By Katie Chambers
Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to new member Tavia Mapp-Deterville, the CEO and Founder of the TaviaMD (TMD) Agency! TMD, founded in 2005 and based in New York City, is a premier voice in the public relations industry, launching successful and creative campaigns for a diverse clientele of entertainment, music, fashion, and lifestyle professionals. With an eccentric portfolio built upon authentic experience, TMD has assisted clientele to navigate through the intricacies of entrepreneurship in public relations, music publicity, and digital awareness; all of which can hinder a new startup breaking into the industry. Moreover, TMD is dedicated to establishing PR campaigns uniquely conducted to provide positive media attention. Serving as the forefront of contact between the world and the individuals and businesses they represent, TMD centers all its efforts to provide top-notch brand building tailored for an organic consumer base.
From arranging a specially curated SXSW showcase to speaking out about charitable causes they believe in, TMD has set its sights on becoming a household name in the industry. And as a leader spearheading her business to ambitious heights, Tavia has flawlessly handled the African American press for award-winning films and has secured clients placements on sought-after platforms like MTV, BET Revolt Summit, and various awards shows.
Mapp-Deterville also founded The Future is Female, a 501(c)3 organization that empowers women entrepreneurs through networking and events. We spoke with her about her business – and got some great advice for media entrepreneurs and working moms!
Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch!
Tavia MD loves people and has amazing relationships. Working with me isn’t guess work, it means guaranteed results. I never take a project unless I know I can leave it in a much better place than when I entered it. I have flawlessly handled the African American press for films Spiral, Grammy and Oscar Award-winning Summer of Soul, and Oscar-nominated Time; and pitched and secured media for the Essence Festival of Culture, the top attending festival in the country, while overseeing the cover releases for Cardi B and Icon Janet Jackson.
Describe what inspired you to create The Future is Female.
So many women are starting over in their lives. Choosing to work in their passions and not just paying the bills. I created FIF to form support, mentorship, and allow women to succeed by interacting with top professionals in their industries that answer questions, motivate, and remind them they are not alone.
What is the philosophy behind your publicity firm, Tavia MD Agency? How do you help your clients achieve their goals?
My philosophy is “Difficult Takes a Day, Impossible Takes a Week, The Rest is Up to You.” What that means is you can accomplish anything with the right relationships and the passion to get it done. With my clients, I always lay out a blueprint of what I need to help them succeed. I check and advise every step of the way, so you are not shocked by the outcome.
You’ve had great success – I read that you’ve helped some clients get 1 million views online. What in your mind is the secret to “going viral?”
There really is no secret. Going viral is random and happens during very simple actions. I think that is why it’s so hard to replicate.
You’re also a writer. What are your favorite topics to write about?
The importance of loving and knowing yourself. So often we get consumed with what people say directly and socially that we forget it’s ok to simply be you. The problem is a lot of us have no idea who that is. Taking the time to truly love and accept yourself is hard but needed.
What is your advice for other women entrepreneurs?
It’s more important that people not just want you or your products, but they value you. When people value you, they are repeat supporters and don’t ask for discounts. Value should always be your focus.
Among all these ventures and achievements, you’re also a mom! How do you find a balance?
Honestly, I schedule it. I don’t work past certain hours or take calls during family time to ensure my children know they are just as important. Because I do that, they actually respect when I’m on the phone and don’t fight anymore for my attention.
What inspired you to join NYWIFT?
My really good friend Tammy Reese is a member and always had nothing but positive things to say so I joined!
And what is next for you?
I just finished a project so my work load is lighter. I am catching up on some writing, some rest and enjoying time with my family.
Many children – and more than a few adults – dream of long-distance space exploration. But what about the real human toll of that kind of journey? The new documentary The Longest Goodbye, which debuted at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, takes a poignant look at the fundamentals of day-to-day reality in space: the isolation, confinement, and lack of privacy and social contact. Executive producer Valda Witt spoke to us about the project, her childhood dreams of space travel, favorite moments making the film, and getting to know scientists and astronauts in a deeply personal way.READ MORE
NYWIFT member Caitlin Gold is the Co-Founder and Co-Head of Film, a private equity fund dedicated to financing narrative and documentary films directed by women. The fund’s tagline is “Films by women make more money, but Hollywood isn’t making them….” Thanks to Gold and her colleagues, that very well may change! Their most recent feature is the Australian film Shayda, which premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival in the World Dramatic Competition and won that category’s Audience Award. Gold spoke to us about Shayda’s path to the screen, funding work by women, and what’s next on her horizon.READ MORE
Developed in partnership with Sundance Institute and Founded by Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph and Head of Film Candice Wilson Cherry, WOMEN WRITE NOW is a comedic writing fellowship designed to champion the next generation of Black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition. Now in its second year, this year’s fellowship brought in three emerging writers, Mayanna Berrin, Kianna Butler Jabangwe, and Danielle Solomon to develop and produce their comedic short scripts under the guidance of some of the most influential Black women in comedy. The resulting projects were then brought into production by Hartbeat studios. Cherry and the writers spoke to us about their experience.READ MORE
Ericka Nicole Malone Entertainment presents the “Indie Director’s and Creator’s Spotlight” in celebration of diversity in filmmaking at the Sundance Film Festival 2023. Featuring a day of education, industry networking and panels, its evening activation will transform into a Neo Soul lounge with the sultry sounds of 3x Grammy Award-nominated R&B/Neo Soul Singer Angie Stone as the headliner.READ MORE