Episodes

  • Growing up in foster care, early childhood was anything but ordinary for Essie. Transitioning from different homes until she was the age of 6, Essie was luckily adopted by a family that poured into her and was the first successful Black family she ever saw. Essie started to step into her confidence after attending a HBCU, but that high she was riding on was short lived after she flunked out of school. Trying to find her purpose, Essie decided to move to NY where she immediately felt like she had found her place seeing plus sized models inspiring her to pursue a career in fashion. Instagram became the perfect place for Essie to garner attention and become a source of inspiration for plus sized women. She launched her blog Golden Confidence, a cornerstone of the Body Positivity movement and later created of the sneaker community, Thick Laces. Today, Essie continues to make it her business to not only take up space in fashion but make space for other women who look like her working on campaigns for brands like New Balance, Torrid, Amazon and more.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams.

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Since he was a youngin, Daniel has always been about community and having the back of his homies and loved ones. When he was only 18, his sister unexpectedly passed away and it sent Daniel into a very dark place of rage. He started getting in trouble a lot and was even arrested for silly things like trespassing. After making a promise to himself to never go back to jail, Daniel would shift into social work and help kids who grew up like him in Brooklyn. From there, Daniel ended up moving around a bit, ultimately landing in LA where he was given a job as a tour stylist for Kehlani after his initial gig fell through. Inspired by the grind and seeing the world, Daniel later decided to set out on his own entrepreneurial path. He and his business partner Wehleh didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do, but they had the name Kids of Immigrants. Soon, they would be inspired to translate their vision to clothing. Kids of Immigrants officially launched in 2016. Daniel and his brand live through their purpose of supporting your friends, spreading positivity, and making your wildest dreams come true every single day.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams.

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

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  • Being surrounded by Black Excellence in and outside of her home, Karleen grew up with the confidence that she could do whatever she put her mind to. Making her way to Howard and working in a myriad of jobs post-college, one thing always rang true...Karleen approached every opportunity with excitement and resourcefulness. This work ethic got her noticed and she finally received a break getting into the entertainment space working at Def Jam. From there, she went on to Bad Boy Records to personally serve as Diddy's Senior Executive Assistant. Having a front row seat into the inner workings of everything Mr. Combs was involved in was all the fuel she needed to ultimately step out on her own and claim that entrepreneur title. In 2013, Karleen took her side hustle of planning events to the next level and officially launched The Vanity Group. Fast forward to today, the agency has been a go-to shop for Hollywood's biggest names and Karleen has carved a space for herself as an on-camera personality, lifestyle and event expert.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Hailing from Chi-town Terrence and Brandon dove immediately into the DC night scene when meeting at Howard University. Brandon found a knack with throwing parties and actually went on to hire his now business partner, Terrence to help him out. When both were finished with school, Brandon worked in hospitality and Terrence was going door to door as point of sales salesman but the discomfort of code switching got to be too much. What started off as a curiosity in wine ultimately led to an intense focus on Terrence wanting to create his own premium wine brand. It was a no-brainer to bring his friend Brandon into his mix given his hospitality and operations background. The need to be 100% themselves and their love of liquor and spirits would set them on a path that many people who look like them don't always find.

