We at CLEVER are celebrating Black History Month this year by honoring and amplifying Black creators in the influencer marketing space. Four CLEVER creators have partnered with us to publish our first-ever Black History Month blog series. These posts are intended to provide insight into how the influencer industry can support Black creators this February and throughout the year.
This week, we’re partnering with Ciara Strickland of The New Mixx.
Follow Ciara at:
YouTube: Ciara Strickland
At 26, Ciara (she/her/hers) has already worn quite a few hats while establishing herself as a prominent content creator and style influencer. With a bold yet refined, masculine yet feminine, and "neo-nostalgic" approach, she focused on defining one thing: "The New Mixx." Thus, her brand was born in 2016.
Currently completing her B.S.B.A. in Marketing, Ciara utilizes the skills she gained during her 4½ year tour in the United States Navy in unexpected ways. Her infusion of fine tailoring with the southern charm of her hometown (Chattanooga, TN) has become notably recognizable. However, her goal has always been clear to her. “I wanted The New Mixx to not only be an outlet for myself, but to bring any form of inspiration for anyone looking to transform or empower themselves.”
How does your content reflect or celebrate Black History month?
My content shows what I have gone through as a Black woman and influencer, and I utilize my platform to educate as well. Using my content to lift Black voices, showcase Black businesses, and speak on injustices every moment I can.
Have you ever had the opportunity to do a paid, brand-sponsored post in celebration of Black History month?
I have not.
As a Black influencer, what message do you want brands and the influencer marketing industry to hear loud and clear? What are your hopes for the future?
As a Black influencer, the message I want brands to hear loud and clear is to learn to do the work. Educate, read, and listen to those BIPOC and Black influencers, but also educate yourself in other realms of life (history, lifestyle, etc). It may be uncomfortable, but it is an active approach to see and learn the hardships many Black influencers face. For the future, I hope brands will collaborate with Black influencers instead of searching for influencers who fit the “aesthetic” of Black influencers. Paying Black influencers their worth and actively doing the research to uphold that and ensuring that campaigns are truly inclusive.
What is your advice for brands who want to continue to celebrate Black History beyond the month of February?
My advice would be if brands want to continue past the 28 days, that they are serious about celebrating the Black community, that commitment needs to extend into all aspects of the business and become part of the fabric of a brand’s culture. Take a moment to recognize the brand's role in the conversation of the Black community, see and question who benefits from the planned Black History Month ideas and understand how those ideas can become staples/pivotal points in your brand's culture.
Who are your favorite Black content creators we should follow?
- Rashad Little, @mrrlittle
- Steven Sharpe Jr., @stevensharpejr
- Jade Fox, @iamjadefox
- Cam, @coachcamcamfit
(Decoy Wine campaign)