YOUNG JEFE  

noun || yəNG ˈhefā

'The Fourtress' is the new group of African-American women living in NYC, taking over your Instagram feed. Aside from sprinkling #BlackGirlMagic, they are also curating social change through the current project, #PROJECTQUEENV

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THE FOURTRESS

Candice Frank

TA: What’s your current hustle?

CF: My current hustle is being a Content Director for the Instagram account, of @TheFourtress_. My roommates and I founded this account to inspire the "glow up" of other black women as we capture our journey in NYC.

TA: Describe the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind? 

CF: My 9-5 is spent at ABC's daytime show, "The View" where I am the show's Social Media Coordinator. My current 5-9 is working on posts for The Fourtress. Every task is somewhat of a team effort, but my main responsibility is writing captions for the posts. Both grinds allow me to use my creativity, but my 5-9 allows me to target that creativity towards black women and our magic! 

TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice? 

CF: I was really inspired by the book "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero and among the many epiphanies I had reading that book --- I love her quote "People who are successful are not only willing to get uncomfortable, but they know they have to make a habit out of it to stay successful." I am now more aware of how my discomfort can bring me to new heights, so I welcome and embrace it!

TA: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest? 

CF: I can't say that what I'm doing has been a "lifelong interest," but it doesn't make it any less important to me. My interests have evolved with my personal growth, the digital era and becoming more "woke" overtime/realizing the deep-rooted needs of our culture. The celebration of the black woman is one of those needs and I'm happy to promote that via The Fourtress. 

TA: Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to this point in your career? What kept you going?

CF: I'd like to think I have an insatiable hunger for success and that's what keeps me going. I also think that my inability to fully define what success means for me (haven't gotten there yet) continually pushes me to thrive for more and see what unfolds.  

TA: If you could tell your younger self one thing about work ethic, what would it be?

CF: I would tell my younger self to be bold with my creativity and not afraid to put my work out there!

TA: What has been your favorite “project,” so far?  

CF: The Fourtress has been my favorite project thus far. As a black woman in her 20s, the "glow up" has been quite the journey — something that's dear to my heart - no matter how complicated it can be. The Fourtress recognizes this journey and highlights its positive factors and best moments. It's been brightening my view on life at this age and makes me more appreciative of the journey.  

TA: Who are your 3 “must-follows” on Instagram? 

CF: 

@petesouza (I love the timely shade he throws when Pres. Trump does something unsuccessful. He reminds us how Pres. Obama did it better.) 

@ysabellecaps (I love love love to dance and watching 20 year old Ysabelle's dance videos always brightens my day). 

@chancetherapper (We all know how much fun his Instagram stories are...).

Closing statements...

CF: Trust God and trust the process! 

Tierra Taylor

TA: What’s your current hustle?

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TT: I am currently the creative assistant at Black Girl Magic headquarters, ESSENCE Magazine. I am also the creative director of @thefourtress_ , which is a creative space my roommates and I created in order to inspire, empower and unify women of color.  When I have any extra time, I work as a freelance graphic designer creating branding materials for non-profit organizations, small businesses and personal bloggers.

TA: Describe the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind? 

TT: Luckily my 9-5 is a creative space where I get to create content targeted to the magical melanin that walks this earth everyday, Black women! The only difference between my 9-5 and 5-grind is limitations. ESSENCE magazine is owned by Time Inc., which means there are certain boundaries that we lie within. When you work for yourself and create a space on your own, limitations are non-existent.

TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice? 

TT: I recently finished Charlamagne Tha God’s book, “Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It.” Principle 4 of his book states, “You should give 0 fucks about any perceived losses in life as long as you learn something from them...Understand that your plan isn't necessarily also God's plan for you." I believe that every situation presents a learning opportunity for you to apply to your life. These lessons we learn help direct our path in life! Don’t take them for granted. 

TA: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest? 

TT: I’ve always wanted to work in media, specifically in the fashion/beauty industry. Media has such a strong influence on society. I’ve always wanted to play some part in that influence so I could help change the traditional ideas of beauty and fashion. 

