Shronda Ann Armstrong is the Founder and Creator of The Geaux Queen Brand. Geaux Queen represents a movement that caters to what women have to offer to this world: Women are a special privilege. The ultimate prize and the full package! The movement first began in March 2019 with the top-selling GEAUX QUEEN t-shirts. That positive response has grown into the full Queen’s Arrogance. LLC empowerment movement! And it doesn’t stop here! Geaux Queen movement has also introduced the Q-Chat podcast! The Q-Chat podcast features unique stories, poignant experiences, and beautiful voices that discuss current topics pertinent to the culture. We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Shronda.
What inspired you to get into the media industry?
Shronda: I was inspired to get into the media industry because I think there is room for my platform. I grew up idolizing Oprah Winfrey. I’m in my mid-40s, so when I was younger it wasn’t common to see women of color on the screen. I’ve remained inspired to find my place in the media world to show more positive images of women of color. I’m a firm believer that we are the designers of our own blueprint. We hold the power to set the tone to break stereotypes. Another reason I joined the media industry is because I’ve always had a love for journalism, film, music, television, and literature. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the industry I’ve always admired in my own special way. There is an endless amount of stories to be seen and told in our culture. It means the world to me that I have the opportunity to give these stories the platform they deserve.
How did the Q Chat podcast come about?
Shronda: Well, originally I started my Geaux Queen with empowerment tees. I had two t-shirts that had self-love affirmations for women: “Geaux Queen: The Ultimate Privilege, The Special Prize and The Full Package” and “Geaux Love Ya’Self!”
I had minor success with the apparel and I wanted to find another avenue to present the reason behind the message. I had already been an avid listener of podcasts, so the idea to start my own just popped into my head one day. I didn’t have a plan at all when I first started. I couldn’t buy a guest to join me, lol. I started the show in August of 2019. By January of 2020, I had maybe 4 or 5 episodes. Slowly, the show began to grow and guests would come to me inquiring to be on the show. It’s been a beautiful ride.
What are some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?
Shronda: One of my most memorable moments was getting the opportunity to interview Raheem DeVaughn. I’ve always been a fan of his music and listen to his music regularly. One day I decided to reach out to his team and I was so happy when they responded fairly quickly agreeing to an interview. It’s moments like that when I get the pleasure of connecting with artists whom I admire, that really makes the hard work behind the scenes worth it.
What do you enjoy most about the work that you do?
Shronda: I enjoy working on my dream. It’s definitely not easy trying to build your own career and I don’t recommend to everyone. However, I enjoy building something that is a part of my heart. I love the connections I’ve made and I’m proud of the foundation I’ve set. Especially right now during such a terrible time of division and confusion, it’s been important for me to push through in spite of. I have sincerely enjoyed being my own boss, doing what I love the most. I also enjoy being an example for anyone who has a dream but maybe in a state of doubt. There is nothing in this world that can stop us from achieving our dreams unless we allow it. Entrepreneurship is at an all-time high now. It feels great to not only be a businesswoman but to simply be happy—-something I didn’t experience when I worked in corporate America.
What are some obstacles you had to overcome to make you the woman that you are today?
Shronda: Way too many to count. I was in a terribly toxic and abusive relationship for over a decade. My self-esteem had been broken early on in my childhood. I was an awkward and quiet young woman and I was surrounded by people who weren’t very kind to me. For the longest, I didn’t value myself and I didn’t appreciate the woman looking back at me in the mirror.
As I got older, I gave my power away because I simply didn’t know any better. After dealing with an ugly divorce and nasty back and forth custody battle—during which I was even separated from my children due over a year—-I had to finally get to a point on my life where I let go of fear, sadness, depression, and shame and forgive myself for not knowing how special and strong I was all along. Had I not gone through those trials or experienced the pain of my past, I would not be the person I am today. Overcoming those things has not been an easy and overnight process. I had to unpack layers of my life and pinpoint the broken parts that needed healing and repair in order to understand how and why did I allow things in my life that didn’t uplift me. Once I was able to understand that, my life truly changed for the better. I needed to feel the bottom in order to reach the top.
Who are some women that you are inspired by and why?
Shronda: Well, as I mentioned before, Oprah Winfrey is everything to me. When I was younger, seeing a woman of color whose name was different from mine, who looked like me and who was so intelligent along with this amazing energy, really captured me. Oprah Winfrey has beaten so many odds stacked against her to be who she is now in the media world now and she’s a great inspiration to me not just professionally but as a woman. Oprah Winfrey’s name holds so much power and respect. Her philanthropy is also very special to me. If my aspirations could hold a crumb of the amount of success she’s achieved, it would be a great thing. She’s paved the way for so many women of color in the industry.
My other inspiration is Issa Rae. Issa Rae is my she-ro. She really is what I refer to as “The Blueprint” in my career. I was a true FAN of her “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” YouTube series. I’ve followed her career and I’ve been rooting for her for the longest. She really represents how being unique and staying true to yourself, just like Oprah, pays off. Issa is a powerhouse and I really admire her drive, ambition, talent, and amazing sense of humor. Issa Rae represents quality and a new generation of trailblazers and creatives. It’s been amazing to watch how far she’s grown and much farther she’s bound to go. She really inspires me in a way that reminds me that by being yourself, you can attract the right audience and create your own table.
What do you want your legacy to look like?
Shronda: I want my legacy to look like an example of a woman who never quits. I want my legacy to represent dreamers, survivors, creatives, innovators, and more. I want my legacy to speak to living life unapologetically on your own terms. I want my legacy to inspire, motivate, uplift, and embrace others. My life and my brand aren’t here to be liked and received by everyone. However, if I can leave a mark for my audience that made them think differently and go for it, then that will be a real legacy that will last forever.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.