Bev Smith on Quitting her Job at 38 to Follow Her Dreams

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Bevy Smith is so divine, even in the morning. “I’m divine, darling. I’m a morning person,” she sings in her distinct New York accent. This energy is how she was able to quit her job and follow her dreams.

Ms. Smith told Essence that ten years ago she  left her mid six-figure job as a Fashion Ad Director to pursue a career as a media personality:

For those who don’t know your story, give us the brief rundown of how you were unhappy in your Fashion Ad Director job and left it all to follow your passion.
I was very blessed to have a really incredible career as a Fashion Ad Director at VIBE and then at Rolling Stone magazine. Going to Paris and Milan six times a year and making a very nice mid six-figure salary is nothing to sneer at, especially if you’re a little brown girl from Harlem. I was very aware of how blessed I was. However, at a point when you find yourself medicating by being a shopaholic—one of the worst things in the world is women thinking that being a shopaholic is cute—that’s not cute. You’re masking something. I arrived in Milan one day and I realized I was surrounded by opulence and I was miserable. I vowed that day that I was going to change my life. I didn’t really know how I was going to, but I decided at that moment that I was not going to allow people to call me Beverly from VIBE. I was going to make people start introducing me as Beverly Smith. And then a little while later I decided I was going to change my name to Bevy because Beverly Smith was so synonymous with that part of the business and I wanted to morph into a new character. That was a whole interesting experiment in itself.

From there I went to Rolling Stone specifically to make a lot of money and that was going to feather my nest so I would be able to move on to my next part of my journey, which is what I did. Here’s the thing: I quit my job at Rolling Stone in February 2005. This has been a 10-year journey. I got Fashion Queens eight years into the journey. But immediately upon quitting my job, taking the acting lessons and taking writing courses and improv, within six months I was writing forPaper magazine. I was on TV as a fashion and pop culture expert. I stepped out on faith and then the universe kind of rolled up and gave me a high five and co-signed everything I was doing by showing me that it was a viable idea. That doesn’t mean I didn’t go through trials and tribulations because I did. There was a really bad period when I was horribly broke and I’m someone who cares for her parents. That’s how I created Dinner with Bevy because I took what was at my hands.

I love that when you quit your job you were in your 30s so it’s never too late.
Chile, I was 38-years-old! I’m very blessed because I have older parents. By the time I was 12 my mom was 50. Right now that’s not odd, but growing up in the 1970s everyone’s parents were in their 30s. My parents were in their 50s. But my mom is fly and real snazzy so I understood that age did not determine your validity or ability to be connected to pop culture or connected to something other than yourself.

 

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