April 12, 2021

The Beauty and Power of Tai Beauchamp

AMBASSADOR DIGITAL MAGAZINE Editor- In-Chief Musa Jackson has an in depth Q.&A with TAI BEAUCHAMP. Tai is a New Jersey native, proud Spelman College alum, award winning producer, host, content creator, and serial entrepreneur. This powerhouse woman is a trailblazing brand influencer at dawn of social media. Named by WWD as one of the 50 most influential in the multi cultural market, a former editor for O Magazine, Vibe Vixen. At Seventeen magazine she was the first Black woman and youngest Beauty and Fitness Director in the title’s history.

  • Client

    Musa Jackson

Tai is the go to voice for platforms like ABC, NBC, E, BET, Wendy Williams, Tamron Hall Show and The View. She’s hosted her own shows on TLC, Cleo TV and HSN. She’s worked with Fortune 500 companies and impacted organizations like Adcolor, Essence, CoverGirl, Ford, Hilton, InStyle, Prudential, Proctor & Gamble, Walmart and Lexus. She is the founder of Tai Life Media LLC, a media and creative consulting company that partners with global brands across multi channel platforms to develop wellness and lifestyle content. Tai also co-founded and is the Chief Brand Officer of BROWN GIRL Jane, the first and preeminent plant based CBD collection centering around women of color

 Tai is the go to voice for platforms like ABC, NBC, E, BET, Wendy Williams, Tamron Hall Show and The View. She’s hosted her own shows on TLC, Cleo TV and HSN.


MUSA Tell us what it was like growing up in New Jersey?
TAI The circumstances surrounding how I was raised to the external world probably didn’t look like peaches and cream but I was so super sheltered and super blessed beyond measure. I grew up with young parents. My mom Taiwanda is one of my heart beats. Alongside my grandmother and my paternal grandparents. I was raised in a blended family between multiple households. I lived between three households literally and never knew that it was weird or uncommon until I was well into my teenage years. I was maybe 14 when I realized that it wasn’t normal and this was in the ‘80s.

I believe that love and faith is what nurtured me. My mother in her youthful wisdom knew that what she had to give me, beyond the material, was to nurture this spirit of love and infinite possibility. My Mom was super stylish, she was a model, went to college as a young adult after having me. Education was really important in our family. For a lot of Black families during this time if you didn’t come from generational wealth, you knew that education was your out. For them it was about exposing me. Outside of Newark, New Jersey I went to the city every weekend. Sometimes it was with my father or mother even though they were no longer together. Sometimes it was going with my mother on a date. Sometimes it was with my aunt who had her own challenges with addiction, who was a creative queer woman. It was faith and exposure that nurtured my life for people with an appreciation for the world. (Continued)

MUSA You are proud Spelman grad with a degree in English Literature. What was that like to go to one of the most famous all women HBCUs?
TAI Life changing. I would do it all over again. My business partners, Malika and Nia are my Spelman sisters, at Brown Girl Jane. I learned to grow into who I am by being surrounded by multidimensional women. Spelman was illuminating for me because growing up in Newark, New Jersey, was very similar to Harlem who had seen Black people with it’s challenges alongside the beautiful Short Hills Mall. So it offered its diversity. But going to Spelman I was exposed to what it meant to be a dynamic Black woman and I realized that we are not a monolith. We have the appreciation for the women who came from places like Natchez, Mississippi, or Enigma, Georgia or Cleveland Heights, Ohio to girls from D.C. who literally walked with air of Black excellence and confidence to my friends from the very privileged Baldwin Hills. It offered me an opportunity to not only be among these types of women but to draw inspiration, motivation, insight about who I was and who we were and we show up in the world. Spelman speaks to my heart in a new way especially right now. We are in this renaissance of celebrating Black excellence and HBCU pride and experience. But it ain’t got nothing on what it was really like to have an address with Spelman Lane on it.
MUSA You’ve had an incredible career so far. One of the beauty editors at “O” magazine, Vibe Vixen and made history as the first Black woman and youngest Beauty and Fitness director at Seven’s magazine. What was that like being the first to navigate in some of those spaces?
TAI What I dreamt for was to not be the only. I remember my naïveté. I started interning first at Hearst when I was still in college. As I shared earlier I was exposed to all types of environments. But I was very sheltered. Coming from Spelman it was very enlightening to see what the actual world looked like outside of the gates of Spelman. While I was very happy to be there. Oprah magazine was my first job out of school. I graduated from Spelman, May 2000 and started at Oprah at July, 2000. Youre from this environment that is super safe where everyone looks like you to this environment where no one looks like you. And you’re trying to put it in perspective what your role is here. My dream in that time was to not be one of the few and certainly not be the only. What I gleaned from that time being at Oprah then at Seventeen. I worked on the prototypes of what would become Suede magazine and then I went onto Vibe vixen. We had a powerful position to play in being spaces even when other people objected.

