Create Her Collective was born out of the need for more elevated, creative visuals with multicultural, specifically black women front and center. Founder, Erica Vain, respects and cherishes the need for young and aspiring women creative to see people that look like them celebrated and promoted just as much as their non-black counterparts. Multicultural creatives are building careers, innovating and evolving everyday in Hollywood, on Broadway, in Literature, on Courts, in Classrooms and we are excited to hold the mission of telling these stories. Create Her Collective is here to help inspire and move a group of talented, beautiful and boundless creators forward.
First up, we share the story of Bresha Webb. She is a comedian, actress, dancer and all around entertainer. She currently stars on NBC’s “Marlon” alongside Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins and includes Tyler Perry’s “Acrimony”, “Meet The Blacks”, “Unsolved” and more on her resume. After graduating from Baltimore School for the Arts, Bresha moved to Southern California to attend California Institute of the Arts. It was during thing time, Bresha experienced her first serious bout with racism and learned how to navigate a not so diverse social and academic climate.
“I came to school with Chinese slippers and roller wraps; I was doing perms in the bathroom. They [other students at CalArts] weren’t use to that. I had some racial incidents happen to me and that was hurtful because I had never dealt with anything like that. I came from a multicultural high school, Baltimore School for The Arts and I always was lovable Bresha. I never dealt with any kind of adversity where me being Bresha or me being black was a threat to anyone. Being away from my family for the first time and having someone vandalize my bathroom, vandalize my bedroom and say “ F*#k all the N*ggas” I was [very hurtful] like where did this come from. It had never been directed to me.“
Bresha did what all winners do in her college conflict and did not give up. Instead of meeting the negativity with more negativity she decided to fight smart and got her college on board with mandatory cultural sensitivity and appreciation training for all students. It was during that trying time that she realized in full the gifts that her Baltimore City upbringing afforded her.
Photography by Kaye McCoy
Wardrobe Styling by Keri Henderson
Makeup Artistry by Brittany Ingram
Hair Styling by Kenya Alexander
Creative Direction by Erica Vain
“There are so many moments that were
“Every black artist started off in a church some where. I was always a dancer, in my white dress [at church] coming to do a leap down the aisle. I took dance lessons but in movement I always felt improvisation in the way that I did dance. When I was asked to do a dance I didn’t ask for anyone elses help and I would just improve a dance with music. I would let the music move meant whatever it made me. It became an ongoing thing. Thats when I knew I had something a little different. Of course it came through movement first it goes with my process as well when I am doing theater, acting, singing, anything, I always start with movement and where does that lead me into with my words or anywhere. That was great but in that moment I realized that because of who I am was going to have to fight and I was going to have to really stand up for myself and not cower down letting people walk over me.”
Our founder and creative director, Erica Vain, identified all too well when Bresha went on discussing her sentiments for Baltimore City. It was almost like both women lived two different lives that illicit the exact same feelings of frustration, struggle and insecurity. And on the other side they are both able to agree that in the present day their struggles with Baltimore City shaped them in a way that is 100% unique. It helped fortify both Erica and Bresha for the hard journey ahead to accomplishing goals and finding success.
“I have a hate/love relationship with Baltimore. I embrace everything that Baltimore has given me. At first, I was always the outcast. I wasn’t hood enough, I wasn’t proper enough, I wasn’t so straight edged for the straight edge people and wasn’t black enough sometimes. I was so uncomfortable in my Baltimore life. Everyone is so hard there. They have so much struggle and I’m like ‘Hey Guys, I’m Disney’. I was so different and offbeat. I always felt very insecure about who I really was being from Baltimore. As I grew up and really started to own who I am and moved to LA, I realized that Baltimore truly made me a better artist. My city has built me up so that I can face anything. I know how to talk to people, I know what certain energies feel like, I have street smarts, I know how to maneuver in a moment and it helps me in everything. do. My city has made me fight for being my real self. My authentic self. I am very blessed to be born in Baltimore City. Everyone you meet from Baltimore has this hunger and that’s because our city is full of crabs. We are use to fighting so much that when we get a breathe of fresh air and we finally get to soar, we ain’t gonna stop soaring! There are so many artists that come from Baltimore City and they are just winning. They are aware of self. It makes me so proud to be from Baltimore. Their ain’t nobody in the world like us. ”
Bresha’s vulnerability and honesty resonates deeply as she is drawn to tears discussing how she now is at a place where she let’s the world see her. It is a feeling many creatives know, hiding when you don’t believe those around you will understand or appreciate the differences in you. Many creators try for years to “play” a role or be who people expect them to be while fighting internal battles. It was so rewarding to watch Bresha during the Create Her Collective Shoot as she exudes confidence, comfort and pride.
“I graduated with my head on straight, I was calling agencies, managers, everybody after graduation. I came out here to win and no one is going to tell me to go home. I’m not going home! That has been my M.O since I arrived in LA. I booked my first audition immediately after school. I signed to an agent a week after college and I’ve been with that same agent, Greene and Associates ever since. I’ve met some amazing friends and worked some amazing jobs. It’s a blessing! It doesn’t happen like that for everyone. The way it came up for me! I know this is what I’m suppose to be doing.”
Heres to all the creatives ,still in search of their most authentic expression of self. And to those creatives living their dreams, inspiring and educating others on how to navigate the muddy waters of a creative life. Create Her Collective is here as a resource, community, sounding board and friend.
Thank you Bresha Webb for sharing your time, beauty and talents with us. We look forward to all you have in store.P