some of our listeners face to face and get in-person feedback and suggestions on what they’d like to see from us in the future. It will also give them an opportunity to meet and connect with other people who listen to the show furthering our mission to empower women to invest in themselves and each other.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mallory Barry Photography

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