Feminist Feature: Corri Smith
When I look around for women who inspire me Corri immediately comes to mind. She is a business badass and a real life badass. She is a community builder here in Charlotte and an empowered of all people. I know she has at least a million things on her plate at all times, but she still takes the time to say hello or answer questions from people around her (like me). When I first moved to Charlotte I immediately caught wind of Black Wednesday, Corri’s marketing and PR company, and was excited to see someone telling real stories and connecting with people around Charlotte while being unique and true to themselves! In case you can’t tell, I think Corri hung the moon and I could not be more excited to share a Q&A with her! Read on.
Introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself, what you do and how you got there!
My name is Corri Smith. I own Black Wednesday, a marketing and PR company based in Charlotte, NC. After earning my Bachelor's, my professional journey started in sales, but I found it to be too aggressive. I wanted to connect with people but in more meaningful ways where relationships were important. I received my MBA in marketing and got some experience in marketing and PR, deciding that being committed to one brand at a time wasn't fulfilling -- I wanted to help more people. I started to do freelance and thereafter created Black Wednesday. At BW we are focused on personifying brands through creative, innovative and organic strategies. With community-building as a focus, BW helps brands tell their stories in unique ways, specifically through use of PR, consultancy, social media, influencer marketing and events. Black Wednesday works with small to large size businesses, boasting clients like Chopt Creative Salad Co., Lyft, La Belle Helene and Constellation Culinary. I do a bit of everything: pay the bills, sell new business, work with clients, do PR, social and content strategy, train, support and manage a wonderful team, manage accounting and payroll, take out the trash, and am consistently learning how to do things better every day.
We love what you have said about work/life balance - that it doesn't exist - could you expound upon that a little bit? Talk to us about your schedule.
Most days I get to the office by 7 am, and leave around 7 pm... with meetings, work, client visits, phone calls inbetween. I usually reserve internal business efforts to be managed after I am at home, which means a 15 hour day is pretty standard during the week. I work on the weekends too, usually around 5-10 hours total. I so so love what I do and when that's the case it's a blessing for it to not feel like work. Also, when your work is highly qualitative everything becomes work - networking events, meeting people at an art gallery on accident, talking to you about myself, etc. It's too hard to draw lines so why bother? I am so grateful for every minute.
How did Black Wednesday get its name? What does it mean to you?
I wanted something that represented me but could also stand for something greater, something my future team could have ownership of. I also wanted something really edgy. I only wear black so choosing the color was simple, but I needed something to normalize the color and Wednesday (after my offbeat Addams spirit animal and underdog favorite day of the week) just fit. I thought of a million things before I came to BW and then I couldn't get over it. So here we are.
What do you do to stay sane during this presidency?
It has to get better right? It could be worse, but it HAS to get better. I have faith in humanity that this thing will come to a head. I hope so. I want to be proud to live in this country, I want us to be leaders because we have the merit to lead and because we can do the best work for the world. We aren't doing that right now. I hope we can get there.
What is your favorite female founded or run company?
I am sort of drawn to Sophia Amoruso and the NastyGal/Girlboss brands that she has created. They are strong, creative, and offer support and empowerment in down-to-earth ways. Also, she is a role model to so many, a representation of a strong/badass woman that all can observe and learn from.
What is your protest slogan?
I specifically do not protest. I don't make signs and I don't march. I am a female that owns a business and show up to the office daily as my demonstration. I offer support and advice to other women, I offer an internship program that speaks to women, I manage all types of clients and relationships and I am working hard to make change happen in our local and broader communities that will serve future women. I will participate in changing statistics with the work that I do. That is my role.
What does Feminism, or being a Feminist mean to you?
To me feminism means empowering women to seek whatever life goals they have, whether it's to be a powerhouse CEO, to own a business, to be the best bartender in the world, or a mother to 5. For them to have the comfortability and availability to get to where they want to be and to be respected along the way.
Where can we find you online?