In the past year, women of color have been gifted by other women of color with various tributes of works, including music, film, politics, and clothing.
Now, another door has been opened for women of color — one that enables them to get involved with creating and curating their own content on a platform specifically for them.
#BlackGirlMagic, as many have called it, appears to be pervasive and it seems that it was only a matter of time before it would invade the digital space.
After working for television networks such as OWN, VH1, USA and WETv, as a producer, Williamson made it her mission to redefine what we know as reality TV by creating feel-good programming for multicultural women through her streaming network, Blossom.
From early ventures in LA working on set with Iyanla Vanzant and her hit television show, “Iyanla Fix My Life,” Williamson returned home to Atlanta armed with a mission and fully determined to be the change she wished to see in media — she turned her passion for telling the stories of women of color and multicultural women into a digital network, Blossom.
Williamson describes Blossom as a digital television destination for women of color.
“We really champion a new way of finding and watching content,” she explained. “So now, when you come to our platform, you really can identify your mood and interests and find content based on that. We receive information differently and we have different things going on in our lives and Blossom is here to serve those different things.”
The Blossom team focuses on the different areas and use social media as both a marketing tactic and measurement tool. For example, through the Blossom Instagram account, the team uses impressions and engagement to gauge their audience and understand what women of color like to watch and consume. The team then uses that real-time feedback to create shows and content.
Doing so ensures that Blossom thrives a destination for multiple categories of content ranging from politics, music, and even motherhood.
“We really want to make sure we’re focusing on the different areas of music, technology, and business specifically,” Williamson said. “We’re always looking for women of color that can fit those areas.”
True to the purpose of its creation, one quickly notices that the team and creators of Blossom are all women of color. According to Williamson, not only was this no accident, but it is also a key component of the network’s success.
Williamson said she found that it was important that every single person from the shooter, the editor, the content strategist, and even Blossom’s COO be a woman of color.
“Working with women, especially women of color, in a male-dominated industry, you’ve got to walk the talk,” she explained. “You can’t just sit here and talk about it. You can’t talk about diversity and talk about what you champion if you are not living it and practicing it daily.
“I want to use all of our resources and exhaust all of our options and use women of color that can do this,” she added. “I didn’t know how many women of color were out there that could help me run this network. These women are really talented.”
Blossom is based in Atlanta, but as the new year approaches, expansion is on the radar in 2018.
“I have relationships with people outside of the city, but in terms of where we create our content, it’s created here in Atlanta. We do have people outside of the country that is looking at our platform and paying attention. I have networks in LA, New York, and even Raleigh. We’re definitely making our way.”
While expansion is the main focus, the platform also has other goals in mind.
“There is no platform that targets college girls, specifically college girls of color,” Williams said. “The fact that these women are creative and they can create content and the fact that there’s no content targeting them specifically and their experiences in college. I think Grown-ish is going to be great, but there is still so much more content that can be made for college-aged women.”
Additionally, the platform will be expanding to include mobile apps available in the AppStore and Google Play so that users can view Blossom content on their Apple, Roku, and other streaming devices.
“We’re very excited about the launch of the mobile app because it’ll allow a different watch experience for our girls,” Williamson said.
Williamson “We’re also starting a program next year called ‘Wild Flower,’ with the thought of women across the country who want to get involved with Blossom.”
Diamonde and her team created this program to give women the opportunity to find out about the content first and share what they want to see, and really be a part of the content creation process.
“This program will also, help us to spread the word about Blossom,” she said.
In regards to its name, Williamson said the idea of naming the platform Blossom was the result of a simple thought process: “I knew I wanted it to be one word and something simple,” she said, explaining that she originally named it, ‘Bloom.’
However, with the thoughts of the network someday ending up on television and on the TV Guide, she realized there would be a conflict of interest with ‘Bloomberg’ and its abbreviation, BLOOM.
“I realized we couldn’t do that and I had to start thinking again,” Williamson said. “‘Blossom’ is a synonym for ‘Bloom’ and that’s how we settled on the name.”
While Blossom celebrates women like Tiffany Haddish, Issa Rae, Oprah, Ava Duvernay, the platform is also a place for the common woman of color, too. For Williamson, it was important for Blossom to strike a delicate balance between the everyday woman and celebrity.
“We imagine a space where we can air cartoons for children aged 3-6 so that we can get them while their young and they can grow up with us on our platform,” Williamson said. “Imagine if there was a version of ‘Saved by the Bell’ or ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ but for women of color,” Williamson said. “Those shows made me excited about visiting California and going to college — we want our girls to have those same experiences. Not just the toxic visuals you see on reality television.
“What I do know is that a lot of people on our platform will become celebrities because of what our platform will be able to do for them,” she added.
Speaking on her favorite type of content to create, Williamson says, “I love it all because these women are so talented and creative and the content they create, it’s all they’ve ever want to talk about. All they’ve ever wanted was a platform. For me and my team to be able to provide that for them is amazing. And these women are brilliant, they may not have a million followers, but they’re brilliant and have something to say and whatever they say is valid and that excites me.
To see how these women could simply have an idea and maybe they’ve had these ideas for years, and this platform comes about and they’re able to do it… That’s very special.”
To keep up with the Blossom network, be sure to follow them on all social media platforms @watchblossom and check out their content and new platform at www.watchblossom.com