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From BET Reality Star to Brand: An Interview With Author Ivy Box

Written by kreyolicious with Leave A Comment

Haitian American author Ivy Box
The self-help manual The 365 Go Get H.E.R.S Guide has just been released by entrepreneur and author Ivy Box. The book is a stylish little tome designed to give twenty-somethings a sense of direction in life.

Box first came into the public eye as a popular cast member of the reality show BET’S “College Hill: Interns”.

Reality TV stardom is vast and yet so fleeting, that it isn’t everyone who experiences it, who’s able to turn it, grip it, and twist it into a lasting legacy. Ivy Box is one of the few who has. The Florida native and daughter of a Haitian couple used her time as a cast member on the show to make herself into a powerhouse, part philanthropist and all business woman, and now author.

But aside from getting her shine, Box has shed light on others. Through her nonprofit Voice THE Movement, Inc, she helps others in the community reach their dreams. The University of South Florida graduate and and now author has amassed all her wisdom into one book: The 365 Go-Getters Guide. For each book sold in English, the entrepreneur will be donating a Haitian Creole translation to women and young girls in Haiti.
author Ivy Box at the American Black Film Festival
Kreyolicious: You head your own non-profit called Voice THE Movement, Inc. Why made you start this organization?
Ivy Box: Yes, we are celebrating our 4th year in existence. I’ve always had a natural urge to serve, I’ve actually paid good money to fly across the country just to volunteer at events. [Laughter] In college, I participated in alternative spring break. It’s where college students spend their spring break doing community service instead of your typical college spring break shenanigans (no shade). After I graduated from college and after the reality show, I started working for the rap artist, Plies and his brother. They had a non-profit that I worked closely with. All those years of service and working with a bunch of nonprofits gave me the inclination to create my own. After doing my 10,000 hours of service, I figured it was time that I make it happen. I talk about it in the book, in a chapter about creating opportunities because the way it happened was cute, quick, and pretty darn cool. Subtle plug. [Laughter]

author Ivy Box with DJ Khaled
Above: Ivy Box with entertainment industry colleague DJ Khaled.

Kreyolicious: What are you most proud of when it comes to Voice The Movement?
Ivy Box: I’m most proud of the fact that we have been able to do such great things for the community and have been consistent with our Youth Empowerment workshops. This year marked our 4th year and we were awarded the MLK Day of Service grant. This year we were ranked as one of the top awarded organizations out of all of the organizations that applied. We rotate our program each year between doing a girls EmpowHERment Workshop called FLAWLESS which stands for Fearlessly Living, Ambitiously Wise, Limitlessly Educated, Successfully Serving; a young men’s workshop called FEARLESS which stands for Fearlessly Expressive, Actively Responsive, Leading Examples, Serving Society; and our joint EMPOWERtainment Workshop is called FEARLESS & FLAWLESS. We have served over 400 kids and partnered with over 100 businesses, organizations, and volunteers. This year will be the first year that I bring Fearless and Flawless to my hometown, Ft. Myers which is scheduled to take place at the Starz Complex in the Spring [of this year]. We are also expanding our organization into Haiti, just waiting on the ink to dry.
author Ivy Box Haitian-American author
Above: The author and entrepreneur with radio veteran Tom Joyner.

Kreyolicious: Your undergrad degree is in Marketing. Did you ever feel any pressure from your parents to become a lawyer, a physician, dentist, engineer, or nurse?
Ivy Box: Oh, but of course. My mom didn’t have to say it, it was just a cultural pride thing, you just already knew, you had to go to school, go to church, listen to your parents, don’t embarrass them, and be a doctor or lawyer. Now-a-days it’s be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or nurse, [Laughter] but in my day, we just had the whole doctor/lawyer thing to worry about. In middle school I was on track to becoming a lawyer, I got my first job at 14 years old working in the downtown Ft. Myers County Court office, thanks to the YMCA YES program that my guidance counselor put me in. It was an office job full of older white people, except for the lawyer I was working with. He was a black lawyer, working his way up to be a judge. This is before social media and before everyone had cell phones. I didn’t even have a computer, I had to use a typewriter, lol. At the time, I didn’t know there was a such thing as an entertainment lawyer, had I known, I would of probably stuck with it. By the time I made it to college, I was a Biology pre-med major on track to becoming a Neonatologist. I was super involved in college and none of it had anything to do with medical school. I changed my major my junior year after my 3rd Chemistry class and with the knowledge of knowing I had two more chemistry classes I had to take. My mom prayed for me, sent my cousin who was a pastor and my uncle to talk me out of it changing my major, but at the end of the day it was my decision, and I decided that Business Marketing was more of my thing! I do often wonder how I would be if I completed the law track or the medical track. No need to cry for me though, because I have a lot of lawyer friends and several doctor and nursing cousins, friends, and associates, so I live vicariously through them.

author Ivy Box
Above: Ivy Box attends the Grammys.

Kreyolicious: What can your fans and those who have been following your career for years expect from you in the next few years?
Ivy Box: Oh, wow, that’s a heavy question. I pray to continue my work in the community making an impact that expands across international lines. I pray to have a thriving brand that supports my entire family and the lives of others and their families. I pray that everything that is positive that is meant for me, be awarded to me. I pray that God uses me as a vessel to help move the black diaspora forward in every sense of the word. I want to have a healthy work/life balance, and I delight in the thought that one day I will be sitting across the table with greats of our times planning what we as a collective can do to pay it forward!

This concludes PART II of the interview with entrepreneur and author Ivy Box. Did you miss PART I of the interview with author Ivy Box? CLICK HERE. Also…

CLICK HERE to visit author Ivy Box’s official home| Author Ivy Box Instagram

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