Nickecia Alder, also known as the mastermind creator behind the popular online nexus, Black Girl Fly Mag, is a role model for young black women who aspire to become entrepreneurs. Alder emits her multidimensionalism not only by running her own business but also balancing graduate school at Loyola University.
Through the creation of BGF, Nickecia has made it her duty to highlight the beauty, magic and joy of black girls and women by bringing them to the spotlight, demonstrating to the world what makes black girls unstoppable and let's not forget fly.
What inspired you to create/start Black Girl Fly Magazine?
I am a Ph.D student in psychology and I study stereotypes and images of Black women in the media and its impact on identity development for Black women and girls. Images of Black women in the media are largely negative, placing us into unidimensional caricatures that are related to historical stereotypes (mammy, jezebel, sapphire, video vixen, angry Black women etc). These images provide limited possibilities for the experiences of Black women and girls. On the other hand, I found myself on the internet connecting with other Black women, content creators, bloggers, etc that were creating online spaces that empowered us reclaim and tell our own stories. To escape from the negative outlook of the research and join the revolution of Black women storytellers, I joined with my co-founder and gathered a group of the most fly women we knew to create BGF Mag.
Black Girl Fly Magazine serves as a digital nexus for lifestyle and cultural news for trendsetting Black women. We created Black Girl Fly Magazine “to offer an alternative to mainstream representation of Black women and to promote love, appreciation, and celebration of each other.” We want to educate, inspire and incite a revolution of Black women fiercely loving themselves.
Did you face any obstacles while getting your idea off the ground? If yes, how did you overcome them?
Yessss! There were many. The main obstacle was time. I had been sitting with the idea for quite some time. I would meet up with friends to talk about it but ultimately would decide to put the project on the back burner. I justified this by saying, I need to wait until I complete my doctorate before having enough time, credibility-in my mind, and whatever else I thought I needed to begin working on the project. Until one day, I was speaking to one of my peer mentors about the amount of time I spent thinking about this project and how school was beginning to feel like a burden without some kind of outlet to bring together my passion and scholarly pursuits. She gave me the advice to make the time for whatever I feel passionate about. From that day forward, I did what I could everyday to overcome the obstacle of time. I made lists, woke up earlier, went to bed later; whatever I could to plan and get everything done. More than anything, getting a team helped with many obstacles including time. There is no way we would have grown as much as we have without the entire collective; writing articles, attending events, developing campaigns and so much more. There’s an entire machine working daily, to bring BGF Mag together.
What has been the most rewarding thing that has come Black Girl Fly Mag?
Truthfully, it would have to be hearing from Black women and girls and people in general about their connection to the magazine. I get entirely shocked every time I randomly meet someone who says “oooh, I know Black Girl Fly” or “I follow you all on instagram”; even though it has only happened a handful of times. I want to know how people found us or what aspects of our instagram feed, magazine or mission they connected with. It has been rewarding to hear women say they connect with the positive images of Black women, with the space designed for Black women to be at the center, with the mission to educate and inspire Black women and girls. That lets me know that I did the right thing in not waiting until I graduated; that there were women and girls that needed this. That’s humbling.
Who are some of your greatest influences and inspirations when it comes to fully being the woman you were meant to be?
There really are so many! I’ll call out a few but I know I won’t get everyone! My grandmother, Desri Alder- the flyest woman there was. My mother, aunts, my sisters, Momm-Karen, Aunty P, the Ladies of JOZ and the BGF collective! I’m inspired by many researchers and scholars, bell hooks, Ruth Nicole Brown, Dream Hampton, Melissa Harris-Perry and others. Janelle Monae, Myleik Teele, Mitzi Miller, Beverly Bond, Amy DuBois Barnett... so many others!
What are some goals for BGF in 2015?
We want to go international this year! We would love to digitally and physically take our movement across seas. Black women and girls from all over the world, we want to connect with you! Other than that, we want to continue to learn, to continue to grow while being consistent in our content and unique perspective. Lastly, we want to collaborate. The internet has allowed us to connect to so many fly women and girls! We want to manifest fierce things with other content creators, writers, bloggers, photographers, etc.
If there were any words of inspiration that you could give to aspiring entrepreneurs what would it be?
Figuring out what you’re passionate about what has to be first and foremost. Making time to bring that to the center of your life will allow everything else to fall into its place. Having patience! Things do not go “right” all the time, so having patience will be essential to getting through those tough times. Plan ahead! This is probably the most important thing I can say. Grinding after a ‘9-5’ is tough work that requires a lot of planning to bring anything into fruition.
Written by Sierra Walton