Even when people didn’t understand what that power was that we needed to be in those spaces. I was only 25 years old at O magazine. And 25 then was not what 25 now. With being exposed to social media. Believing that you can floss and be just because you’ve seen a picture. There was no social media then. You didn’t even know the picture existed. I remember being in those spaces people looking to me saying, “What do you think about what Black women want?” I remember thinking to myself because of my Spelman experience that I didn’t want to be the lone Black voice for all Black women because I knew we weren’t one monolithic group. We were not all the same. My grandmother appreciated very different things from my mother. I remember thinking there will be a time when they’ll be an appreciation for all our layers. All of how dynamic we are. Even though I thought that I also remember feeling terrified that at that time how can I really stand in all of this truth on my own. Which is why at 26 burn out happened. I was felt hazed in many ways.

I didn’t want to be the lone Black voice
for all Black women because I knew we weren’t
one monolithic group. We were not all the same.

MUSA You left publishing and ventured into social media very early on. Did you know it would be what it is today?
TAI Heck no! I had no idea. When I left Oprah magazine to do philanthropic work people were like, “What are you doing? You’re on pace to being Editor In Chief in a year or two.” I don’t know all of the young dynamos well but it’s just my spirit to celebrate them. They saw a light in the star that they were attracted to and wanted to hook onto. Quite frankly I felt emboldened to do so because of people like Mikki Taylor, like Corrine Corbet, like Tia Williams, like Pamela Macklin, like myself who ultimately gave life and made room for these things to happen. When I look back into publishing I don’t think it was this explicit but I’m sure it was implicit kind of narrative around we got one or two or three Black or Brown people here. When I left publishing, I’m sure that affected someone’s numbers ( laughs) I only came back into media I went to Vibe Vixen because there are stories that needed to be told. And it led me working with brands. The social media then was being on television. Social media was connecting with community in a real way. I actually resisted it. Most people were surprised to know that on a personal level I’m could spend lots of time to myself. Covid has been difficult for a lot of people but I have no problems being alone. I feel deeply humbled to be acknowledged as someone who was a trailblazer in social media as a brand ambassador. I was one of Proctor & Gambles first brand ambassadors as the spokesperson for My Black Is Beautiful.

