Quintessential Harlem girl and life-long New Yorker Bevy Smith is the host of Sirius XM’s “Bevelations” on Radio Andy and will serve as a headlining contributor for Fox Televisions Stations’ “Page Six TV” beginning in September 2017. Bevy also shared her style insight on BET’s “Wendy’s Style Squad,” and for three seasons was showcased as moderator of Bravo TV’s revolutionary “Fashion Queens.”
Once a wildly successful luxury fashion publishing exec, Bevy shifted her professional goals to pursue “Dinner With Bevy,” a social event connecting VIPs in fashion, style, entertainment and media at chic intimate dinner settings. The New York Times described Bevy as a “socialite and noted hostess.”
A beloved motivational speaker, brand ambassador and pop culture aficionado, Bevy is a frequent guest on an array of TV shows, including “The View,” “The Wendy Williams Show,” “The Real,” “Dr. Oz,” “CBS Morning Show” and “Access Hollywood.”
Bevy is never too busy to give back. For the past two years, she has hosted “Fashion for Action,” an annual fundraiser for Housing Works, a New York-based thrift store chain and advocacy group that helps find appropriate housing for people living with HIV and AIDS, and was recently named 2016 Community Champion of AIDS Organisation Harlem United.
Additionally, Bevy is on the board of Cool Culture, a charity devoted to raising awareness among under-privileged children.
Congratulations on the success of your show Bevelations, you began your career in media behind the camera, specialising in luxury goods, before transitioning to on-air talent. Then For 3 seasons, beginning in 2013, you headlined in the moderator role on Bravo TV’s revolutionary fashion talk show, “Fashion Queens.” Can you talk to us more about this?
Fashion Queens was an awesome opportunity, it gave me a chance to moderate/helm a show! It also enabled me to show off my fashion IQ and my celebrity interviewing skills. I think that in a few years folks will look back at Fashion Queens and see how revolutionary it was to have three African American people (2 of whom are Gay and fashion flexible) on mainstream tv chatting about luxury and celebrity fashion.
Can you talk to us about the entrepreneur spirit of working within the entertainment industry?
The entertainment field is like the Wild West, folks are hired guns, they have multiple jobs and revenue streams. Once upon a time if you were talent the goal was to get on a show and a collect a hefty check and that’s pretty much what you did. That’s still a goal for many, but now most talent see themselves as brands and they are trying to secure deals which build upon their career as talent but also secures passive income streams outside of that. As a former advertising executive I understand better than most talent the way to create a successful and sustainable brand, I feel like I have a real advantage when negotiating deals.
As a strong independent woman, you quit your job to follow your passion and break the mould. Since, evoking the power of having life with a vision, what does it mean to you?
Having a Life With Vision is all about charting your course, being open to alternative twists & turns that life will inevitably put in your path but having a strong sense of where the journey you’re on will lead you. A focal part of my Life With Vision starts with the goal of building a media empire, with me helming my own talk show, finding and developing other talent and producing shows for said talent, think Ryan Seacrest, Oprah and of course my mensch, Andy Cohen. Once upon a time my career mandate was focused solely on tv, but now I’m interested in digital, radio, Broadway and film. My Life With Vision also includes my media enterprise creating a philanthropic foundation which focuses on my core charitable concerns; Youth Of Color, Arts Education, HIV/AIDS support and LGBTQ support.
What would your message be to young women out there trying to navigate their way towards success and what principles govern your guidance based on your experience so far?
To young women who are charting their course to a LIFE WITH VISION, I would say LIVE YOUR LIFE! Don’t allow society to put you in a corner, too often even in 2017 women have limitations placed on their goals, rebuke those ideas, shake up the paradigm. Another important part of the puzzle is that you must always dare to dream. I’m 50 years old and when I look at Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin enjoying yet another round of success in their 70’s or Cicely Tyson winning a Tony award at 90, I know I have time to fulfill my dreams and I refuse to stunt them for anyone. Another key mandate for me is “keep your head down & DO THE WORK”. I’m not the type to participate in a lot of hype, I don’t have sycophants around me and I don’t allow myself to get too far ahead of where I’m currently at regarding my work. It’s important to have goals but you must focus on the task at hand, that’s where head down, do the work comes in, you can’t get to the next level without a solid foundation. My last piece of advice is to HAVE FUN, too often we’re in such a rush to accomplish our career goals and you can wake up to find that you forgot to have a personal life. Take lunch daily, take all your vacation time, see your family, cultivate authentic relationships and NEVER work harder for a company’s goals than you do on your own life’s goals.
One particularly important issue right now for entrepreneurs is how to keep the momentum going once you’ve reached the plateau of success. As never one to be complacent, what is your intake on this?
Right now I’m in the “middle” of my current career trajectory and I’m loving it! I’m over the hump, I’m not trying to be a media personality, I actually am a bonafide tv & radio personality. The realization of that statement makes me beyond happy because I’ve hit that mark and while it’s taken me twelve years to do it, I’ve learned invaluable lessons that will see me through to my next incarnation. For me, once I hit a goal I instantly move on to the next hurdle, I’m not one to rest on my laurels, I’m driven by challenges. I like being the underdog, going into rooms where no one knows me and connecting with folks. I enjoy stretching and relish being uncomfortable because that means I’m learning a new skill. These are the things that keep you curious, invigorated and challenged.
If you had to sum up #BEYOUROWN in one word, what would it be?
Maverick – charting your own course, unafraid to be original and always bucking the status quo.
Twitter: @bevysmith | Instagram: @bevysmith