    Launched in 2020, Michael Lavelle Wines is a black-owned premium wine label (one of the few in this space). Today, the guys alongside their two other business partners, Aaron and Devin, are proud to own a brand fused with art, education, and most importantly, unmatched wine experiences.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Going to a predominantly white college, Sandro quickly learned that other peoples worlds weren't as colorful as where he grew up. The lack of representation combined with his Filipino upbringing made Sandro competitive and he initially jumped into traditional career fields. None, however, felt quite right until he fell into the world of entrepreneurship...more specifically Sandro started noticing the seltzer water boom. At the same time, the Asian food scene was bumping and he knew he wanted to find a way to combine the two to complement each other. While balancing his day job, Sandro launched Sanzo Sparkling Water...he ultimately went all in and grew the business 600% during the pandemic. Today, Sandro has raised over $10 million in funding and has since partnered with Whole Foods and brands like Marvel on Asian-inspired sparkling water combos featuring ingredients like lychee and yuzu.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • A naturally curious person, Sonja has held many different careers before arriving to where she is today. From writing as an editor in tech to becoming an interior design expert on TLC's show Trading Spaces. When she found herself suddenly unemployed, Sonja used the unexpected break to dive headfirst into politics to help register voters during Obama's first run for president. While campaigning in Los Angeles, she discovered different local businesses and makers that could use some help. A storyteller at heart, Sonja wanted to bring attention to these wonderful local makers...this ultimately led to the idea of her unique markets business where shoppers would pay to get access to these goods. Today, Sonja continues her mission of lifting up communities and has successfully kept Unique Markets on the map for over 14 years.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Growing up art wasn't just art, it was a way of life in the home Maggi grew up in. She loved to make things from candles to her own pants. Looking to escape Portland, Maggi enrolled in college in LA but dropped out shortly after. She started to work for a woman who had her own jewelry line. It was an eye opening experience for Maggi. Both good and bad. She was immediately promoted to designer, but maintained the same pay. And while she was still struggling financially, her designs would end up in Nordstrom. Recognizing how few Black women were represented in the jeweler space, Maggi took a leap of faith and launched her own business. Through workshops and trunk shows, she was able to build her network and land her first engagement ring commission. Today, Maggi Simpkins' jewelry is known for narrative-driven engagement rings and future family heirlooms. In 2021, she designed a bespoke ring valued at a million dollars for the Brillant & Black exhibition for Sotheby's auction house.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Feeling profoundly misunderstood during her adolescent years, Heather realized early in her career she had a knack for building community for the misfits. A job at Karmaloop brought Heather into the streetwear world, where she learned that work culture could be fun, but understanding work politics was just as important. She eventually moved on to working in marketing for brands like Puma and New Balance. Being in the sneaker industry, Heather regularly attended fitness classics but often left annoyed at the dull music and energy. She saw an opportunity to make working out a little more lit. Today, Heather is the Founder & CEO of TrillFit, a purpose-driven wellness business changing the face of boutique fitness with studios in Boston and Brooklyn.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • A self proclaimed, “underground designer” Dan’s journey began in 1980, when he started making bootleg versions of high-end designers for the streets. He’d even buy left behind equipment at auctions supplied by fashion manufacturers that moved overseas. Although Dan felt like he was fashion’s best kept secret, more affluent Black communities didn’t connect with what he was doing. But that didn’t stop the gangsters, rappers, and athletes from coming through for Dan’s styling services. He's been in the game for over 40 years now, priding himself on translating the culture to high fashion.

