We sat down (virtually of course) with Prayers and Plans woman Renae Bluitt; Filmmaker, Executive Producer of the Netflix documentary She Did That and Founder of “In Her Shoes” blog. Renae talked to us about her She did that moments, elevating your own story and how she is navigating the new normal.
What has inspired you on your journey to “She Did That?”
Black women who are building brands, creating legacies and something magical out of almost nothing. All of the women that I've interviewed over the years, starting with my blog In Her Shoes have one thing in common, which is that we're all self-made. It’s not like we're inheriting a business or inheriting a blueprint to go off, a lot of us are creating our own paths and that alone is super inspiring. This film is about the magic of black women and what we have been able to make with very few resources. I hope that when women watch this, they feel and see the love that was poured into telling our stories. I hope that they're inspired to elevate their own story, whatever that is.
How has your faith influenced your journey?
Faith is the journey; I think that a lot of us have to rely on faith especially in the space that we’re in now. The fact that for some of us, our careers have been put on pause now for over a month and we're still here, we're still healthy, we still have roofs over our heads, meals and a warm place to lay our head down at night. That's nothing but God. You know, and I think that through this chapter and especially on the journey of entrepreneurship, it really helps for me to believe in something bigger than me, because just the mere fact that I, as a first time filmmaker, got my film on Netflix to me is the biggest reminder that there is a force that's driving this that is bigger than me and my personal relationships. It's really God pushing that that project forward and pushing me forward with it.
What has been a major challenge for you and how did you overcome it?
One of the challenges I’ve had and continue to have is just knowing when to focus on what. I am multi-passionate, I enjoy doing PR but right now the storytelling through film, live events and experiences for black women is what really drives me, so I've put my PR career on pause. I noticed, when I focused solely on the film and producing and finding funding for it, I had more results. I would say for anyone who is multi passionate, try to find the common denominator with the things that you're passionate about. For me if I wanted to tell black women stories, but I think it helps if there is purpose that ties it all together and helps it all make sense.
In the work that you do, what have been some of your “She did that” moments?
Having my work recognised and celebrated by media outlets that I would have been pitching my clients for. Recently Earl Graves Senior, the founder of Black Enterprise transitioned and when I think about his life and the Legacy that he's built it’s an honour to be able to say that my work has been recognised in Black Enterprise. Another “She did that” moment I had was the ability to talk about the film on CNN, I was also on The Tamron Hall Show. It’s humbling to know that something that you created, an idea that was just a thought in your mind, that you brought to life is being celebrated by the masses. Then of course the film being on Netflix was a Huge win for me and almost surreal.
How have you dealt with disappointments when you have stepped out of your comfort zone?
I think that it's ok for us to feel the disappointment, but I don't want us to get stuck in it. I want us to be able to move out of that feeling and understand that sometimes no is just not right now. Sometimes no is just God saying, hold up. You think you want that? I have something better for you! Sometimes God closes doors for you that you are willing to leave open. You just have to trust the journey. Trust the process and trust that those noes are working for you.
How can we be more mindful during this time? Do you have any daily affirmations?
One thing that I've just been telling myself lately in the midst of all of this uncertainty is just “take it day by day” because every day is different. There are some days I wake up and I'm super inspired and some days I am not. I avoid starting my day with the media, it’s almost like giving the media that power over how your day is going to unfold. I'm also trying to be mindful of the conversations that I'm having. Another way is journaling, it’s so necessary. It's a great way to express yourself. I think that it's important for us to journal through this chapter and through this season, because this is a great time to plant seeds for the future. It's therapeutic to talk about it, get your feelings out on paper. If you have some plans, you know, put it in a journal, writing it down makes it real.
What are your prayers and plans for the future?
I pray that when the next film happens, that the seeds that I've planted in this first film bear even more fruit. When I look at this film being on Netflix, that's amazing. But I know that God's plans for me are bigger than my own and I'm open to whatever that is. My prayer is that He continues to guide my steps, He continues to put me in positions to do his work, because I really do feel like the work that I'm doing is my calling. I pray that I can move out of this space of independent filmmaking and partner with either a larger production company or just another partner that can invest in it. I think that the final product can be even bigger and more powerful, there are so many more people it can inspire.
Follow Renae on Instagram @iamrenaebluitt
Watch She did that here.
Check out In Her Shoes blog here.