With all the things floating around the Internet, and all the messages Black women are fed from childhood, sites like BAUCE Magazine that focus on taking women of color onward and upward are definitely a breath of fresh air. But who’s brainchild is BAUCE Magazine, what inspired her to create this tremendously important platform, and how does she balance a successful full-time career in tech and a dynamic online magazine with thousands of followers? Check out this interview with Liane Membis, the dope BAUCE behind this dope publication who’s creating waves at her 9-5 and 5-9 and inspiring other BAUCES in the process.
What inspired you to start BAUCE Magazine?
BAUCE is a reflection of the ambitious women around me and the personal dreams I have had for years. At first, I purely wanted to create a positive media outlet for women of color. BAUCE in its inception was simply a publication with a wide variety of general content for black women. However, as my personal and professional journey evolved in New York City, I realized that I was hell-bent on financial success and motivated by the rags-to-riches stories that often seem unattainable for women of color. The BAUCE Magazine you know today is an embodiment of this notion – it is a guide towards financial success for the trendsetters who don’t take no for an answer.
You studied English and Ethnic Studies at Yale. How did you transition into web development?
Writing was and is my first love, but I was always into art and design as a kid. I was always (trying) to paint or draw or make some type of arts and crafts. I discovered web design initially through MySpace back in the day and then through blogs in college. But honestly building BAUCE is how I really learned to code. I literally researched as much as I could to change the design of my site and that just led me down a rabbit hole of wanting to learn as much about coding and technical infrastructures. So yes, I studied English and Ethnic Studies because those are things that I am passionate about – web development is how I make my passions come to life.
What’s it like being a Black woman in tech?
It’s interesting. In one sense, it’s mighty isolating. Day-to-day I don’t see many people that look like me. However, it’s also secretly exciting to know that you have technical skills that make you extremely valuable to any team that you are on. We are living in a time where there is a huge awareness around diversity and inclusion, not only in tech but also in the world at large. We are still on a journey but for the most part it’s beautiful to know that there are more people that look like me emerging into the tech industry – and that thought in itself is unifying and a relief.
How do you balance full-time work in corporate America with running a business?
It’s not always easy. On certain days my time towards each can feel imbalanced. But the only way I manage it all is by making time for my business and being super focused in the time blocks that I set for it. So when I am working on BAUCE, I block off time and focus purely on that for a specified amount of time. I make sure to do one thing every day that impacts my business. Doing both is challenging, but not impossible.
How do you get in the zone for coding? How do you relax? What’s your idea of a good time?
Music. I love different genres of music and when I want to get in the zone I turn on Spotify and get to work. To relax, I love getting a manicure or pedicure. The entire pampering process is super relaxing and just helpful for a good unwind. I literally turn off all my electronics and just focus on being present.
A good time varies for me based on the circumstances but ideally it would be jetsetting somewhere fun or participating in a premium experience.
It seems that you’ve written about and researched quite a few BAUCES. If you had to choose different characteristics from BAUCES you know (whether personally or not) to build the ultimate BAUCE, whose characteristics would you select? (psst: one characteristic must come from you!).
Michelle Obama’s gracefulness
Yvonne Orji’s relentlessness &
My personal resilience and strength.
What do you think is the most difficult thing for a BAUCE to deal with?
Balancing family responsibilities during the pursuit of success. Many BAUCE women have a lot riding on them, especially if they grew up in low-income families. They may have to take care of an aging parent. They may be responsible for financially supporting a sibling. They may have incurred debt due to situations beyond their own. These are the things that ground us and make us human. They are the things that we often find ourselves battling between. These are also the things that innately drive us to want to exceed expectations and make it to the top.
It’s good to look at other BAUCES for inspiration, but what advice do you have for those who are struggling with comparing their journey with that of others?
Use other people’s journeys to drive you, not to DEFINE you. You are not them and they are not you. Be inspired by other people but don’t let other people make you feel inferior. I believe in the power of timing and talent when it comes to each person’s path towards success. If you find yourself comparing yourself then remove these people from your purview so you can focus on being the best YOU you can be.
Fill in the blank:
I am Young, Black& Blessed beyond measure.
Liane is the founder and editorial director of BAUCE Magazine, a lifestyle site for self-made women of color. A digital media enthusiast at heart, Liane is also a full-stack web developer that lives at the intersection of technology, art, and storytelling. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Liane received a B.A. in English and Ethnicity, Race and Migration from Yale University. Want to get in touch? Follow her on Twitter and IG @millianeire.