The 3% Accelerator: Folayo Lasaki
The 3% Accelerator is a business and wellness initiative for women entrepreneurs of color. The program supports creative visionaries who are building the agencies and companies that they want to work for during the critical early years of entrepreneurship. The Accelerator addresses key business challenges, profession- al and business development, leadership, as well as personal support for the unique challenges that women of color in the creative industry experience.
Meet one of the nine women, Folayo Lasaki.
Founder of Striped Elephant, stripesandelephants.com
Tell us about your background. Where are you from? What makes you you?
That’s a hard question… what makes anyone anyone? I am definitely an amalgamation of my experiences, from growing up a third-culture kid in Colorado to spending nearly 20 years working in entertainment, marketing, and strategy. I, like many “old millennials,” have a life—and a career—that spans across what was and what is, and I like to use that foundation in traditional in tandem with new media, platforms, and technologies—always with an eye towards solution-based innovation. I’ve grown my experience and perspective working with companies including Participant Media, SoulPancake, Variety, Film Independent, Landmark Theatres, IFP, and FILMMAKER Magazine amongst others. I’m a storyteller and conversationalist at heart, I try to learn new things every day, and I’m passionate about building increased opportunities and representation for women of color in entertainment and media.
Tell us about your company. What do you do? What prompted you to start it?
Striped Elephant is a boutique marketing firm, strategy house + brand consultancy that operates at the cross-section of entertainment, media, and technology. We work with clients across industries, in both traditional and digital media, doing everything from brand strategy to business development and communications. Toni Morrison said, “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” That’s essentially what prompted me to start the business; I wanted to build the company that I wanted to work for—I still do, and I still am.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in getting your business off the ground?
I think like any small business, the biggest challenge is often finding the balance between growing the business and funding.
"...if you’re looking for it, you can find inspiration in everything."
As a Black woman, who are your biggest inspirations?
I try to find inspiration in every experience—people that I’ve known my whole life as well as those who’ve crossed my path for an hour. I’m inspired by writers, scholars, activists, and people in business. Black women who have made and continue to make history and anyone who did the thing people said couldn’t be done. I think if you’re looking for it, you can find inspiration in everything… people, places, words, and things inspire me to look at—and for—possibilities.
What can our community do to support you?
Put Striped Elephant on your list of referrals!