TA: Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to this point in your career? What kept you going?

TT: My God is mighty, so I never doubt how far he will take me. The hard part is being patient. After graduating college, I had to freelance for a year because it was difficult trying to get hired. Freelancing is great but money isn’t consistent. I really had to humble myself in that time and learn how to be patient. God’s timing is the best timing because he made space for me at ESSENCE in that time.

 TA: If you could tell your younger self one thing about work ethic, what would it be?

TT: Stay persistent, hardworking and open minded. Don’t get caught up in the plan that you have outlined for your life because it could change at any second. Have faith in the plan that God has for your life; everything else will fall into place. 

TA: What has been your favorite “project,” so far?  

TT: I loved creating the @thefourtress_ video post for #NationalLipstickDay. We really surprised ourselves with this project and we were forced to get really creative. We created a make shift studio in our living room with a pink backdrop, tape, camera and tripod. 

TA: Who are your 3 “must-follows” on Instagram? 

TT: 

@theshaderoom (I need my daily dose of ratchet black news).

@debracartwright (She’s such a dope artist. She uses watercolors to create her artwork and it’s so stunning)

@refinery29 (It’s are a great source of inspiration and it’s my go-to for all things beauty, fashion, technology, and entertainment)

Closing statements...

TT: My mantra: Faith. Patience. Pray. Repeat. 

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Kiara Bass

TA: What’s your current hustle?

KB: @thefourtress_

TA: Describe the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind? 

KB: The difference between my 9-5 and 5-grind is learning and practicing. By day, I work in fashion PR where sample trafficking, reporting, pitching, and everything else in between allows me to submerge myself into an ever evolving field. I use what I learn during the day and apply it towards my 5-grind.

TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice? 

KB: My mentor, Aisha Johnson (@aishabeau), has given me countless advice over the past few years. But one thing she's told me that has stuck is to show face. No matter the occasion, it is always important to show up and be memorable, because you'll never know who you'll meet and when you'll run into them again in life!

TA: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest? 

KB: My day job has been a vision of mine for a while now, I just never knew the name of it! I've roughly been doing PR since high school and was very fortunate enough to go to a school that allowed me to figure out what industries I wanted to pursue in the field. 

Fashion is an industry that has grasped my interests since middle school. Teen Vogue was my very first magazine I subscribed to and I still have a good amount of those issues with me today. Like many, I often fantasized my life being exactly like The Hills or Blair Waldorf's short stint at W Magazine. However, working in fashion didn't become a reality until I started seeing more black magazine editors emerge within the industry.

Regarding The Fourtress, it's a new found interest that sparked unexpectedly. I always wanted to create my own platform, but never expected it to come about so quickly, with such an amazing team! 

TA: Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to this point in your career? What kept you going?

KB: The first half of last year, I didn't think I was going to make it at my current point at all. I was ready to throw in the towel and give up, but thankfully I didn't. There were a number of things that made me keep striving towards my goals which included encouragement from friends and family, not wanting to go back home, but also knowing and having faith that in this moment and at this time I am meant to be in New York. 

TA: If you could tell your younger self one thing about work ethic, what would it be?

KB: Don't burn yourself out and only do the things that you want to do. There is a wave of "team no sleep" or whatever they call it and it just isn't realistic. It's important to take breaks to let your mind rest and recoup. Also, you should never feel forced to do something, if it doesn't perk a genuine interest or some type of emotion in you, then you're better off not wasting your time. 

TA: What has been your favorite “project,” so far?  

KB: On The Fourtress, our National Lipstick Day video post was very fun to make because of the great music and good vibes on the set. There's honestly rarely a dull moment when it comes to the four of us, whether we're shooting content or watching television on the couch. 

TA: Who are your 3 “must-follows” on Instagram? 

KB: 

@ps13collectiv

@badgalriri (I mean cause honestly, how could you not follow)

@coveteur

Closing statements...

KB: Everything in moderation. 

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