For the past few months, we’ve been talking to the women at The Fourtress, four women, who happened to be roommates, using their collective talents empower women of color, about creating a partnership. The partnership was created to celebrate the work we, at Blossom, and The Fourtress are doing to ensure women of color around the country know they are loved, they are valued and that they are not alone. If they’re not sharing their favorites, or telling us how we can keep our head up when times are hard, they are giving us a sneak peak inside their fortress. Learn more about Tierra, London, Kiara and Candice in this week’s Creators Stories.
Why the name The Fourtress? What were some of the other choices of names you all had?
There were two elements that we wanted to capitalize on when it came to naming our blog – “four” and “roommates”. The Fourtress is derived from the true meaning of fortress in that it is our home and a place where we find solace. The word fortress also gave us the opportunity to play with the number four. In our initial brainstorm, with wine in hand, this was the name that stuck with us, and we truly think it captures the essence of our group.
What is the goal of The Fourtress?
Through the journey of four roommates, The Fourtress is a specially curated space that inspires, empowers, and unifies women of color to fulfill their purpose and stand in their power.
Tell us about each of you all. How did you all meet?
We just happened to be four media mavens looking for an apartment at the same time. Tierra and Candice are friends and Syracuse Alumna, while Kiara and London are friends and Hampton Alumna. Tierra and Kiara also have a connection, being that they knew each other from Vegas, and the pieces of the puzzle just happened to fit perfectly – we love our Girl Gang!
Kiara Bass: Originally from Las Vegas, NV, Kiara Bass works as a Fashion Publicist for contemporary brands in NYC. She’s an avid listener of podcasts and enjoys reading up on social and tech trends. Kiara is also a alumna of Hampton University where she studied public relations and sociology. Her favorite part of being a part of the Fourtress is “bonding daily with three other black women to create great content.”
Tierra Taylor: Tierra Taylor is the creative assistant at ESSENCE Magazine and the creative director of The Fourtress. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from Syracuse University. She is a Sin City native, matcha lover, and tv/entertainment guru. She is excited about the space that she helped create with her roommates because it exemplifies what dynamic content women of color can create together and encourages more to do so.
London Coleman-Williams: Helming from the Mile High City, London works in the world of digital marketing in the Big Apple. As an Associate Manager of PR and Social Media, she works on a variety of lifestyle brands and personalities in the the entertainment, fashion, hospitality and culinary space. A proud alumna of Hampton University, she received her B.A. in Strategic Communications and Marketing. She’s a lover of quotes, finds happiness in interior design and believes a good heel is always the answer.
Candice Elle Frank: Candice Elle Frank is a media enthusiast from Pittsburgh, PA. She is currently the Social Media Coordinator for ABC daytime’s talk show “The View.” She graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Television Production. She loves dancing, traveling, and anything Beyonce! “I love being a part of The Fourtress because it celebrates the black woman. As a black woman in her 20s, the “glow up” has been quite the journey — amazing, yet often complicated (a true learning experience). The Fourtress recognizes this journey and highlights its beauty while instilling confidence in young black queens. It’s been brightening my view on life at this age and makes me more appreciative of the journey every day.”
When people visit your instagram or website, what do you want them to leave with?
After visiting The Fourtress, we want you to feel like you’re a part of our girl gang, that you have enough magic to get through the week and that you’re encouraged to go after you goals, whatever they may be. There are very few outlets that showcase the growth and self-love of black women, but we are exactly that. We encourage women of color to bask in their melanin and fall in love with their journey. Our mission, through the journey of four roommates, The Fourtress is a specially curated space that inspires, empowers, and unifies women of color to fulfill their purpose and stand in their power, is still our vision and we strive to capture that journey and all of its beauty.
What are some ways you all empower women?
The Fourtress as whole is a social space that was made for black women, by black women, and that’s empowering in itself. We’re also uplifting other women through community service projects, because serving others is all a part of the glow up. For us, there is no glow if you aren’t uplifting others throughout the process. Last fall we completed an initiative in which we packed 100 packages of feminine products for women experiencing homeless in NYC. We’re looking forward to completing similar projects this year!
What do you think representation for women of color is necessary?
If we don’t have more women of color in the room, then we won’t move forward. Right now there’s a surge in the feminist/girl power moment – and women of color? We are at the forefront! Just glowing and sprinkling melanin everywhere we go. Black women have always been strong, game changers and enveloped in confidence – but now we are screaming it at the top of our lungs and making sure that everyone listens. We are the Yara Shaidi’s, the Traci Ellis Ross’s, the Michelle Obama’s, the Zendaya’s, the Elaine Welteroth’s, the Tarana Burke’s, the Maxine Waters’, the Issa Rae’s…The Fourtress’ of change! There are too many women to name (to include Beyonce and Rihanna) and so many women to look up to. We couldn’t be more proud to be women of color and to be a part of this movement.
What are you all watching right now?
We love Dear White People, Atlanta and Handmaid’s Tale.
What are two things people need to know about The Fourtress that they might not know?
We can offer you two things when you come to the house – water or wine. We are always stocked with wine whether you prefer red or white! Though we love our humble abode, we love love love to travel and are always looking for new places to go.
What can we expect from you all in 2018?
The most asked question of each of us! We’re so excited that everyone is so eager to see more. What we can say is that we are taking each day one step at a time. The Fourtress will evolve just as we do, it will always serve as motivation for women of color, it will be transparent as we grow in each of our separate journey’s and it will always showcase an element of giving back to others.
blossom is a digital tv destination intentionally curating content for women of color.