Shequeta Smith Shero Comics
Shequeta Smith, founder of Shero Comics. (Credit: Courtesy of Shequesta Smith)

Shequeta Smith was tired of the lack of diversity in the comic book world – in particular, the Black female characters written by white men and perpetually relegated to sidekick status. In 2016, the Los Angeles entrepreneur decided to be the change she wanted to see by launching Shero Comics, a multimedia company producing books, films and games featuring Black women and girls as the main protagonists. Today, Smith is focused on growing the gaming branch of her multipronged operation.. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

This industry has never seen this type of company – we are working to make up for lost time. Our powerful “sheroes” of color belong in the comic book world – and, they can easily be adapted into television and film projects.

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Completing the trifecta of my multimedia company. I built my company with comic books that we could eventually adapt into films and games. Currently, we’ve completed nine comic books, five award-winning short films, and we recently completed the prototype for a new mobile game that we adapted from our graphic novel. In 2024, we are scheduled to launch the gaming division of my company, “Shero Games.”

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Securing the capital we need to scale and grow the company. In the next few weeks, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign toward building our two new games. After that, we are planning to raise a seed round with multiple angel investors already on board.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

Prior to the pandemic, most of our profits were made by attending comic conventions. During Covid lockdowns, we had to figure out other ways to bring in capital. We began applying for grants, which ultimately helped us stay afloat while still continuing to build the company.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Be careful who you take money from. This is especially important when you are raising capital from investors. You’re going to want to find people who really believe in what you’re doing – and who are willing to let you steer the ship.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

By reflecting on how far I’ve come. Five years ago, I was able to leave corporate America – and haven’t looked back since. Even on my toughest days, I can find joy in the fact that I am a full-time entrepreneur pursuing my dreams.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

“Uprising” by Muse. 

Who is your most important role model?

Oprah Winfrey. ◼

Instagram: @SheroComics
Facebook: @SheroComics
X: @sherocomics

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