Name: Maura Chanz
Owner Of a Self Titled Creative Agency
Where you can find her: maurachanz.com @maurachanz across social
Laugh in the face of the people who told you you couldn’t do everything you put your mind to, or suggested you stay in one lane. Maura is proof of this. A renaissance woman, a jack of all trades. She is infinitely curious and allows herself to explore these curiosities and finds, she’s pretty good at a lot of things! Besides being the owner of her own creative agency, she is an Actress, Writer, and the Founder of YouNeedTRIBE, a women's empowerment organization.
In 2017, she was credited as assistant to producer (Mara Brock Akil). In 2018, she received both assistant and associate producer credit and in 2019, she pitched the first of many shows with executive producer credit. Additionally, after an 8 year hiatus, she returned to acting and landed a national spot that will be airing in April.
You might have seen her Coretta & Cardi t-shirts, or working with some of the greatness names in Black Entertainment. She is a woman to take notes from.
How much effect, if any, has your gender had on your path to success, specifically in your field?
As a black woman in a white-male dominated industry (entertainment,) my gender has worked for and against me. In this present time, the few women in the industry are really championing young women (especially of color) so that's clearly a benefit. On the other end, the men don't want women playing in a mans’ game.
What does success look like to you?
Success looks like peace of mind to me.
Any opinions or advice, on balancing relationships or having a family VS. the perception of the public of women choosing success or love?
I have always believed women can have it all. Thankfully, many of my mentors have been examples of this. They are CEO's, showrunners, EIC's...etc. and also active mothers (and wives). As with anything in life, you must prioritize. There may be a season where your career is your main priority and then there's a season where you're still working, but your focus is shifted because your children need you to be more present. You can have it all, just not all at the top level, all at once.
How do you remain committed to yourself and your goals? What does it look like?
I don't have a choice but to remain committed to my goals and myself. I became an entrepreneur immediately out of college. Although I have all the emotional and mental support one could ask, it is up to me every month to make it happen for myself. I do have daily practices such as utilizing my 5min journal, writing daily to-do lists as to not get overwhelmed, and strengthening my faith through a variety of ways from church to prayer and affirmation apps.
What is your "why" ?
My why is to connect people. I do that through everything I touch from storytelling to organizing through TRIBE.
How much of your success Do you attribute to your "tribe" Or Circle? What does yours look Like?
Aside from God and my family, my tribe is one of the largest driving forces in my life. Almost all of the career opportunities I have had have come by way of women in my TRIBE. They have taught me how to go get a bag and many have even brought a bag my way. They've equally been the shoulder I've cried on when I fumbled a bag. My tribe is composed of various mentors I've grown relationships with throughout my life - women who saw my potential sometimes before I did or who I reminded them of their younger selves. My tribe is also composed of my girlfriends I've had the honor of doing life with as peers. And my tribe is also composed of women I've yet to have the pleasure to meet in real life, but who champion me and my work from the digital world. My tribe is diverse and stretches wide.
What is one mantra or philosophy you live by?
if you cannot be used, you are useless.
How did you discover you were good at so many things?
I explored my interests. If something peaks my interest, I allow myself to explore it.
How has your vulnerability been challenged when sharing all these things?
I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about sh*t. All these things are my art and opening that up for critique and opinions and whatever takes a lot of vulnerability. Thankfully, I am a virgo and if I get to the place that I actually share something (most of my things don't see the light of day,) I've probably already thought and overcame the worse.
You've created a community for women, how is it unique and what do you hope it will bring to the world?
TRIBE is specifically unique because of my network. I have access to some of the most powerful women across industries. As extensions of me, women in our community have access to that. Additionally, I didn't build a community for women so I could be the sole person teaching and sharing. TRIBE is a space where everyone is a teacher and a student...we all learn and grow from one another.