MUSA You are the go to voice for many platforms such as ABC, NBC, BET, The View and Wendy Williams. Was hosting always a part of the strategy?
I was
TAI No! Hosting was never a part of it. That’s why I was a magazine editor. I hope what I say lands properly. I never wanted to be that pretty girl. I never wanted to be the girl who was just out front to be seen. Not that I didn’t want to be seen. I can stand truly in my power and I enjoy that. Naturally their is a lot of introspection. I modeled as a child and went to charm school, etiquette classes and went to oratory diction class. I had all those experiences but never wanted to be the pretty face. I knew I was going to speak in front of people but like most Black children raised in the ‘70s and ‘80s I was going to be a doctor, lawyer or teacher. And my family are all educators. And if I was going to speak in front of people o was going to be a lawyer because I would have to defend people. That’s all I knew. I didn’t necessarily know I was going to speak in television and speak to the masses. My father’s first cousin ironically, who I always looked up to and loved is Cheryl Washington, host and anchor of Good Day NY. But I didn’t want to be the pretty girl, and when I I became an editor it was amplified I was the pretty girl who talked about makeup. I was like how can make this deeper, richer. I have felt for a long time I was trying counter that stereotype. It wasn’t until more recently what I realized for myself and people who follow Morning Mindset with Tai, my daily morning IG Live of just getting my life right, my mind right, my spirit right. My spirit was telling me that I’m a spiritual person. It’s not physical or intellectual it’s spiritual. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve been able fully lean into being this spiritual being that I can celebrate the aesthetics, the intellectual and appreciate it not only in me but really broadly. And not create judgement or silos for people however they choose live. Because now I am clear about where and how I lean. I’m comfortable with all parts of myself.
MUSA You are also a boss. Can you tell us about Tai Life Media Company and BROWN GIRL JANE? What is their mission?
I wanted
TAI Tai Life Media has been around for sixteen years. It has not been easy. I was an accidental entrepreneur. Who really just wanted to speak to all sides of myself. I wanted to empower women, speak about lifestyle and brands. Wanted people to see the light within themselves. I wanted to show my face when and where it made sense. To be able to drive important conversations and I’ve been really fortunate because it hasn’t been easy. This last year has been a blessing of renewed purpose, energy and direction. But three years prior to that was difficult but it led to me to found BROWN GIRL Jane, which is an extension of who I am. Of wanting Black women to be healthy and heal and feel supported and have the resources they need to be their most empowered selves.
MUSA Have both beauty and wellness been something centering and important in your life?
TAI Yeah. My grandmothers were one of those dynamic women. Both of them loved and appreciated beauty. Wellness meant something very different to them. They didn’t have the luxury of stopping and pausing. They didn’t think that was acceptable to them. These were women who were working multiple jobs to send their granddaughter to private school. So that’s the beautiful thing as to how we advanced as Black women through experiences like attending Spelman, working with Oprah and working at Seventeen magazine with young girls. We’re able to redefine it in a new way. But wellness for my grandmothers was their sister circles. That’s what we do at BROWN GIRL Jane, It’s the center of everything we do. What’s in your tool kit might different for that. You might need the Pilates class, or you might need the CBD drops and or you might need to workout or you just might need five minutes of peace. So wellness meant something different to women generationally.
MUSA What advice would you give a young Black woman just starting out in the beauty wellness space?
TAI Because of the association with Denzel, Debbie and Brad knowing all of the celebrities we were really the celebrity based restaurant. I remember the year that Denzel was nominated for an Oscar for Malcolm X. Georgia’s had its first Academy Award party. I remember it was 3 o’clock in the morning sitting at a table. It was Forrest Whitaker, Kevin Hooks, Lawrence Fishburne, Julia Robert’s, Denzel, Wesley Snipes, Brad and myself. We were just shooting the breeze. At that moment I had an out of body experience. Here’s this kid from Trinidad. If somebody had told me this was going to be my life I wouldn’t of believed them. I’m not a star struck person. But the reality that being a part of my normal life was kind of surreal to me.
MUSA How did you come to be this amazing painter?
TAI The first thing you have to define what makes you well, beautiful and whole for you. Before you can help others navigate on the journey to that. That’s one of the things the growth of social media and proliferation of what social media has done is it created experts who have not necessarily dug deep to be experts. Sharing their expertise but haven’t done it for themselves. With that I think we all stand to leave an indelible mark when we choose to be intentional about what that looks like for ourselves first. Then you can help guide other people on that journey. The other thing I want to say to young people, especially young women. Think about your life in totality. The era and time in which my mother and grandmother grew up in was all about education. Move out of this neighborhood to get the two story home with the white picket fence. For me it wasn’t so much different. It was how do I get the best suite when your aspiring to next levels. But we have to be intentional about how we nurture ourselves, mind, body and soul and not just professionally. I want all young people to think about what makes you feel well and when do you feel whole. Lean into that. Sometimes that might be putting on lipstick, sometimes it might be a drop of your CBD, other times it might be conversations with a best friend.

-Musa Jackson


Photographer: @reeseshermanphotography
Lighting @thegentlemanshour
Hair @daricojackson
Makeup @manuartistry
Designer : @terrytoccidesigns

Cover Look
Vixen Black one piece plunging neckline swimsuit by Terry Tocci Designs
Jewelry by Nordstrom

Look 1
Metallic Gold Goddess Gown by Terry Tocci Designs
Jewelry by Banana Republic

Look 2
Shimmering Silver Halter Neck Sleeveless Pantsuit Jumper by Terry Tocci Designs
Jewelry by H & M

Champagne & Pearls Mermaid Sequins Two-Piece “Mini-skirt & Backless Sequins Halter Neck Top by Terry Tocci Designs
Jewelry by Saks Fifth Avenue

Gold Cobra Trench Coat by Terry Tocci Designs
Jewelry by Nordstrom

Founder & Editor In Chief:
Musa Jackson @iammusajackson
Creative Director: Paul Morejon

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