top of page

Search Results

27 items found for ""

  • Sahir Champion talks about Juneteenth, the COVID-19 pandemic, and making a change with his work

    By Devyn Imholt Sahir Champion is an accomplished editor, director, and producer who has worked for a variety of high-profile clients and companies. He is concerned about far more than simply becoming successful, instead he prioritizes creating impactful content that can make a change. I spoke with him about balance, societal change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and his plans for the future as he continues to embellish upon the success he has already reached. Sahir has been in the media production industry for over twenty years. He is an executive producer for the On! channel, has worked on music videos for Ty Dolla $ign and Jhene Aiko, produced for BET and Complex, and directed for MTV. He explained that working across various mediums has allowed him to grow, “you learn a lot of techniques in shorter form content that you can then apply to longer form…when you put all these tools together… you have an immense capability to create something fantastic.” He sees the creation of visual media as an opportunity to tell a story, whether it be a music video, film or commercial. His ability to create within these different mediums has allowed him to expand both his clientele and his skills as a creator. Sahir places an emphasis upon stimulating societal change towards true equality. “One of the reasons why I got into filmmaking was because I knew there was a lack of Black stories being told…I wanted to be a purveyor of some of these magnificent stories.” Before COVID-19 and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, he was able to create a Black History Month feature with Starz and Orlando Jones. He explained that the best part of this project was getting to reconnect with Orlando, “Orlando pushes the culture…you couldn’t find anyone more pro-Black than Orlando.” He recently worked on a documentary about R&B entitled Where’s the Soul?, “a tribute to the people that came before.” Describing the film’s reception, he commented that “the reaction has been really well… we’re just trying to push the culture forward.” June 19th, 2021 was the first Juneteenth to be recognized as a federal Holiday. Asking Sahir what this recognition meant to him, he explained that “it means that the US government is finally recognizing it… it’s almost like accepting responsibility versus trying to hide it under the rug.” Although this may be a sign that the US government is coming to terms with its past, Sahir made sure to clarify that “it’s about time and its overdue… the first step to many.” Sahir may be an accomplished director, editor, and producer, but his “first and most important job” is that of raising his children and providing for his family. “Making sure I nourish them, not only with monetary things, but also with their minds, their souls, and their hearts.” This past Father’s Day was spent grilling with his family, “the way I prefer it.” How does he balance his many careers with his family? “It’s something you have to constantly work on…There’s never enough time in the day so you have to make time for things that are important.” This balancing act is one that he has had to learn over time, explaining that “having the essential life work balance is very important mentally” in order not to overwork himself and burn-out. When discussing the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic I was surprised to hear him say that he “got busier when the pandemic came.” “I produced six projects from May to December…ranging from music videos…to a short film on suicide awareness…to a BLM piece… we turned it up a notch and got busy.” Working freelance, he was able to pick up the work that many companies and corporations were unable to do as a result of the pandemic. Los Angeles’ closure and eventual reopening has had little effect on his workload, “I was busy before it and I’m busy now…I see how everyone else is busier now.” When discussing the future, Sahir made sure to separate his personal and professional goals. “Professionally, just keep making great stuff and getting behind work that we really support, content that means something to us. It’s not just about selling something shiny to someone that doesn’t need it, it’s about providing value, providing resources.” He described one way that he has been able to provide value to others with his internship program, where he allows interns to come and work on sets in order to see if they truly want to pursue a career in filmmaking. “Personally, I’m trying to do more and be better…Increase the good and decrease the bad…I’m going to keep growing and hopefully do the same for my company and the people around me.” Where’s the Soul? is currently on iTunes and Amazon Prime and is coming soon to Hulu and Netflix.

