Ciara explains the 'mission' behind her latest chapter as a businesswoman
Ciara may be best known for her music and out-of-this-world dancing, but if the past couple of years are any indication, she plans on continuing to make a bigger impact beyond entertaining.
The mother of two has been making inroads into the tech world with husband Russell Wilson's TraceMe app and by joining the Board of Advisors for Oath (the parent company of AOL.com) alongside Wilson, friend Serena Williams, Karlie Kloss, Abby Wambach and Zac Posen.
When AOL Entertainment sat down with Ciara at the Gramercy Park Hotel before PANDORA's event announcing her as the brand ambassador for its new Shine Collection, it became clear that she sees herself equally as an entertainer and a businesswoman, who intends on inspiring, empowering and helping other women as she continues on her journey.
Check out our full conversation with Ciara below:
You were just announced as the new brand ambassador for PANDORA's new Shine Collection. Talk to me about your connection with this new line.
I’m super proud to be the new ambassador for PANDORA’s new Shine Collection. When I heard about it, I was super thrilled because I’m a huge fan of the brand. It’s really cool to be part of something so special and -- what I like to call "historic" -- because they’re introducing the new 18k gold-plated collection. It’s a really cool movement to inspire women to express themselves creatively and to shine, and I’m a big fan of that. We all should shine and let our lights shine brightly, and what better way to do it than with this amazing new collection.
When do you feel like you're shining the brightest?
I feel like like I’m shining the brightest when there's activity, and I'm just moving and doing things. Whether it’s waking up in the morning and taking my kid to school and then after that going to get on a conference call and then going to rehearsals and then maybe after that, depending on the schedule, I’m doing something else with my family. The day just has to be going and active.
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So you're not a big fan of rest days?
No, but I actually appreciate the rest period! I do love moving and being active and busy, though. It feels good, and I feel like I’m shining. [Laughs]
In some it's jewelry -- like this new line -- that can help people feel that way when they're feeling down, too.
Yes! That's what's really cool. There are some really great pieces that will do that. I’m a really big believer in the power of words and the things that you wear [having that power]. There’s something psychological about putting on maybe an accessory that you like -- maybe a comfort piece or something that makes you feel confident or that you’re shining. I’m a big believe in that concept, and I will say that I think every woman and person in the world can relate to that feeling of putting on an amazing accessory and feeling good from that. Feeling sexy, feeling fun, feeling happy.
Being the new face of the Shine Collection is just one of the many new things that you've been doing recently: In addition to the TraceMe app that gives an inside look at your life, you're also on the Board of Advisors for our company, Oath. Talk to me about this new era of your career and continuing to really broaden your horizons.
That's really nice of you to say that, and that’s definitely part of my growth and my journey as an artist and a businesswoman. Over the years, I’ve been able to gain wisdom through my experiences, and for me this chapter of my life and career is about using that wisdom to enhance my world -- and that’s across the board as an entertainer and businesswoman.
It has been really fun to be part of amazing campaigns like this with PANDORA. These are the moments that you dream of, honestly! This is what you work hard for -- to be able to have cool partnerships like this or to be able to team up with really amazing brands. It’s been awesome to be part of the Oath team, as well. Tim [Armstrong] is amazing, and Serena [Williams] is awesome. I’m so proud of her as a woman, as well -- she’s someone that is shining, too! [Laughs] She’s a great of example of a woman that shines at all times. It’s just been amazing to be part of the movement and the Oath family. My Oath is to “always level up,” and moments like this are part of that leveling up and continuing to grow and get better. That’s my mission!
Speaking of Serena, I think I've interviewed pretty much the entire inner circle at this point: You, Serena, Lala Anthony and Kelly Rowland...
That is so funny! [Laughs]
But really! You guys have all been friends for years and continue to vocally support one another on social media and in person. It's so fun to watch, even just as a fan. Talk to me about the power of that female friendship and the importance of supporting one another.
It’s so important just as people. One of the ways of surviving in life is being surrounded by really good people and good friends and someone you can call on knowing that you have support. That’s really important to us girls and really important to me. There’s nothing cooler than seeing your girl shining or when you see your friends having success. It’s also inspiring -- you get inspired from when you see your friends have cool moments. That’s what it’s all about, and I think we need that as women, especially. It’s important that we embrace and uplift each other. It's a blessing to have these really great friends who are doing amazing things, too, and that we can all lean on each other and call each other and support each other in the way we do.
What women did you look up to when you were growing up?
Growing up, I can say that I admired the fierceness and the confidence and strength of my mom and my grandma because they’re really, really tough. You look at life, and I think while we have it so much easier than they did, being a mom I have so much more respect for them and how they had to survive coming up and how different it was than it is now. Things are a bit easier now -- maybe more complex because of all of this crazy new technology -- but things are a lot more accessible and just easier. I have strong admiration for those ladies!
In a lot of ways, they probably had to be more resourceful than we are now.
Oh, yeah! They had to be way more resourceful. It’s interesting, because I’m in this place where I’m like, "How does a brain work? Are we challenging ourselves more now or is it easier now than it was back then when you had to do things without the help of technology?" It wasn’t so easy! If I want to know a word now, I can just pick up my phone and look it up versus back in the day you had to go get the dictionary and go to a library. We definitely have it easier now.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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