I’m obsessed with reinvention.
Ever since I cut off all my hair, left politics and moved to the other side of the country for no other reason than to try to make a new life for myself, I’ve gravitated towards women who have fearlessly pressed the reset button on their own lives.
Media personality and entrepreneur Bevy Smith has done just that. Bevy is the host of her own show, Bevelations, on Andy Cohen’s SiriousXM Station Radio, as well as a contributor to Page Six TV. When she’s not on the airwaves, she’s the ultimate connector, hosting dinners and sharing her insights with young up-and-comers.
Her story is the epitome of what it means to design your life, including an enviously successful career in advertising at Vibe and Rolling Stone (where she was motivated by a singular, hilarious, surprising goal that you have to listen to the show to hear), then a switch in her 30s to media personality.
She has built a platform where nothing is off limits and she has the space to be nothing but herself. It’s that freedom that allows her to talk not just about fashion, popular culture and sex, but also the harsh truths of our current social and political climate. In our conversation, we talk about how she created her new life, how she measures her impact and what she wished someone had told her 20 years ago when she started her own business.
In a world where women are encouraged to be demure, humble and cooly uninterested in financial success, Bevy is bold, vivacious and unafraid to be exactly what she is: a 50-year-old Black women who loves culture and life (and isn’t afraid to collect those coins).
I have no idea what my next life reinvention will be or or what yours looks like in your dreams. But I hope, on the other side, we all come out with a little bit of Bevy’s savvy and drive. You can listen to our conversation above, and read an excerpt of it below.
Bevy: I wasn’t [prepared to be an entrepreneur] because I never intended to be an entrepreneur…And by the way, unlike most people, I loved all my jobs — until I didn’t. I’ve actually never worked a job and hated it and stayed. I’m quick to quit a job, and now I know that about myself. Once I climbed the summit, and made it to the mountaintop…yeah, I’m going to have to go. I’m not a rest-on-your-laurels kind of girl. I marvel at what Pat Sajak is able to do. He’s been on that Wheel of Fortune for decades, and it’s that same fucking show day-in and day-out. But guess what, he makes so much money – tens of millions of dollars a year doing that job – [and] he comes in and they tape them all in clumps. But I still don’t know if I could do it.
Erica: What about that do you admire?
Bevy: That they make tens of millions of dollars! I admire that immensely [laughs].
Erica: So you have moments when you’re broke, you have moments when you’re making good money — how do you measure your success beyond money?
Bevy: I’ll tell you this. I was just featured in The New York Times, my Sunday routine. I’m a New Yorker, and have been reading The New York Times since I was like 12 years old. That was a really amazing, aha moment for me. I’ve been in the Times before, but never in such a substantial way. I’ve always known I’m a slow-and-steady type of gal. Fools rush in, and I’m no fool. I love a slow-and-steady pace. It was wonderful to see that, because it represented the culmination of 12 years of work, 12 years of journey.
Collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.