A conversation with...Samantha Fray
With the Conversations Series, we create a positive image for Black girls to refer to, by having conversations with different business owners, entrepreneurs and creators. Here, we are catching up with Samantha Fray, an entrepreneur working within the film industry. Samantha also the founder of Boujie Media.
Boujie Media is a company developed from a love of production, diversity, culture and aspirational content. Encouraging a generation of people from different ages and diverse backgrounds to have their voices heard.
Can you tell us about your joint venture with your daughter's Boujie Media?
Boujie Media media came a few years ago. I decided to go back to university when I was 28, as I really wanted to be part of a production team, I really wanted to work on creative projects. Working within the production sector is very demanding and the hours are long, at the time I had 3 young children and I needed to have a balanced lifestyle. In order to gain more experience within that field, I decided to create Boujie Media. During lockdown I decided to include my daughters. The role I was currently at wasn’t creative enough and I needed a new outlet to creative more material. I persuaded the girls to build a TV studio in our dining room, I wanted them to learn skills for their CV too.
My youngest daughter is 12, and she wanted to interview people that will inspire her, learn more about different skill sets. We filmed and edited all the content in our newly set up TV studio. This was a nice way to bond with my daughters, a nice way to be together.
I loved when my mum got me involved, because I didn’t know actually what I wanted to study. First I wanted to get involved in Law and Journalism. However, now I’m studying the media sector. Working on Boujie Media is helping me understand and love media more. I love speaking to people from different backgrounds, hearing great stories and learning from them so I can grow. Going to events with my mum has been helpful too.
That’s right, I run a programme called Beyond Brontës. We set a day called “a get to know me day”, where Alica got to see what I do and to network with other members. It was great to get Alicia involved, there were over 85 people there, we had panel discussions. It was just really nice for her to see the jobs that are available in Creative Industries because schools don’t really promote the creative industry and what roles are available.
What is the reason behind ISO Creative Diaries?
During Covid my mother moved in with us, the household was very busy. It was affecting my youngest daughter, so I thought lets start a podcast sharing our views during this lockdown period. I went to get some podcast training, just to get to know the basics. We need to do this, we need to talk about life and what it was like living in a house with six family members.
Our first ISO hair diaries was a discussion about hair. I’m not great with hair and I wanted my daughters to know more about Afro hair, during this show we invited other people to take part. We discussed caring for your afro hair, how to love your hair. My mum was losing her hair during the lockdown, so we started researching about different hair products by making our own. It was a great way to bring us together, I really love podcasting. I think everyone should have a podcast. It’s great to talk and for your mental health too.
The fact that we could have honest conversations about different subjects. The response was really good, we didn’t end up doing lots of promotion at the time, I wished I promoted it a bit more. It was a great conversion to start with, growing up I used to straighten my hair, every 4 weeks I would straighten my hair, if there was any new growth I just wanted to keep it straight. I realised now that this was self hate. I went to an all white Catholic school, with no Black presence so it was always a thing to fit in. I’m glad my daughters are embracing their natural textured hair.
Can you tell us about your role?
Helping young people feel that they have a place in the screen industries, the creative industries as a whole. It's so important that we have diverse people from all backgrounds who have a say in what they see, what they read, also what they hear. If we don’t have that, it just feels like the world is not a great place. I also love the idea that I can still be very creative, within the different roles that I have.
When I was younger the advice I got from school was, I’ll only be able to work in Care or nursing. These are great roles, however it wasn’t for me. I have a creative mind, I get to explore more about my role and expand on my knowledge. Growing up being creative meant you got to sing or dance, I love both however I can’t sing and I have no coordination when it comes to dancing! Creative to me means exploring and thinking differently, it’s important to love what you do. Everybody shouldn't have to suppress who they are.
Are you working on any up and coming creative projects?
It's also been a real transformational year for me and for Boujie media, I’ve learnt so much over the year which means I'll be bringing that all to life. We want to do more podcasting and bring awareness to certain topics. 2020 has been a challenging year, especially the conversations around George Floyd which needed to be had.
Find out more about Samantha here.