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Meet Trailblazer Maura Chanz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maura Chanz.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Maura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began my career as a professional actress at the age of 13 appearing on the likes of Disney’s A.N.T. Farm and numerous national commercials. While taking a personal hiatus from acting, I earned a B.A. in Comparative Women’s Studies and Writing from Spelman College where I interned for BET Networks, Konlive Distribution, and True Story Agency to learn the in’s and out’s of the entertainment industry. My numerous internships not only furthered my knowledge of the entertainment industry but also exposed me to a wide range of creative services. I began honing in on these skills, sharing my own creative projects and was soon approached to do numerous freelance jobs.

Upon completion of my studies, I was confident I didn’t want a 9-5 and was hesitant about returning to acting , so I opted to go into business for myself. With my graduation money in hand, I reached out to an attorney to register my business, process my trademark, etc. and Glitter and Hustle (now Maura Chanz) was born. I identified people who I knew could benefit from my services and began growing a clientele from there. If I overheard someone say they needed something I was capable of, I’d make it known that it was a service I offered. From there, it was just a matter of doing the work and establishing a track record of excellence.

That’s how I’ve gotten where I am today, consistently doing my best. I would say 95% of my clientele is word of mouth and the other 5% come from when business is slow and I promote my work online.

Has it been a smooth road?
Has it been a smooth road? Absolutely not. You can’t predict demand in this industry and it’s also just slow periods (the holidays are always slow.) There were many months when I would call my mom around the 15th like “how am I going to pay my bills?” Sometimes, I’ve had to seek outside opportunities or run specials with drastically lowered rates. I’ve even picked up a few part-time jobs from nannying to being a concierge at a hotel for a couple of weeks. Despite periods of hardship, I vowed to myself to keep going because I don’t have a choice.

Since starting my business, I’ve also taken on two full-time positions that I was confident would be beneficial on the back end for me. Those jobs were appearing as a co-host on Bossip on WEtv and serving as an apprentice and assistant to writer/producer/showrunner, Mara Brock Akil. During both chapters, I still maintained my own business.

My advice for women particularly young women who are starting their own journey of entrepreneurship is learned to get comfortable with sacrifice, don’t compare your journey, and stay committed. Each year, I have bigger clients, bring in more income, reach new heights and I’m just so happy I stayed committed.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m a professional creative for hire. I offer a variety of services from hosting, producing, graphic design, and creative consulting. I’m known for my unapologetic attitude and can-do spirit… I make shit happen and that’s the only way I can describe it. I’ve designed the logos for tv shows, graphics for record labels, creative directed shoots for magazines, and consulted some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

I am most proud of my reputation as a girl who can and will make it happen.

I think a few things set me apart:
1. My background as an actress has informed my understanding of  storytelling 
2. My fearlessness. For example, if a client is pushing for something and I strongly disagree, I don’t care who it is, I will SAY SOMETHING.
3. My knowledge/acceptance of self. People approach me all the time with work that I may not specialize in. If I can be honest with myself and know I’m not the best person for the job, I always point them in the direction of the person who is… even if I’m not the one directly executing, I’m largely responsible for xyz happening. This quality has allowed people to establish immense trust in me because they know I’m more concerned with the big picture than my personal benefit at the moment. When there is something I’m right for, they always come back. I’m also very known as the plug for this quality as well.
4. My ability to take criticism, adapt it if I deem necessary, and not take it personally.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Be committed to the goal, but be flexible in your approach.

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