Small Business Spotlight: Media Pro Elayne Fluker Launches Online TV Network, Chic Rebellion
At the top of 2010, Chic Rebellion was just two words on Elayne Fluker’s vision board. Having worked in print and online media for 16 years prior (VIBE and Suede magazines, Conde Nast, iVillage), she was set on founding a business within the digital realm. In September 2012, Fluker launched Chic Rebellion, an Internet TV platform showcasing programming that correlates with the interests of African-American and Latina women.
Instead of a standard channel, Fluker wanted to create a network and website whose look and feel would identify with the audience. She feels African-American viewers deserve a positive platform that displays them in an honest, everyday life — not what’s seen on reality TV. Fashion, food, relationships and parenthood, among other areas, are the network’s focus. Currently four series — “White Noise,” “Brand:Mom,” “In Her Shoes,” and “Dine Out” — run weekly on the already buzzing network.
Madame Noire: Where did the name Chic Rebellion come from?
Elayne Fluker: I go to a vision class and one year, in 2010, the words “chic” and “rebellion” were two words on my vision board. I was just standing back looking at it one day and I just kept saying them. As time went on the concept of doing an Internet TV network came to me and the name sort of fit for the vision of the brand. That’s what a vision board is all about — you don’t always know what things apply to, but they call out to you for some reason.
Also, it fit the way I wanted the aesthetic to feel for the site. It presented women as beautiful and not scratching each other’s eyes out. Chic Rebellion shows the way we operate and the way we move in the world. It’s creating my own space for women who have a little bit of rebellion by doing their own thing.
MN: What is it about the Internet TV realm that interested you enough to start a business?
EF: I’ve been in the business for several years. I’ve watched how the business has changed over time going from magazines to online media and video. It’s always been something that was of interest to me. I started filming and producing videos for work and I started looking at the absence in media targeting this particular audience — women of color particularly black and Latina women.
MN: Personally why do you feel there’s a void in online TV? Why do you believe content producers like yourself have to go the extra mile to target this audience?
EF: I think the void is an opportunity as well. I think that’s how the best businesses are created. As much as it was about a passion for an audience, it was about the void and opportunity to provide something for this audience?
MN: Was there a reason for straying away from establishing the brand via YouTube?
EF: We actually posted some of our videos on YouTube a few weeks ago. I wanted to make it feel like a special place that this audience could go to — or anyone interested in viewing this content. It was very important as far as how it felt when you come to the site, from the colors to the environment. YouTube has its advantages because there are so many people already there. I wanted somewhere that was just for us like a store or boutique. Chic Rebellion has its own branding and feel.
MN: How much capital did you invest to get the site up and building the buzz?
EF: It was very important to bid on myself and I knew we needed to show and prove with a certain level of excellence with the business. I personally invested $100,000 from my own savings. That’s getting it started, production, and all that. Now at this point it’s open to investors and we’ve had conversations with people who are interested in the business.