Lauren Lake is real deal Renaissance woman who continuously proves that Black women are magical. Author of Girl! Let Me Tell You…, she has taught women how to unapologetically strive for their goals in every area of life. The co-founder of the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN) was even a regular expert on the Ricki Lake Show. Lake also served as host and designer on HGTV’s Spice Up My Kitchen and was the HGTV Showdown Champion for two consecutive years. And she’s a former professional singer, songwriter and producer who sang background for multi-platinum artists including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Thought that was a mouthful? She is now one of the celebrity judges on Centric’s new reality competition Queen Boss and is taking Paternity Court to higher heights. Check out what she told us about her empire expansion in 2017.
MadameNoire (MN): What were your thoughts when you got the call to do Queen Boss?
Lauren Lake (LL): I was so excited about this project because Black women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing business owners right now. Historically, we have always been creative people. We take care of households, we raise children and we run our families like small companies. We also have invented so many things and I do not think enough light has been shed on contributions African-American women have brought to society. So this show is important because it is about empowering women entrepreneurs and giving them encouragement, determination, and even that tough love that we need. We need tough love and criticism so that we can grow… I was so excited about it. I really feel honored to be a part of the project.
MN: What makes Queen Boss stand out from Shark Tank?
LL: It definitely concentrates on women of color. It highlights and gives them an avenue we really have not seen in business competition programming. We as the judges are very particular about our brand of inspiration. It’s not just about the business of it all, but also about connecting on a spiritual level and helping these women grow and challenging them. We’re giving them the tools needed to truly pitch and grow their product. So that’s what’s different about it–the spirit and soul of the project. As judges, we have been in that position of growing a business and brand as women of color. So I think that connects the judges and contestants, and viewers will feel that connection.
MN: It sounds like each episode will inspire people and push them to move forward with business ideas they’ve had for years. How do you think this show will impact viewers?
LL: I think they are going to understand the limitless possibilities for their lives. Many of these women started out on different professional paths. They used their creativity, resourcefulness, and imagination to come up with a product. What I also say in my personal brand when I am speaking at events is there’s an empire inside all of us! It’s special to see these women tap into their genius and purpose. It’s the story behind the glory of it all. We get the first-hand story of why these businesses were birthed. We get to see how they felt when the product doesn’t meet full potential and how they continue through disappointment. Ultimately, with our innate God-given gifts we can prevail through adversity because it’s ours, and ours alone. This show will speak to the possibility inside other women and bring their empires to life.
MN: If anyone knows about bringing an empire to life it would have to be you! You wear many hats with your skillset in various industries and are able to monetize them.
LL: Thank you! As women we multi-task all day long, but in our professional lives we’re expected to be one thing. No! People would say to me ‘Are you going to be a jack of all trades, or a master of nothing?’ And I would say I’m going to be a Jill of whatever I choose to master. Fastfoward, these same people have watched me build my personal empire by using my various, multifaceted gifts and talents to create my brand, Limitless Living. I live outside of the lines and I don’t allow anyone to place me inside of a box. The creators of the show thought my life and brand as a great example for women.
MN: Can you tell us what’s going on in Paternity Court this year?
LL: Season 4 is airing right now. We are so proud of this season. We have been able to send people back to school, provide scholarships, parenting classes, and supply young mothers with much-needed supplies and resources for their babies. We are just so excited about how many people watch the show.
MN: Why do you think people would rather go on television to handle paternity issues instead of settling the matter in private?
LL: Many times a litigant will say to me how they’ve watched the show and that is why they feel comfortable coming to me. They feel encouraged and that their secrets will not be exploited. We also celebrated our 500th episode last year. It’s an exciting benchmark along with our Emmy nomination, but it’s more about the hundreds of families we’ve been able to serve through this vehicle.
MN: What else can we expect from the Lauren Lake brand?
LL: I am so excited to have my first Limitless Living Conference in October. I have traveled the world for the last 10 years talking about what it means to live life limitlessly—stepping out of your comfort zone and living life to the fullest. Now we’re going to have a conference where people will get the inspiration and motivation that they need. You can stay posted at laurenlake.com.