We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaunda Brooks-Green and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shaunda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The idea for my nonprofit, 6D Networktainment, was established while I was in grad school at Columbia College Chicago in 2017. I took a business development course where we had to come up with a company and go through the process of building it out. As I started thinking through different ideas, I knew I wanted to do something that tied to my interests as an emerging music industry professional and my trajectory in the field

It was hard navigating the local industry coming back to the city as an adult. I went to college from 2010-2015 out of town so returning to Chicago for grad school and being old enough to do things on my own, it was tough getting back acclimated and meeting new people. I didn’t know where to go or even how to start. I took my story as inspiration to start my nonprofit, to reach artists and emerging professionals who were facing the same issues and provide resources on how to network and learn more about this industry. It was my way of giving back and lifting as I climbed up the ladder in my own journey.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been so blessed in my trajectory as a music industry professional and entrepreneur. I’ve experienced the good. the bad, and the ugly, and I would not have had it any other way. Story time!

It all started at college, like many others. I went to Illinois State University for my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and always dreamed of becoming a music journalist for Rolling Stone or Complex. I gained many interests while I was there including event planning, graphic design, photography, and social media marketing. It wasn’t until I took a couple music industry courses that I decided to tweak my career path a bit.

Directly after undergrad, I went to grad school at Columbia College Chicago to study Arts Management with a concentration in Music Business. In this industry, it’s all about who you know so I worked my butt off networking with everyone I could over the course of those two years so that I can successfully reach my goals. At this point, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in music business… I just wanted to get there!

After I graduated in 2017, I worked a number of contract, part-time, and full-time positions to strengthen the many skills I had developed in my collegiate career and from internships, including administration, events, marketing, social media, artist development, project management, and graphic design. I’ve worked for many companies in the entertainment and music field from Lollapalooza, SXSW, Chicago Recording Company, Superfly, and Women in Music Chicago. I’ve done everything from managing artists, starting my own music nonprofit, as well as my own music festival for local artists in the city.

My journey in my career has felt like a domino effect, with one opportunity or connection leading to the next, one learned mistake helping me later down the line in another position, and the list goes on and on. This is not to say that it hasn’t been hard because trust me when I say it REALLY has been tough at times! I’ve suffered from imposter syndrome, I’ve been unemployed and behind on bills, I’ve lost friends, been taken advantage of, been underpaid, to say the least. All of these things have only made me stronger, more resilient, and more appreciative of the process and where I have gotten.

Currently, I am a full-time Event Producer for a company called MGPG Events, while continuously operating my nonprofit 6D Networktainment, co-managing a music artist named Ausar, and serving on the boards of two big music committees. From my story, I want people to learn how important it is to be patient and trust the process. Nothing will be handed to you on a silver platter, especially in this business. You MUST do the work and remain humble. Also, remember that your journey is unique to you and no one else can tell your story. Be proud of how far you’ve come and keep striving for what makes you happy. It’s a truly rewarding experience!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Chicago is the place to be! Bestie, here’s what we’re doing:

Monday – Work Day at 3 Arts Club Cafe! Bring your laptop, planner, and let’s discuss and dreams and goals over amazing food and drinks!

Tuesday – Two options: Taco Tuesday in the Pilsen neighborhood! We can literally go anywhere for some delicious, authentic Mexican food. My current favorite is a restaurant called Pilsen Yards! But if you’re not feeling tacos, we’re going to grab the best discounted wings and drinks in the city at Reggies rooftop! They also have a beach location during the summer months.

Wednesday – Wine Wednesday, of course! We’re visiting a rooftop for after work happy hour at either Virgin Hotel, the Godfrey or Whiskey Business.

Thursday – Lots of dope local events in Chicago like open mics and art shows happen on Thursday so we’re definitely hitting up one of those. Also, every Thursday, DJ Unstable has “Girls Love R&B” at a black-owned lounge called Renaissance in the Bronzeville area. Let’s get cute and go out!

Friday – Game night at a local brewery or at my house, of course! We can order takeout from the Qbirria or pizza from Aurelio’s!

Saturday – Let’s go for a stroll or bike ride along the lake and see the best skyline in the world! Afterwards, we can grab lunch in the Hyde Park or Wicker Park neighborhood and do a little shopping. At night, we’re going to dinner at Sushi San and going out in River North. Sigma Chris always throws the best parties!

Sunday – BRUNCH… with unlimited mimosas! That’s it, that’s all! Close your eyes and pick a place, we can go anywhere because Chicago’s brunch scene is amazing!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to a few people who have supported me and help shape me to be the person and professional I am today. First, I want to thank my husband Joe Green for the fire he has lit under my ass since the very beginning of my career. We have dated since I was 19 so I literally mean the VERY beginning! It’s amazing to have a spouse who believes in your dreams just as much (and sometimes more) than you do.

I also want to shout out my first mentor in the music industry, my former internship boss Frayne Lewis. He took me under his wing while I was in grad school, and noticed my potential before anyone else did. He’s given me opportunities some would dream to have, and introduced me some of the most amazing people in Chicago, who I still have relationships with today. Every intern deserves a chance and I thank Mr. Lewis for giving my “big break”.

And lastly, I would like to shout out the co-founders of my organization, Candace Breedlove and Samuel Geralds. Thank you for seeing and believing in my vision for 6D and hopping on board with no hesitation. I went to college with these two so our friendship was already strong, but moving forward as business partners has only strengthened our connection even more. Thank you for investing your money and time to help build up the artist community in Chicago!

Website: http://www.shaundavbrooks.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shaunieworld/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaundabrooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaunieWorld

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shaunda.brooks

Image Credits
Boots Howard

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