As young millennials, we have so many great ideas or concepts but we sometimes lack the financial literacy to help advance our careers and lifestyles. Most people who talk to us about finances are baby boomers who can’t relate to us in no way, shape or form. So how can we get all of our financial knowledge in a way to helps us understand?
Natasha Abellard, an Executive Producer and Writer for $hares, teamed up with $hares creator and financial influencer, Anthony Copeman for a solution. $hares is an animated series that is dedicated to helping millennials make money work for them. With original music, weekly money tips, and episodes, Natasha created four characters that she hopes every millennial can relate to in some way. These characters share their own stories, tips, and experiences weekly on Instagram. Read below to find out why Natasha and Anthony are the faces of millennial money.
How did SharesTV come to fruition?
Natasha: Anthony Copeman, the creator, sent me the blueprint for what became Shares. With me being the storyteller/writer, I’ve covered almost every single genre of writing. I went to high school for writing and went to Spelman for English. So I took it and I redid the whole thing, I flipped it upside down. I sat and redesigned the storyline. I created these characters and then gave our artist Justin Richburg all of the looks I envisioned, so all of those looks are completely my looks. So now what it is, it’s an animated series dedicated to helping millennial pretty much get a better grasp of their money mindset and decisions. I put together their stories so everyone could see a piece of themselves in each.
Brandon lives at home and has loans. Essence didn’t have any student loans but started at a community college and went to NYU later to save money. Troi is a Haitian-American immigrant and her parents weren’t able to help her financially. And Michael didn’t go to college at all because that is some people’s story. So I wrote their stories to help people see themselves in some way.”
Do you plan to have any live events such as workshops, seminars, etc to teach people about financial literacy?
Natasha: You know, I think eventually it will come to that! We’ve talked about it. Right now, we recently launched so we’re seeing how people react to it and seeing what people want. So far people love the animations and the entire idea. So as it grows I think we’ll actually have the characters have different segments of their own. And eventually if people want to use $hares at schools or events they could.
That is awesome! I love that! So tell me a little bit about yourself.
Natasha: Sure! I’m actually Haitian too, one of the Shares characters is loosely based on my personal background. I’m from Brooklyn and grew up in Crown Heights before moving to Philly later on. I grew up in an immigrant family and my dad was self-educated but he didn’t get to complete his entire college education until later in life. My mom’s story is similar. My older siblings didn’t go to college so when it came time for me to go to school, I had to figure it out on my own. But long story short, one of my guidance counselors introduced me to HBCUs and I fell in love with Spelman. Before I went, I got my financial aid package and I knew I couldn’t afford it! After I went to visit Spelman, I came back home to a full ride from The Bill Gates & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholarship. The package was sitting on my desk. That really changed my mindset to believing anything is possible and changed my whole perspective on things.
I’ve always been a storyteller and writer, that’s been my special talent. I went to the Philadelphia High School for Creative Performing Arts High School. I majored in creative writing and I thought I wanted to be an editor. I went through so many transitions to see what I wanted to be and then fell in love with broadcast journalism. Now, I’m writing a series!
Besides Shares, do you have any other projects coming up? Anything we should be looking forward to?
Natasha: Yeah so right now I’m a digital broadcast journalist. I host and produce work that is featured regularly on USA Today, People, Time, Fortune, and some other major outlets. My next project is directing my first music video. Ironically, for the first person, he saw the animated series! He hit me up and asked if we could do an animated music video and I said ‘yeah let’s make it happen!’. That’s what I’ll be doing next! I already knew I wanted to do music videos and was taking my time on getting it done. But then I saw Drake’s Nice for What video. The director behind it is very young and it inspired me. I can also see myself writing other series’ like another Girlfriends. And of course, I can’t wait to see Shares blossom. Our first episode is called “Did Your Parents Have McDonald’s Money?”
Lastly, what does it mean to be a Bauce woman to you?
Natasha: I think to be a BAUCE woman means to just follow your dreams and intuition. Do things on your own time and explore. And figure out what it is that works for you! I think a lot of times, particularly in younger women, you compare yourself to your peers. For me, that’s not the case. I think I’ve gotten here because I’ve done things that aren’t necessarily traditional and have been willing to go against the grain. That’s what makes me a Bauce woman. I do what it is that makes me happy. I’ve gone through every bracket of media from PR to marketing to writing and editorial work. When my parents were pressuring me to become a lawyer, I had to tell them, that wasn’t it! That’s what makes me a Bauce woman.