by Leyya Sattar
It’s always an honour to be invited to speak at events, and last Wednesday 17th July, Roshni and I were invited to speak at Good Girls Eat Dinner 4th birthday party. Founded by award-winning Creative Director Jo Wallace, Good Girls Eat Dinner’s sole mission is ‘to provide inspirational, kick ass, female role models across the creative industries’ and the room was filled with just that. It was also lovely to see so many TOB community faces too!
Sharing our founder journey is something I never tire of. So when invited to share our story around the theme of Changing The Narrative, Roshni and I were more than happy to join a line-up that included Sereena Abbassi, Cookie Tabinor and Rachel Cooke, who each took to the stage to share their story between delicious courses served up by Pizza East.
Here are the TOB 3 tips for not only changing your narrative, but owning it too:
1) Find a community to amplify your voice
The Other Box has grown from a community of two people (Roshni and I), to a community of nearly 3,000 people of colour and people from other underrepresented backgrounds in our Facebook group. By building a community of like-minded people, we found our voice and our strength, but also being surrounded by people who looked like us helped validate our own experiences of being women of colour navigating this industry. The TOB community in particular is an inclusive space where our members share news, events and opportunities with one another - so whether you need advice, or want to celebrate yourself, it’s a beautiful, empowering but also educating space with others who have felt othered. You can join the TOB community here.
2 Show up as an ally and use your privilege and platform to support those who are marginalised
We recently shared a post on our Instagram on how to be a better ally, and there are some other simple ways to show up for people and amplify narratives that you may not be able to resonate with. This could be as simple as showing support and solidarity on social media, supporting women of colour owned businesses and using your voice to speak up about injustice (if safe to do so) whether that be at protests, at work or in everyday life.
3) Our narratives are constantly changing, so be coachable, be flexible
We’ve gone from a side-hustle to full-time business. In that time, our own narratives have changed too. And in order to grow into these new narratives, we’ve had to put in some deep, personal work, remaining flexible, open to learning and willing to be coached. Today our relationship as co-founders has evolved in a way that enables us to communicate with radical transparency while respecting each others’ boundaries. We have to be the people to tell each other the truth. This is what allows us to build a business with integrity while staying true to our reason for existing. So don’t be afraid of change!