In celebration of Black History Month, NYLON is running a spotlight series called Black Girl Power... The Future Is Bright. Every day, phenomenal black women from different industries will be featured to tell their stories—revealing how they became who they are, showing what they have accomplished, and pinpointing how they navigated their careers. Black women deserve to be celebrated 365 days of the year, and we hope that this series will inspire everyone to believe in the power of #blackgirlmagic.
Karen Civil is a self-proclaimed media maven. At one point or another, many music fanatics run fan pages about their favorite artists—not only did Civil do just that from her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, but she took it a step further by entering contests to meet the people she dedicated her online time to. "All those things that made me different growing up, were the same things that I used to create and start my brand," Civil said in an email. "I found a way to hone in on that and now get paid to be myself."
After studying radio at Union County College, Civil scored an internship at Hot 97, and then went on to become the social media manager for Beats by Dre. Now, she runs two of her own personal brands—KarenCivil.com for music content and Live Civil for lifestyle and beauty. Last year, Civil published her own book titled Be You & Live Civil: Tools for Unlocking Your Potential & Living Your Purpose.
"There is so much that has occurred and happened in my life and I wanted to remind people. We aren’t supposed talk about failures and missteps, so that’s what this was for," Civil explained. "Although we may not be going after the same things, we all have relatable stories. I didn’t have anyone, and I still did it. So many people read the book and share excitement. It gives them that extra boost and makes them feel like they can also do it too. I aspire to inspire."
Learn more about how Civil paved her path to success in the interview, below!