Tavia Mapp-Deterville is the epitome of a girl boss, she’s a mother and wife, celebrity publicist/event curator, and Founder of The Future is Female Fireside Chat. From the very start of our conversation, her humble and down to earth spirit shined. She thanked me for making time for the call, and mentioned how excited she was to discuss her journey. This journey includes booking Cardi B, working with 50 cent, and curating events in various cities. When I asked how she’s been able to accomplish all of this, she responded, “I’m a very show and prove type of person, I under promise and over deliver. It’s more or less showing that I can do something, and then positioning myself so that working with me is a no-brainer.”
That hustle started while working in party promotions, she made sure to secure the best talent that would bring out large crowds. During this time, she constantly interacted with artists, managers, and more. However, it wasn’t until a publicist took the time to explain the role and salary associated with publicity that she made the decision to study the industry and change her career path. Today she works with some of our favorite celebs and has helped elevate brands and viral moments. In our chat we discussed tips on how businesses and brands can grow their exposure, how she got her hubby, and why she started The Future is Female Fireside Chat Tour.
How important is it to have a large social media following when building your business?
I’d say social media is a catch 22. Algorithms and trends change so much. It provides a means of exposing your brand to a larger level. But nothing is better than a one-touch scenario. My best engagement is always from people I’ve met versus people who are just there (laughs). Engagement over following, always!
What advice do you have for brands/businesses trying to get more exposure?
I always say networking helps. I used to watch a lot of biographies, and one thing that’s held true, is that you should connect with a circle higher than where you stand. If that means following people on Instagram or joining certain groups on Facebook so you can see invites, do it. Whatever market you’re trying to get into, those are the people you should be following. If you’re only networking across, sometimes it’s hard to move the needle.
Wait, so are we not supposed to network across? I thought that was good.
I think when people say network across, it means that when you’re just starting out you shouldn’t automatically try and jump in those circles. People across from you are your advocates and they’re probably going to believe in you more. But think about Jay Z, he started on an even playing field and then people introduced hm to larger circles and he infiltrated them, just like 50 cent.
Speaking of 50 cent, How did you start working with him?
I was doing publicity for TV shows, again because of my experience working with booking talent. While at the building I’d meet a lot of executives and was introduced to Jeremy Bettis of G-Unit. After I booked Cardi B, I literally requested a meeting and bartered my services.
That’s boss. But I have to say, you must stay so busy! Was there ever a time where you struggled with being a mom, wife, and having such a high-profile career?
Girl, yes! My love life sucked for a long time. Partially because I was dating men who were also in the music industry. Some loved what I did, and others were jealous. A lot didn’t understand why I had male clients, or didn’t feel comfortable with the circles I was in. When I met my husband I must admit, I spoon-fed him into my life. But I always let him drop me off at meetings and he always met me after. Plus, you want to know that a person is truly there for you. You wouldn’t believe how many people want to be your friend for the wrong reasons.
With all of this going on, what made you start the Future is Female Tour?
Well, I’m always surrounded around a lot of men, and sometimes it’s not easy being the only girl. So a while back, I was craving female interaction and paid $60 for a women’s empowerment event and left feeling empty. No one networked or connected, I can’t even tell you the organizer’s name. But, I’m always talking to female executives and a lot of times they also feel like “the only ones,” so I thought I should create something. Thus The Future is Female, it’s a free event where I’m able to reach back and feel like I’m truly making an impact. We’ve had them in Los Angeles and Atlanta, New York is next.
That sounds amazing. What else is on your list of goals?
I’d like to see Future is Female be a self-run and equally sponsored space for women. That’s my goal, and to further my business and career in publicity. Ultimately, I’d like to work at a label.
The Future is Female is an empowerment experience for women in the entertainment field, nonprofits, and digital marketing world . The event includes a panel discussion, food and drinks, and networking. New York will have ticket sales, but the funds go toward buying children luggage and toys for the holiday. For more info visit Eventbrite at:https://www.eventbrite.com/o/taviamd-26946803409 and keep up with Tavia on Instagram at @TaviaMD.
Kirby Carroll Wright