Today we’d like to introduce you to Denayja Reese.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Denayja. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am the founder of Girl With That Laugh Productions, a partnerships and production company. I was born in Inglewood, CA and raised in North Hollywood.
From there, I moved to San Francisco, where I got my Bachelor’s in Fashion Marketing and Management. Post-school, I was a Bay Area nightlife regular and working with brands like Goldenvoice, Uber and Postmates at the boutique marketing agency I managed. In 2014, I left SF and lived between Chicago and New York for two years.
After making a web series, working on a 3-month experiential campaign with Airbnb and learning a lot from my first clients, I realized that production is my calling and music, fashion & TV are my passions. I moved back to LA at the end of 2016, determined to build my company and my legacy here.
Has it been a smooth road?
My two biggest struggles have been marketing myself and finding clients.
As a Black bisexual woman in America, I am not traditionally encouraged to take up space. So, learning to “market myself” has become about telling my story and hoping that people identify with and/or are inspired by it.
I’ve always worked in music, fashion and TV in other cities before moving back to LA but finding clients in those spaces here has been challenging. Thankfully, things are evolving in the right direction now. Additionally, starting this year, GWTLP is producing events in-house and working with artists to handle 100% of the production management for their music videos.
On the hard days, I remember that even the smoothest road can have potholes you don’t see coming. There is no blueprint for the work that I am doing so I have to make the rules as I play the game and sometimes I have to break them too.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Girl With That Laugh Productions story. Tell us more about the business.
GWTLP collaborates with our clients to turn ideas/dreams into reality and we’ve managed $600K+ in partnerships with Toyota, YouTube, Spotify and more.
With events, we specialize in bringing just the right teams together for back of house and attracting eclectic, engaged attendees. With music video production, we help artists tell the stories in their songs.
Our clients are creatives, brands and businesses who reach out to us to support them in the present so that they can keep their companies moving forward.
What sets us apart is our ability to solve problems quickly while having a great attitude and adding value.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see events continuing to be more important to people. Even with financial shifts and the current political climate, people have not slowed their attendance at events. Companies that I admire like Goldenvoice and Create & Cultivate are expanding into new markets every year. It is an exciting time to be an Event Producer.
I think that in the next 5-10 years we’re going to continue to see innovation in the Event Production space with AI and data. Additionally, we’ll be seeing consumers dictating to us more about the kind of experiences they want to have.
- Website: www.gwtlp.com
- Instagram: @gwtlp
Photos of Denayja Reese working on Coachella’s YouTube livestream; Amin Joseph and Benoni Tagoe at BlackTech Weekend LA