    Today, Dan is focused on working with more accessible brands in order to engage with a larger community. His collaboration with Puma is set to launch this month (Oct 28)which even includes a sneaker…a first for Dan.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Sick of the stale fluorescent lights of the corporate world, Brittany started to Uber and used that money to travel to Nicaragua and Guatemala where she gained a whole new perspective and love for her culture. When she returned to LA, targeted immigration policies were running rampant, her pride turned to anger and Brittany put her boots to the ground protesting. Wanting to do more, she started promoting Latinx businesses online and that was the beginning of her journey to create Shop Latinx. Today, Brittany has grown Shop Latinx exponentially and raised 1 million dollars in venture capital in just three months...she continues to forge a path for women who look like her all while growing her shop.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Originally drawn to baking, Alex's journey to becoming a Home Chef and Food Blogger started in her mom's kitchen where she felt most comfortable expressing both sides of her Black and Puerto Rican heritage. While she loved baking, her dslexia proved to make the precise measurements very difficult. Alex made the pivot to focus on savory cuisine and never looked back. With a career in PR and marketing, Alex took the leap to go full-time into the food content creator world during the pandemic finding a lot of success online with her blog Just Add Hot Sauce. Today, Alex runs her succesful blog, a YouTube channel filled with cooking videos, Instagram, and her newsletter where she connects with her audience showcasing her personal story through food.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • From making t-shirts in his granny's kitchen to opening up the first black-owned streetwear shop on Fairfax in LA, Gavin knew early on that his connection to being creative ran deep. While that first shop, YOUth, eventually closed...Gavin started making hats and giving them out to people not worried about making money. The more hats Gavin gave out, the more they would end up in the most unlikely places, including on Chad Hugo of the Neptunes and Aleali May. This ultimately led to the creation of Supervsn, a brand dedicated to putting out good energy. Today, Gavin’s curiosity continues to lead to new opportunities and new education. Including his latest collaboration with PacSun, a portion of sales will go to the STUDIOinitiative, whose mission is creative wellness, mentorship, and inspiring the future of young creatives.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • A job delivering groceries at the first Whole Foods location in NYC ignited Peter's curiosity in food. He eventually started to look into enrolling at culinary school which came with a hefty price tag. Heeding a friend's advice to skip school and learn on the job, Peter walked into The Spotted Pig and asked for just that. He started at the bottom and for 10 years, Peter worked on the craft of cooking. As Peter ascended in his professional life, he met his wife, Sun, who opened his eyes to more of the richness of Korean culture and food. After 13 years in New York, he moved back across the country to Portland, Oregon to be closer to family. Today, Peter is the Owner and Chef of two very popular Asian eateries in Portland, Han Oak and Toki.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • On this week's episode, we sat down with Cristina Martinez (@sew_trill), a contemporary visual artist based in Seattle. Being an artist was something Cristina gravitated towards from early childhood - from watching Bob Ross on PBS to getting resourceful with art supplies (like using lasagna noodles as a canvas). It was during her young adult life that art went beyond her passion and became her focus; she is now living her truth creating in new ways every day. Inspired by her Black and Mexican heritage, her inheritance of feminine power, resilience, sisterhood, growth, and blooming is exhibited in all of her works of art. In 2022, Cristina unveiled her latest Nordstrom pop-up collection fusing together her unique art and fashion background.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • A serial entrepreneur, Sevetri Wilson started her first business while attending Louisiana State University, a newsletter, using her community as a resource to help her get things going. After college, at the age of 22, she founded Solid Ground Innovations, a full service strategic communications and management firm. As a self-proclaimed bootstrapper, she decided to take the next step in her journey to turn SGI into a scaleable platform by setting her sights on transforming the nonprofit sector through technology. As the Founder and CEO of Resilia, Sevetri has successfully raised millions of dollars in funding while being a changemaker in her community and beyond.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • After moving around the world as a kid, IB quickly fell in love with hip hop and basketball when his family ultimately settled in Queens, NY. It was that love of basketball that would lead him to meet his best friend and business partner J.Cole. Hooping with Cole at St.John’s University, led to them building a bond that would lead to IB encouraging the young rapper to pursue music, so they put together a mixtape. That mixtape was The Come Up. As the music started to catch fire amongst the blog scene, they named themselves Dreamville. In 2007, IB and J.Cole founded their own record label, Dreamville Records with the vision of making sure everyone felt like family.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • With dreams of being a rockstar, Cheetie realized at a young age she didn’t quite fit in. Moving from India to the Bronx as a kid, Cheetie struggled to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. As she got older, two things really came into focus: Music and Food. While on the road touring as a guitarist Cheetie fell in love with Raleigh, and saw that the city was an opportunity to bring her love of those two things together. Today, Cheetie is the Head Chef/Owner of Garland and nominated for multiple James Beard Awards. She is also the co-owner of KINGs, an indie music venue and adjoining cocktail bar, Neptune’s Parlour while playing guitarist in her band, Birds of Avalon.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • In searching for the thing he could truly call his own, Julian aka JuWorkingOnProjects, found that art was his calling. While working as a brand ambassador for Jordan Brand’s store in Chicago, Ju noticed an opportunity to create custom pieces of apparel that ultimately led to impressing artists like Teyana Taylor with his work. In a lot of Ju’s paintings, he offers his perspective on the experience of Black folks in America. Some experiences are great and others not so good. Inspired by his own racist encounter while sipping a cup of coffee and admiring his own vehicle, Ju went on to create a series of paintings called the Karen’s that would end up on the cover of New York Mag. In our conversation, Ju shares how being an East Sider in Chicago shaped him into the highly sought after artist he is today.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Inspired by the need to fight the racial disparity in the healthcare system after losing her father to a heart disease he wasn't aware of, Cydnie started educating herself on ways to boost immune systems and how to use food as part of preventative healthcare. With no true business motivations in mind, she started making juices for herself at home and then sharing the process on instagram. To her surprise, people wanted to purchase what she was making and Cydnie realized she had something special. In 2020, Cydnie Smith McCarthy founded Drink Mamey, a cold press juice, health, and wellness company.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista

  • Hailing from an immigrant family, Trinidad realized early on that he was a hustler, selling everything from Pokemon cards to pictures of Super Sayains as a kid. But it was fashion and his unique personal style that would take him on a journey of owning his own store and eventually building a name for himself. Today, Trinidad James is the founder of streetwear brand Hommework and novel sock brand DAD Socks, where he focuses on selling his community confidence not clothes.

    Co-Founder of Claima and Former Nike Marketer, Bimma Williams interviews leading and emerging creatives and entrepreneurs of color about how they were able to build their own tables by turning their hobbies, side hustles, and ideas into thriving small businesses.

    From these stories, listeners will learn how to claim their dream careers by stepping into the world of entrepreneurship. Featuring Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, James Whitner and more.

    Follow Claima Stories and Bimma Williams on Instagram: @claimastories @bimmawilliams

    And watch us on Youtube powered by Vista