Meet the people behind the trendsetting Lesbian Collective!
Born in Brooklyn, NY. Currently resides in Woodbridge, NJ.
I’m the lead trainer for The Cheesecake Factory in Edison, NJ
My passion is spreading joy and love. I believe a smile can go a long way and if everyone spreads a little more joy this would be a much more peaceful place to live.
I’m 28 and I’m single.
Born in Brooklyn, NY currently in New Jersey
I’m an associate director of social marketing at a global marketing company.
My passions are my career, collecting experiences and traveling the world.
28 and currently in a relationship
Born in New Brunswick, NJ – Currently Resides in Atlanta
I am a owner/travel planner at Alternative Journeys and an IT Consultant
My passions are anything that deal with entrepreneurship, music, community and overall happiness.
28 and single
Born in New York, NY – currently living in Jersey City
I work at a hair salon as the salon coordinator/manager
My passion is to have my own businesses, open up child care centers because I love kids and a home for mothers w/ kids who have no place to go. And just give back to those who need help and a change and just a little push that someone still cares.
I’m 28 and currently in a relationship
Stoney & JayMarie are cousins who met Soko in middle school (17+ years of friendship). Soko met Nelli Bugatti in high school and introduced her to the group. We have all been best friends since then(12 years).
How did the idea for the collective come about?
The idea for the collective came during one of our daily group chat conversations. I believe we started the group chat about a year ago. Everyday we would have a discussion about a serious topic, something funny, or just talk about nothing. These conversations had so much great content we realized that we needed to create a platform where we can share these real life situations with other people, so four friends and an idea. Today we have The Lesbian Collective podcast/lifestyle/brand.
How do you feel women like yourselves are portrayed on tv now compared to years ago?
We still don’t think LGBT women are portrayed enough. We have great influences; Ellen, Rosie O’Donnel, Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes etc. but there are a lot of women who I’m sure don’t get the credit they deserve because of their sexuality. Or better yet, women who don’t even get a chance because of their sexuality and it’s not fair. I hope that our podcast can open doors and give young lesbian women the opportunity to pursue what ever goals or dreams they may have. No matter what obstacles are in front of you. Just go for it!
Who are some of your mentors/role models?
Serena Williams is definitely one of our role models because she dominates in her sport. We consider her one of the best athletes of all time and she’s so strong willed. Racist and ignorant trolls on social media often bash her when she wins a competition and she doesn’t pay them any attention. She is a true representation of poise and grace under pressure.
What’s your definition of a trendsetter?
A trendsetter is someone that stands out naturally. A trendsetter thinks outside the box and doesn’t allow the opinions of others to change their perception. Trendsetters aren’t often seen as trendsetters in the beginning. Sometimes they face ridicule for their “strange” choices but it’s their ability to stand up to that which makes a trendsetter a cut above the rest.
What is some advice for young women who are just coming to terms with their sexual orientation, but are not sure if they should “come out” to family or friends?
You’re not coming out for anybody but yourself, so don’t let anybody keep you in the closet. Just remember that before you can truly love someone else, you have to love yourself first. Don’t rush it, be 100 percent ready. Just know that at the end of the day, if someone has a problem with your lifestyle and wants to cut ties with you because of it; it’s their loss not yours. There will be some people who reject you and you’re going to have to come to terms with that. Understand that sometimes it’s those you love the most that will hurt you the most.
What are your long term plans for the collective?
In the long term and the short term, The Lesbian Collective is more than a podcast. It’s a multifaceted brand creating dope content for under-represented audiences. Long term, we will collaborate with other established brands to bring the perspective of queer women of color to the masses. We have gained so many followers and supporters in such a short amount of time that we can’t wait to make this bigger than what it is now. We want to provide change, impact,and help people grow from certain life experiences. Maybe we’ll be the next hosts of the View. Dream big baby.
We hear a lot from young women about the lack of spaces or opportunities nationally for lesbians compared to those for gay men. Do you have any advice for those looking to start their own endeavors like you all have?
Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something. The only person that can stop you, is YOU. We didn’t just start this podcast and say “well whatever happens happens.” We put a lot of time and energy into this. Our advice to anyone is that you have to WORK and not just work but WORK HARD for it. Don’t go into anything with any doubts – believe you can do it and you will do it. It will be difficult but stay strong. Those difficult times will make the results even more rewarding. We don’t believe it’s about being gay, straight, lesbian or transgender, it’s about how hungry you are. Don’t let anything stop you.