#POWERPLAYER: Victory Jones and Tori Elizabeth

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Made from good-for-you ingredients and with a weightless, modern-matte finish that stays put all day, our newest product—Power Play Foundation—is a true game changer. So in celebration of its release (FYI—it’s already a bestseller), we’re shining the spotlight on beauty and lifestyle experts who also never fail to eclipse expectations. From superpower CEOs to makeup mavens and more, these #Powerplayers inspire us with both their how-I-got-here stories and their tips for living a beautiful life.

The Colored Girl, a creative firm focused on diversity and inclusion, is the brainchild of co-founders Victory Jones and Tori Elizabeth. When the two Instagram friends—turned real-life friends—sought to create a safe, somewhat disruptive space for women of color to feel empowered and free, The Colored Girl was born. We caught up with Victory and Tori to learn about their vision for the brand, how they’re pushing the boundaries on societal norms, and what keeps them grounded. Read on for their candid responses and (gorgeous) photography from their most recent retreat in Marrakech, Morocco.

 

Hello! So, it’s no secret you met via Instagram—what made you partner together to start The Colored Girl?
Tori: The Colored Girl was created to represent WOC in mainstream media the way WE would want to see ourselves! We noticed many ads didn’t truly understand who we were and what we wanted...therefore we created a safe space to tell women’s stories and represent them in an authentic light.

Victory: This is such a long story! LOL… but we decided to create what we wanted to see, what we felt was lacking. An authentic perspective of WOC from a higher standard to show that we deserve a seat at the table, and that our issues are not to be swept under the proverbial rug! Everything we make, we desire to see out in the world to spark something in others, and feel as if there must be millions of other women who also feel the same.

 

What would you tell women who want to start their own brand?
Tori: First, start with the question: “Who Am I?” This question will allow you to answer authentically and will give you an idea on how you want your brand to look, feel and represent you. Second, just start! Don’t let fear and doubt keep you from leaping and just doing it. The hardest part is starting. Once you overcome that and get into a flow, you’ll be unstoppable!

Victory: Start with a solid idea. Don’t worry about the how, what and where. Start, honestly, with the WHY! Also ask for help. We all need it, but don’t be afraid to ask! Even with the small things. That’s how greatness is built: one small step at a time. So, if you need help to execute, ask. So your vision can come to life.

 

What is one piece of advice you have for women pursuing many different passions?
Tori: You don’t have to choose...you can do many things well, just prioritize them and focus on a few at a time versus all at once! Also, figure out how to take skill sets from each passion to create one super passion. For instance, I was a celebrity wardrobe stylist while studying Public Relations, Marketing & Sales. I always thought I had to choose one—either corporate or styling. Creating The Colored Girl allowed me to use my PR & Marketing Skills for Campaigns, Sales skills for seeking partnerships/sponsors, and my styling skills for all of our campaigns. This allows me to tap into all of my passions in a productive way.

Victory: Focus on one or two at a time, and do not spread yourself too thin. That’s a recipe for disaster. Hone in on and prioritize what speaks to you the most or what’s most needed, then work diligently and honestly from there… one small step at a time!

 

What is your “foundation” and/or what keeps you grounded?
Tori: I have always looked at the world through the lens that, at our core we are all the same. This lens allows me to treat everyone the same no matter their background or status. Knowing that we are all human keeps me grounded, humble and accepting.

Victory: My friends and family! Also knowing that my purpose is to tell the stories of those who do not have a voice or are not heard. To represent and connect those of us who are underserved, overlooked, marginalized and misrepresented. That is my purpose this also fuels me.

 

Is there anything that used to make you self-conscious, but now you find yourself embracing?
Tori: My Stretch Marks on my hips made me very self-conscious growing up. They didn’t bother me at first because I thought all women had them. Until one day, I was changing in the locker rooms in middle school and noticed that none of the other girls had them. It changed the way I viewed by body (hiding, only wearing shorts swimsuit bottoms, seeking intimacy in the dark). Within the last year, I began to embrace them...because I have a platform that is all about authenticity and reality. TCG allowed me to appreciate all aspects of myself openly and authentically.

Victory: My unwillingness to reveal very private things about myself. I find that sharing those things now bring kinship and is the foundation for honest and lasting relationships.

 

We are completely obsessed with your campaigns and how you push the envelope in terms of the current cultural climate. Can you give us a little insight on how they come to life?

Tori: Awww thank you! Honestly, we aren’t afraid to be disruptive and have uncomfortable conversations. This is the foundation that allows us to create without feeling trapped to rules or a standard. We also start by utilizing our personal experiences, pains and feelings towards past and current events. From there, we talk to women and hear about their experiences and pains. This allows us to speak from reality versus false narratives.

The recipe for us is authenticity, paired with an authentic message, plus quality visuals = The Colored Girl (campaigns).

Victory: We basically take our private conversations and ideas and make them public. We are very clued into what's going on in our culture, and the stories we tell and advocate for are the ones we feel need to be talked about. The power belongs in the hands of the people, not the few at the top who dictate how and what (they think) should be happening. Also, to piggy back off Tori, we implement these ideas with our creative flair and love of aesthetics with high standards. Quality and details matter. Always. These are things we pay very close attention to in each of our campaigns. Also, we leverage our resources when we need to get things done.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Tori: To reveal the truth in people...even those truths that we are too afraid to see and/or acknowledge.

Victory: To take away people’s sadness & trauma. Healing them.

 

What excites you most about the future of TGC?
Tori: The ability to change the narrative and society's views of WOC and women in general excites me! Making a difference is what gets me out of bed daily and the more we grow, I know we will truly impact the world. TCG will be a global brand, making global changes and that is so exciting!

Victory: EVERYTHING!!!! The possibilities and the truth that we can make these possibilities, realities through manifestation, together. Also, the idea of an expansive network of amazing WOC, worldwide with allies of all sorts, everywhere! Lastly the real, tangible, and positive impact/change we are making, and will continue to make, to help the world be a better place for humans! That excites me!

 

Leaving you with some serious #wanderlust from their Morocco retreat...

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