  • Melody Holt talks strength, entrepreneurship and independence

    Interview by Sharon O’Donnell, written by Devyn Imholt With a background in education, Melody Holt became a successful entrepreneur long before she was a reality television star. Melody, who is the brain behind Love & Marriage: Huntsville as well as the host of Behind Every Man, recently began teaching a masterclass for entrepreneurial hopefuls on how to get into the business of property preservation. All while raising four children, Melody also found the time to record and release her debut single “Tell Tale Signs,” a personal reflection on her recent divorce. Melody sat down with Labelleladiva’s Sharon O’Donnell to discuss her masterclass and her single, as well as balance and perseverance as she continues to expand upon her success. How does Melody juggle all of these careers while also raising a family? She explained that such multitasking abilities “took years of experience.” The main key to being able to be successful in so many fields at once is being able to “prioritize and put things in perspective.” This means that deadlines are the first and foremost focus of her energy, that by analyzing and understanding her various tasks she can delegate her time appropriately. “The success comes from learning to do that and being able to do that.” How has Melody persevered through her recent divorce? She emphasized that it was “absolutely important” for her to keep moving on behalf of her four children. Melody is focused on the future, clarifying her belief that “as long as you keep moving and putting one foot in front of the other, you’re going to get somewhere.” Her debut single “Tell Tale Signs” became an opportunity to “release emotions.” She described the experience of meeting the people who helped her write the song, “we have all experienced heartbreak…that’s why we were able to put together such an amazing, amazing song that so many people can relate to.” When reflecting on the success the song has been met with, she commented that “for the first time coming out as a recording artist to receive an email from Billboard Magazine that it was in the running for the top twenty-five was absolutely phenomenal.” When asked if there will be more music, Melody confidently replied “absolutely.” Melody’s masterclass, while only a year old, has already received over two hundred students. The class focuses on “showing people the secret to the game of property preservation,” a field that she entered after retiring from teaching. With her ex-husband she was able to create a landscaping company that eventually blossomed into a multi-million-dollar home development business. In her class she gets intimate with her knowledge of the field, giving her students her personal number and giving “one-on-one” lessons weekly. Even after the class is over, she remains open to helping her former students as they navigate the field of property preservation for themselves. Beyond advice and lessons, Melody’s masterclass actually helps its students to “create an LLC and open a business checking account” where “they actually receive contracts” to begin their careers in property preservation. Melody is as multifaceted of a celebrity as they get, and with her many careers and endeavors have come many transitions and changes. What is her advice to people who may be going through similar transitions, such as a divorce or starting a new business? “Find time to meditate and keep your spirituality…Find time to enjoy the people who love you… Bring that positive energy your way and stay busy. Continue to strive towards your goals and towards your purpose.” You can sign up for Melody’s Masterclass here.

  • Founder of Saffron Trust Speaks on New Grant from Glimmer Austin

    By Devyn Imholt Phyllis Everette became the change she wanted to see in the world. She was raised by a single mother, and in becoming one herself, she recognized the challenges that come with raising children on your own. Phyllis found inspiration within these challenges, founding Saffron Trust, a nonprofit that helps single mothers by offering personalized care to help them overcome the difficulties that come with raising children on their own. Along the way, the Austin based company has garnered the love and support of the community as their efforts continue to have a real impact on the families they serve. Recently, Saffron Trust was awarded a $25,000 administrative grant from Glimmer Austin in appreciation for their impact on the community. Phyllis emphasized that the people who come to Saffron Trust for help become “sisters and friends.” The Saffron Trust experience begins with a consultation where they create something called “a life card” that details their individual needs. From there, Saffron Trust acts as a hub to connect women with organizations that can help them, “advocating on their behalf.” Saffron Trust works with organizations that help with health care, domestic violence, food insecurity, employment, and mental health. The 2020 COVID-19 outbreak changed the operations of Saffron Trust. “We were not a food distribution center,” Phyllis explained. To combat the increase of food insecurity that occurred as a result of the pandemic, Saffron Trust transformed and began to distribute meals at its three locations. “We are distributing over a thousand meals of food on a daily basis,” an extraordinary amount for a company that was not distributing food before the pandemic began. Saffron Trust also had to turn to virtual visits, as they could no longer meet with families in person. COVID-19 changed the way that Saffron Trust operated, but they were able to respond and adapt to the situation in order to continue to help people. “We help anyone that comes to us.” Phyllis explained that the central Texas area is full of marginalized communities and that Saffron Trust is a company that is dedicated to helping any and every one that they can. When discussing the grant received from Glimmer Austin, Phyllis proudly proclaimed that “they saw the work we’ve been doing.” The impact that her company has had on the community is real, and so is the embrace they have received back. “Everyone loves us.” Sharing a Saffron Trust success story, she recalled December of 2020. A silent funder was able to put a family who was homeless in a five-star hotel for three weeks, during the holidays. Truly a Christmas miracle. Her advice to single mothers who may be struggling is “that there are people you can trust,” even if there is not a company like Saffron Trust near them. Phyllis, her story, and her company are all amazing examples of what can happen when you find an issue in society and look to make a change. You can support Saffron Trust at

bottom of page