No project is too small if you believe in it. You also never know where that project could lead. A great example of this was when a friend of mine suggested we should do marketing for this girl group she saw on youtube. They had some following, but we believed in their brand and knew we could help take it to the next level with the small connections we had. After a few months of work, we were able to land pretty big media pieces and they are now signed artists.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Christina Hammond.
Christina Hammond is a children’s author, aspiring humanitarian, public speaker, and multipreneur in the entertainment and event industry (featured on Essence, WWD, Bustle and more) from Washington D.C.. She moved to New York City where she most recently became a mother to her baby girl, who inspired her to start a children’s book club, Tristyn’s Book Club. As a full-time mom and full-time freelance creative, Christina has become an inspiration to millennial mothers all over. Through her community service efforts, speaking engagements and overall social media presence, Christina Hammond has begun to be a household name.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Yes, I like to call myself a multipreneur because there isn’t any particular industry that I haven’t worked in. From entertainment marketing to most recently a children’s author, I’ve done it all. I believe we all have multiple gifts, and as I discover new gifts, new projects emerge.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
We hear of stay at home moms all the time. I am a different kind of stay at home mom, because not only am I a full-time mom to a soon to be 1 year old, but I am full-time creative as well. I am up hours before she is, and hours after to make sure I am fulfilling my purpose daily. To be honest, I had a c-section and when she was asleep (about 2 hours after giving birth), I was sending emails. With a newborn, freelance work can be extremely difficult, especially during this time with the pandemic. My beloved and I have no help because we have to make sure we are following all guidelines to insure we are safe. My daughter’s needs always come first, so finding the time to work is hard, but I get it done and inspire other stay at home moms while doing so.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Honestly, the funniest mistake I made was wearing 5 inch heels to my first event where I was a PR assistant / media & talent relations assistant. I didn’t have any flats and had to run up and down flights of steps for 5 hours. Never again, lesson learned. Heels are fine for red carpet work only, but always bring a nice pair of flats.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
One of my mentors is Aryn Chapman of Ax3 Studios. She started her business as a full-time mom and has worked with clients from Louis Vuitton to Mastercard since then. She continues to teach me the balance of being the best mother but being a very hard working woman. I appreciate her guidance. She told me the story of how she got her first client (her son’s school). She knew what she wanted to do, and by working with her son’s school, she was still able to be a full-time mom but a working full-time mom. This is so important to me. I want my daughter to know her mom is a hard working woman.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Disrupting being a positive or negative adjective depends on the circumstance. I encourage women to disrupt / shake up things in their industry. Sometimes the only reason our ideas fail is because we don’t speak up. As our former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said “Well behaved women rarely make history”.
It can only be seen in a negative light when your message isn’t articulated clearly or in a rude way. Wear your heels, but remember not to step on people’s toes.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
- Respect everyone and treat everyone the same (from the executive assistant to the CEO). One good example of this was when I was an assistant. My manager treated me with the same respect he showed the VP’s SVPs, etc. He respected that I too had great ideas and would encourage me to pursue those ideas throughout the company. He told me because anyone could have a great idea and it works, no matter the title.
- No project is too small if you believe in it. You also never know where that project could lead. A great example of this was when a friend of mine suggested we should do marketing for this girl group she saw on youtube. They had some following, but we believed in their brand and knew we could help take it to the next level with the small connections we had. After a few months of work, we were able to land pretty big media pieces and they are now signed artists.
- Volunteer. Giving back to communities, people, etc is super important. A family member told me that volunteering in another country would show me just how blessed I am. After that I decided to volunteer as an English teacher in Naples, Italy to high school students. Helping them not only in English but discovering their gifts and career aspirations was one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
I plan on releasing a children’s book that focuses on true Black history. In school, we’re taught the bare minimum and usually for the month of February. It’s time to introduce people to our true Black history.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
We are stereotyped as aggressive. When a woman is assertive, her energy is mistaken for cocky and bossy. When a male takes charge / bosses up, he’s the man / a good leader. We have to play small no matter how big of a role we have.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
Multiple Streams of Income by Robert G. Allen has had a major impact on my way of thinking. Again, finding the balance of being a stay at home mom, but making an income is super important. This book teaches you how to make residual income from your house. It’s very detailed and I’ve started implementing what I’m learning from this book. I’ve released a children’s book, I’ve started investing in stocks and coming up with creative ways to continue to make income without having to leave the house or feeling stressed about trying to be a mom and working.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My movement would be traveling with a purpose. A lot of times we travel for leisure, but don’t consider giving back to the country we’re visiting. I want to encourage people to engage in one community service activity while on travel. That could be something from feeding the homeless to participating in an NGO project of some sort. Showing people genuine kindness could change someone’s life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is actually one that I made up. “Being at peace is how you take control”. This is more relevant now than it was when I wrote it 2 years ago. I produce my best when in a peaceful state. Stress can weaken your immune system, so there’s no way to be your best self. I want to be the best me I can be not only for myself, but my family as well. That requires being centered and at peace.
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can connect with me through my website www.aboutcnh.com and my social media platforms IG: @ms.cnh Twitter: @MISSCNH
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!