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PAUSE Her Q&A: Tolly T x PUMA For Women On The Rise

PAUSE Her Q&A: Tolly T x PUMA For Women On The Rise

PUMA encourages women to never compromise on their personal style or their personal goals by providing support to young women in the creative industry. Through their PUMA Women campaigns, the brand aims to uplift as well as provide the tools to empower the next generation. Last year podcaster Tolani “Tolly T” Shoneye collaborated with PUMA on their ‘Women On The Rise‘ campaign, where she sat on panel with Note To Self founder Alizé Demange and TALA and Shreddy founder Grace Beverley. The women discussed their careers and shared tips on how to get ahead in business. The podcaster brings a mixture of sisterly advice and funny anecdotes with her popular ‘The Receipts Podcast‘, which she hosts alongside @Ghanas_finest and @Milenasanchezx. Last year she launched another podcast alongside Gena-mour Barrett called ‘10/10 (Would Recommend)‘, which is the greatest podcast name ever. Tolly is not only a master at podcasting, she’s also great at putting words together and curating content for top brands. No matter what type of work she does, Tolly has made it clear that women – especially Black women – are always at the forefront of her mind. 

Tomi: We know you from ‘The Receipts’ podcast. Did you have any particular goals when you first started the podcast?

Tolly: If I’m being completely honest I can’t say that I had this set goal to be like ‘This is gonna be the voice of the woman’ or anything like that. It was more of I just wanted to chat. I’ve always loved storytelling. I’m a massive fan of podcasts so prior to even doing ‘The Receipts Podcast’, I was an avid ‘Serial’ listener. I was very close to writing Adnan a letter [laughs]. He was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and I don’t think he did it. Anyway when I listened to podcasts, nobody sounded like me. I love podcasts like ‘The Read’ but they’re American voices telling American stories. I wanted to tell stories from the perspective of a Black woman living in London.

Tomi: Now the podcast is exclusively on Spotify, what made it the right platform you guys?

Tolly: I’m very sensitive and precious about our content and they were the platform that didn’t want to touch it, didn’t want to fiddle with it.
There was no censorship, they didn’t tell us what to say or how to say it.

Tomi: The podcast is so authentic and doesn’t sound scripted at all. Do you script any part of the show?

Tolly: It’s not scripted at all [laughs]! I wish I could script that sort of authenticity, it’s just us having a chat. That’s the great thing about storytelling and conversation, we could start talking about hair and then it leads to us talking about a time we were on holiday. It’s all about the varied ways and avenues that conversations could go.

Tomi: ‘The Receipts Podcast’ have also had live shows. What is it like to do a live show and what do you love about them?

Tolly: I love a live show but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get nervous. Every live show that we do even if it’s something that we’re used to and we’ve done a few now, I still get nervous. I love doing them so much because the audience gives you the show. The live shows actually allow the audience to talk back to us and share their own thoughts. It’s like a massive group chat! It’s women heavy, I’m talking 90% women and 10% men. The men that come are in awe of seeing so many women and most of them come with their boys. It’s so funny because they come thinking that they can challenge women and thinking they’ve got a point to make. It’s brilliant because the women are like, ‘Boo get off the stage’.

Tomi: Are you shocked that men listen to your podcast and did you have a particular audience in mind when you first created it?

Tolly: It was always going to be centred around women because in everything I do I always ask myself would I listen to this or like this. I would like to feel like a lot of my life’s work is for Black women. I was shocked to find out men listen to the podcast because men are silent listeners and don’t really like to tell people that they listen. A lot of men listen to our Your Receipts episode as a way to get insight into how women work. Very early on a guy came up to us and said, ‘Stop giving women self esteem man’ [laughs]. It is surprising but it’s nice and many men have learnt from it.

Tomi: You guys are so personal and share intimate parts of your lives on the podcast. Has there ever been a time that you’ve wanted to take back what you said during an episode?

Tolly: Sometimes I listen back to the podcast and wonder why I have said certain things but it’s my story to tell and it’s out in the world now. Sometimes I’ve said things too immaturely and I’ve been like, ‘Yeah this is what I think and that’s my opinion, that’s it’. Then upon reflection, I listen back and realize that I don’t think like that anymore. The podcast has been going on for four years now and if I haven’t grown in four years then that’s not good.

Tomi: All right so switching to PUMA. How did you get involved with the brand?

Tolly: PUMA are real ones! Obviously Black lives have always mattered but last summer there was a shift. We did a live drive-in show and it was like no way during this time I’m doing something and not giving money back to Black charities. I reached out to PUMA to see if they’d be willing to sponsor the event and they were completely down for it. I was like, ‘I like this brand, they’re about their chat’. I did the Women On The Rise project with them, Alizé and Grace Beverley. I just like the idea of a brand going outside of its products. They’re legit, it’s not just about the products that they are selling but their brand values too. Like I said before, women are a big part of everything that I do so for a brand to advocate for women to be on the rise and encourage women to be themselves in whatever they do, then I’m here for that.

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Tomi: How do you think Women On The Rise helped support female creatives last year?

Tolly: There were various talks and I think sometimes when you go to panels, the people that are speaking are far away from reach. One of the best things PUMA did was they included people like myself who are not far out of reach. Like you’ll see me on the District line, you’re going to see me in certain spaces. Everything I think I’ve achieved is obtainable for anyone to achieve. PUMA didn’t make this idea of success seem too far out of reach.

Tomi: In the nature of raising up other women. Please give a shout out to women who are totally bossing it.

Tolly: I definitely have to shout out ‘The Receipts’ girls, they would never forgive me otherwise so shout out Audrey Indome and Milena Sanchez. Big up Julie Adenuga, she’s doing her thing. Of course my ’10/10 (Would Recommend)’ co-host Gena-mour Barrett, she is a sensation and a force to be reckoned with.

Tomi: What are your plans for this year both personally and for your business?

Tolly: It’s really interesting working now and I think that’s one of the best things about being a human, we’re very resilient. I was making plans in the new year and I realized that my plans don’t have to be according to what the world looks like now. So what do I do if the world stays like this? Sometimes that just involves going bigger and harder. One of things I want to work on is my determination and being consistent. I’ve always been intrigued by athletes and how they manoeuvre and their determination. I don’t think anybody is a superior human being, what differentiates others from the rest is how hard they work and how consistent they are. Personally I want to be less goal driven, I want to have a life of more adventure. I want to enjoy moments and not fear the aftermath of stuff. I don’t want to always be about results but instead enjoy the journey and have a good time. Yeah I want to have more fun man! Buss it open and be back on the streets. Free me!

Stay tuned for more to come from PUMA Women.

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