As most of you may or may not know, I've been working on launching a stock photo library known as Magical Black Girl Stock. My original plan was to launch it during Black History Month, for obvious reasons. But February came and went. Then so did March. And here we are in April.
So - what exactly was the hold up?
One word: money.
As in, ya girl did NOT have the funds to make this dream come true. The creation of this photo stock library turned out to be a bigger investment than I had originally imagined and so, I had to keep pushing the finish line further and further away.
But that's the reality of entrepreneurship, isn't it? We get a business idea and, if we can't self-fund it, it can't happen, right?
Well yeah, maybe if this was, perhaps, 2006 - INSTEAD OF THE GLORIOUS AGE OF 2018.
Thanks to an epiphany I literally had on Monday, I realized that my tight gasp on my vision for what I wanted this stock image library to be was actually stifling it from becoming a reality.
Not even kidding. I was SO focused on wanting my site to look like and to function like a better Getty or Shutter - AND THAT WAS HOLDING ME BACK ENTIRELY.
My epiphany led me to realize that my dream doesn't have to look like whatever someone else is doing. The BEST part about being an entrepreneur is that YOU get to make your own decisions and do things YOUR way.
So instead of following my competitor's footsteps and creating a site like theirs, I decided to create my very own Patreon-based stock image library instead!
Yup, that's right. I'm totally being a millennial and using the internet and all it's splendid glory to help me make this a reality. I actually have a lot of friends who earn a full-time livings (I'm talking anywhere from $3k-$10k+/months) on Patreon exclusively. It was them and a few random blogs I read that finally set off a spark that ignited this idea.
If I can be totally transparent here, I wanna kick myself for not having thought of this solution SOONER.
But that's what happens when we hold on so tightly to one idea and get so caught up in, "NO IT HAS TO BE THIS WAY BECAUSE THAT'S HOW OTHERS ARE DOING IT!"
Fuck that noise! I've decided to things differently and that's okay! And I want whoever is reading this to walk away with this advice: your vision does not have to mirror someone else's! You don't have to wait weeks, months, or worse, YEARS to start making your vision a reality. And I'm proof of that.
Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I never do things the normal way - so why should this be any different, right?
So with all that being said, I would love for you to check out my bright and shiny Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/shamia
It has all the info you need in order to become a Patron and support this innovative way to deliver diverse stock images, directly to you each and every month!
I look forward to creating quality content that showcases WOC in all shapes and sizes, and others in marginalized groups!
But I can't do it alone. Even if you don't become a Patron yourself, I'd love it if you shared the link to my Patreon wherever you sit fit: https://www.patreon.com/shamia
It would mean a lot to me and I know that this is something a lot women just like me are searching for in order to help bring better representation all around.
So no more excuses for shitty stock photos, you now have a resource you can come back to, time and time again, not only for diversity, but for custom, quality images you won't anywhere else on the internet.
Can't wait to see how much this evolves and who knows? Maybe one day I'll have a static site like Getty or Shutter - but for now, I think it'll do just fine!
PS. Of course, you know ya girl had to make some Buffy references - so when you visit my Patreon page, you'll immediately notice that each tier reward is a callout to my favorite series in the entire world. Just me showing off my basic nerdiness, duh. Here's the link again: https://www.patreon.com/shamia, thank you so much in advance for spreading the word and supporting me! I appreciate you!