When Kris Christian founded MADE Maven, her aim was to cultivate a community for professional women of color a safe space which would also create strength in numbers.
MADE Maven will host a meet up from 2 –8 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 at St. Jane Hotel, 230 N. Michigan Ave.
Among the panelists for the event are Audrina Bigos, new reporter at CBS Chicago; Jenny LeFlore, founder of Mama Fresh Chicago; Halleemah Nash, chief partnership officer at The Academy Group; Taylar Barrington, Executive Chief Officer of Cliquish; and MADE Maven’s founder, Christian.
Barrington started Cliquish in 2018. It is an education destination for content creators. She said the goal is to help them build, grow and profit.
“We teach the ins and outs of digital content creation and how it translates to the business side,” she said.
This is achieved through digital classes and offline events that are hosted and sponsored through partnerships.
Barrington said what she likes about MADE Maven is the sense of community.
“I am a Black woman entrepreneur there’s really not a lot of places I can find community,” she said.
She said there are a lot of professional women of color starting businesses and creating careers they love.
“They always execute quality experiences,” she said of MADE Maven. “When they asked me to be a panelist this time, I was like, ‘Of course; absolutely. It’s a no-brainer.”
Barrington will discuss community and collaboration during what is called the ‘power hour.’
“I’m excited for all of it. It’s done so well from top to bottom,” she said. “I’m just excited to experience my power hour and the others, as well.”
An Atlanta transplant, Barrington said she was attracted to Chicago for different reasons.
“What was attractive about Chicago was the opportunities for community and collaboration,” she said. “It’s such a dynamic city there’s a pocket for everybody. This is one of the best places I could be.”
Christian founded MADE Magazine in 2015 which targeted millenials of color. She said she looked around her office and saw the creative women of color and knew she needed to focus on them.
“We all saw a need to focus and lean in to women of color and their careers,” she said. “We started to tailor our content toward women.”
A self-described serial entrepreneur, Christian is also the founder of Chicago French Press, a single-origin organic coffee company.
She later started the community for women of color (MADE Maven), and in 2018, the first MADE Maven Leadership Summit took place. The event featured different tracks for attendees to partake in. There were 200 people in attendance.